Tommy didn’t really know what he was doing here.

Laura asked him to come to this party, but instead of having fun he was reminded how lonely he was. Hell, he couldn’t even find Laura. Where was she anyway? He made his way through the crowd on the lawn, sipping from red solo cups with various levels of intoxication. People yelled and stumbled around as he walked past them, looking for Laura.

He bumped into someone and as he apologized, they grabbed his arm. Tommy realized it was Jess.

“Tommy.” she said sharply.

“What, Jess?” asked Tommy. This was the first time they had really talked face to face.

“Where’s Laura?” asked Jess.

“Why the hell do you wanna know? I’m looking for her right now but I haven’t seen in her a long time.” snapped Tommy.

“No need to be rude.” replied Jess. Tommy’s face relaxed as he realized she was right.

“Look, I don’t even wanna be here. Laura asked me to come over here. Sorry I snapped at you.” said Tommy.

“Well, I was just wondering if you guys knew anything about this.” said Jess. She held up a jar filled with slime and set it down on a wooden table. Tommy touched it with his fingers and realized it was incredibly cold.

“What the hell?” asked Tommy.

“It was in my locker and a lot of other people’s too. I dunno what it is but it seems like something you two would deal with, right?” asked Jess. Tommy nodded as he watched Jess put the jar back in her purse.

“As soon as I can I’ll discuss it with Laura.” said Tommy.

“Thanks... “ said Jess, trailing at the end of her sentence as she suddenly looked behind her. People screamed and shouted as they huddled near the house. Tommy turned and saw someone on the roof.

“Oh god damn it!” said Tommy.

“What is it?” asked Jess. Tommy didn’t have time to answer as the person staggered on the roof, cursing loudly and swayed her arms to the left and right, looking as if they would lose their balance at any minute. And then they fell.

Tommy jumped over the heads of two boys and landed on a wooden table, the force of his landing causing plastic cups of beer to spill. He made a flying leap to the plaster wall of the house and jumped off, catching Laura as he propelled himself off the wall. He landed on his feet with a drunken Laura looking utterly confused by what happened. Then she threw up.

She laid in the back of the car as Tommy drove to her house. “What the hell was that?” asked Tommy. Laura just nodded, obviously not understanding him. “I don’t even know! Maybe it was a good thing that you invited me over so I could stop you from falling off some dude’s roof!”

“Stop yelling!” she shouted, covering her ears. She looked as if she was about to vomit again.

“Holy crap, how much did you have?” asked Tommy.

“I dunno, I forgot how to count by the third one...” she said as held out her hands. “...just don’t tell my mom about it…”

“Laura, as your friend, I’m not going to do that. But we’re not also going to these parties anymore.” said Tommy as he swerved to the left.

“We’re not going to these parties anymore, sure.” groaned Laura.

“I mean it too, Laura. You could have died.” said Tommy.

“No I wouldn’t. I’m… I’m... a monster hunter. I can’t die.” burped Laura. Tommy thought back to the time he jumped off the roof and slammed into the rock during the vampire castle fight and realized maybe she was kind of right.

“Why would you wanna jump anyway?” asked Tommy, slightly relaxing his angry tone.

“I dunno why I did it.” said Laura quietly. The conversation stopped and the car filled with awkward silence. Tommy stopped the car at the curb of her house.

“Do you need someone to help you in?” asked Tommy. Laura didn’t say anything. Tommy opened up the driver’s door and realized she was passed out. He curled his lips into a straight line and picked her up and carried her to the porch. He set her down on the patio chair and looked for a key under the mat and opened the door, picking Laura back up. He looked around for a couch or anything to set her back down on and found one in the living room. He shut the lights off and headed out.

He pulled out of the driveway in silence. He didn’t know what to say or think. Laura obviously did something wrong here… but there was nothing else he could say beyond that.

“Ugh… I have such a massive hangover.” groaned Laura as she clutched the side of her head. Tommy glared down at his desk as Laura sat to the desk next to him.

“Hey Tommy, cool save!” said a boy that Tommy had never seen before. Tommy watched as the boy sat down at a desk at the way back. Laura looked at him.

“Cool save?” asked Laura. “What?” Tommy said nothing. “Well?”

“Laura, you fell off the roof last night.” said Tommy.

“What? I don’t remember being on a roof.” said Laura.

“Well, I’m pretty sure there’s a video of a drunken Laura staggering off the top of a roof shouting the f-word.” said Tommy.

“Well then what was the save?” asked Laura.

