Rogue Science – short story

Character Sketch  Got an A in my Fictional Writer Workshop! Just needed a bit more dialogue. Let me know what you think!

Dodging the drones, Cynara Trevino made her way to the four-story science building. The foggy dawn made it easy to travel as it was when things were settling down or beginning to stir. She concealed herself among the overgrown foliage keeping all senses activated. Listening and searching for anything that moved. She was startled by small movement; a gray micro cat was rubbing itself across her feet. She reached down to pet the peculiar animal. She noticed that his fur hid the extra paws, but his playful nature made her smile. It sniffed the air and started towards whatever it smelled. She watched as it slinked off towards an abandoned building.

She eased towards the entrance ducking behind statues and boulders along the way.  At the door, she began to pick the lock, but the door opened revealing her brother, Kevin. Startled, he asked what she was doing there. She told him she had planned for weeks on how to get the medication for their sister and that she knew where they kept the antidotes. He didn’t like it but knew their sister’s life was hanging in the balance and Cynara would not give up.

She hid in the compartment of his janitor cart and proceeded to wheel her through the corridor towards the pharmacy. The putrid smells of blood, alcohol, urine and feces seeped through the antiseptics, but the smell of fear was the strongest. Buzzing fluorescent lights, sliding doors, and the cart’s wheels echoed through the halls. She strained to listen for any signs of dangers.

Kevin stopped at the janitorial closet, pressed the passcode, and entered. Once in, he started to gripe at Cynara, but she paid no mind except to tell him thanks. She found a lab coat and proceeded out of the closet. Kevin tried to stop her but knew better and handed her his key card to the dispensary. A quick peek through the cracked door told her that the hall was clear. Closing the door behind her she edged towards the pharmacy in hopes she would not be recognized. The walls were grey and were scraped in places from the animal’s claws and beds that have bumped into them. They were lined with photographs of doctors, faculty, and college students that had graduated. In a nearby room she could hear moans and wails of agony from mutated animals. The door slid open and a bed was being pushed through. A pseudo human laid strapped atop it. His screams muffled by a mask that prevented him from spitting and biting. The doctors were trying to inject sedation into the fighting being. She fought the urge to free him. She must to get to those meds.

While her heart broke for these ill-treated beings she also needed to save her sister. As she rounded a corner she bumped into her best friend, Michelle. She didn’t realize she was still here as she thought she was evacuated with the rest of the crew. They grew up together which meant they did everything together. Even went to the same college. Even though they were considered nerds, Michelle was the popular one of the two. Red hair, green eyes, and cherry lips won the guys over Cynara’s dark brown hair, steel blue eyes, and tomboyish flare.

“Cynara what are you doing here? You’re going to get yourself killed.”

She pulled her into an empty room and explained the situation.

“But there are guards everywhere. How are you going to get to the pharmacy without someone recognizing you?

Cynara gave her a ‘will you help me?’ look.

“Oh, no, no, no! I can’t be a part of this. I’ve been working too hard trying to create an antidote behind their backs. I can’t get caught with you.”

“But Eva needs those cell blockers until you do though. I understand your position, at the same time, I’m trying to keep my sister alive. Her blood cells have mutated faster than before, and I’ve ran out of everything that I could possibly give her. Kevin gave me his key pass. Help me get to the pharmacy and I’ll do the rest, please.”

Michelle agreed to help and lead the way. Cynara followed behind while keeping her eyes averted as to not gain attention. They reached the door to the pharmacy and hugged goodbye. Cynara plugged the key card and rushed in closing the door behind her. Leaning against the door relieved she let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding. The room was stuffy with an undertone of bleach. Glancing around, there were two researchers across the room and thankfully they took no notice of her. She began to look for the potions that would inevitably save her dying sister.

Moments later, the door burst open and guards poured in, “THERE SHE IS, ARREST HER”.

Cynara tried to run only to be caught and put in handcuffs that tore her flesh. While the guards grappled with her she saw Kevin slink in unseen. She felt a little relief knowing that their sister might live. She continued to struggle to keep their attention. Just as the guards swept her out, Michelle passed by. They quickly exchanged glances. And then she was gone.

