Story 22

Posted: November 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

This took a bit, but here’s the new one. A little piece of backstory for Serena.

Mistake

 

Serena held back a yawn, not intending to rest now. She was in the midst of her third all nighter in a week, and felt that she was close to her goal. Very close.

 

For the past few days, she had been hard at work on building a time machine. Of course, this came after weeks of drawing up schematics and whatnot. And after months of research into the subject.

 

She was sure she was just about ready. All she needed was to finish assembling the machine. This machine that she had devoted a lot of time and love into making. So much time and love, she hadn’t even showered in the past few days. The fact that she even remembered to eat was astounding.

 

But she felt that she was close to mastering time travel. It wasn’t that she wanted to change history or look in on some point in time. No, it was curiosity as to if she could even do it in the first place. And if she could, she imagined how highly respected she could become.

 

At this point in time, Serena had just been getting started in the science biz. The doctors at the lab had taught her quite a bit, but now? Now she got to try it solo, and she was ready. She knew she was ready to take on the world.

 

Of course, right now, nobody tended to take her seriously. She was genetically altered, for one. And secondly… Who would take a scientist seriously if she went around in leg warmers and heels all day? Or put neon pink, fluorescent green, and black in the same outfit? It seemed to be a couple years out of date. But Serena didn’t care about any of that.

 

What she cared about was results.

 

Serena finished tightening that final screw, setting down the phillips head and stepping back to admire her handiwork.

 

It looked a lot like a podium of some sort, with buttons and levers and the like scattered all over the top of it. The whole setup was a beautiful shiny chrome. And within the shiny chrome, Serena could see her own sleep deprived reflection.

 

But no matter. It was finished! And she had only to test it out. There was already a bottle of wine ready for if it did work out. And if it didn’t. Really, the only difference there was how she’d approach the bottle. If it went well, she’d charge at it and embrace it like an old friend. If poorly, she would drag the bottle into a corner and drink her sorrows away. Not that she could handle a lot of wine, though. She had always been a bit of a lightweight.

 

Hmm…take a nap now, or reward herself with one after testing?

 

Naptime could wait. She needed to see if it worked out. She had come too far only to leave the project to wait for her to wake up. Serena adjusted the large purple bow in her magnificently crimped hair, dusted off her skirt, and stepped toward the podium.

 

Her eyes scanned the buttons, and she ran her hands along the machine. Even if she hadn’t succeeded in creating a time travel device, she did manage to create something pretty on a visual level. So if nothing else, there was that small victory.

 

Deep breath.

 

Time to get this party started…

 

She pushed the main lever forward, her fingers tapping a few of the buttons. Once it was set, she pressed the “Start” button, watching and waiting.

 

Nothing.

 

Then nothing again.

 

And then a strong rumbling from the ground. Serena clung to her invention, somehow managing to keep from being knocked to the floor. Just what…

 

Why did there have to be an earthquake now?

 

And what was that roaring outside?

 

She stepped away from her machine to see what was going on, noticing a beam of purple light emanating from the very front. Curious, she followed the beam outside. And that was when she saw it.

 

There was a swirling portal just outside of her lab. Her invention had worked…or at least, it had done SOMETHING.

 

A loud roar shook her, her ears folding back a bit. And as she looked up, she saw the source of the noise. It stood at 30 feet in height and was covered with both scales and feathers. No eyes, foot-long claws…on the arms that stuck out of what seemed to be its neck. It was hard to tell if it was a neck, as the head almost seemed to be directly attached to the shoulders. It possessed four mouths, one on its face, one on its back, and one on the palm of each neck hand. A long whip-like tail extended from the base of its spine, long spines on the tip.

 

It swung its tail and took out the roof of a neighbor’s house. Oh, crap… That was where the McMillains lived. The McMillains were an elderly couple, and had already threatened to call the police over noise complaints whenever she was testing robots.

 

Of course, she had to make sure they were bulletproof, and she couldn’t really shoot anything inside of the lab. Maybe she just needed to create some kind of supreme silencer for firearms one day.