“Me. I grabbed you when you fell and then took you home.” said Tommy.

“That’s how I got home…” distantly said Laura. “...thanks.”

“We’re not doing that any more.” said Tommy, firmly.

“Yeah, we’re not doing it. I’ll still be going to the one next week.” said Laura.

“Laura, no.” said Tommy.

“Oh, so what, I had a little too much to drink? Now I have to be babied by you?” asked Laura.

“Maybe,” said Tommy. Laura gave him a stink-eye. “Also, Jess asked if we could investigate something.”

“Jess? When the fuck did she get so involved in our lives?” asked Laura.

“Well, she knows about us being…” said Tommy.

“Right… what’s her deal?” asked Laura.

“Slime. She showed me a jar of the stuff and that shit was colder than a corpse in dry ice.” said Tommy. “Gross,” said Laura. “Guess we have to check out it then? Where is it?”

“She said it was in her locker. I dunno if it’s still there or not but it’s clearly somewhere in the school.” said Tommy.

“Well, I guess we check it out then.” said Laura, getting up from her seat as she slung a backpack over her shoulder.

“Well, we have class to do first…” said Tommy.

“Oh yeah, right...” said Laura, sitting back down.

“Well, here it is.” said Jess, opening up her locker. It was filled with green mucus colored slime, oozing even as it stayed perfectly still.

“God damn, that’s cold as hell.” said Laura, hovering her hand in the locker compartment.

“I can’t think of how we’re going to get rid of it.” said Tommy, scratching his head. The janitor noticed the three kids over by the locker and walked over there.

“What’s the issue over here?” asked the janitor.

“Slime, and a ton of it.” said Tommy.

“Oh, Slime? You just gotta… get something to contain them in. You gotta do it quick though.” said the janitor. “I’ll take care of the mess, but you guys need to figure out where it’s coming from.”

“Is there no way to get rid of it?” asked Tommy.

“Maybe.” said the janitor.

“Maybe?” asked Tommy, curious on how the janitor didn’t seem to know. He knew the weaknesses of just about everything but slime?

“Well, we were doing research on this stuff but it never went anywhere after her death.” said the janitor, referring to his late monster hunter partner. Laura uneasily looked at Tommy.

“Oh wait… this guy’s a monster hunter too?” asked Jess.

“Shit, I didn’t even realize you were here.” said the janitor, pulling out a some kind of strange device with a lot of blinking lights. Tommy put his hand in front of the janitor’s face.

“She knows already. She’s not gonna tell anyone about… this.” Tommy explained. “That’s correct. I haven’t told anyone about it.” gulped Jess as the janitor put away the gizmo into his shirt pocket.

“If I had to guess on how the slime was spreading, it’s probably between the wall and the floor. Let’s see…” said the janitor, crouching on the floor. He stuck his pointer finger against the wall and pointed towards the wooden floor, then immediately ejected.

“Yeah?” asked Tommy.

“That’s COLD.” said the janitor. He hobbled down, following the wall. “Oh lord.”

“What?” asked Tommy.

“I think I realized where it probably came from,” said the janitor. “I have to fix the damn toilets all the time… Laura, did you touch the wall of the monster hunting room on the first day?”

“Oh shit… why?” asked Laura.

“You fucked up,” said the janitor, shocking Jess with his language but Tommy and Laura looked on with indifference. “Slime grows based off heat, absorbing it like crazy until there’s nothing left.”

“Which means…” Laura said, waiting for him to follow off.

“When you washed your hands probably soon afterwards, that slime has been in the sewers and has been growing since. The winter probably is not helping it grow too much but…” the janitor explained, looking down the hallway.

“Oh god, gross. We gotta go down into the sewers?” asked Laura. Tommy honestly didn’t expect this reaction from her.

“Yeah, you gotta go down the sewer!” piped the janitor. “As soon as we figure out how to stop the slime.”

“Great…” groaned Laura.

Tommy laid on his bed, staring at the wall. Something felt really wrong about this. There was a genuine fear in the janitor’s eyes when he found out the slime had been infecting this school since him and Laura became monster hunters. It didn’t seem sentient but if the janitor seemed concerned about it…

After all, they went to a lodge filled with werewolves and the werewolves were an afterthought of the whole thing. A lot of the infallible figures in his life were cracking before him. Laura seemed to be on a downwards spiral since the lodge visit and now the janitor was confronted with something he couldn’t figure out how to even fight.

Something knocked at his window.

