Etiquette (and Warfare) for the Modern Swamp Monster

Author: Abi Marie Palmer

As even more swampland is polluted by the humans, swamp monsters such as you and I must leave our natural habitats to pursue careers in the city. This is the end of an era for our kind: Gone are the days when a creature of the sludge could make an honest living by gorging on tourists and transmuting lost explorers into algal minions for our collections. In fact, the changing landscape has forced us to rethink every aspect of our relationships with humankind. The flesh weaklings (as we once lovingly nicknamed them) are no longer our prey. They are now our friends and colleagues—even our bosses.

My name is Slodge the Almighty (although, in the human world, I go by Derek) and as a swamp-monster-turned-city professional, I am here to share five rules of human workplace etiquette that I have learned from my own experience on the job.

Rule 1: Humans have a strong—even fanatical—aversion to slime. Therefore, it is important to take strenuous measures to prevent your bodily secretions from oozing over workplace surfaces and equipment.

Rule 2: If any oozage does occur (and, really, what is the harm of a little eyeball mucous?) be sure to quickly clean it up and draw no further attention to it. Do not—I repeat—not attempt to show the humans that the slime is harmless by hurling some at the marketing temp.

Rule 3: If you happen to be called into a disciplinary meeting, do not attempt to placate the HR manager by presenting him with a festering alligator carcass. I know: It’s a perfectly good, even generous, gift for such a situation. But the humans simply will not see eye to eye with you on this matter.

Rule 4: If you are hounded from your office by security guards, it is best not to re-enter the building by scaling the wall and clambering through your manager’s sixth-floor window. And you definitely shouldn’t make an impassioned plea, through the medium of a traditional sludge dance, for her to give you your job back. Bizarrely, this may be misconstrued as a hostile act.

Rule 5: If, by chance, you find yourself being prodded and jabbed towards an open window, it is sensible to climb out and descend with minimal fuss. You should not, in a completely understandable state of alarm, summon your remaining algal minions to surge to your aid through the sewer system, thus causing a city-wide panic (or, some might say, over-reaction) and making the headlines of the ten o’clock news.

I know these rules are draconian and arbitrary. But experience has taught me that they are of paramount importance to the humans.

So, there you have it. You, a gelatinous elder-god of the swamp, are now fully prepared for an exciting life of staplers, photocopiers and casual Fridays. I wish you well as you attempt to infiltrate the human world. But for those of you who, like me, find yourself sneered upon by the humans, I urge you to join my revolution. Some of us are rekindling our ancient power. We are creating new minions out of our least favourite former co-workers. We are gathering in the sewers to prepare for war. Just think about it, my slimy brethren. The humans have destroyed our homes and crushed our dignity for far too long. They have dragged us into their world of office politics and alarm clocks. They have forced us to endure corporate team-building exercises. When will the humiliation end? I will tell you: When we finally take our revenge.

Random Story :

  • Long Shot

    Author : Steve Smith, Staff Writer Jack shifted uncomfortably against …

The Past

365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.

The archives are deep, feel free to dive in.

Flash Fiction

"Flash fiction is fiction with its teeth bared and its claws extended, lithe and muscular with no extra fat. It pounces in the first paragraph, and if those claws aren’t embedded in the reader by the start of the second, the story began a paragraph too soon. There is no margin for error. Every word must be essential, and if it isn’t essential, it must be eliminated."

Kathy Kachelries
Founding Member


We're open to submissions of original Science or Speculative Fiction of 600 words or less. We only accepting work which you previously haven't sold or given away the rights to. That means your work must not have been published elsewhere, either in print or on the web. When your story is accepted, you're giving us first electronic publication rights and non-exclusive subsequent publication rights. You retain ownership over your story. We are not a paying market.

Voices of Tomorrow

Voices of Tomorrow is the official podcast of 365tomorrows, with audio versions of many of the stories published here.

If you're interested in recording stories for Voices of Tomorrow, or for any other inquiries, please contact

%d bloggers like this: