Lasagna with Legs

An essay by John Baker, as provided by Rich Knight
Art by Justine McGreevy

“I’ve created a monster!”

… is what I wish I could say. But I can’t. Not with this sad, pathetic mess writhing on my kitchen table. The best I could say is, “I’ve created a mess,” and even that was being generous.

“Why did you even think this would be a good idea?” my friend, Tony, asked me. We both studied Applied Science back in college. His field is genetic epidemiology. I’m still playing with my food.

“I don’t know.” I lied. I do know. It’s because I love both science and cooking. After I graduated Johns Hopkins, I went to the Culinary Institute of America. “I thought it would be fun.”

“Right, but how does ‘fun’ pay your bills, John? This isn’t even something that you could sell on the market. And I mean any market. Quite frankly, it’s hideous. I don’t even want to look at it any longer. Are you going to put it out of its misery or what? Does it have a brain? Is it sentient?”

It was, but I didn’t want to freak Tony out, so I shrugged. But before he got here, I had tried sticking a fork in it, and it shrunk away from me. I had given it a mouse’s brain and reproductive organs, and also some hard wiring. It was practically half mouse, half machine. Oh, and ricotta cheese and red sauce, too.

Lasagna with Legs

I guess this is a good time to mention that I’d been experimenting with transplanting brains into food for months.

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2015 collection.

John Baker currently lives alone with his pet Lasagna, Linda, but is working toward creating a friend for her, possibly an Eggplant Parmesan with centipede legs. When he’s not dabbling in cooking or experimentation, he is often found on dating websites, searching for the right woman who likes both pets and food. (His searches for women who like pets that are food have come up fruitless, unfortunately.) And despite leaving multiple messages on his answering machine, Tony still won’t return his calls. It’s probably for the best.

When Rich Knight isn’t teaching, he’s writing. A lot. He has been published in many publications such as Complex, Cinemablend, and Weightwatchers, and is starting to venture out into fiction. “Lasagna With Legs” is his first published sci-fi/fantasy short story. His novel, The Darkness of the Womb, can be found at You can also find him ranting about something or other at his blog: Swing by.

Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.


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