by Orrin Grey
There was a sound come up from the hole, like a gasp. The men figured we’d hit a pocket of gas and everyone backed off in case it was like to burn. Then the derrick shook all the way up and the ground seemed to slide a little under our feet. There come a noise from the hole like I ain’t never heard the ground make in all my years. When I was a boy, my pa’d known a man who worked a whaling ship and he said that whales sang to one another. He’d put his hands together over his mouth and blown a call that he said was as close as he could do to what they sounded like. This sounded like that call.
All the men went back another pace, not knowing if maybe we’d hit a sinkhole, or God knows what. There was another groan, then an old cave stink, and then the black stuff started coming up around the pipe like a tide. I’d seen gushers in my day, the pressurized wells that blew the tops off the derricks, but this weren’t the same. This weren’t no geyser; this were a flood, the oil pouring up from under the ground like a barrel that’s been overturned. Everybody was silent for another minute and then the men gathered ’round all cheered, ’cause they knowed we’d finally hit whatever it was we’d been aiming at.
This story is available to read here.
About the Author
Orrin Grey is a writer, editor, tabletop game designer, amateur film scholar, and monster expert whose stories of monsters, ghosts, and sometimes the ghosts of monsters have appeared in dozens of anthologies, including Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year. He’s the author of several books, including Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts and Guignol & Other Sardonic Tales.