She was taken through an unknown area of the building. The dim lights made it difficult to see. They came upon rusting double doors. When they were opened she was hit with the foulest air. Her lungs stung with each breath. Decaying bodies permeated the humid air as rats scurried along the walls and there was water dripping from the ceiling. Their footsteps echoed on the cement floor as the guards walked her to another set of double doors. Growls and guttural sounds were emanating from behind various metal doors along the hall. Sounds that she could never unhear. Things behind those doors that she can’t unsee.

As the guards open one of the doors filled with cages of neglected animals those sounds became louder. Intrusive. The room felt claustrophobic with the same smells as the corridor. Lit only by a single bulb that look like it was going out soon. They put her in a cell next to a human who was their test subject. He was cowered in the corner of his cell. Upon closer examination she noticed he had animal looking eyes as they had slits like a cat and golden fur growing in places where his own hair would be. Thoughts of Eva dying and Kevin getting those meds made Cynara even more anxious.

She found out that his name was Jim and that he had been one of the students who applied for the medical trials. He thought he was testing a new medication to stabilize his diabetes. She apologized that he was misinformed and that once she realized what her colleagues were doing she tried to put a stop to it only to be expelled. She told him about her sister. That she was bitten by one of the infected animals and passed on the infection to her sister which in turn makes her DNA mutate into whatever the animal was.

It seemed like ages as she set there locked up and unable to do anything.

Someone was unlocking the door. She was surprised to see Michelle. As she unlocked Cynara’s cell she told her that Kevin was waiting out in the hall with his cart and will take her to an exit. She answered the unasked question that he was able to get the meds. They met Kevin at the end of the hall. She climbed inside his cart once again and he wheeled it towards the exit where Cynara had entered. They were able to escape the security checks.

Dawn has since passed into dusk and it was only a matter of time before the creatures stirred. Making sure her knives were accessible she proceeded towards home. Security wasn’t going to follow her into the unknown. Even armed.

Hunkered down behind a boulder she listened for things she couldn’t see. The rustling leaves alarmed all her senses. She felt something coming towards her. Whether it slithered, crawled, or walk she could not tell. A low rumble sounded behind her. The hair on her neck stood and goosebumps formed on her sweating skin. Slowly she turned and was face-to-face with eyes that seem to glow red and bared teeth. Time seemed to stand still as she tried to draw her knives. She knew not to scream as it would garner attention from other creatures of the night.

Without warning, something pounced on top of the creature and they rolled away. All she had time to see was a blur of yellow. The fighting caught the attention of other creatures. She darted out into the moonless night and ran as stealthily as she could home. The sounds of animalistic fighting reverberated through the dark behind her. She did not stop until she reached the entrance of her family’s living quarters.

The door sprung open and her father stood there relieved, “Mija, I heard you had gotten caught. Eva isn’t doing good. Please tell me you have the medication.”

“I do, papá.”

Flickering candles lit the small two room apartment. They rushed to Eva’s beside. Cynara tried not to gag on the smell of body odor and sickness. The humidity made it worse. She set a candle on the bedside table. Eva’s breathing was fast and short. Her heart looked as though it was trying to escape her chest. Her skin was slick with sweat. Cynara knew it was her sister’s body trying to change. She readied the needle full of the medication and administered it straight to the main vein of her arm. They watched as her breathing and heart rate stabilized.

Moments later, a knock on the door startled her.

Her father grabbed her arm, “Cyn, don’t answer.”

“Cynara, it’s Michelle, please hurry, let us in.”

Cynara opened the door. Michelle, Jim, and Kevin stood in the shadows. Jim was leaning heavily onto Kevin. Without stronger light she was unable to access him. She waved them in and locked the door.

Michelle handed her a first aid kit, “Do you mind if Jim stays here? There is medication in there for him and Eva. His body can heal the wounds.”

Cynara didn’t know how to react. What she wanted to say was ‘no’ but looking at Jim and how he protected her made her heart sink, “Yeah, he can stay. Thank you for the meds.”

Kevin laid Jim onto a couch and handed him a duffle bag.

Michelle asked how Eva was doing then said, “Cynara, I think I’ve found a way to obliterate the Science of Today soiree once and for all, but I’m going to need your help. Kevin and I are going back to the building. Let us know soon.”

