"Petar! Don't!" said the girl in the coat in the corner of the back of the lab on the second floor of the building sitting atop a mass grave of dinosaurs and other fossils. She ran over and knocked the beaker out of his hand, out of his lips and out the window.
"Te-crash," whispered the beaker as it landed on the green on the head of the Head of the English department on his way to fetch his lunch. A lunch in the crisper of the fridge of the Science department who were all in class. A lunch with someone else's name on it. Yesterday it was Carol's. The day before it was Stephen's. Today it might be David's. David likes to pack curry for Wednesdays and today, like every other week, was that day the is called Wednesday.
The good news for David, of getting a transfer to a school on the other side of town in a state across the border, was bad news for the Head of the English department. A seventh edition printing volume on ethics and behaviour, shredded up to a fine churl, to a finer grain than most sawdust, sitting in the stew of cumin and coconut. The joke was that nobody in the school grounds read it. But it was a clean joke, still wrapped in its plastic condom cocoon.
The Head of the English department walks with an upper chest, out toward the sun, proud of smashing a debate on the loose morals and efficacy of a bicameral system against his twin in the Law department. Today was a win and a win today tasted like a nice microwave-exploded dish of yellow and saffron indeed.
The two in the lab on the second floor in the first in the building by the stagnant lake sat around playing cards with the Kell-Cellano system. Each sample taken from the morgue in the basement in the annexe by the campus furnace. The game is long. The odds are short. The windows are open and the fumes creep out.
"Trumps!" says Not Petar, "And that closes that." (Her name is actually Nettles, but Not Petar is easier for Petar to remember since she's the only person he talks to and she doesn't have any other friends of her own. And she also doesn't seem to live outside the lab. They have bunks in the closet for such tenured assistants.)
"You're wrong," says Petar, who knocks the cards out of the hands of the girl who handed him a loss, simply and elegantly as she was 5'7" and down with Pleurisy. Her machine gun cough-laugh reaction quickly captured on a Petri dish that is Petar's face.
"Don't!" says Petar, too late to the girl in the coat looking down from the window of the second floor who looks further and further away before thud.
Written on Sunday, 20 October 2013