Jesse Payne / Blog

The Scientist and the Horsehead

The Scientist and the Horsehead

5.... 4... 3... 2... 1.... nothing. The Scientist leans in to study the reaction. Thoughts stirring in the back of his mind race to whether the gas mask will work this time. The air conditioned room hums with silence. To the naked eye it appears that nothing has happened. To the scientist, it will be his greatest discovery.

At 1:30 am he had planned to call it a night. Now at 3:44 am, as he struts into the pressurized chamber, he is planning on what to do next. He wipes the sweat from his palms before stretching the gloves over his hands. He thinks, “Just keep it steady. At least I’m here alone... if anything goes awry.”

Dark matter will be yesterday’s news once Hawking learns of this extraordinary revelation. The Scientist basks in self-gratification. “Could it be?... proof that pentaquarks exist.” The specimen seems to possess much more than he had earlier anticipated.

He stares through the glass of the pressurized chamber at the gauges in the far corner of the lab. He wonders why they are not picking up traces of radiation. Something is wrong. Terribly wrong. Abort... Abort.

It’s too late. The color confinement seems to have failed. The Scientist is frozen in a temporary state of panic. Within seconds the specimen explodes. The Scientist is thrown across the chamber. He is barely conscious. He feels his body going numb as he crawls towards the exit. His eyes are heavy. He feels himself losing consciousness. Mayhem.

The smoke clears as his mind struggles to return. He wonders how he made it out of the chamber alive. Footsteps. Someone is here. His vision is blurry. A startling image appears as he rips the gas mask from his face. A horsehead? A human body? The creature makes eye contact with the Scientist. Then disappears.

JP 2009