They all hugged goodbye and left. Her best friend and her brother made their way back to the science building.

That evening, as Cynara sat by her sister who was regaining consciousness, she thought about how she was going to help Michelle defeat the Science of Today INC. It was as if it had been the signal she waited for, Cynara Trevino tightened her hoodie, sheathed her knives, and slinked back to the four-story warzone.

 

Photo by Daniel Frank from Pexels

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A Mother’s Desire

I woke reciting a poem for my mother one morning and I thought I’d share.

Her hair red as fire.
Her skin snow white.
Her one true desire.
Was raising her kids right.
But what she didn’t know,
Was what life was going to throw.

Her first will’ve troubles of the heart.
Her second would be a son
Her third would quietly hurt.
And her baby would be in prison.

But through these hard times
A loving mother she remained
And through these lifes crimes
Her true desire still unchanged.

No Fear

Scared to write your story? Good. Use that fear. Sprinkle it on your toast and eat it for breakfast. It’s time. Your characters are getting impatient and your story needs you. It picked you. You have got this. Go write.

Character Sketch

Cynara Trevino

 

1) Physical description:

She is 28 years old scientist with long hair that is deep brown with honey highlights throughout. She keeps it in a low ponytail. Her skin is warm golden-brown. Her eyes are steel blue with speckles of green. She is athletically built and of average height. She dresses in fitted hoodies, cargo pants tucked into her black combat boots, and wears hunting knives strapped to her wrists, ankles, and belt loops safely sheathed.

2) Personality:

She is caring, brave, and smart. Her strong-willed personality let’s her get things done. Her willful determination is key to pursuing her goals of saving her sister. As an introvert, she’s a great listener. Her family are the only ones she’d rather be with. She does not have many friends. She does the right thing and is helpful to the people around her. As a scientist she is detailed oriented and pays attention the quality of her work.

3) Family History:

From an ordinary family. Her father, Ian, is a master gardener who immigrated from Mexico and her mother, Clare, an American government official who was forced to evacuate without her family. She has a brother, Kevin, and a sister, Eva. Kevin manages the cleaning of the science building and Eva was a high schooler who hadn’t had a chance to graduate before the pandemic who was also attacked by a throwaway and caught the Bloodmera disease.

 

4) Personal Conflicts:

She was relieved of her duties as a licensed scientist at the Science of Today INC because she opposed their ideas of mixing human and other species DNA. She is not allowed to converse with anyone in the building. She is not allowed to enter the building under any circumstances. She needs meds that Science of Today pharmaceuticals keeps locked up in a vault. She must break in and get those meds for Eva or she’ll die.

Character Sketch Question’s:

Q: Do you have any tattoo’s?

Q: Do you have a religion? If so, what is it? If not, why?

Q: Since the pandemic, how does your family live? Apartment? House?

Q: Do you celebrate both American and Mexican cultures? Holiday’s?

Q: Do you have a love interest?

The main attribute that will be used in the context of the story will be her personality. She is goal and detail oriented with a side of stubbornness. Being able to outwit monsters to slip into a highly guarded building in order to snatch medication for her dying sister, she must be brave and courageous in risking her life for Eva. Her bravery could get her in trouble or help achieve her goal. The few friends she has understands her and who she is. She may be a wallflower, but she will fight for her family at any cost.

She’s focused. She analyzes everything; people, animals, and even the weather. Since all

communications and cell towers have been block there isn’t a way to contact her mother. But not a day goes by that her family doesn’t think of her. There are only pictures of what once was. She is protective of her loved ones therefore does not let them out of her sight except for Kevin who she has to let go because of the help she needs to get through the building.

Writing Advice:

  • YES, you can finish your current wip
  • No, it is not the only story in you
  • YES, it is going to be okay

It is scary, anxiety ridden, frustratingly stressful when you finish any manuscript and you wonder if you could ever write another book, story, script, or poem.

You can, and you will, I promise!

*All the things I tell myself.

