You Know It’s Out There Somewhere

Posted: July 29, 2012 by writingsprint in Science fiction, Writing
Tags: , , , ,

“You know it’s out there somewhere.”


“Do you know where?”


Liesl could only see from Phelp’s jaw on down. He wore a black suit. It was such a cliche she wanted to laugh at him.

“You released it?”

“No, not exactly. I left all the doors open and stirred up the guards so it could slip through.”

Phelps touched the side of his head, listening to an earpiece like secret service agent carried that she’d never seen him wear before. He resumed as if nothing had happened. For some reason that frightened her even more.

“You don’t deny that you helped it.”

“I didn’t help it. I did what I did. It got out on its own.”

“And you did this of your own free will.”


Phelps stepped into the light. He looked like a walking statue, all heaviness and muscle and rock for bones under his suit. Liesl felt as fragile as a bird next to him. It was strange, but she still felt no fear.

He touched her forehead with his fingertips like a mother would her child, to check for a fever. “Are you feeling all right?” he asked. His voice was a soft as tissue.

“You never came into the lab, Steve,” she said, just as soft. “You never looked at it except through a video monitor.”

He cut her off. “You didn’t feel sorry for it. I’ve been reading your notes. Clipped. Cold. You didn’t even call it an organism until you wrote down…” He held up her notebook and read from it: “The organism escaped the laboratory at 1330 on day 9 of analysis.”

“I had to test whether it would respond to an opportunity to escape.”

“This was about science?”

“What makes you think it was about the organism?”

This was the first answer that shook him. “What?”

“I wasn’t testing it. I knew what it would do. I wanted to see what you would do about it.” Liesl looked around the room, at cinderblocks mounted behind two-way mirrors under lights that had burned in her eyes for three sleepless, unfed days. “Now I know.”

Inspired by the prompt “out there somewhere” from Inspiration Monday at Be Kind Rewrite.

  1. Woah. I love that twist. More a study of the man than the monster – or perhaps the man IS the monster?

    Welcome back! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?


    • writingsprint says:

      Thanks! Yes, it’s been a while. I’ve been working like a nut, and then started blogging about triathlon training to sort through the life changes and adventure that that’s going to involve. I truly miss fiction, though. I need writing in general, and fiction too. They both fill needs in my life :).


  2. writingsprint says:

    PS — the man IS the monster, for sure. I imagined they had a relationship, but she came to realize he was using her.


  3. KP says:

    Nice twist. Poised for a good story.


    • writingsprint says:

      Thanks! This might be good at that. Maybe hold every scene in this room, while the specter of mayhem or danger is happening outside.


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