November 13, 2008

MicroHorror Featured Pick -- "Salvaging Finkbottle"

It's been a while since I've provided a MicroHorror fix -- here's something to make those awful shakes go away...

"Salvaging Finkbottle"
by Ian Kay


Dr. Ellington Finkbottle was going to revolutionize the World. Everyone knew it. Or, at least the magazines knew it and everyone kinda took it from them. His work with subnuclear restructuring was still in its infancy, but since it’s a method of transforming matter and energy into anything the operator wants while wholly avoiding all the fuss of nuclear fusion and supernovae, most people agree that a slight delay is acceptable.

The man had already used his marvelous picotools to phase a particle of hydrogen into two particles of molybdenum. With his brilliant lunacy focused, it would only be a matter of years before specialized machines made rotting apples into ripe ones, breast cancer into healthy tissue, and politicians into small but quality reservoirs of fossil fuel.

So you can imagine my surprise yesterday when I spotted Dr. Finkbottle in the park three blocks from my house, swinging his legs back and forth atop the white-stained fence along the sidewalk. He was working at a pistachio ice cream cone and watching two squirrels kung fu. I was even more surprised when he fell and cracked his head open.

Now when I say “open,” I don’t mean, like, “a noticeable but largely insignificant fault line in his skull.” No, more like “open” as in “cracked porcelain,” “open.” “Open,” “there were a few pieces of scalp lying inches away from their home base,” “open.”

Besides me, there were two other witnesses.

“Dr. Finkbottle?” I called, a tremble in my voice.

His fingers twitched. We rushed to him.

Needless to say, he was not in good shape. Without wanting to get too journalistic, I’d say he was beginning to leak. His gray matter (which, I might mention, was comprised of several colors and not a one was gray) protruded at an odd angle and threatened to double over like a tall block of gelatin.

We three witnesses were all in jogging shorts, out for the early air, and therefore had neither cars nor cell phones. The closest hospital was a ten-minute drive. And the wit that had once outthought solar accretion was now dry-humping a slab of warm concrete. There was only one option.

Using the sharper edge of the scalp piece, I divvied a portion for each of us.

The man in green shorts said he’d be keeping his part.

The man with the black watch was going to try to auction his online.

And me? I got indigestion. But while on the bowl, I came up with an idea for a self-sharpening pencil, so you tell me.

Copyright: © 2007 Ian Kay

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