Short Story: In Which We Create
In Which a Baby Cries
March 25, 2019
The cramped space was dark and smelled of mold. It reminded me of a forest, I thought as I clutched the sleeping child to my chest.
She might be in danger.
Please let her live, I prayed to no specific deity.
Any attempt toward human creation had been deemed illegal years ago with the passing of the “Iuris Scientia” treaty, our line of work was opposed by a lot of people.
Basically, anyone could be at the door, ready to walk in and kill Oslac and I, and our creations, who were so new to life.
Two knocks sounded, loud upon the metal door, which startled me and caused the little one I held in my arms to cry.
“Shhhhhh.” I quieted, looking into her mismatched eyes. She stared back, her sobs fading to silence, her tiny fingers grasping onto my thumb. For a second, I felt a kinsmanship between me and this child. The person outside that door could decide both of our fates. In a sense, we were both helpless infants, at the mercy of those who wielded more power than us.
I heard Oslac’s lab cloak sweep over the floor as he made his way to open the door.
The squeak of metal the doorknob heard was not unnoticed by my ears, and the gentle creak as the door swung open struck fear into my heart.
Heavy footfalls echoed above us, and a shot of adrenaline sped through my heart as I realized whose shoes they were.
The United States Army was above us, and ready to execute anyone in the room for treaty violation.
“Dr. Oslac?” A deep voice beckoned from the door as his troops stood silently above the floor.
“Lieutenant Herron. Any reason that you have come barging into my place of work without a warrant?” I heard Oslac’s frail voice address ‘Lieutenant Herron” fiercely.
“Oslac, you know that this particular group of special forces does not require a warrant to arrest. Now, where are your…” I could picture an evil gleam in the stranger’s eyes. “Little projects?”
Oslac went silent for a beat. He always was a terrible liar, “I do not know what you mean.”
“I mean,” I heard footfalls and a slam as the Lieutenant threw Oslac on the floor. “Your little fake humans that you made. You know, it is easy to find a secret lab, especially when this one drained all the electricity out of the Eastern Seaboard. So why don’t you save us all some time and give your little experiments up?”.
Suddenly, I heard a high pitched wail.
The other man recognized it too, because I heard his feet run towards the edge of the room.
My breathing stopped.
“This is one of your pets, eh?” The man called out from across the room. “Not much to look at, but I am sure the scientists I work with would love to study it.”
“She’s human.” Oslac rasped. “She deserves a free life, not to be shut up in some lab because of the way she was born.”
“I beg to differ. Humans are not grown. This ‘child’, if you can call it that, was not supposed to be born at all,” the soldier responded, “However, growing creatures capable of fighting does have it’s benefits. You know what I see when I look at this thing, doctor? A soldier. Give her twenty years or so, and she will be one of the most effective weapons I have ever seen.”
The doctor wheezed. “You… Can not… do that.” He rasped. “They are just children.”
“So? Some of the best soldiers I have ever known were trained as children.” He growled, and I felt his feet stomp through the floor as he addressed his waiting soldiers. “Take the two children. We can raise them as warriors… it is a better fate than what I had originally planned for them.”
The child I held in my hands squirmed as I clutched her tightly to my chest and prayed for her to remain silent.
Above us, The soldiers grabbed her siblings and stormed out the door without a word. I heard no other words from Lieutenant or Oslac.
The room was as quiet as death itself.
I breathed in and out, over and over and over again to an effort to calm my frayed nerves.
The baby near me sniffled, and tears began spilling out of her eyes as if she knew the tragedy of what had just happened.
I gathered my courage, and crept up, undoing the trapdoor and poking my head out of the floor.
The lab was oddly serene and unchanged, although the chamber we had used to charge the children had been destroyed. Oslac was gone, probably taken in the ruckus, and the children, our glorious creations, had been stolen.
I looked down at the little one. She was serene, asleep, the tears she had cried just a second ago a mere memory.
Dazed, I rocked her in my arms, unsure of what else to do. Oslac, my one friend in the world, was gone. My children had been taken. I had not even gotten to name them.
The baby smiled toothlessly in her sleep.
Maybe I had not been able to give her siblings names, but I could give her one.
I grinned, and thought about the name I had been planning to give her since I had created her first cells.
“Victoria,” I whispered. “What are we to do now?”
With a yawn, the baby raised her hands towards my face… and they sparked.
I nearly dropped her from sheer amazement.
Electricity had just shot out of her fingertips.
I examined her, thinking that maybe, it was a strange static electricity phenomenon, until Oslac’s words came back to me.
“THE ELECTRICITY IS REWRITING THEIR MOLECULAR SEQUENCE SOMEHOW.” his voice screamed inside my head.
I shivered as I peered into Victoria’s cold eyes as one thought ran through my mind, repeating itself until tears spilled down my cheeks.
What did we do to them, Oslac? They might not be human anymore.
This short story column is written by our contributing writer Abigail Balleweg, she is currently a freshman here at Oak Hills High School and she loves to write short stories using the tool of her imaginative mind.