 

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Another WIP- CC is welcome

The silence woke her. The ship was never silent. The crew were always walking to and fro. The Captain’s orders bellowed through the bunkhouse. Jane’s parrot’s soft coos were often soothing. She knew something was terribly wrong. All but the creaking of the wooden ship and the water splashing on the deck were all that remained. She tried to calm her beating heart for she knew something was aboard that should not be. Damp and cold, she made her way to the top of the stairs that led to the deck. She saw nothing looking through that square holes of the trap door. A sudden shadow crossed the moonlight. She stepped back down to the bottom of the stairs scared to death. What was up there? Who was up there? And why were there no crewmembers and where is her captain? Something stopped at the top of the steps.

“I saved you for last, poppet. Come on up.”

The voice sounded familiar. She ascended that stairs to the deck and slowly raised the trap door. There stood Captain Addam of Belliqueux, the warship of the sea. He held his hand out to help her onto the deck. There were many questions running through her head. But the first one that was most important was, “where are the crew?”

“You are my magic power and I need you alive so there’s no reason to fear me. I know you have questions and we’ll answer them as soon as I have what I need from you.”

“What do you need from me? I’m just a basic enchantress. Nothing special.”

“Ah, that’s where you are wrong my dear. You are from the royal line of the most honorable witches that I’ve come across and it seems as though you have no idea.”

“I’m an orphan who got kicked out of the facility once I turned 18 and have been homeless since. I jump from ship to ship disguised as a man so how did you know what I was and where to find me?

“I knew who you were before you were abandoned. I was the little boy who helped you escape the hanging. Do you remember me now?”  

Thoughts of being surrounded by fire came flooding into her memories. A burst of air came from the back of the hut and someone pulled her through. The village boy. “You’re the village boy?”

“You remembered”, he said as though he were shocked. “I ran when the orphan officials came to get you, for I was not one to be bound to conformity. I knew you’d be safe because I made sure they had no idea who you were. As we got older, you and I, our magic came to us in little ways. I saw that flower come to life when you touched it on your 13th birthday or when you healed that baby bird’s wing when you though no one was watching. Though you had felt me watching you, I was cloaked. I knew then we were meant to rule the coven together.”

“I remember now. The fire was caused by my aunt who was captured and hung. I was hiding in an opening in the ground. My mother told me to hide and she would be back for me but she never came. Then you pulled me through the burning walls. I remember waking up in a strange room full of others.”

“You see, I saved you not once but twice now. Now, for the repayment.”

“I did not ask you to save me. I’ve been on my own and I don’t need you.”

“Ah but that’s where you’re wrong again my dear. Your crew are gone but you know not what happened to them. While you were in a deep sleep encouraged by moi, they were swifted away by the legend of the sea by my command. Magic deary. One that you possess as well.”

 

I know many of us writer’s have many ideas that float around in our heads. It helps me to remember the idea if I write it down. I carry a notepad and pen everywhere I go. Once I jot it down I play around with the wording a bit. This one came to me when I was reading the history of Anne Bonny and Mary Reed. I hope you enjoyed it!

#wip draft.

I thought I would share a very scrappy draft of a dystopia I am working on. This was a quick idea I had and merely wrote it down while I had a chance.  Please let me know what you think. I welcome any constructive criticism!

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There was only one way in. A very dangerous way in. With every previous attempt I learned what I needed to pursue this mission. It made me stronger and wiser. There’s a storage full of medication that my sister needs and it’s well guarded. Only those that matter are able to obtain them. This place once was a thriving city. Ruins in place of skyscrapers and overgrowth. Wild cloned animals now roam the once bustling streets looking for their next meal of humans. The sun is life. The moon means death. Trees and vegetation are now poisonous. If you’re looking for fresh food – you’ll have to kill it before it kills you. What little fresh vegetation we can find is what we can grow by blacklight. Mostly root veggies like carrots, potatoes, beans, and mushrooms. Father takes care of those. He was part of the communities gardening society before all this happened. Dodging the drones I made my way to the entrance. I found this part to be only partially guarded and I observed their rounds. I learned how to pick locks from friends who were former police.

My brother, Kevin, met me at the door. “Cammy, what are you doing here”, he said in a strained whisper. As there are eyes and ears everywhere. Even in the walls.

I planned for months on how I was going to get the meds for our sister. “I told you that I was going to get those meds with or without your help.”

“Get in my cart.” he said begrudgingly.

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