While packing his suitcase, Gabe Parker had one thought that ravaged through his mind like a pack of wild rodents searching for food. Will Ava behave herself while I’m gone? Being only sixteen years old - girls will play while daddy's away. Everyone in Baker City knows that parties are all the rage among the young teenagers. Just last week, the O’Neal’s had their house ransacked and destroyed from a rave that went horribly wrong. Ava had the good sense not to go to that party, mainly because her father forbade it.
Gabe, with his thick black glasses, short-trimmed brown hair, slim body build, and an overwhelming sense of being smarter than everyone else, was the target of all the bullies growing up. Perhaps that’s why he now talks with a condescending tone.
A man of significant stature, Gabe is a scientific genius in the field of biochemistry and biology and specializes in infectious disease. He works in a top-secret organization for the government developing deadly viruses and biochemical weapons to take war to the next level. Our enemies around the world are doing the same thing. If they bring guns, we bring rocket launchers. If they bring grenades, we bring atomic bombs. If they bring viruses, we unleash the plague.
Gabe’s wife Sophia died while giving birth to Ava and that traumatizing life experience caused major mental health issues for both of them. Unable to deal with the loss of his wife, Gabe became a recluse working his days away to mask the pain. As Ava grew older, she felt the effects head on because her dad wasn’t around, and with the loss of her mother, it was like she lost both parents.
Ava had a hard time in life because she was dealing with abandonment issues. Just the thought of losing a friend or a loved one ripped her soul out. Her grades in school took a nose dive into oblivion, and she began acting out for attention. With her long golden hair, soft blue eyes, and curvaceous body, Ava was able to get out of most situations.
One day, Gabe had a vision that would change the course of his life forever. Sophia came to him in a foggy mist and told him to save Ava from her private desolation and mental torment. It was a call to action. He woke up dripping with perspiration and a new sense of clarity. He knew he had to change his ways, and the first change would start with his work.
Gabe turned a spare room in his house into a private lab facility complete with top-notch security measures to keep intrusive morons from getting in. Working from home was the solution he needed. Gabe was able to be a father and spent more time with Ava. He no longer had to be a commuter dad. Most parents spend far too much time away from their kids leaving teachers and strangers to raise them.
It wasn’t easy at first, but things came along like most things do in life. Gabe took a more assertive role, and everything changed for the better. Gabe found great joy in being a good dad - it was his new lease on life. Sophia would have been so proud of him.
A few days ago, Gabe had a breakthrough with his new formula - a special liquifying virus that would allow soldiers to transform themselves into a liquid goo. The possibilities for this application were endless. He needed to travel to Washington D.C. to brief the top military generals about his findings. This was a game changer. Before leaving for the week, Gabe knew he had to tell Ava about the importance of his unexpected trip.
He found Ava in the kitchen eating her breakfast. He sat down at the table next to her and spoke softly, “Sweetheart, I have to go away on a business trip.”
Ava looked at him with reluctant eyes, “What! For how long?”
Gabe took a deep breath. “I’ll be gone for about a week.” His eyes lit up with excitement as he continued, “I’ve made a breakthrough on the formula and I have to go to Washington D.C. and present my findings to an oversight committee.”
Ava closed her eyes and slowly nodded her head. “I understand how important your work is.” Opening her eyes, she barked, “I don’t have to have a babysitter, do I?”
Gabe started to laugh. “Of course not. You’re sixteen years old now, it’s time for me to trust you a little bit.”
Ava smiled and declared, “Oh thank god!”
“I do have some ground rules for you to follow,” Gabe uttered with a determined look.
“Ok… I’m fine with that. What did you have in mind?”
“I want you to go to school, come straight home, do your homework, finish your chores, and no parties!”
Ava inhaled deeply and released her tension. “I guess that sounds fair.”
Gabe stood up smiling, “Come here and give your old dad a hug before I leave.”
Ava threw her arms around him and gushed, “I love you dad, have a good trip.”
“I love you too. Please be good and follow those rules. I’m trusting you here alone and remember… no parties!”
“Ok, ok, no parties. I promise dad.”
After one final heartfelt goodbye, Gabe grabbed his suitcase and left for his business trip.
