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The professor left work at five o'clock, in addition to her job, children, husband, and her earthly existence. Her friends always bragged on her behalf over her seemingly immaculate life; Now, she supposed, it was time she had bared witness to some true comparison. As she felt the remaining blood drain from her extremities to the tap-like wound in her neck, she felt regret for her incomplete life, she felt the steaming elixir cool into the bright winter air, staining the steps she crawled aimlessly down. Where she was going, none were to know.
“I'm clocking out,” she thought. “don't mind me.”
With her last lingering seconds, she remembered. She remembered her years in vein, all of the celebrations past and longed for the ones to come. She relished the pain, as it was, with addition to memory, all she had left. Lastly, she remembered what had happened.
The fresh minds congregated in a solitary room. The top cuts of the medical field, all in one spot. How could these brilliant souls be so blissfully unaware that a red “x” was painted just under their footings? that it was a trap door they were all treading into? Speculations developed by those considered madmen gave caution to no avail. All that was needed was the bomb to be dropped.
…and there laid before them said bomb, assuming the form of a mysterious set of organic bulges in a hospital-grade rollaway bed, with a sheet ominously draping it—and in turn blocking the view of the masterminds.
Out of anticipation, a few observed the room that they were all gathered in. It was white, but not pure. Just sterile, tainted with the aftertaste of some dark subliminal message, somewhere antagonizing the onlookers’ subconscious’. Then again, it could have been the governmental seals swathing the doors—the exists—with their menacing gleam of lamination. The insignia represented their unknown state of affairs, their glossily coating otherwise inconvincible falsities. Between the lamination and the thrill of a new discovery, the geniuses’ minds were ironically leading them to the trap; a reversed Darwin effect.
She was the newest of all, comparable to a one-hit wonder, but a primary instigator in The Matter. Her findings catapulted the success of the research of all of the others in the room, who were all masters of The Matter, or at least, those who were the most knowledgeable about the subject. What she had accomplished in a few months made the magnum opuses of her so-called competitors appear juvenile, like a half-assed lab report fixated by some high-school drop out.
And there! Laying just paces away lay the key, the means to unlocking the hidden understanding of what has had more control over their lives than themselves. Beneath that thin, sterilized bed sheet is what is assumed to be the remainder of something from far, far away.
And there! Just paces away closed the industrial-strength doors, bolting the hinges, having much more control over the rest of their lives than themselves. Slam.
All exchanged nervous glances, gifts no one was hoping to receive, in the blue-tinted lighting. They have heard all about this. On the news, studies becoming to controversial…and the conspiracy theories! As people of science, they were forced to assume that they were untrue, but now, they were unsure. All began beating their hearts and the doors rapidly, to no success in finding an exit. They were ensnared—lap rats in a trap.
It was then that Dr. Rothenberg, head of the no longer-upcoming autopsy, jerkily raised the cover off the extra terrestrial, which released an audible tick into the atmosphere. The ruckus halted, silence walked in and assumed a seat, making itself comfortable and everyone else the opposite. It’s only accompaniment was the incessant throb, as everyone’s own pulsation went to a dead stop.
A pair of numbers pacing steadily backwards glowed a cynical red where the eyes of the otherworldly inhabitant would have been positioned. Time discontinued.
Four, Tick…Three, Tick…Two, Tick…
Eyes were tightened; small lines scratched the skin above their cheeks.
Fists clutched imaginary safety lines, their knuckles morphing from red to white.
Lungs never exhaled.
When the explosion occurred, it was a sense of relief. Relief from pressure, liberation of suspense, escorted by a sweeping feel of sadness and nostalgia.
The deceased strewn the ground, she appeared the last left intact. With harbored movements, she stumbled clumsily, lifelessly, through the cacophony of fragments scattered along the shambolic terrain. She fell, her body buckling on the floor with a thud. At this, the keen guard’s ears directed the rest of his body to that of the limp. His brawny hands latched themselves in the crevice between the corpse’s arms and sides in an experienced manner. He dragged the body until it was inside before returning to the newfound desolate scrap yard to haul the rest of the remains away.
Several weeks later, a news report surfaced about a missing elite board of xenoarcheologists. Speculations were voiced but not heard.