An essay by Dr. Samantha Blunt, as provided by Franko Stephens
Art by Luke Spooner
Excerpts from the journal of Doctor Samantha Blunt, concerning the incidents leading up to and involving the Werner and Chalsky Event of 2023, released by court order to the Smithfield County Special Investigations Unit. Compiled and abbreviated by Franko Stephens.
January 24, 2023
They are at it again. I watched their foolishness, as I do most mornings, from my third floor home office window while drinking French vanilla coffee. It’s still hard to believe that when everyone bought their freshly built homes in this new neighborhood, constructed in an area especially for folk like us, neither had any idea that they were moving next to each other. In the whole world, there were few communities devoted to scientific genius, both active and retired, and fewer still on their own peninsula where the temperature is specially modified to always be seventy degrees. So perhaps the odds are not truly against two enemies, one spending his whole career thwarting the malevolent, immoral, and fringe science related practices of the other, from sharing a waist high white picket fence. Then again, the world is vast.
To their credit, they did their best to avoid each other for most of last year. However, the New Year’s Eve party involved a mutated form of vodka that stayed in the bloodstream twice as long. They both had to pay restitution to Harry Clintock, and the party was not even at his house. The feud was sparked anew.
Cain Werner was a brilliant quantum mechanic who patented the technique used to solidify molecules back to their original form after teleportation. He collaborated with Walter Chalsky, who built the first working teleporter with Cain’s lucrative input. Unbeknownst to his partner, Chalsky wanted to use the machine for high level robbery with the product of his other passionate experiments. He was fond of genetically modifying animals to follow his commands with heightened intelligence, combined with human skills such as lock picking and computer hacking. Raccoons were his favorite, though chimpanzees were a close second. I know all this from his confessions while we briefly had a torrid love affair just before the holidays. It ended amicably, though we had quickly bored of each other. Nothing ever happened between me and Cain. Even in my sixties, I still liked the bad boys.
This particular morning was very ugly. Where the fence met the front sidewalk, Cain actually spat in Walter’s face. He was normally the last to lose his cool, the hunched, thin man who always sported a bright bow tie, even in the early hours. Walter, significantly meatier in the shoulders, wiped the saliva with an open palm, then struck Cain against his cheek. He lunged for Cain, who touched a button on his watch to launch Walter onto the other side of his yard with an invisible force field. Cain held his face as he staggered back into his house. That night, a small furry creature threw what appeared to be feces against Cain’s windows. It took him hours to clean.
Damn Werner started it this time. I woke to find that Walter’s lawn was gone. It literally had disappeared, leaving nothing but a blank black void in its place. I opened my window to hear their vulgarities. Walter had tested the openness and learned the ground was still there, it was simply gone to perceptions. He stood like a lost astronaut, shouting, “Cain, you illegitimate bastard offspring of a hobo! Give me back my lawn!”
“Guess you’ll have to give back that Yard of the Month sign. Oh, wait, you can’t find it now!”
Six hours later, as I was watering my fly traps, the lawn appeared. The grass was covered in frost, and never quite looked the same again.
To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Summer 2016 collection.
Dr. Samantha Blunt is an award winning inventor with over 23 patents. Though she has amassed many experiences from around the world, she loves nothing more than a good cup of tea and trashy scandal. Her curiosity and polished ego have been known to get the best of her.
Franko Stephens lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and children. His previous work includes the novel The Crooner on Amazon Kindle. When he’s not creating bedtime stories for his daughter involving stuffed animal secret agents, Franko works on as many writing projects as possible. It keeps him out of trouble.
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 www.carrionhouse.com.
“The Werner and Chalsky Event” is © 2016 Franko Stephens.
Art accompanying story is © 2016 Luke Spooner.