It happened quickly, as these things always seem to. It began as a low rumbling deep inside the ground and seconds later, the landscape lurched and shifted as the earthquake cut loose. It only lasted for about thirty seconds, and there was no damage to the quiet, sleepy little town of Lakeside on the lakeshore. The epicenter had been two hundred and sixty-three miles away, but the quake had been strong enough to crack open an ancient lava bubble, deep under water in the lake.
The water flooded in, and moments later, what had been dust coating the interior of the bubble had been rehydrated. A few hours later, it drifted out of the fractured bubble and into the lake. It was a thin, stringy mass, almost invisible in the water, and it would have filled a box about the size of a refrigerator.
It was an omnivorous feeder; it could exist on just about anything. Any plant life that it passed wilted slightly, but it did not kill what it fed on. Fish that passed through it were caught, and they displayed highly unusual behavior before being turned loose, no worse for the experience.
It drifted in the lake for days, feeding and growing until the morning of July seventh, when it passed too close to the fresh water intake of Lakeside. It did not fight the powerful suction and it was gone from the lake within a minute. It was the size of a railroad freight car when it was caught, and the water treatment plant broke it up into dozens of pieces before injecting it into the municipal water system. This did not bother it; it could and would rejoin itself when the opportunity arose.
It flowed along the pipes, looking for food. Lakeside’s trial by fire was about to commence.
Fourteen-year-old Sandra Preston stepped outside into a gorgeous August evening and headed for the Jacuzzi. She had cleaned it and filled it that morning and it had been warming for most of the day. She had spent the afternoon playing in the summer slow pitch softball league, and had just gotten out of the shower. She was looking forward to relaxing in the Jacuzzi and letting the water jets and bubbles sooth her tired muscles.
She rounded the sunken Jacuzzi and dipped a toe in the water to test the temperature. She smiled, it was perfect. She dropped the towel she was carrying and used the same toe to punch the button that started the air pump. Bubbles boiled up in the tub but she noticed that the water was not as stirred up as it should be.
‘Great.’ she thought. ‘Something else for Daddy to fix tomorrow.’ Her father was a do-it-yourself kind of guy and usually spent a good part of his Saturdays fixing things around the house. She sighed and shook her head, catching sight of herself reflected in the dark glass of the patio doors.
What she saw was a cute girl, standing about five and a half feet tall, with sun streaked brown hair, twinkling hazel eyes and a great little body. She ran her hands over her thirty-four C breasts, down across her flat belly and onto her womanly hips, and then slid them around to her trim, firm ass, turning as she did so to see herself in the glass. She smiled at what she saw, the softball league had firmed her up nicely and now her butt was as tight as a drum. She eyed the tiny bikini she was wearing and smiled again.
Sandy was dressed in a string bikini, one that she would not dare to wear in public, it was that skimpy. Her mother had thrown a fit the first time she saw it and had threatened mayhem if the girl ever wore it anywhere but it the privacy of their stockade fenced backyard. Sandy had readily promised she would only wear it at home; she had only bought it to tan in with her girlfriends anyway. She preened for a moment in front of the glass, smiling at the fuss that she could probably raise if she had the guts to wear this tiny bikini to the beach.