“Better not be a murderer…” muttered Tommy as he got up. He looked at the window and saw nobody and headed back to the bed, only to get up once again when he heard it knock again. He opened the window and a bat flew in.

“Andrée?” asked Tommy. The bat morphed into someone else entirely, but he knew him too. Coach Feratu .

“Coach Feratu?” asked Tommy, more baffled than shocked. “How the hell are you even alive?”

“It’s a long story involving a three-headed hound and a one night stand with a gorgon. Listen,” began Coach Feratu. “That janitor is not what he appears.”

“He’s a monster hunter, yeah. We should stop calling him a janitor or something…” replied Tommy but before he could continue, Coach Feratu put his pale and cold hand over his mouth.

“The janitor’s name is Michael and yeah, everything he’s told you so far is true concerning the death of partner and the slime stuff…” Tommy wondered how he even knew, but Coach Feratu seemed to be ahead of his thinking. “...Yes, I followed you. Anyway, I’ve noticed lately that he’s been looking at the book without the cover… I don’t think that’s a good omen.”

“You’ve been watching him? Does he do other weird stuff?” asked Tommy.

“Well, the teacher’s room seems to have a secret passage too but I dunno what that’s about. That book though, it’s not written in English. It’s not a language that’s spoken anymore.” replied Coach Feratu.

“Latin?” asked Tommy.

“I think it’s linked to the sleeping gods in the sea...” said Coach Feratu, but suddenly a glowing red arrow coursed through his body through the open window and he fell over, his body disintegrating into ash as he tried to yell out in terror.

Tommy attempted to grab the arrow but he found it was hot to the touch, involuntarily putting his hands away from the arrow. “I’m done for, kid.” dejectedly said Coach Feratu. Tommy grabbed some water… anything… to try and help him out. Nothing worked. The ash blew away in the winter wind. Tommy looked out the window and wondered who could be behind it. He was never going to know and he knew he wasn’t safe anymore. He closed the window and called Laura.

“Laura... Coach Feratu is dead.” said Tommy.

“I thought he already was,” replied Laura in a dry tone. “You don’t seem very happy about it either.”

“Laura, he was killed by someone with a glowing red arrow. I don’t even know what really happened, the person that shot it was out of sight before I even knew they shot the arrow.” replied Tommy.

“So what’s the deal? He’s a monster and now he’s dead. We do this shit every time. You try and inject some moral wisdom into everything we do and I’m sick of it. The janitor said they’re not people. Not sure what your issue is.” replied Laura over the phone.

“Coach Feratu said he saw the janitor look at the book without the cover. You know what I’m talking about, right? He says it might be related to gods sleeping the sea or some shit.” sputtered Tommy. “They know I know now… I’m not safe and I don’t know if you’re safe now either. Maybe they’ll come after Andrée or Jess too… something is not…”

“Shhhhh….” soothed Laura over the phone. “When has monster hunting ever been really dangerous? We killed those vampires and werewolves without even breaking a sweat. I’m sure it’s just some monster mafia or something that Coach pissed off. Look… the most dangerous thing that ever happened to us happened at a party.”

Tommy relaxed himself a bit but he felt something was still terribly wrong.

“What about the janitor?” asked Tommy.

“He’s not a threat. We could take his old ass down with both of our eyes closed. Relax.” said Laura.

Tommy hung up.

The janitor lingered over the desk with an empty jar as Tommy and Laura walked in. “Well, did you manage to figure it out?” asked Laura, trying to look at the janitor’s jar. The janitor grabbed the jar at the top of it’s iron lid and dropped it on the floor, bouncing and shattering into a million pieces. Tommy and Laura stepped back a bit as the janitor went back to the desk.

“It’s salt.” said the janitor. He held out a couple of salt specks between his fingers, rubbing them off for them to fall on the table.

“...alright. Salt. We get that and head into the sewers right?” said Tommy. The janitor nodded as he handed Tommy and Laura a large bag of salt. “Why did you drop the jar?” he asked as he was handed the bag. The janitor looked at him with tired eyes, years of exhaustion apparent. “Nothing. Don’t worry about it.” said the janitor, his voice tired.

Laura grabbed her bag of salt and began to head out. Tommy followed suit. “Something is very wrong…” Tommy spoke, knowing full well Laura wasn’t listening.

“Where’s the sewers anyway?” asked Laura.

“I wonder if…” said Tommy, reassembling his clutch on the bag of salt as he looked at the Teacher’s Room. He opened the door and looked around for the secret door Coach talked about. Laura followed closely behind as he set down the bag of salt and looked for the secret door.

