Turgle pulled the lever and this is the unfinished skin that came out. The Doctor says, “It didn’t cook long enough.” The Pelican nurse is shaking her beak. Turgle, all chrome and spherical, is covered in green drips, frozen in place, that feel like sponged plaster. He’s touching his left claw to his jowls, shaking his head.
“Sally don’t like the look of Turgle now,” says Turgle to the Doc.. They were meant to be wed. “It’s slime season now.”
“Ain’t that bad, Turgle,” says the Doc.
“Then why ain’t Sally saying them things?” Sally folds her wings across her chest. Turgle pictures her sticking her beak up the way she does when she tosses a big fish and slides it head first down the gullet. “You’re graceful, my lovebird,” says Turgle, “you’re all grace.” Sally darts her beak toward the door, looking away from her fresh-skinned robot fiance.
“I’m gonna lift the mirror up to you slow like, Turgle,” says the Doc.
“I don’t need to see it Doc. I can see it all over her face.”
The bird exits the room.
“You sign up to get slimed, and the sliming never stops.” Turgle rests his drippy green face in his claws. “It’s one big friggin’ cycle. Folks don’t change, ma would say that ‘til it bounced off the wall. But that was about dad. That was always about dad, in a cross armed stance, leaning against a door jam, cigarette ash hanging long off the filter, between her lips.”
“Ain’t as bad as you think,” says the Doc. “Lemme show you something.” The Doc slips out a leather briefcase and inside it is a stack of old comic books. Atop the pile is The Creature from the Deep Sea. “Look here, you see this guy,” the Doc points his finger to the guy’s face. “He got gills and these big lips here.”
Turgle swipes the comic in his claw. He tilts his head as he takes in the scene: the creature with sad eyes creeps along the shoreline. Fires blaze above the waters in the distance, as if his people were out there in the deep sea in danger from underwater explosions and above water oil spills. There are oil-soaked birds like his beloved stretching their black wings on the beach. The world needs to be extinguished from the pains blazing in and around it. It’s swollen to bursting.
“I gotta go,” says Turgle. “I need to keep this. I need to show her.”
“Oh, that’s a very rare,” says the Doc, but he stops there, caught in Turgle’s electric-white gaze, the robot’s new eyes wide and piercing, he grips the book in his claw. No other words are spoke, the slime monster chases his bird.