broken test tube crushed under her foot. Karen looked at the floor
and the contents of the tube seemed to have vanished. It lay there
broken with its stopper still wedged into the top of what remained
whole. She squinted her eyes; she could not believe what she was
seeing. She squatted to the ground to examine the shards. There
was nothing left. There was no one around that she could tell,
and this was a certain relief. She began to clean up her mess.
"I can't not tell anyone about this," she thought to
herself. "Who would believe me, anyway? Oh yeah, I can see
it now. It just vanished, right in front of my eyes." She
was mocking herself as if really telling someone.
she heard the lab door open. It was Professor Shockley, her mentor.
afternoon, Karen. How are you?" he asked.
scrambled to put her mess out of sight.
the sample that Karen thought had vanished, had not. Not really...
It had scurried quite quickly across the floor in all directions,
in pieces. One of these fragments had made its way to the doorknob.
The same doorknob Professor Shockley had just placed his hand
on. Now Professor Shockley is ordinarily not an ordinary fellow.
He's actually quite... well, let's say "odd". When he
walked into the lab the "whatever it was in the vile"
attached itself to his hand. He sort of scratched at his hand
but did not notice the foreign body.
he said with a suspicious tone to his voice, "you look as
though you ate a mouse."
Professor," she replied with a sort of sigh, "I broke
one of your test tubes."
dear," he replied. "What a tragic loss for glassmakers
all over the world." He laughed a deep bellowing laugh. "Don't
worry, my dear, I have enough of those samples in the storage
room. I think I'm actually on the verge of a breakthrough. It
was nothing toxic, just a sort of truth serum I've been working
on. I call it that in the most affectionate manner."
I'm sorry nonetheless." Karen was scratching her leg as she
going to go catch a bite to eat, and I'll be back." Shockley
said. "Would you like me to pick up something for you?"
thanks, I'm going to finish up here then go to my next class."
dokee." he said, and he left the room.
few minutes later, Karen's friend Matthew poked his head in the
Karen, can I come in and bug you?"
just don't touch anything. I'm sort of cleaning up a little mess
he responded. "Hey, did you dye your hair or something?"
nothing, it's probably just the lighting in here," he answered.
"You gonna be done soon?"
sighed. "Well, if you help me put some of these things away,
without actually getting into any trouble, I guess I can get out
of here quicker."
he said spiritedly, whilst scratching at his leg. "Hey, let's
go get some Chinese before your next class."
not really hungry, Matt, but I'll go with you. I'll have a dish
of fruit or something."
few hours later, Professor Shockley came back into the lab and
began fussing around with his test tubes.
came in shortly after.
Shockley asked. "Do I look fat in these pants to you?"
face twisted slightly. "Excuse me, sir?"
he said, "my shirt seems a little tight, and so do my pants,
actually." He was fussing with his clothes as he spoke, pulling
at his pant legs and sleeves.
you ate too much for dinner. You know how salty some foods can
was preoccupied with the sleeves of her own sweat-jacket at the
moment. She kept pulling them down as if they were too short.
it's really strange. I guess I shrunk my jacket and just didn't
notice until now." Her face continued to look more and more
Karen, I'm almost done for the night, finally. I just wanted to
check on a few things before I went home. You can get out of here
if you want to."
I'm gonna catch up with my friend Matthew. He said he'd wait at
the cafe for me. Have a good night."
walked from the campus over to the "Howling Moon".
was sitting at a booth in the corner. He was deeply engrossed
in a magazine.
quietly slinked her way over to the booth. "Boo!" she
jumped. "God, Karen, are you trying to see if I actually
have a heart ,or what?
was just standing there staring at him, and staring, and staring.
he finally exclaimed.
she paused, "that is just the worst five o'clock shadow I
have ever seen on you, possibly in my whole entire life. I didn't
even know you could grow facial hair."
rubbed his hand over his chin and face. "Hmmm," he said
with a bit of perplexion in his voice. His left eyebrow twitched
upwards. "Must have been somebody, I mean something I ate."
ha ha," the darkness oozing from her voice. She was still
fussing with her sleeves.
two of them had a drink, talked about classes and decided to go
back to their respective domiciles for the evening.
following morning, Karen reported to the lab at 8am. She had woken
up late, so she barely had time to comb her unusually thick hair
or brush her teeth.
