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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters – the horrors of gelatin by Angel Martinez

Before anyone gets all hate mail on me, I have nothing against gelatin. Really enjoyed it as a child. My mom would make different colors and cut them into cubes and we’d have these dishes of colored light. Pretty neat, and nice and cool on those muggy summer days.

But…if you’re of a certain age, born in the fifties or sixties, you know what I mean by the horror of gelatin. Every party, every gathering, every school function had one of these monstrosities. The Jello salad. The gelatin mold. The oh-my-god-what-the-hell-is-that? concoctions. You see, there were entire recipe books of this stuff and decorative molds made just for gelatin creations. You let the gelatin set in this mold in the fridge, then took it out, held it in a bowl of scalding water for ten seconds, turned it over and voila! A Jello fruit basket, cornucopia, lobster, or shamrock. Cool.

Some weren’t so bad. The ones with canned mixed fruit, okay, a kid could deal with that. But then there were the odd colored ones, the ones that looked like they’d caught some strange phlegmy disease. There were horrid things in them: cottage cheese, sour cream, coleslaw. How could adults do these things to perfectly good gelatin? How?

Slowly, over the years, this unintentional aversion therapy took hold until now it’s difficult to look at gelatin and not think of those atrocities of social engineering. So when I was planning monsters for this series, lime gelatin seemed such an obvious choice. Of course, it’s a semi-sentient, oversized, deadly blob of gelatin, because, well, even cottage cheese infused gelatin is really only mildly monstrous.

Offbeat Crimes 1
(part of Amber Allure’s 77th Precinct Pax)

Officer Kyle Monroe’s encounter with a strange gelatinous creature in an alley leaves him scarred and forever changed, revealing odd abilities he wishes he didn’t have and earning him reassignment to Philadelphia’s 77th Precinct where all the cops have defective paranormal abilities. 

Just as Kyle’s starting to adjust to his fellow misfit squad mates, his new partner arrives. Tall, physically perfect, reserved, and claiming he has no broken psychic talents, Vikash Soren irritates Kyle in every way. But as much as he’d like to hate Vikash, Kyle finds himself oddly drawn to him, their non-abilities meshing in unexpected ways. 

Now, if Kyle and Vikash can learn to work together, they just might be able to stop the mysterious killer who has been leaving mutilated bodies along the banks of the Schuylkill. 


Kyle sat up straighter, shifting to see between the heads in front of him. Soren looked like a poster boy for the model police officer, tall and straight, uniform crisp and sharp. He stood at parade rest beside the lieutenant, impassively surveying his new colleagues. A little knot of resentment lodged in Kyle’s stomach. At his own introduction to the 77th, he’d been nervous and fidgety, freaked out by the collection of…freaks. How can he be so calm? 

“Officer Soren transferred from the Harrisburg PD—” 

“Don’t they have enough freaky shit of their own up there?” Wolf called out in his rasping growl. 

“Since Harrisburg is in our jurisdiction,” she continued with a quelling glance. “He’ll start out partnered with Monroe.” 

“What does he do, ma’am? That it’s safe to put him with Kirby, er, Kyle?” Shira Lourdes asked as she flicked nervous glances across the room at Kyle. An empty chair slid away from her and fell over. Her partner, Greg Santos, shook his head and righted the unfortunate piece of furniture. 

“Officer Soren’s abilities are his business, which he may or may not choose to share if you ask. And don’t bully him about it either, any of you.” Lieutenant Dunfee swept the room again, pinning each of her officers with her needle-laser gaze like captive butterflies. “Monroe, my office after briefing. Info on your current case.” 

She dismissed them, stalking from the room with thunderclouds in her eyes. Kyle found himself approaching the new guy and trying his best not to be awkward. Did he offer to shake hands? Was it safe? Would the guy flinch like so many people did at the sight of Kyle’s scarred hands? Soren was even taller up close, six-foot-three of lean inscrutability, his blue eyes startlingly bright against smoky bronze skin. 

“Um, hi, I’m Kyle Monroe.” Kyle fidgeted when Soren didn’t offer his hand either. “You’re with me, I guess. I’ll show you our spot in the squad room.” 