 

The monster swiped at the house with its tail again, roaring. There went the wall. And thankfully, nobody was home this time. But who knew where else it would go and who might be endangered by the creature?

 

Serena knew she had to act fast to get it back under control, but had no idea off the top of her head as to how she should round it up. Surely, she could find something in her lab to distract it or something. Maybe get it back to the portal, destroy the machine before anyone had to get involved. Yeah, maybe that was what she needed.

 

She ran back into the lab, as fast as her 3 inch heels would allow. Okay, time to look for a weapon. Or at the very least a distraction. Yes, a distraction..

 

And then it occurred to her.

 

She and her sister had been known, from time to time, to be distracted by the ever elusive red dot from a laser pointer. It wasn’t really something that Serena was proud of, but it felt like something that might come in handy…

 

She grabbed the laser pointer, rushing back outside with it and looking at the creature she seemed to have summoned through time. Unless it was a portal to an alternate dimension…either way, it needed to go back into the swirling vortex from whence it came. And she fully intended to be the one to send it there.

 

“Hey!” she called.

 

It growled in the process of gnawing on another neighbor’s car. Much to this (very much at home) neighbor’s horror. Serena cringed. So much for nobody seeing this.

 

“Taylor! What the hell is this?!” her neighbor demanded. “I know this has something to do with you!”

 

“I’ll explain later!” she called back, “Big guy! You! Thing that came outta that portal!”

 

It turned toward her and roared. At which point, she began to shine that little red dot on the side of her lab, right near the portal. She fully anticipated that it would chase the dot. She waited for it.

 

But it didn’t even seem to register that the dot was there. It was apparently blind, period.

 

Well, crap…

 

Okay, new plan, new plan…

 

Food? Food was usually an effective lure, she knew. Hm…yes, she’d have to try that. But it was all a matter of what to use as a food lure to begin with. She didn’t doubt that this thing would eat just about anything, but there were some thing with a strong enough smell to attract it.

 

Wait a second… She could easily just go for some sort of chemical with a strong smell instead and that could attract it. Given how it was snacking on Mr. Delvin’s car, it didn’t seem all that attracted to real food.

 

Turpentine.

 

That had a strong smell to it. And that stench should bring it running, no doubt. She charged back inside to grab the turpentine, laughing maniacally to herself. Yes, in spite of all of the chaos, she was laughing to herself. It was almost over. It had to be.

 

The can of turpentine in her hand, Serena got back outside. Standing near the portal, she opened it up. The force of the portal had begun to pull at her hair and skirt. Had she gotten closer, it would have just pulled her in entirely and left the neighbor and his car fully at the mercy of this creature. Prior to it wrecking the city, of course.

 

She set the can just far enough away from the portal that it wouldn’t be sucked in, but still where the contents of the can could be detected by whatever sense of smell the monster had.

 

She called out to it again, and it charged at her and the turpentine can. She dove to the side after it caught up.

 

Much to her disgust, it picked up the paint thinner and chugged it like a frat boy. As it was distracted with that, she ran to her neighbor.

 

“Mind if I borrow this?” she asked, pointing to what was left of the car.

 

Its roof was gone and the trunk demolished. But its engine and steering setup? Still functional.

 

“What do you plan to do, you psycho bitch?” he demanded.

 

“You’ll see,” she said.

 

He sighed and handed off the keys, and she started up the vehicle.

 

Serena had never driven before, but she had no destination. She had a target, and as long as she could hit them, she was golden.

 

Her foot slammed onto the gas pedal as she sped toward the creature.

 

It turned just in time for her to ram it with what was left of the car. Post-ram, she dove out of the vehicle and rolled away.

 

The monster had grabbed the car again and started finishing what it started. But in the process, it stepped back a few feet. Just enough for the force of the portal to start pulling it in.

 

The second the creature reentered the portal, Serena rushed inside to dismantle her time machine as quickly as possible. It took a tiny bit of C4, but she did it.
As for the neighbors, Serena had worked something out to avoid lawsuits. And that was that she would help any younger, school-age children with homework. All to avoid a lawsuit or anything of that nature.

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