Shockley strolled in a few moments after her.
Karen saw him, she about dropped her lower lip, which, in fact,
didn't look quite right to begin with, onto her lap. Anyway, Karen
was staring at the professor in amazement. She would swear, if
she didn't know any better, that the professor's "cup size"
Are you feeling alright?"
he replied with a slight squeak in his voice. "Actually,
I'm feeling quite robust today. I don't know why, really, I just
do. I still feel like I'm outgrowing these clothes, though.
the professor walked by Karen, she could have sworn she smelled
a hint of Jasmine.
the professor was looking oddly at his student. "Karen, did
you do something to your hair?" is what he said out loud,
but what he was really thinking was, "What didn't you do
to your hair?"
rolled her eyes; a slight screeching sound came from her throat.
"Oh, excuse me," she said. "My hair?" she
it looks very... full." he replied cautiously.
was grabbing at her foot; it was cramping very badly. She tore
off both of her shoes. After a minute it started to relax. When
she tried to put her shoes back on, they wouldn't fit. "Well,
this is just too weird. I feel like somebody is either playing
a trick on me and stealing my clothes and replacing them with
smaller ones, or I drank some Alice in Wonderland grow me potion,"
howling sound came from down the hallway.
was that?!" Karen exclaimed.
me," replied the professor.
that moment, Matthew came bopping in the doorway.
morning!" he said cheerily.
Shockley and Karen just stared at him, still wondering what that
howling sound was.
you hear that, Matt?" asked Karen.
c'mon, didn't you hear that howling sound from down the hallway?"
said Karen insistently.
don't know, I was humming to myself, couldn't really hear anything
above that," he replied, still looking quite gleeful.
walked over to Karen and whispered into her ear. "Have you
noticed something different about Shockley?" Looks like he
should be wearing a bra."
it's really weird. He thinks he's gained weight all of the sudden."
screech came from Karen's lungs. "Excuse me."
the hell was that?" Matthew jumped back, a little startled
by the sound.
guess it was a hiccup," Karen replied, shrugging her shoulders
and raising her eyebrows.
hiccup. Sounded like a chimpanzee to me!"
I don't know what's going on, but ever since I dropped that test
tube yesterday, weird things have been happening, I mean, really
exactly do you mean?" he asked as he scratched the hair that
had been continually growing on his face, his arms, and... his
I thought someone was playing a trick on me, but..." Suddenly
she felt this wrenching pain in her back and fell to the floor.
Matthew's eyes were about to bulge from his head just watching
what was happening, when he too doubled over in pain.
Shockley came out of the office he had momentarily stepped into
and saw the two of them on the floor. It was horrifying. Karen
was almost unrecognizable; her arms had grown to the length of
her legs, hair seemed to sprout all over her body, and she had
grown... a tail!
eyes looked up at the Professor, almost pleading for help. She
looked like something familiar to the doctor, something he had
seen before. He was trying to place it. Then he realized it was
from a horror movie, one that if he remembered correctly had given
Karen nightmares for quite some time. She looked just like...
the same time this was happening to Karen, Matthew's body also
went through a metamorphosis. He was completely covered in dark
hair, face, chest and all. The nails on his fingers had become
long, very long, and gnarly. His canines were immense. He looked...
like a werewolf.
professor was in disbelief; he realized that the contents of that
test tube must be the cause of this. "My God, what have I
created? What have I done?" he said aloud.
eyes were fading; he looked at the doctor inquisitively, but could
not speak. Only snarls and growls came from his throat.
professor began to explain his research. He knelt down next to
was trying to develop a serum for the psychology department. It
was supposed to help people deal with their innermost fears, to
bring it out from their subconscious into the front of their minds
and thoughts so they could confront them. This was never supposed
to happen. The two of you have become... what you fear the most!"
His face was pale and horror stricken.
at that moment Karen pointed to a mirror across the room and screeched.
professor walked towards the mirror. He stood in front of it and
horrible scream came from the professor. He too had become his
looked exactly like his wife.