Archive for January 28th, 2012

28th January
written by amber

Coming Out

‘Neil? Are you there Neil?’ The voice was persistent and tinged with anxiety. ‘Are you in there?’

The knocking grew louder and Neil knew he had to respond, somehow. He shuffled to the door and leaned against it. ‘Yeah, I’m in here, Samantha. Go away.’

‘Who is this? You don’t sound like Neil. I’m going to get the manager.’

He listened to her departing steps with despair. She’d get the building manager and they’d come and open the door, then it would be over for him. Halfway through his transformation was as far as he was going to get.

He should have known that leaving a message on Samantha’s phone telling her that he’d decided to take a week off work ‘for personal reasons’ wasn’t going to cut it. The way he’d been acting at the lab ever since they’d made him discontinue his experiment had drawn too much attention.

Okay, he wasn’t making the progress they’d wanted in splicing cattle genes into insects to create the steak-tasting easily-grown proteins they expected, but he hadn’t been wasting their time when he worked it the other way, putting insect genes into larger animals. That was supposed to be a step toward the desired outcome.

Once he had the moth-cow, he felt, the cow-moth would follow. And if he worked late some nights on a frivolous side project, perhaps under the influence of too much stimulant, well – breakthroughs often came that way. So what if his breakthrough was so far off the map as to be unthinkable to lesser people. He had liked it.

And he had really been looking forward to coming out as a butterfly.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.

I’d like to acknowledge Trevor Hampel who posts first lines on his blog This line is from him.