The Black tells the story of a drill team that finds a cache of oil deep underwater that seems too good to be true, and is. At first they cannot fathom how such pristine oil exists in nature. As they run more tests they discover that it is anything but perfect. Unfortunately, they realize this too late and soon it becomes a matter of life and death for the crew of the Leaguer. With an unbelievable creature hunting them through the ship, they must desperately cling to whatever salvation they find, however bleak.
The Black is reminiscent of other fluid invaders, but has a unique creepiness all its own. It may flow through duct work or seep through the walls, but those are just the beginning of the ways The Black can get you. We all fear what lies at the bottom of the ocean--a seemingly alien world hardly explored by man. Deep in our pre-human subconscious, something always tells us to stay out of the water. A lurking, mysterious creature like The Black is exactly what we are afraid of. The crew moves from place to place on the ship, seeking safety. At every turn they are met with a new horrible twisted way the creature is coming after them. What started as a deep sea exploration becomes a waking nightmare.
The Black rapidly moves from a state of the art exploratory mission to a ghoulish horror story. At each phase of the story the stakes increase. The characters in the story don’t make obvious mistakes that could have avoided their outcomes. They are dealing with something completely new, and respond the way any sane person would. As each character comes to terms with they have brought out of the depths, their disbelief is genuine. Sentient oil is something that has struck fear in all of us since the black oil of the X-Files, and Cooley capitalizes on it. The Black is what is waiting for you in the dark that makes children of all ages want to leave the lights on until they are safely under the covers. Faced with an adversary never before seen by the likes of man, the crew does the valiant thing in the face of death. If even a drop of the oil escapes, it seems there will be nowhere for the human race to hide.
If you feel something creeping up behind you, read The Black.
The Black paraquel, The Black: Arrival, was released today 5/22/15, so catch up quickly to enjoy the Arrival along with all the other Fiendlings.
Cooley, Paul E. The Black. Shadow Publications podcast.