Angry Gary and Angry Larry the Leopard Slugs
The edge wall of the patio sat before him and he looked up at it for a moment before putting his foot against it and beginning to climb. As he crested the top there was movement to his left and as he pulled himself over the edge he could see a large number of cockroaches skittering around. He made note of them and began to move away from them and towards the front door which he could now see was slightly open. He could just make out a faint trail of dried slug slime and he instantly figured it was Gary’s. He loosely followed it to the front door, keeping it in his view but not covering it as he went.
The door sat open wide enough to easily move through and Larry cautiously edged around the door frame. As he moved into the room he was suddenly struck by the size and by the amount of debris that was strewn about. His eyes adjusted and he could see the entry room with the door to the living room in front of him and the door to the kitchen to his left. He suddenly remembered Gary’s trail and he looked around to find it but it was no longer visible like it was on the patio. The dimmer light of the darkened house meant nothing to shine on the trail which meant he had to go by feel.
Extending one of his lower tentacles he touched at the floor around him searching for the unmistakable taste of slug trail. Moving around from side to side as he moved forwards the tentacle tapped around him like a blind person’s cane. It didn’t take him long to find the trail and he was quickly able to follow it, as he did he noticed the direction it was leading which was directly at the living room door.
“He knew where he was going it seems,” he thought as he followed the trail in a straight line.
Nearing the middle of the room Larry came upon a mostly eaten piece of candy bar which he tasted with a tentacle first and instantly pulled back from. Something about it didn’t taste right to him and he continued on. A short distance later he saw a mound of debris and on the back side he could just see the glimmer of something and his hunger and curiosity got the better of him. He turned away from the trail and slugged around the pile to the side of a shiny cracker bag that was broken open. Inside a number of cockroaches kicked around in the stale crackers but he saw enough open area that he could climb in for a taste test. He put his foot on the bag and as he added more weight it made a loud crinkling sound which made the cockroaches all freeze. He stopped at the sound and then slowly began to inch his way onto the bag.
The cockroaches eyed him suspiciously as he crinkled the bag and then began to move towards the crackers before cautiously going back to their eating. Larry eyed them as he moved and once he got to the nearest broken crackers he began nibbling on the one. The crackers were stale but soft from humidity and he found it slightly refreshing to eat, taking bite after bite until he felt the hunger diminished significantly.
As he turned away from the crackers the bag again crinkled loudly and this time the cockroaches all scattered off of the bag in a flurry of movement. The sudden flash of them running from the bag startled him and his tentacles shrunk back in caution. Suddenly alone on the bag he raised his tentacles again and looked around him, seeing nothing left on the bag he crinkled his way off.
The last sound diminished as he let go of the bag and he quickly followed his own trail back around the pile to Gary’s trail. He got to the point where he diverted and finding the trail continued to follow it to the doorway. As he moved along the floor he could see piles in the distance all around him and slight movement around many.
The doorway loomed overhead as he followed the trail and as he entered the room he stopped in slight shock. The room was strewn with debris and the large pile sat mounded in the corner, signs of life visible even from the doorway. He stared at the sight around him and tried to take it all in.
“This was what he must have been after,” Larry thought.
He could see better in the room with the outside light shining through the window which glinted once again off Gary’s trail. Seeing the glint he pepped up a bit and began to follow it towards the pile soon coming to the edge of the leather field. Gary’s trail very clearly goes up over the curled leather edge and Larry paused to gather himself.
“You’ve got this,” he said quietly as he put his foot on the leather.
Climbing over the curled edge of leather he found himself on a plain of leather pieces laid out before him with the mound looming before him. He could see opening all over the mound and movement within and around each. He sat and stared at the movement and watched the undulations of the various life. He became aware of movement to his side and as he drew his attention from the mound he saw a large mouse walk onto the the leather and right in front of him, paying him no attention.
Larry watched it pass then he looked back to Gary’s trail, seeing it leading right at the mound. He steeled himself then started following the trail over the undulating leather debris field. As he neared the mound the mass of movement was now visible as individual insects crawling all around the mound. A trail of ants marched out of the opening and along the mound. He watched for a moment then continued along the trail which now was leading to a large opening. He suddenly came upon a different looking slime trail that was staggered and not continuous.
“What the hell is this?” he thought as he sat following the direction of the intermittent slime splotches which went to or from the opening in the mound. He followed with his eyes the splotches down diagonally away from where he sat and could see a large pool of slime glistening in the light next to the trail of ants.
