And Kevin Conners, a second-grader, whose backyard dumped out into a strip of land filled with scraggly trees against the highway, was out looking for bottles for his bottle collection, when he found, with a jolt of excitement, a strange-looking bottle with a cork stopper. When he pulled the stopper free, he discovered the bottle was filled with a dark crimson liquid with a strangely metallic smell. It couldn’t be blood, could it? He hid the bottle and the next day, after school, went looking for more. He found several test tubes and a beaker, with similar stoppers, filled with the same substance. He was thrilled, because mostly his collection consisted of beer and soda bottles and these were a rare find, but they made him uneasy. He dumped the liquid inside them down the drain in the sink in the garage and washed them out the best he could. He tucked them away so his parents wouldn’t see them and start asking questions. A few days later, the crimson fluid began to come up from the pipes, filling all the sinks in the house, the bathtub, and the toilet, then spilling over onto the floor. Then, the sprinkler system came to life and painted the front lawn red.
--from WITHIN US ALL, work in progress