Saturday, April 23, 2011

Prompt #16: Women are like a different species or something.

            “It is a pleasure to have you visit us, Dr. Rufus,” though her sour face told another story.
            The short man pushed his glasses up his long, thin nose. His magnified eyes reminded her of the occasional bug that wandered in. Her lip curled in disgust. He tapped the clipboard in his hand, every bump driving a steel pick into her brain. “Unfortunately, I am not here for a purely social visit. I hope to enjoy myself none the less.”
            “Then let’s get started,” she spun, placing all her weight on her tall, fragile heel, not missing a step.
            Every word uttered out of her mouth from then on was emphasized by the scratch of pen against paper. She clenched her jaw, clicking forward, pointing out various windows behind which women scientists were hard at work. His questions fell on deaf ears; her voice just growing louder if he persisted.
            “The tour is over, doctor,” and a genuine smile sprouted on her face. “Let me lead you out.”
            He jabbed his pen at the door behind her, “You haven’t shown me what’s behind there.”
            She remained silent.
            “I must inspect every bit of the facility or else we may have to staunch your funds.”
            A quick glance over her shoulder made the decision for her. An urge to giggle built up in her throat but she shoved it down, her face didn’t even twitch. “This way,” and she disappeared through the pink door.
            The sanitized hall smelled faintly of lavender perfume. Her nostrils widened, capturing as much of the scent as possible. His nose wrinkled up and he glanced to the sides. She watched his reaction as he surveyed the pink and purple walls, accented so beautifully with yellow. A frown crawled over his face, as he examined the innocent eyes of a kitten gnawing on a ball of yarn. More scribbling followed. She started to hum.
            A twist in the corridor left them in the main observation room. The window was covered by a shade that matched the color scheme. Two TVs set up in the corner played silent chick flicks. The conference table in the middle was overlaid by a lace tablecloth.
            The doctor’s cheeks puffed out, a red flush painted over them. His glasses slipped right to the end of his nose and he didn’t bother to push them up. “Just what exactly are you researching in here, Dr. Stein?”
            Her eyes turned sharp, “We are studying how we can increase the slowly decreasing female population.”
            His eyes bugged out, “You’re wasting our money on that? When you’re supposed to be finding cures to world hunger and stripped soil and overpopulation?”
            “I assure you that we are working toward all of those goals. However, we believe that this is a problem that deems attention,” her words were soft, laced with poison.
            “We? Who is we? You and all these girls passing off as research specialists? Don’t think I haven’t noticed that you don’t have one, not one, man working here.” He swept his hand through the air, indicating the whole building.
            “If you would take a moment to look at our research, I assure you, your opinion will change,” she attempted to interlie a soothing tone into her voice.
            “It’s not just my opinion. It’s fact. There are better things to be working on, but I’ll take a look. Just so I know exactly what to say to the board.”
            “After you,” she held open the door to the lab. He stepped through, his eyebrows pushed together. He was several feet in, when she slammed the door, twisting the lock.
            It took a few seconds for him to realize, then the banging started. “Stein, let me out.”
            “I’m just simply showing you my research, doctor,” she said, punching a stream of numbers into the keypad attached to the wall. “Relax.”
            “Let me out this instance.”
            She pulled up the shade, giving view to a room filled with flowers. Green abounded while blue and red and orange and yellow and white blossoms poked their heads through the foliage.
            Dr. Rufus’s face appeared, “Let me the hell out of here.”
            “I assure you I will. All in good time.”
            His face grew contorted, and he started to shout again, saliva stretching with his lips. He hadn’t managed a complete sentence when a confused look passed over him. She watched closely as the muscles in his face relaxed, his lips stretching into a dopey smile. His body tumbled in a heap on the ground; bones and muscles no longer working to support him.
            Her expression remained shapeless as she watched his body being dragged back by a rose vine. Her eyes darted to a new place every second, studying as many of the plants’ movements and reactions as she could before the gas clouded the room.
            She opened a drawer, extracting a thick notebook. Flipping it to an empty page, she seated herself at the table. Her thumb clicked down, pushing the pen point out. It touched down on the first line of the paper and took off.
            The scratching still filled the room when the second scientist stepped in. She didn’t say a word until Dr. Stein glanced up. “How did the inspection go?”
            “All right.”
            “When did he say we were going to get our results?”
            “Why don’t you ask her yourself?” Dr. Stein nodded at the door.
            The second woman stared at the door then she smiled, then she giggled, then she laughed. “You didn’t.”
            “Ah, but I did.”
            “Did it work?”
            A frown line appeared between the doctor’s eye brows. “I don’t know.”
            “You mean you haven’t checked?”
            Dr. Stein shook her head. “You want to peek in there?”
            Her only answer was to fly to the lab door and jerk it open. She stuck her head in, quickly pulled it out. She twisted the handle, locking it back. A disgusted look took up residence on her face.
            “Did it not work?” Dr Stein’s voice was worried, anxious.
            “Oh, it worked all right. But he couldn’t have made an uglier girl.”


  1. LOL. This was a really good story! (;

    But I'm wondering about the sentence "Let me the hell out of here." I don't know, it just sounds kind of awkward.

  2. Ha! That's what he gets for being so condescending.

    One typo - you mean peek instead of peak.

    Often, I find it hard to read fiction on screen, but I always become wrapped up in your stories.

  3. Thank you for the typo alert. -runs off in shame to fix it before anyone else notices-