A Teaser From "Sickness In Hell"

What follows is a brief teaser from Sickness In Hell; my forthcoming splatterpunk novel. It's been years since I wrote the first drafts and it is finally taking form.

If Pillwaff and her cronies had bothered to let the monitoring staff know what Henry had been up to days before, they might have been a little more vigilant- those mushrooms growing in the slurry-tainted swamp separated from the intake stream by only a few yards of loose dirt had finally made their way to fresher water- which didn't benefit their growth, but didn't stop them either. Some of those spores had gotten into the intake, and the decaying filter screens installed long ago hadn't stopped them so much as they had provided the perfect dirty, greasy substrate for them to take hold inside the water ducts under the plant. The rusted, leaking pipes there weren't helping, and the entire system was, unknown to anyone in the plant, ripe for infestation by fungal colonies.

The situation worsened over the next few minutes as well; the intake system quickly began spawning hyphae and little, almost microscopic bits of mushroom flesh were now circulating freely past the filter, as the happy little fungus growths pushed their feeding receptacles to the other side of the filtration sheets. With no way to monitor the filtered water (for such technology did not exist in their aging plant) those in the monitoring center could only ring Pillwaff hours later when they finally bothered to check the indicator lights and tell her that they should close things down for the afternoon and have someone replace the filter system. Pillwaff wanted to go home and wear bondage gear while watching dwarf porn anyways, to get herself all greasy and sweaty, so she didn't give a shit and switched everything off herself.

Down in the shipping room annoying Sally had already been told to go home, but decided to be anally retentive as always and commanded the last truck to dock anyways and she'd load it herself. She didn't like unfinished work- her raging obsessive compulsive disorder drove her mad and she wouldn't be able to sleep if the hams weren't packed and shipped before five o'clock sharp. It wasn't hard- years of doing the odd lifting job herself when others weren't willing or present had left her muscles bulging with veins- perhaps she was stronger physically than any of the men in the plant.

She had no idea the batch was tainted with mutated, slightly radioactive fungus- it's not like the people in the monitoring center really communicated with anyone else in the plant- Sally had just assumed that the filters were clogged by a dead muskrat or some other unfortunate animal had drowned and gotten sucked in, its corpse slowly dissolving into sediment as it flattens against their water intake. She didn't know shit about water systems anyways- who cares?