It fell from the sky in sticky, sweet, humid bursts during the night. It wasn’t water, that much was made clear when the early morning commuter windshields were smeared with goo. It covered the ground in slick oozy puddles, making ordinary walking difficult. It was a world-wide phenomenon that no one could explain.

Ordinary citizens tried as best they could to stay inside. Scientists were giddy with joy, collecting gobs of the icky goo and examining it as best they knew how. News organizations were thrilled with something extraordinary to report on. Politicians anxiously discussed how to keep the public from panic. Armies shot holes through it to see how permeable it could be.

For three days, the stuff covered the ground, oozing like a primordial creature on a quest to walk. For three days, there were no answers to the questions the sticky goo brought with it. For three long days, governments tried to calm their people.

But on the fourth day, it began to change.

By the fourth morning, a faint odor permeated the air. It was less-than-sweet, the smell of dinner left out on the counter, forgotten to be put away on a summer night. It grew stronger throughout the day, as the color changed from clear to greenish, to brownish to black.

The humans were suffocating in stench.

The ooze slid slowly together, growing as the puddles joined. It fell off roofs, schoolhouses, cars. It slipped together in driveways and roads. It stretched. It slid. It did what it does best: ooze.

On the fifth day, many people were dying from the lack of oxygen in the air. It seemed as if the ooze gobbled it up and spit out nothing but black stench. Scientists sounded alarms, but it was too late. Far too many were already gone, others breathing shallow and hoarse.

On the sixth day, it was gone.

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