Soren followed him silently and Kyle was starting to wonder if he was like Krisk in the not-speaking department until he finally spoke in a smooth, soft baritone, making Kyle startle and miss a step. “Why do they call you Kirby?” 

“You’d hear it sooner or later, I guess.” Kyle shrugged. “It’s this thing I do, absorbing other people’s talents temporarily. If they’re close to me. Or touch me. Like Kirby, the little pink dude in the video game.” 


Just that? Soren didn’t edge away, or change expression at all. Was he made of stone? “It’s a thing. Everyone here has a thing.” 

After a few more steps, Soren asked, “Always?” 

“What… Oh, was I always like this? Who knows? I mean, maybe I’ve picked up stray thoughts or something, but no. It’s pretty recent. Knowing that I do this.” 

Kyle took a wide arc around Vance as he entered the squad room, pointing to the double desk in the far corner, well removed from everyone else. “That’s ours. Coffee’s over there, but you might not want that coffee. Let me grab my file and we’ll go see the lieutenant.” 

“So what’s your story, Soren?” Vance called across the squad room. “What flies your freak flag?” 

“Yeah, what do you do?” Jeff Gatling stopped ’porting his banana from one corner of his desk to the other. 

“I don’t really do anything,” Soren answered as he hefted the empty coffeepot. “Guess I’ll make fresh since I’m the new guy.” 

He opened the top to remove the filter and every human voice in the squad room yelled out, “No!” 

Most people would have startled, maybe dropped the carafe. Soren just blinked at the roomful of people gesturing wildly. He took the filter out and emptied it over the trashcan. “Why not?” 

“You don’t want to do that.” Kyle stayed by his desk, a nice safe distance from the coffee station. “That’s Larry’s job.” 

“Larry’s not keeping up then.” 

The container of sweetener packets began to rattle. It shivered across the counter and leaped to a messy end, ceramic shards skittering across the floor. The desk that Krisk and Wolf shared rose from the floor several inches and slammed back down. Wolf fled with a squeaking yelp just before the desk flipped on its side. 

Soren glanced toward Kyle. “Larry’s not a cop, is he?” 

“He is…he was! A dead cop. Larry’s a ghost. He gets ticked if anyone else makes the coffee. Put the stuff back, please!” 

“Larry?” Soren raised his voice but to all appearances remained completely unruffled. “I’m new here. I’m very sorry I invaded your jurisdiction. See? I’m putting the carafe back. Closing the top. Are we good, Larry?” 

A breeze ruffled through a stack of papers, but no further mayhem ensued. The carafe slid from its pad on the coffeemaker and floated to the water cooler where Larry, who never manifested in a visible form, whistled tunelessly while he filled the carafe. 

From his dim corner of the room, Carrington said in his dry, genteel way, “Welcome to the Island of Misfit Freaks...” 

About the Author:
Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres. Her experiences as a soldier, a nurse, a banker, and an underpaid corporate drone give her a broad view of the world and a deep appreciation for the astounding variety of people on this small planet. 

She currently lives part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head. She has one husband of over twenty years, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate. 

To contact Angel with praise, adulation, sarcasm, and complaints to the management (any management, she’s not picky, but it might not solve your flight reservation issue) please try these linky things:


Lime Gelatin and Other Monsters by Angel Martinez is now available at Amber Allure.

If you'd like the chance to win the entire pax collection, just leave a comment on today's post. On Saturday, a winner will be picked at random from all the comments made this week on the blog. Comment on all, and that's multiple chances to win!


  1. I was born a bit later, but I remember jello being everywhere even then. And the salads and the adding things into the jello. I can't wait to read this one, Angel. It sounds like a great, fun read.

  2. Thank you, Jen! Yes...some of the weird stuff they tried *smh* Sometimes those jello salads still show up, but not as if they were multiplying alien pods anymore.

  3. There is definitely something wrong with any jello recipe that involves cubed ham or fish of any kind. OMG.

    1. OMG, YES, Keelan. Though they still tried. Oh, how they tried....

  4. Love the sound of this book, will definitely be adding it to my TBNR list ;)

  5. Oh yes! The shocking jello creations at parties!! This looks a fun bundle *crosses fingers*

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