Larry’s heart sank and he suddenly became very worried. He turned away from the opening and moved directly to the puddle on the leather, pushing his way through the line of ants. As he pushed through their line they all stopped on either side of him and tapped at his sides with their antenna. They waited for him to pass then slowly reformed their line across his slime as he continued to the pool. He got to the edge of it and he put out his tentacles and tapping at the pool, the sudden awareness hitting, “it IS Gary!” he yelled in his head.
He was suddenly acutely aware of his surroundings and he scanned all around himself slowly looking for any possible reason for the pool of Gary’s slime. He slowly became aware of a slight trail of slime leading off out of the puddle with the ants. There was a slight tip on one side and when Larry moved to the side just right he was able to see the trail off the tip disappear into the line of ants. His eyes followed them as far as he could see which lead towards the doorway to the kitchen.
Larry sat staring at the line of ants and the disappearing trail of slime and his heart again sank. The ants most likely carried him off and he could only follow them in hopes of finding Gary still alive. He stared at the ants some more and finally he pushed his way back through their line as they again tapped at his sides with their antenna. A different batch of ants this time were sensing him and relaying the messages through the line.
He followed along with the ant line, keeping it at a distance but still easily within view. He was scanning the surrounding areas in case they had dropped Gary along the way but saw nothing aside from the piles of debris scattered around. Slowly he continued until he found himself near the base of a small kitchen island and the base had a mix of ants and cockroaches teaming around it. The ants were climbing the leg of the island for food on one of the shelves while the cockroaches were teaming around a pile of bread.
As he got closer Larry could see a mound next to the bread pile that was not moving in the sea of motion. He pushed through the cockroaches and as they parted he found Gary in a pile of his own slime with deep wounds all across his mantle and body.
“Oh shit, Gary, what happened?” he said as he moved to Gary’s side. His tentacles tapped at his side and he nudged him with his foot. A slight bit of movement in his mantle showed Larry that he was alive which was enough.
“Come on Gary, we’ve got to get you out of here. Gary,” he said as his tentacles tapped at his mantle.
No response meant he had to figure something out, some way to get Gary out of the house and back to his hole to heal. He looked around them but saw only cockroaches, ants, bread, and debris piles all things that would not help him at all. His mind roiled over any possibilities and he again pushed at Gary’s side with his foot trying to slide him. The sudden movement as his body shifted in his pool of slime startled him and he pulled away for a moment. Then realizing what had just happened he tried again and Gary’s body slid again.
The thought crept into his head to slide him back on his own slime, but how to haul him along suddenly popped in. He sat and pondered for a moment before realizing that he could use his mucus, it would be more than strong enough especially with his slime as the lube to slide Gary on.
“We hang from the mucus for mating, a pair of slugs, and the mucus holds the weight so it will work for sure,” he thought as he splayed out a line of thick white mucus. He wrapped the mucus around Gary, sticking it to itself in a cradle and then tethering it to himself and then drawing in on the mucus he tightened the line and Gary began to slide towards him. He turned and looked towards the entry doorway and saw insects all around him but he began to move forward.
Slowly at first Larry towed Gary out of his puddle and onto his own slime trail then as he pushed through the cockroaches and scattered ants he began to pick up speed. Soon he had cleared the mass of insects and found it a relatively clear path to the doorway. Winding around piles a chair leg he continued to tow Gary until he could see the front door through the doorway. He paused and looked around the entry room for any potential danger and seeing nothing of any concern continued straight for the front door.
Gary’s still motionless form slid along easily behind him and as he neared the door he could see sunlight beginning to shine through the windows and the room started to lighten quickly. With feet still to go he knew he had to hurry, sun up meant soon the man would be back and that means they wouldn’t get out the door. He picked up his pace the best he could and soon found himself towing Gary through the now bright crack in the front door. They emerged into the brightness of the day and Larry looked around for a moment trying to let his eyes adjust.
From behind him he heard a murmuring and felt the line tug. He turned his eyes and saw Gary’s one tentacle limply lifted and trying to look around him.
“Good, you’re alive. We have to get off the patio soon and out of the sun. Hold on I’ll get you back to your hole,” Larry said as he continued moving forward.
He went directly to the edge of the patio and turning he tugged Gary to the edge. He gave him a slight push with his foot and he tumbled over the edge. The mucus caught tight and Gary swung against the face of the patio wall and then Larry began to climb down. He lowered Gary to the bottom and sat in shade, exhausted by the night.
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