With a sudden snap, the center of the room opened up, with Tommy and Laura not sure what opened it. Down below was a lengthy drop below into a pool of water. Tommy peered over the edge and got shoved by Laura. He fell into the pool of water and as he rose up to the top, he saw Laura come crashing down her bag of salt. He grappled the edge of the pool, hoisting himself up onto the ground.

“Ah fuck, I don’t have the bag of salt.” realized Tommy as Laura came out of the water in her drenched jacket and skirt. He shivered as he walked over to the light bulb hanging on the ceiling, still glowing as mass amounts of slime dripped off it.

“Probably shouldn’t have pushed you down then.” groaned Laura. “Oh well, it’s a pretty big fucking bag of salt. Probably not gonna matter anyway.”

Tommy wasn’t sure about that, nor did he like the push.

The hall pulsated as Tommy and Laura walked inside, the walls oozing towards them. They began to walk in puddles of the stuff, their feet breaking from the sticky grip that turned their shoes cold. It turned more and more unbearable, eventually getting to the point where Tommy tore off the shoes in haste. Laura soon threw her loafers off, pouring salt behind her as she went along. A horrible, bubbling, scalding sound could be heard as the slime disappeared into nothing.

“Jesus christ, my socks are really starting to freeze up.” cried Laura. Tommy pressed onwards, knowing if he took off his socks it would just freeze his bare feet. Tommy stopped as they approached the end of the hall, which opened up into a gigantic room with slime oozing down the room. Skeletons with frost on them sat mere feet away from them. Laura pressed on, her bag of salt closing on empty as she tipped it back further and further.

Tommy stepped further and further into the room, admiring it’s awful beauty. Gelatinous creatures with skeletons inside their gooey bodies walked close to the pit, apparently not noticing them. Tommy grit his teeth as his socks went down into negative temperatures and he looked back to see Laura on the floor, pulling down her black and white stockings to use other areas of it. Tommy was not so lucky. Tommy looked for another hallway or room in the pit room, trying to ignore the pain the cold was having on him. Laura ran in front of him, doing the same thing. She no longer had the salt bag. It’s empty paper holding had been abandoned.

“Laura, we need to go back.” said Tommy.

“Tommy, we can’t just go back. We dropped down here, remember?” said Laura, her teeth chattering as she spoke. “Look, there’s a room or hall over there…” she said, pointing to the left. It’s front entrance was covered in a thin layer of oozing slime.

“It looks like we don’t have a lot of options.” said Tommy.

“We don’t. Come on… let’s go.” Laura chattered as she ran towards the entrance of the bright hallway.

They were dripping water before, but now they had a lot larger of a problem as they were drenched in slime. They figured they wouldn’t get a ton on them if they just bolted in, but they were practically covered in the stuff. Leeching off their heat.

“What even is this place?” asked Tommy, barely able to speak. Laura put her finger close to wall and squinted, noticing hieroglyphics under the layers and layers of slime.

“Temple.” uttered Laura. Tommy waited for a follow-up but he didn’t get any. Temple.

Things got slower as they trudged in clothes that were at arctic temperatures.

“Is there a end to this?” she asked, her teeth jumping off each other as she spoke every word. Tommy looked ahead at the pulsating hallway and attempted a shrug as his eyes went limper and limper.

“Tommy…” groaned Laura. “I can’t do this anymore.”

“I can’t either,” replied Tommy, walking past Laura. He made a couple steps forward before he realized that Laura was lagging behind. “Laura…?” Laura was taking off anything she had on her. “Are you stupid?” he whispered fiercely. “Why are you getting…”

“Tommy, I’m wearing a fridge...” said Laura as she pulled down her skirt. Tommy averted his gaze as she stripped off. “That’s better…” she said, still cold but seemingly less than before. Tommy wondered if she was onto or something or if it was just the cold making her crazy. “Don’t judge.” she sharply stated.

“I wouldn’t.” stated Tommy. He walked forward as Laura briskly ran past him, shielding his eyes. Laura was right, he was kind of a prude. Tommy soon found that the hall did end, and Laura had already been in this new room long before he trudged there. The room was covered in red slime and even from where Tommy was standing he could feel the nice heat the red slimes gave off. He laid down on the floor, pressing his back against the warmth.

Unlike the green slime, which flooded their clothes, the red slime simply seemed to bounce off Tommy. Given a new burst of energy, Tommy sat back up. “We gotta get out of here.”

