Friday, January 04, 2013

New Beginning 986

I am the worm you see in the bottle of tequila. I crawled inside because alcohol smears the memories, tames the furies, and thins the blood. I embrace my fate with ever-increasing ardor but in doing so I despair of life and its impotent God. Would that I were made of stone, long forgotten and never-minded stone without care or the desires of flesh and blood.

We begin in a laboratory in the quest for money to pay for a doctorate. Professor Morgenteil paid premium rates for students because only greedy fools like me would to sell their souls and perform live experiments on chimpanzees, Pan Troglodytes.

Subject Ten succumbed to the virus early this morning. I did the post mortem and prepared the body for burial. Characteristically, its fingertips were bloody, body hair smeared with its fluids, eyes blackened, and face hollow. Ten weeks, ten failures.

“Death delayed but not prevented,” Professor Morgenteil sighed the words in his thick accent as he read my report. “The effect of the virus seems to build. First few days they’re ecstatic. It took two weeks this time for the frenzy to start and the death spiral that follows.”

Ah, how I longed to be that imprisoned and inebriated worm--actually, not a worm but the larval form of the Hypopta agavis moth--instead of a graduate student of free will, monstrous greed, and immense hairy arms (Gorilla gorilla).

"As you know," Professor Morgenteil continued with his ridiculous Propithecus pronunciations, "the next chapter of the Planet of the Apes franchise depends on this virus. Back to work." 

Opening: Dave F......Continuation: IMHO


Evil Editor said...

I would drop the first two paragraphs.

The ten weeks, ten failures line suggests that they start a new experiment each week. Which isn't the case, as this last chimp lasted more than two weeks. So they keep infecting a new chimp with the same virus after the previous chimp dies to see how long they can keep this new one alive? If the goal is to prevent death, have they considered not infecting the chimps?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
Lab animals infected with hazardous/infectious diseases are cremated. Sanitary burial for non hazardous carcasses may be allowed but it is expensive. Usually a rendering firm will is hired to remove the carcasses.

Dave Fragments said...

As much as I love that opening paragraph, I think you're right.

Anonymous said...

I agree, the first two grafs are fun to read, but the story really starts on graf three. I like this story so far! Would read on for sure.

Dave Fragments said...

The first two paragraphs are gone.

I started the story based on that first line and the story changed enough to leave it behind.

I'm revising the rest of the story because boxing and blood are the images left. Stone isn't.

james said...

Sorry the first two paragraphs are gone, even if I understand why. And it's right to lose them, considering we live in a world where the attention span of readers is limited to the length of a text message.

Anyway, much as I liked the first two paragraphs, I have to admit the last two are kick-ass all by themselves. Could be the flap inside the book.

Good job, Dave. Keep it going.

By the way, I knew it was you when I first saw it in continuations. That's why I liked the first two paragraphs. Voice. I knew where it was coming from.

Dave Fragments said...

I have every intent of reusing those first two paragraphs.

The idea of a character in a bar comparing himself to the worm in a bottle of tequila is too good to throw away. The lament of "would that I were made of stone" is also too good to discard.

They'll get used this year, somehow.

Anonymous said...

Easy to work those in a touch later than earlier..

There's an ease you are developing in your work. It might be the concise engineer in you that keeps you wedded to the short stories. No worries, all in good time if decide to tackle longer pieces. Or not. That may not be your style, who knows. Seen a lot of depth of late. Being the worm could fit beautifully after the intro. Anyone who has animals knows where you are coming from in the story.

I'd love to read on.

Anonymous said...

I always prefer to think about it as rehousing your darlings rather than killing them. I'm sure you'll find a new home for those paragraphs.

Dave Fragments said...

I started the process of submitting the story.
That feels like abandoning a child in the lobby of Grand Central Station in NYC.
Or Pahrump Texas.

One of those two.