#fridayflash: it ate what ate the south

The coast of Jekyll Island, Georgia was damp and foggy that October morning. The camping season was pretty much over, but Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Mukhurjee had decided to spend a long weekend at the park. They were the first to witness the disturbance off the north shore.

Mr. Mukhurjee had walked to the water's edge to drink his coffee and try to determine if the fog would burn off by lunchtime. He observed a dark shape about 200 yards from where he was standing. Initially he identified it as an overturned rowboat. 

He called out, asking if anyone required help. This brought Mrs. Mukhurjee running. Mrs. Mukhurjee was standing beside her husband when the shape began to rise out of the water. 

"At first we thought it was some sort of submarine," recalled Mr. Mukhurjee. "But then we realised that the two bright green circles weren't lights, but eyes."

The Mukhurjees were deluged with water as the creature stepped over them and headed inland. The couple ran back to their campsite and called 911, but were accused of prank calling when they tried to explain "a reptilian-looking creature about thirty feet in height" had risen out of the ocean, and that it was now walking through the camping grounds. Understandably shaken by the experience, and unsure how the authorities would respond if they continued to raise an alarm, they double-checked the creature was heading away from them and stayed where they were.

With a stride of over fifteen feet, the creature was able to travel inland quickly. Judging from tracks found later, it mostly travelled through farmer's fields and undeveloped land.

The next confirmed sighting was in the area that has now become the FF&F Containment Area. The creature discovered a large, uncontrolled patch of kudzu growing in the middle of an unused field, and was, as a local biologist put it, "chowing down on the vines almost as fast as the stuff grows."

Scientists and agricultural experts were able to quickly ascertain that the creature prefers an exclusive diet of kudzu, rather like how pandas strongly prefer bamboo. Through basic behaviour training, similar to how orcas learn to perform at marine parks, they have trained the creature to ride on a kudzu-baited flat-bed truck so it can be transported to an area with a bad infestation of the fast-growing vine. The creature will eat the kudzu, and only the kudzu, until it is sparse, at which time the handling crew entice it back to the truck and return it to the Foreign Fauna & Flora Containment Area. 

The team in charge of the kudzu management programme insist that the creature is not, as some have claimed, Godzilla. They assert that Godzilla is strictly a fictional creature.

There are, however, multiple conspiracy theories. Several copies of a video have appeared on YouTube, where a journalist interviews a Japanese marine biologist. The reporter asks if they have heard the news about the creature that appeared off the coast of the southern United States. The biologist turns pale and mutters something under his breath that is usually subtitled "Oh SHIT!" before denying any prior knowledge. Detractors are quick to point out the Japanese language has a different style of cursing from English, and that the exclamation may be taken as surprise or wonderment, rather than concern.

The Governor of the State of Georgia issued an official statement, declaring that while there was no proof the creature was imported from Japan, kudzu certainly was, and if the creature was helping to control it, that was good enough for him.

Dairy farmers expressed some concern over the creature's appetite for kudzu, since it is used as cattle feed. The creature's consumption rates have remained steady, however, and there is no indication that its appetite will create a shortfall.

In addition to training the creature for the purposes of kudzu control, scientists have been attempting to determine its sex and reproductive processes. The creature becomes very aggressive when touched, however, and does not react to standard tranquilizer darts.

There have been no other reported sightings of similar creatures.

Mr. and Mrs. Mukhurjee are currently in negotiations to have their experience dramatised as a movie on The Discovery Channel.