With her dad gone, Ava smiled a naughty smile and darted her eyes back and forth like a child sneaking a cookie before dinner. Her friends were always allowed to go to parties and have fun, but not her. Her heart ached for acceptance from her peers. An idea quickly sparked to life in the vibrant fluidity of her subconscious.
How great would it be to throw a party and invite all of my friends?
She knew it was breaking the most important rule of all, but her dad was going to be gone for a week. A week. That’s plenty of time to put a party together, and to clean up the unavoidable mess that will most certainly happen. She pulled out her phone and called a few of her close friends. She ran the idea past them to see what they thought, and they went ballistic like an AK-47 firing on the battlefield.
Later that night, Ava’s friends invited their friends, and they all brought snacks, beer, and of course a DJ. Ava and her friends spent the next few hours decorating the entire house with streamers and balloons. They even thought it was cool to hang a disco ball in the living room to make everything sparkle. They ordered pizza and set up an eating area in the kitchen complete with snacks and drinks.
Bada-Boom the instant party was now in full swing.
The music was loud and thumpin’
The beats were heavy and bumpin’
The party was really jumpin’
The kids were dancing and groovin’
The outcasts were boozin’
And the hipsters were rockin’ and getting high.
This certainly was the party of the year and everyone was spreading the word. Kids from all over the city started showing up uninvited much to Ava’s delight. This catapulted her to super star popularity almost instantly. Ava was so ecstatic that she let go of her inner ambitions and decided to cut loose.
After all, I’m only a teenager once, and who knows if something like this will ever happen again.
Tonight, was Ava’s night to have some exciting gratification. She started jiving to the funky beat in the living room and noticed her lifelong crush Jessie, shaking his buttocks like two big bowls of jelly. She gathered her confidence and started dancing next to him. Ava was having the time of her life. She had a strong urge to tell Jessie how she felt about him, but she needed some liquid courage first.
Ava walked into the kitchen to get a drink and saw Franco the beer guzzler, chugging down his third straight keg of beer. He sat down on the floor with his fat lips anchored around the metal teat and suckled like a newborn calf. Ava could literally see his belly grow larger as the golden-brown liquid filled his stomach.
Franko the Beer Guzzler was a local kid in the neighborhood. He was a portly boy with a big round belly that no shirt could ever cover. He could only wear sweat-pants because nothing else would fit his colossal frame. To say he was a big boy was the understatement of the millennium.
Franco the Beer Guzzler had a very bad habit of drinking all the beer he could get his chubby little hands on. At the tender young age of sixteen, Franco was already an alcoholic. It was safe to say that he definitely earned his nickname.
“You better slow down Franco!” Ava snarled. “Other people might want a drink!”
Franco sat up and burped loudly. He patted his robust belly and proudly said, “It’s too late, I drank all the yummy nectar.” He belched again and looked at Ava with a child-like expression.
“You gotta be kidding me! How could you drink all of the beer?”
“The Guzzler never knows when to stop! I was thirsty!!”
Franco stood up and wobbled over to Ava. He got close to her face and burped loud and strong. She quickly withdrew and started to gag from his horrible breath. She rolled her eyes expecting an apology, but all she got was a smile. Franco’s eyes were glazed over, and his dimples were on full display for everyone to see.
“I need more to drink! Where do you keep the good stuff?” he asked.
“We don’t have any more beer you stupid moron!”
Franco pointed down the hallway to Gabe’s lab. “I bet you got some real good drinks in there. What’s the code to unlock the door?”
Ava was caught by surprise and felt uncomfortable. “No one is allowed to go in there. I think you should leave!”
Franco ruffled his face and squinted his eyes. “If you don’t let me in there, I’ll tell everyone here that you slept with me.”
Anger filled her face and she slapped Franco with all her might. He didn’t even flinch. His flabby face just wobbled for a few seconds. He smiled and said, “Ok, time for the whole city to know that we did the big nasty!”
Ava spoke through clenched teeth, “You’re a liar and we never slept together. The code is my birthday, 5305.”
