Short Story: In Which We Create
The man next to me had gone mad – or perhaps he never was sane.
Lightning crackled behind the glass as the scientist pushed the lever in front of him to the highest setting.
I watched in awe as he muttered to himself and stroked his long, white mustache. The man was a genius, an utterly mad genius who was about to commit the most heinous crime of all, and he was not even batting an eyelash.
The madman in front of me was about to create life.
The first human souls created in a lab, and I was to bear witness.
“Kai, Grab that lever there, and wait for my mark to pull it. That will charge the chambers.”
I walked on the dusty white tile and wrapped my hand around the stick that was about to give souls to three organic beings.
“Ready?” I asked, my mouth dry.
He paused for a second, and then nodded solemnly, “To the future we march, Kai. Remember that. Whatever happens next, to the future we march.”
I stared at the organic material behind the glass and nodded. The lumps of flesh I was staring at looked like human children, perfect newborn babies ready to take their first breaths of air. It had taken years to grow them and calculate how we were to inject them with life, but we were finally ready.
“NOW!” The doctor screamed, pushing and flipping several levers and buttons and snapping me out of my thoughts.
With a grunt, I pushed the lever forward and electricity began to crackle around the holding cells the organic matter was hooked up to.
As bright light bathed the containers behind the glass, The doctor suddenly stilled and glanced at me.
“Something is wrong.” He murmured.
As soon as he uttered those words, a bright red alarm began to blare. A seemingly endless, horrible noise into my ears.
“WHAT IS HAPPENING?” I cried out, hands covering my ears in a desperate attempt to keep the sound out.
The man was simply staring at a gauge on the side of a device that somehow measured the electricity in the other room.
“WHAT IS WRONG?” I asked again over the wailing alarm.
He turned toward me, his gaze filled with a mixture of curiosity and horror.
“IT IS TOO MUCH POWER,” He yelled. “THE ELECTRICITY IS REWRITING THEIR MOLECULAR SEQUENCE SOMEHOW.”
I hit the lever, which had somehow gotten stuck in the forward position and groaned, throwing all my weight into it.
“THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE.” I grimaced. At least, it should be impossible. The electricity should have just charged their bodies and made them come to life. However, we were scientists, and we generally had to deal with a lot of impossible situations most of the time.
I ripped back the lever, finally cutting the electricity off and stopping that awful siren.
It was quiet.
So dreadfully, horribly quiet.
I pushed my glasses farther up onto the bridge of my nose as the scientist and I exchanged nervous glances.
Then, as if we were of the same mind, we crept toward the door that led to the other room.
“Do you think they are alive?” He whispered.
I turned the doorknob without replying. Whatever the answer was, we would find out soon enough.
As our footsteps echoed across the ‘life chamber’ (which we had aptly named it) I examined the three glass tubes that had held and grown the children.
“Dr. Oslac,” I called, waving him over as I stared at the middle child, “Come here.”
He shuffled forward in his trademark clumsy way, and with bright blue eyes looked at his small creation.
“If I am not mistaken, Doctor, I think she is breathing.” I whispered, my heart fluttering in my chest.
Eagerly but carefully, Oslac opened the hatch to the chamber and lifted the child out.
With a small, elegant yawn, she opened her eyes.
“Wow.” I grinned. “She is alive.” I pushed my hair back and looked at the first human to be grown in a lab.
She was small, with tiny pink fingers and fuzzy red hair that seemed to stick straight out of her rounded head. She blinked and giggled, and I realized with a laugh that I had coded the genes for her eyes wrong. The one on the left was a consuming, electric blue, and the other was a gentle but fierce bright green.
“Next time, I will take care of the eyes, huh?” The doctor winked.
“I love them.” I whispered, and took her in my hands.
“It’s as if the sky fell down to touch the sparkling emerald sea, and she rose out of the waves, proof of their glorious union.”
She blinked once, yawned, and began to sleep, all while drooling on my arm.
Oslac looked to the next chamber and smiled, “Looks like she has a brother.”
“And another sister,” I added, looking inside the next chamber.
The doctor grinned and opened his mouth to speak but, before he could say anything, a loud beeping came from the control hub.
“What was that?” I asked nervously.
I saw my friend’s eyes turn from an overwhelmed happy to an almost instant terror as he hurried to one of the screens.
“Kai, take her and hide.” He whispered. “There is a compartment in the floor, yes?”
I nodded, and rushed over to grate in the tile.
With the baby in one hand and holding the grate in the other, I slipped down into a storage space that we primarily used for old test tubes.
A bit of light filtered in through the slats, and I heard the doctor trying to make the space around us looked untouched.
Suddenly, as if from a dream, I heard a pounding at the door, and my heart started to beat as I anticipated who it could possibly be.
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.