Hello everyone! As part of Short Story Saturday, I have posted another short story, this one entitled The Scientist. Please enjoy. Note that I apologize for missing last week and I regret to say that updates will probably be a bit more sporadic than before. I am currently working on a novel. I will try and update as much as possible but between work and the novel, I may not have time to write a short story and when I do, the story will likely be very short. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
A beaker exploded. Shards of glass flew from the table, narrowly missing him, ricocheting off the walls. A cacophony of noises reverberated throughout the room. The ground shook with such ferocity that it was difficult for the scientist to maintain his balance. The smell of copper wafted in the air.
Another attempt, another experiment, another failure. Whatever relief the man felt over not being penetrated by pieces of glass was quickly supplanted by disappointment.
A fellow scientist dashed into the room, breathing heavily in a desperate attempt to regain his breath. “Are you all right?” he gasped.
“Nothing hurt here but my pride.”
His friend gazed upon the crimson walls. “Is that not your-”.
The scientist cut him off. “That is not my blood. It is merely the remnants of another unsuccessful scientific endeavor.”
“Oh, cheer up, my friend,” his companion said, his breathing gradually returning to normal. “Think of it not as a failure but finding yet another way it won’t work.” He patted the scientist on the shoulder and mustered a halfhearted smile.
The scientist looked out a nearby window. “Sometimes I just feel like what we’re trying to do is impossible.”
His friend glowered. “Are you referring to that conversation we overheard in the city? Do not listen to them. They are superstitious fools that believe any scientific endeavor defies the will of some ‘god’. It is absurd.”
“Some of them did not object due to any religious trepidation. They just believed what we are doing cannot be done. They doubt the validity of our work. I have even talked to some in our field who believe what we are doing is ludicrous.”
“Those so-called members you speak of are nothing more than glorified men of the cloth. Of course, they say it cannot be done, their ‘god’ will not allow them to think otherwise. Do not let these deniers of science fill your head with nonsense and cause you to doubt.”
The scientist was silent as he swept the room.
“I see you are still unsure,” his friend said. “Keep this in mind. The scientific community around the world recognize it as fact. Experts in Greece, Italy, India, Egypt, the Orient, even France and Germany agree. Only a small lunatic fringe of mostly religious fanatics think otherwise, though they may as well be cave dwellers banging bones together and shouting at the sun.”
“Is there any evidence that it is truly a possibility, though?”
“There is an overwhelming amount of evidence unless you wish to dismiss the preponderance of reports and models where it has been documented and recorded as fact.”
“It is not quite definitive proof, though, is it?”
“Only if you consider years of research coming up with the same conclusion unreliable.” His friend paused for a moment before continuing. “If nothing else, just remember, if science has taught us nothing else, it is a tool used to vanquish the impossible.
The scientist sighed. “I suppose you are right. Perhaps I am just letting my emotions get the better of me.”
“It’s understandable. We are only human, after all, at least for now.”
The scientist nodded, adjusted his brown woolen cloth robe, took a quick glance in his book of alchemical symbols, and began cleaning the sandstone walls. “I’m glad we had this talk. To think, for a moment there, I doubted transmutation. Of course one day we will be able to turn lead into gold.”
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