Situation Normal. Atmosphere Breathable. Brainstem Injected. Dialogue Engaged.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Ultraviolet Incubator Part One

When my father was alive, he conducted secret experiments for the government. Growing up, I never really knew much about his line of work. I didn't become interested until he disappeared one day. I was 14 years old, and at the time, my father was just a distant bespectacled man who spent the weekends at home secluded in his study scribbling on a chalkboard. Occasionally he'd pat me on the head or mutter a succinct "Excellent" while feigning interest in the straight A's on my report card.

During the weekdays, I never saw him. After a few years of asking Mom where he was, I learned to stop asking. "Busy with work, honey. Daddy does important scientific work that takes lots of time." I grew accustomed to my father's perpetual weeklong absences, just as I got used his distracted inattentive presence on the weekends.

One weekend he didn't come home. My mother was tightlipped about this change in pattern. All weekend long she sat expressionless watching the garden window, clutching a telegram in her lap. It wasn't until years after she died that I found that telegram.

"Dear Regina Glenn,

We regret to inform you that your husband, Elmer Glenn, died on August 2nd, 1977, while under the employ of the United States National Defense Research Unit. Due to the sensitive nature of his work, we are unable to provide the details of his death. Please know that Elmer gave his life serving his country and that his sacrifice honors the freedom enjoyed by all citizens of the United States Of America.

Elmer was a gifted scientist. He was admired and respected by his peers at the USNDU, and his contributions will be sorely missed.

Please accept our sincere condolences. Financial arrangements will be made to secure the future of you and your son, Bernard.

Robert Muller
Vice President Of Special Projects Unit
USNDU Virginia"

The Monday following that weekend, men wearing expensive suits, holstered guns, and dark sunglasses visited the house. One whispered quietly with my mother while the others rifled through my father's study. They emptied file cabinets, bagged stray looseleaf paper, and inspected knicknacks decorating his desk. They even held napkins up to the light to look for indentations or stains. I'm not sure which. I spied on this from my bedroom down the hallway.

When they left, I asked Mom where the quiet men took Dad's things. "Hush honey, not now."

As the offspring of an inquisitive scientific genius, it was a natural progression for me to investigate the matter myself. As a teenager, it was a natural progression for me to poke around every nook and cranny in Dad's study to satiate my curiosity about the silent scribbling and muttering pondering that he had engaged in for so many weekends while I grew up. I also wondered if the polite ransackers had left behind something important.

It didn't take long for me to find the folded sheet slipped underneath the old daguerrotype photograph of my great-grandmother. I quickly unfolded it and read the brief scribbled note.

"Incubaspora Leprose 3 ft. at Cardinal"

Mother was an amateur botanist. Since I knew all the local fauna, I realized "Cardinal" must refer to a plant in the garden outside. I scrambled out there, hunched down, and began to dig. It didn't take me long to find the strange speckled egg wrapped in the old flag.

I'll finish this later. I'm leaving work now. I'll clickety clack up the next bit late in the afternoon tomorrow. Hopefully.
5:15 PM - Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm

12 Comments:

July 19, 2005 5:23 PM, Blogger Stace said...

I HATE IT WHEN YOU DO THAT, leave me hanging. I'm a 1st on your comments that NEVER happens. I feel special

 
July 19, 2005 7:31 PM, Blogger biased opinion said...

Yeah.. me too

 
July 19, 2005 7:41 PM, Blogger The Everglades said...

Now I need to know what the egg really is, how the mother being a botanist fits into the overall scheme, and the truth behind the fathers death. I hope we get these answers soon because I'm intrigued.

Blake

 
July 19, 2005 8:14 PM, Blogger hijacked frequencies said...

ARGHHHH!!!! I MUST know about the egg!

:::tapping fingers waiting impatiently::::

 
July 19, 2005 10:21 PM, Blogger Ectoplasm said...

What!? I just settled down to your blog with some popcorn and a joint and you do this?

 
July 20, 2005 2:41 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

You've already admitted to a writing method that suggests as of this moment, in all likelihood, the end of the story has yet to be conceived.

And that is goddamn awesome to contemplate.

 
July 20, 2005 7:35 AM, Blogger Mishka said...

Wow, you sucked me right in....can't wait to see more.

 
July 20, 2005 9:35 AM, Blogger Bottle Rocket Fire Alarm said...

Thanks and/or sorry, everyone.

Latigo, you got me. I still have no idea what happens next. I'll figure it out when the blank screen sings its siren's song.

 
July 20, 2005 11:32 AM, Blogger Dave Morris said...

Must you, Steve? MUST YOU?

Work can WAIT, my friend. I, on the other hand, cannot.

Fucking hell.

 
July 20, 2005 12:02 PM, Blogger Kerouaced said...

Damn you for leaving us with nothing but a dirty egg wrapped in an old flag...revenge will be swift if we don't have the next installment soon!

 
July 20, 2005 1:10 PM, Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I will be patient, "Bernard."

 
July 20, 2005 2:11 PM, Blogger Anonysis said...

perhaps you should write the screenplay as you punch out this stuff, so one day i can see this stuff on the BIG screen.

 

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