“What about the mission though?” asked Laura, also laying back into the slime. Tommy averted the sight of her as he picked himself up. “And how are you gonna get out of here anyway?”

“I don’t know or care. I suppose you can stay here if you want.” said Tommy, exiting the room and heading back into the hall. Laura sat up, pondering what to do next.

He ran as quickly as he could under the slime fall in front of the entrance of the hall he had just exited out of. Back to being cold, he supposed. He looked for exit, walking in the slime pit room which was still as grand as big as it was the first time he saw it.

He wondered if splitting up from Laura was a good idea. On one hand, he wouldn’t need to deal with her nudity but on the other hand the Slime Temple was clearly dangerous. He ran his hand against the wall of the slime pit room, feeling etched hieroglyphics as his fingers touched the wall covered in layers of slime.

He finally found what might be an exit as his fingers felt what might be nothing, a open space covered in layers of slime. He quickly passed through, growing colder and colder every second. As he stepped inside and shook off excess slime, he realized just how dark it was inside. Every step grew louder and louder before he realized the slime stopped here. He pressed onwards, finding a ice-cold ladder that didn’t even phase his numb skin. The cold was getting unbearable now.

He hated himself for doing it but he soon found himself sliding his pants down his ankles, taking everything off. He climbed up the cold ladder and touched the underside of a manhole cover. He pressed against it and managed to budge it up just a bit. Just enough to know it was escape.

He couldn’t leave Laura behind. He knew that. He climbed down the ladder and grabbed his clothes and used it as an umbrella for the slime layered fall. He headed out, looking for the other hallway where he supposed Laura was. As he found it though, he saw a body near the edge of the pit, slowly being pulled in. He walked over to find Laura.

“Laura… you’re not dead, right?” he asked, feeling her arm. It was cold as an ice rink and his nails broke a thin layer of frost. Her lips were a grey color and she barely breathed. Tommy searched for any signs of warmth, but it seemed hopeless except for an small area above her belly button.

He grabbed her motionless body in his arms, groaning as he carried the near-dead Laura towards the entrance of the exit hallway. He grew cold and tired, his eyes relaxing into sleep but he fought to stay awake as he entered the layers of slime. He made a couple of steps, fighting against his body that was giving out. His body won as he fell to the floor, dropping Laura with a thud.

Tommy awoke in oversized clothes in the back of someone’s car. He sat up and blinked about three times. He saw that the back of the car was opened and pushed off to find Laura in similarly baggy clothes.

“Is this purgatory?” he asked.

“No… it’s the parking lot for the school,” replied Laura. She stood with her hands to her side and turned to Tommy. “How did we get here?”

“I was about to ask the same thing.” Tommy asked, looking about.

“The last thing I remember was collapsing towards the pit…” replied Laura. “I thought you went down there…”

“I remember collapsing with you in my arms,” said Tommy. “We were both cold, naked…”

“And you said that was dumb,” smugly said Laura. “I dunno how we got here though…”

“I got you out of there.” said a voice. They looked behind them to see the janitor.

“Mich-Janitor?” asked Tommy.

“It’s Michael, yeah.” said the janitor. “Not sure how you know that but... “

“How did you get us out of there, even?” asked Laura.

“Tommy was heading towards the exit already. He was pretty close too. Just grabbed you guys, put on some clothes and just left you to heat up in the car after pouring you with some salt.” said Michael, walking past the two.

“Thanks.” said Tommy.

“Yeah, it’s my fault for sending you down there. I didn’t know how badly it had spread or even about the temple built under the school. I imagine that’s why monsters have wanted to come here for so long.” said the janitor.

“So what are we gonna do about it?” asked Laura. “As much as I bet Tommy wants to see me naked again, no amount of salt is gonna kill all that slime.” Tommy looked angry. “I’m going to see if I can enlist some outside help with it. Use water to push it into one blob or something. It’s my problem, not your’s.” said Michael.

“Do you suppose you could drive us home? I’m… not really sure about driving at the moment.” Tommy said.

Michael walked towards the hooved beast, a look of tiredness crossed over his face. “The temple has been cleaned out, no thanks to them. But I suppose I can’t do a ton about that.”

“All you gotta do now is make sure the monster souls keep coming and that you find the cover for that book.” said the voice, a deadly odor pouring out from it’s mouth.

“Whatever you say,” said Michael. “You are the Nuckelavee after all.”

The Nuckelavee stepped out from the shadows, revealing it’s two heads.

“And don’t you forget it.” said the two heads simultaneously.