Experiment #336

Near Enough Part 6

A few days later, Cara sat in one of the comfy chairs her Mom had moved up to her room. She binge-watched all the media she’d missed while in the hospital, but barely registered what happened on the screens. She heard a soft rap at the window behind her. “Come in!” She said.

The soft rap came again.

“Come in!” she hollered.

Again the soft rapping.

“COME IN!” She shouted at the top of her lungs.

The soft rapping came … Read More

Experiment #335

Near Enough Part 5

Cara stared into space as she answered Chu, “Samara did it. I-I’m not sure…”

Chu looked at Peters. They left.

Cara shuddered. She wasn’t sure why she’d protected DT. He was the reason Samara was dead. But protecting him felt like loyalty to Samara and that felt right.

“You okay?” her mother asked.

Cara gave her mother the withering stare only family can inflict on someone. She turned away with the force of a slammed door.

#

They discharged Cara six … Read More

Experiment #334

Near Enough Part 4

The detectives arrived early the next morning. Though Cara didn’t want to talk, she didn’t have the energy to protest.

“Thank you,” Peters said to Cara and her Mom.

Chu was not so cordial. “Toxicology reports came back on your friend,” Chu said. He held up a little baggy with two white and blue striped, square pills. “Wanna tell me about these?”

Cara shook her head.

Chu cleared his throat. “I’ve found kids dead from these pills. Who sold … Read More

Experiment #333

Near Enough Part 3

“Cara.” Marissa’s expression softened as she took Cara’s hand. “That was her life. she ended it on the best terms she could, in the happiest way she could. If it hadn’t been this trip, it would’ve been another. She’s gone, but she doesn’t have to deal with this crap again. I’m happy for her.”

“You’re saying she committed some kind of suicide?”

“Near enough.”

“No! She wouldn’t. We’d made plans. We were gonna room together next year, we … Read More

Experiment #332

Near Enough Part 2

“Why would you—” Cara’s Mom started, but Cara answered them.

“Nothing illegal.”

“Both Cara and Samara are… were 18.” Cara’s mom said.

“That may prevent possession charges, Ma’am,” Peters said. “But assisting in a death, even as a guide or an angel, is still against the law.”

“Will we find Ketamine?” Chu asked.

“Ketamine’s not illegal,” Cara snapped at him.

“Not by itself.”

Cara shrunk in the chair even while her face stayed resolute and defiant.

“What else was in the Ketamine?” Chu … Read More

Experiment #331

Near Enough Part 1

Samara’s body shook with the force of the electric pulse. The EMT pulled the defibrillator paddles away. The EMT’s partner felt for a pulse on Samara’s wrist.

“Nothing,” he said.

“Clear!” The EMT shouted and shocked Samara again. Her body contorted and convulsed. The second EMT tried for a pulse on Samara’s neck.

“Still nothing.”

The EMT turned up the voltage, shouted once more, and shocked Samara’s body, but Samara’s lips were turning blue.

Cara looked on from the sidewalk, … Read More

Experiment #328

Oxygen Part 3

Warning lights blinked like a frenetic traffic signal. Alarm bells whistled and sang. Pulling on the steering column did nothing. The nose of the rocket took on a red glow as it split the atmosphere. The ground grew ever closer. Bits and pieces of the ship snapped off, dissolving like sugar cubes in hot tea. The astronaut put his helmet on and fumbled for the locking mechanism.

The red ball that had flirted with his hopes … Read More

Experiment #327

Oxygen Part 2

“Shooooweeee, you sure you didn’t pee yourself, Mr. Johnson?” Dave asked loud enough for Mrs. Dinkle across the hall to hear. “You stink like a skunk in an onion patch.”This just the latest in a string indignities. “Don’t worry, Mr. Johnson, we’ll get that shirt on right-side out!” “It’s all right, Mr. Johnson, everybody poops their pants sometimes.” And “Well, well, Mr. Johnson, still at it, aye old-timer? You thinkin’ about Mrs. Dinkle last night?”

Johnson … Read More

Experiment #326

Oxygen Part 1

The astronaut breathed in and out, clinging to that most basic of human motions.

In and out…

In and out…

He’d fallen face down in the dark, red sand. His arms and legs spread out on both sides. Scratches, dents and a fine coating of red dust covered his grey suit.

He looked at the oxygen readout on his arm panel: 10% and falling.

In and out…

In and out…

#

“Hello, Sunshine,” Dave sang as he threw open Johnson’s door at the … Read More

Experiment #325

The Time Machine

Sam built a time machine out of two scratchy blankets, a transistor radio, his favorite pinwheel, and the thing that beeped beside his bed. He set the dial and left for the future.

The next day, when his mother came to visit, he told her of the wonders the future held. Of the amazing gadgets that cleaned the house for her, made dinner every night, got those bloodstains out of his sweater, and eradicated brain tumors. … Read More

Experiment #323

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 10

When the town showed up at the Ferris wheel, they found Jeremiah holding Mayor Brewins hostage on the highest platform. He peered over the edge as the crowd gathered.

He waited until they started getting restless, then shouted, “I’m only here for what you owe me. What he”—here he shook the mayor—“promised me.”

Murmurs broke out among the crowd.

“The majority of you have nothing to fear. The mayor and the town council…well…” he brandished the device high … Read More

Experiment #322

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 9

Amelia did not sleep that night. A pit in the middle of her stomach would not dislodge. At first light, she dressed herself and hurried to Jeremiah’s workshop. When she arrived, Jeremiah’s section of the workshop felt hollow and empty though it still contained a jumble of tools, materials, books, and half-finished inventions. In the midst of the chaos sat a wide drafting desk. On the desk, Amelia found a letter:

Dear Amelia,

You are right. I … Read More

Experiment #321

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 8

The sheriff showed up a few moments later and apologetically served Jeremiah some papers. Colonel Rotan had decided to sue Mr. Clifton over the lawn incident and had named both Jeremiah and Mrs. Peterson in the suit.

Jeremiah went in search of his assistant but found that Francis was not at the workshop. In looking for Francis, he came across Francis’s appointment book, opened to that day’s date. He found both a wealth of client meetings … Read More

Experiment #320

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 7

Through the polarization of his constituents over Jeremiah’s invention, Mayor Brewins had found the old fighting spirit he’d had in college debate club. The man who hadn’t had an opinion in twenty years of public service finally settled on his right to nothave an opinion, whether morals and the good of the people were involved or not. And he further resolved that no one could tell him differently, even if that person had saved him … Read More

Experiment #319

The Cleverest Contraption of Jeremiah Brown Part 6

All three reporters quoted Mayor Brewins on his affection for the system and how it had increased his moral intuition. One of the three seemed unconvinced that the invention was real. The other two, though they seemed to believe in its existence, felt unsure about its implications.

Upon reading these reviews, several of the mayor’s constituents decided the contraption, if it existed at all, amounted to a form of mind control. At a town council meeting, … Read More