The cruelty of nature must be faced.
Pellucid filament ascending, shadow with substance, undulating up from the murk towards the hordes of impoverished children playing in the fetid river. You think nightmares are not real life until the candiru secretly swims up your urine stream, raises its gill cover and sticks out its retrorse spines inside your penis. Spectacular pain and then they must amputate before your bladder bursts.
The five-year-old girl lies unconscious in a hospital bed, surrounded by million-dollar equipment and a team of doctors who cannot help her. This is a hostage negotiation not treatment for bacterial infection. The sophisticated E. coli 0157-H7 bacteria communicate with each other, coordinating to respond in unison, readying to dump a brutal toxin into the child’s bloodstream and kill her immediately if the doctors should dare to use antibiotics. The bacteria somehow game out that they hold a gun to the child’s head.
At night twenty-one-feet-long Gustave cruises under the water of Lake Tanganyika, like an invisible dragon, right up to the shore of a city of half a million. The infamous Nile crocodile hunts for fishermen, policemen, tourists with cameras, French herpetologists, anyone available. Unlike any other crocodile, he’s learned to use his massive tail to knock men out of their boats. He weighs over a ton and has killed over three hundred people. Machine gun bullets scarred his side and head but did not stop the beast. Researchers filmed him once from a distance just after he killed a full-grown female hippo. The locals accuse him of hunting people and then not eating them; just leaves their dead mangled bodies on shore, easy to find, like some kind of message.