Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How I Became a Mad Scientist Part 6

 First Episode. Previous Episode.

For the next few days, the eggs sat under my bed, warm and stink-free. I kind of wanted to check on them, but Frank said not to touch them.  He seemed calmer since the Kraken-Cow experiment – like he’d scratched an itchy spot and was feeling OK now.  So I worked on teaching him how to have fun like a normal kid.

 I helped him learn to ride a skateboard and took him to the skate park.  We went swimming at the pool. We even talked our moms into leaving us at the local amusement park for the day.  Frank was having a great time. He was smiling and laughing and getting sunburned and enjoying his summer.  

I wasn’t.  I was really worried about those eggs. What if the incubator was on the wrong temperature? What if they needed special attention? What if my mom found them and threw them out?  Frank wanted to be outside, exploring his new town, but I wanted to be inside, keeping an eye on those eggs. 

 Meanwhile, Frank didn’t even ask how they were doing. It was like he’d forgotten the whole thing. I guess he didn’t really believe that he could make a Kraken-Cow.  Maybe he figured that he’d impressed me enough by showing me how to extract DNA from hunks of meat.

Then one morning, I woke to a strange, fishy smell. I hung upside down over the edge of the bed and checked on the eggs. One of them had a crack down the side. Green goo oozed out onto my carpet.  I rolled out of bed and grabbed my phone. 

I called Frank’s mom and had her put him on the line. “Why are you calling me?” Frank sounded hoarse and muddled, like he’d just gotten up. 

“One of the eggs is cracked and my room stinks. Mom’s going to figure out that something’s up. She’s going to a meeting in Louisville today. If you come over, we can deal with them while she’s gone.”

“I’ll be over after breakfast,” Frank said. “Maybe we can take our skateboards down to the river walk after we look at the eggs. It’s a nice day.”

“Sure. Whatever. Just be over here as soon as you can, OK?”

Frank arrived carrying the new skateboard his folks had bought just as my mom pulled out of the driveway.  She stopped the car, rolled down the window and called, ‘There’s nuggets and French fries in the freezer. Cook yourself some broccoli or something too, OK?” I nodded. She was crazy if she thought I’d bother to cook any veggies.

I pulled the incubator out from under my bed. Frank wrinkled his nose. “Well, that one’s definitely rotten” he said. “Let’s check the other eggs first. Do you have a microscope?”

We had one down in the basement. I’d gotten it as a Christmas present in third grade. I’d used it every day for a month or so. Then I moved on to something else, and it sat in the basement for years. I wasn’t sure if it still worked.

Frank cracked open the first egg onto a plate. Inside the yolk, there was a kind of weird colored lumpy area. “That’s our Kraken-Cow embryo,” he said. He grinned and pulled a pair of tweezers out of his pocket.  “We’ll just move it onto a slide, and see if we can see anything good.

He hunched over the microscope, intent on his work.  A weird scratching noise came from the incubator. “What was that?” I asked.

“Probably just gasses escaping from that rotting egg,” Frank said. “We’ll have to make sure to throw that one in the outside garbage when we’re done, or your mom will be on to us.”

I heard a low, soft, moaning sound. “Frank?” I asked. He ignored me.  

 I glanced over at the tray. The rotting egg had cracked even further. Something brown and fuzzy poked out of the top.   Frank was totally oblivious as he adjusted the microscope. I carefully pried the sting egg apart.

“OOHAW!” squeaked the tiny creature inside.

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