In one single day, a large viscous slime ball crushes a small coastal town in England. The local police are useless, the Royal Army and Marines are flummoxed and a Royal Navy surface combatant is sunk. The citizens of Shingleton are unquestionably doomed.
But hold on a sec. There are three local teens who have a crazy idea about stopping the titular toxic creature. They just have one problem: no one will listen to their cockamamy plan.
First, an Army sergeant makes fun of the kids’ monster theories. Then a Marines commander doesn’t like them wasting his time. “Chemical disaster over, I guess. Kids to the rescue,” he says patronizingly. Even a random geezer on the street tells the trio to mind their manners. “Why are you being stupid and winding people up?” he barks. “Typical of today’s youth, aren’t you? No respect. No sensitivity. Nothing.”
Meanwhile, the giant gob of sludge is rampaging down main street with impunity. It starts the day as a wiggly little worm and ends up being an 80-meter bulbous monstrosity. In just a short amount of time it destroys everything in its path. “This isn’t Shingleton any more,” says one of the teenagers. “This is Slime City!”
Everybody is asking the same unanswerable questions. What the heck is it? Where did it come from? Is it hungry? Does it have real intelligence or is it simply being controlled? Is it the wrath of God? Is it evil?
Eventually a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense arrives to address the situation. According to him, the crawling slime is the result of experiments directed at producing a substance that would destroy household and industrial waste and eliminate the use of landfills.
Unfortunately, the toxic chemical spilled out of an underground storage facility. But don’t worry, says the PR flak, with enough bombs and bullets, the problem will be contained. One more question from the mob: “When did the Ministry of Defense get involved with household waste? It’s not their job, is it?”
No, it’s not—and teens Jake, Laura and Chris have a theory. Instead of being an urban waste parasite, the monster was created as a weapon of war and the attack on Shingleton was a test of its capabilities.
At the end of the novel, the super friends confront the MOD spokesman with their evidence. “Don’t try to cover this up,” they say, “we’ll call the press and tell them everything we know.”
Do as you wish, replies the Ministry of Defense rep with a shrug. “Who would listen to a bunch of kids?”
[Night of the Toxic Slime / By Anthony Masters / First Printing: January 2000 / ISBN: 9780439996402]