The slovendri (/sloʊˈvɛndri/) is an ungainly stranger characterized by its hulking body and voracious appetite. Its frame is wide and bulky, with thick legs and a large, heavy-snouted head. Its drab, pinkish skin is soft, and feels similar to human skin, while its flesh is white and fatty. Its teeth and tongue are rather small, and its throat connects directly to its body cavity, which is lined with a thin layer of elastic, pinkish-grey tissue. Its odor is sweet and clammy, with a warmly rotten underbody, like cold cut meat left on the counter too long.
The slovendri's fleshy body yields readily to pressure, and its greasy surface leaves an oily residue on anything it rubs against. Its soft flesh is easy to bruise, and can be cut with little pressure. Although deep wounds tend towards infection, superficial wounds regenerate slowly but steadily (at a rate roughly equivalent to that of a healthy human being), with only very faint scarring in older individuals.
Although the slovendri is capable of speech, and possesses its own relatively complex language, it does not tend to communicate using anything beyond monosyllabic grunts and gurgles.
The slovendri appears anywhere that food can be found, and most commonly generates in residential and industrial kitchens, grocery stores, and warehouses. Filthy, unsanitary conditions seem to increase the likelihood of a slovendri infestation, although even the most meticulous of hygiene conditions does not offer surefire protection against this stranger's generation. It first appears in a plump, short-lived form, which grows in short bursts as it begins to consume food around it, usually reaching full size within several days.
The slovendri possesses a clumsy and slovenly disposition. It staggers from place to place with unsteady motions and a sickening chorus of gurgles as its stomach churns and the folds of its flesh slap together. Despite its sluggishness, the slovendri is atypical in that it is capable of bipedal locomotion, occasionally stumbling forward on two legs, albeit with a shambling, sloped posture.
The slovendri is a single-minded stranger motivated by hunger, and hunger alone. It exists to eat, and no quantity of food is ever enough to satisfy its voracious appetite. It neither sleeps, nor engages in any actions beyond its constant foraging for sustenance.
Each slovendri possesses within its body a chamber that acts as a simple stomach. This chamber is not filled with acid, but rather, liquifies and dissolves food via a process which leaves behind no by-products. Inorganic materials, such as plastic rings and forks, dissolve at a much slower rate, while metals do not disappear at all. Devouring inedible substances can cause numerous health risks for the slovendri, as it is not uncommon for its flesh to grow over these objects, forming hardened tumors inside of it, which tend to spread continuously once they develop.
The slovendri is one of the most inadvertently destructive strangers, and routinely knocks over objects and furniture, spills boxes of cereal and grains to the floor, tears cabinet doors from their hinges, and pushes over refrigerators as it searches for food. When the slovendri eats, it does so with a childlike piggishness, and when it drinks, it slurps loudly, usually ending up with more fluid on its face and on the floor around it than inside of its stomach. In addition, the slovendri's small, nub-like teeth prevent proper chewing of many foods, and most foods are instead devoured whole, leading to the occasional non-fatal bout of choking and hacking.
Although every slovendri is gluttonous in its appetite, individual tastes vary, and each slovendri has a favorite food that it seeks out above all else. Some slovendri prefer meats, while others seek out cookies or candies. Upon finding its favorite food, the slovendri displays a crude smile of delight, and spends many hours licking any reside from its stubby fingers. In general, however, the slovendri prefers fatty, flavor-rich food over cold fruits and vegetables, and, unless starving, does not eat food which requires preparation to make edible or palatable, such as dried grains or flour. In addition, it does not purposely eat inanimate objects.
The slovendri creates a great mess wherever it eats, and leaves behind piles of discarded wrappers, crumpled boxes, and torn packaging in its wake, along with numerous crumbs and scraps of food. Many of these scraps become stuck in the folds of the slovendri's body, often to the stranger's later elation once these morsels are rediscovered. After it has finished a meal, it takes a few seconds to lick its hands and lips, before it moves in search of further sustenance.
The slovendri's presence causes organic matter to rot at a rate two to four times faster than normal. Food spared from the slovendri's gorging is nonetheless spoiled by this strain's influence.
When in a food-rich environment (such as a supermarket, or well-stocked kitchen), the slovendri forages at a casual pace, and does not compete with other individuals within its strain. It chooses its meals with selective taste, and devours its favorite foods first. As it eats more and more, however, and as the remaining food around it grows rancid, the slovendri grows more desperate, licking at wrappers, gnawing on empty boxes, or lifting furniture and rugs in search of tiny crumbs. At this point, fights over food occur, and individuals push at one another with weak, blundering shoves. In this state, the slovendri also seeks out and devours animals, which it is normally indifferent towards, as well as any smaller stranger that it finds, including inanimate or inedible strangers.
Once all possible sources of food have been exhausted, the slovendri turns cannibalistic, and eats its companions alive, attacking them with desperate bites and grabbing onto any loose flesh. These fights are so clumsy and vicious that it is not uncommon for both combatants to suffer extreme wounds and collapse into a heap, only to be devoured alive by any remaining companions.
After five to twelve days without food, the slovendri begins to eat its own flesh, and a great number of individuals die of these self-inflicted injuries. Those that do not self-cannibalize begin to devour non-food items, such as chunks of furniture or scraps of fabric, clutching at their sides as these objects churn inside of them. As the slovendri starves, its recessed eye markings ooze a clear, sweat-like fluid as a by-product of catabolysis, and its body deflates, until its skin hangs off its misshapen frame in great folds. Without strength, the slovendri eventually crumples to the floor, and lets out only weak, wheezing groans.
Under normal circumstances, sensitives hold little interest to the slovendri. It only approaches those individuals that hold food, or that take food away from them. While it can cause accidental bites as it eats from a sensitive's hand, the slovendri is not aggressive, and always ignores sensitives in favor of other food sources. Even when struck, the slovendri tends to move away, rather than fight back. The slovendri's proximity, however, can prove dangerous when its presence decomposes the food matter inside a sensitive's stomach, leading to nausea, bloating, and food poisoning-like symptoms.
A starving slovendri becomes far more aggressive and dangerous, and seeks out sensitives by sniffing the air around it. Once it sees one, it licks its lips and charges them with a barreling shove, pushing the sensitive to the ground and eating any parts of their body that it can rip off. When able to, it devours sensitives whole. Although its flesh is soft and weak, the slovendri's large size and great strength, as well as its relentlessness when hungry, make it a formidable adversary.
All slovendri that do not die from starvation eventually die of old age. As the slovendri ages, its stomach lining thins, and the properties of its inner chamber begin to dissolve its flesh from the inside-out. After several weeks, massive tears open up between the slovendri's inner chamber and its outer flesh, which causes the slovendri's stomach contents to spill outwards as it eats, with much bellowing and groaning on the slovendri's part.
Once its flesh becomes too ragged to support its weight, the slovendri collapses with a long, slow belch, pleasing any nearby companions, which greedily feast upon the corpse and leave only the claws and teeth behind.