Franco opened his mouth wide and belched again. He stumbled over to the lab door and quickly entered the code. The door swung open revealing a bright white room full of scientific equipment and high-tech machinery. Ava quickly ran over and followed Franco in. She couldn’t let him mess anything up in her dad’s lab because he would never forgive her.
Franco’s eyes scanned the room and he spotted a refrigerator unit tucked away in the corner. He ran over and pulled the door open. There were several metal containers within, and he grabbed one and opened it up. He smelled the sweet aroma of the yellow liquid and started to laugh.
“Put that back Franco, that’s not beer!” Ava cried.
“I knew you were hiding the good stuff in here!” He turned to Ava and pushed her down to the ground.
He licked his lips and raised the canister to his mouth. “Bottoms up!”
Ava watched from the floor as Franco drank the strange liquid. He didn’t stop with just one. The Guzzler had to have his fill, so he drank one after another. He threw the last canister down on the ground and burped one more time. It was strange because Ava could feel the burp reverberate through her bones. She stood up and watched as Franco started to laugh.
“That was very tasty. I want more. I’m still thirsty. I need mor-”
Franco fell to his knees before he could finish his sentence. He started screaming and writhing in pain. He was convulsing and trembling like an earthquake. Ava’s heart started to beat fast and heavy, and she didn’t know what to do. She ran over to him and placed her hand on his shoulder. She screamed as her hand sunk into his skin. He felt cold and slimy, and soon other people from the party ran into the room, including Jessie.
They all gasped at the sight of Franco. His skin turned translucent with a golden-brown tint. His insides turned to mush, and his physical form transformed into a big puddle of goo that smelled like beer. It was almost like someone dumped a big trash can of brown slime on the floor.
Out of curiosity, Jessie slowly approached the smelly goo.
“Don’t touch it Jessie!” screamed Ava.
He turned to her and replied, “It’s ok, I just wanna check it out.”
Jessie reached down to touch the slimy goo, and it suddenly rose up to its full height and flung itself over his body. Jessie screamed as the goo burned through his flesh exposing his skeleton. The goo made squishy squashy noises as it devoured him whole.
Ava screamed as loud as she could. “Jessie!!” Tears started to flow down her face.
Franco was now a big slime-blob beer monster, and the other party goers ran for their lives in a frantic panic.
Ava stood motionless after everyone left her alone. She stared at the goo monster as it slid across the floor like a giant slug. She couldn’t believe that this thing was once Franco. She was amazed further when it spoke in a deep rumbling voice.
“Thirsty! Need more drinks!”
Ava slowly started to move away from the creature as it inched closer and closer towards her. She could only think about how it killed Jessie, and how mad her dad was going to be. There was no way she could clean up this mess. She kept backing up until she hit the wall paralyzed with fear. The blob was upon her now, twisting and twitching at its next meal.
Out of the corner of her eye, Ava saw a fire extinguisher hanging next to her. She quickly reached over and grabbed it.
She pulled the pin and screamed, “Chill the fuck out Franco!!”
Ava sprayed the goo creature until it was frozen in place. Then she raised the empty fire extinguisher high above her head and smashed it down across the goo monster - shattering it into a thousand pieces. Ava fell to the floor and sobbed as she struggled to catch her breath.
The party was over, and everyone was gone. Ava could hear police sirens in the background, and she knew her dad was going to be very disappointed in her. She heard boots marching through her house and was expecting to see the cops, but it was a bunch of people wearing biohazard suits. They knelt down and placed the frozen pieces from the goo monster into clear jars and briskly walked away.
“What’s going on! Who are you people?” Ava asked in a trembling voice.
A tall man stood towering above Ava as he reached for his radio.
“Sir we have collected the samples, and the asset is secure. What about the girl?”
Ava was surprised and delighted to hear her father’s voice on the radio.
“Good work! Take the asset to the secured lab. The experiment was a success, I knew that with the right opportunity this would happen.”
Ava’s eyes exploded like fireworks. “Daddy?”
“Very good sir, and what about the girl?”
Ava stood up and couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Did he mean for this to happen?
After a brief silence the answer came in loud and clear.
“Bring my daughter to me. Phase two of the experiment will commence shortly…”
To be Continued...
Daniel R. Hayes