Keep Your Pants On

An essay by Dr. Keith Piantsov, Ph.D., as provided by Heather Frederick
Art by Luke Spooner/Carrion House

I’d been raised not to stare. But surely her dog wouldn’t mind–for science?

For a week, each morning she’d walked him past my table outside the library and made eyes at me. She had cropped hair and wore a sweater and jeans. I happened to like my girls a little more girl-like.

Her dog, however, was eye-catching.

Maybe not everyone would notice, but I was a biological anthropologist and a trained observer. And the fact that she could walk him around campus suggested scientific implications. My career was stalled–damn grants–and I was desperate for inspiration.

Keep Your Pants On

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2013 collection.

Dr. Keith Piantsov, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology at a large university in Durham, North Carolina. He is best known academically for his extensive research on prosthetic limbs in tropical climates. He enjoys jazz music, wine tastings, and blues dancing.

He was last seen in the company of Dr. Emily Raynor, M.D. Ph.D., Professor of Medicine, Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Director of the Center for Inter-Genomics, and her dog. Dr. Raynor was recently awarded a joint National Institutes of Health-World Health Organization grant to further state of the art transplant medicine in developing countries.

Heather J. Frederick is a medical doctor by training and a writer by choice. She writes short speculative fiction and, thus far, has completed one children’s action adventure novel in the little known “fluffy spy kitty” category. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband, two children, and four cats, none of whom are secret agents (that she knows of).

Luke Spooner a.k.a. ‘Carrion House’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at

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1 Response to Keep Your Pants On

  1. Bat Hughes says:

    Wonderful–intriguing details, vivid, creepy, weird. This grabbed me and delivered unexpected turns. Chilling, fun and satisfying.

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