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“You’re half-starved, you poor thing,” soothes Troy.

The mass of protoplasm shivers.

“They kept us apart for so long,” he says, “and they wouldn’t listen when I told them what to feed you. I’m sorry. I’d understand if you didn’t want to follow me anywhere again.”

Tentative pseudopods pulse questingly toward him.

“But I lied and I pretended and I got back in here, baby. And I’m not coming out alone.”

The blob surges forward, lumpy and asymmetrical, but rippling with hunger and life.

“Good girl,” says Troy, “eat up,” and tosses it a jelly bean that tastes like revenge.


Troy’s already just waiting when he hears the Hairy Lady come around to the back of the truck, and with one strong backspring he’s up and out. His sneakers contact her jaw directly and she’s down like a stone, while he wiggles and twists and just manages to land on his feet. “KUNG FU!” he shouts, triumphant.

One sharp rock later he’s free of the trusses and pushing the truck into the river, Hairy Lady conked out in the bed. As he’d guessed, it floats gently away with the current. Troy nods, satisfied. “Now,” he says aloud, “time for Professor Cold!”