A Resignation

week 9 travel through the tumbleweed series image science fiction storay 'a resignation' featuring dr stephen woodrow

It’s Week 9! The penultimate trip in this series! I’ll have to line up the series reunion tour soon, and re-post each one*.

When I began this blog, I was on maternity leave and needed a space carved out in my life for something that was creative (outside of the little bundle I had a part in creating) and just mine. I decided to do a 30-day writing challenge and stuck to it for the most part, with the exception of about a one week break due to an unexpected calamity at around the twenty-something day mark. On most days, I’d find a prompt in the morning, then ponder on it over the course of the day while breastfeeding, cooking, changing nappies, cleaning etc, allowing the seeds to germinate in my unconscious mind. Then I’d seize moments when my baby slept, and write, sometimes at awkward angles if he was asleep in my arms. Discovering the world through motherhood and exploring my writing through the blogging world made me feel like I was truly living the dream. Well, there was not much time for any other kind of dreaming through those sleep deprived days!

This week’s journey takes us to day seven of that 30-day challenge, by which time I’d warmed up, getting some dud posts out of the way. On day seven, I chanced upon Steven Savage’s incredible random prompt generator that took me where I had never gone with a story- into the realms of Science Fiction! As a result, Dr Stephen Woodrow entered my world- eminent scientist working within the system to subvert it for the greater good. Dr Woodrow went on to feature in another more recent story, set in a different place and time, but with the same rebellious spirit. If you follow the prompt generator link, you’ll notice it also features a fusion food generator- proceed at your own risk! Oyster banana dumpling anyone? On the other hand, curried tomato chickpea on chips doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

Light up your bunsen burner, and click on the image to be transported through the tumbleweed. Beware of flammables and shady characters!

If you want to read other posts in the series, you can find them under menu item ‘travel through the tumbleweed.’

*just kidding

A Resignation

Dr Stephen Woodrow, eminent research specialist into human genetic mutations, was indispensable to the government. Standing in his laboratory, he felt the walls closing in on him, heavy with the weight of awards, various degrees and his most prized accolade, the university pendant for outstanding contribution to human advancement in completion of his PhD in human chimera diagnostics. Looking at the pendant, sparkling as the flicker of the fluorescent bulb refracted from its surface, he felt a gnawing anxiety that he could no longer excuse away. As chief scientist with the Genetic Verification Department, he was responsible for the fates of many, who on being diagnosed as not of optimal genetic lineage, would be quarantined and at best sterilized, at worst killed. The money was lucrative, sure, and the prestige had been enough to win the approval of his harshest critic, his mother, but he had become increasingly attuned to the suffering that he was sufficiently removed from in his sterile laboratory with its heady smell of agar and formaldehyde. Higgins was due to arrive soon to check on the progress of the Trugene Diagnostic Kit, a kind of litmus test that was to be used as a quick first step in assessing citizens’ eligibility for resource allocation- electricity, gas, water, to their homes. It was all dependent on the outcomes of their genetic make up, and the quicker people could be culled at this stage, the more efficiently more than a half dozen government departments could run. Higgins, as the head of the Ministry of Genetics and Human Advancement, the umbrella Ministry under which the Genetic Verification Department sat, held a lot of sway in the direction of research. He himself had once been the head scientist of the Department and had passed the baton onto Woodrow. The pressure was now on Woodrow to develop a commercially viable test. Continue reading