The Discovery

When you return to school for a conference, you bump into one of your old professors, who is rambling on excitedly about a new discovery. He asks you to follow him to his office—he has something he wants to show you. What is the new discovery? Why is your professor so excited? Write this scene.

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464 thoughts on “The Discovery

  1. Jonas

    “Please Brian! I’ll make it worth your while, I promise.”

    Brian had been listening to his former sociology professor incessantly ramble over something he had in his office for quite some time now. Brian was only here because other professors, ones he actually liked, would want to hear about his latest escapades within his law firm.
    Brian didn’t particularly enjoy the company of this professor. He didn’t much care for sociology after about two courses. His classmates annoyed him, and the professor was always…peculiar. Brian had always sensed something was off with Doctor Sidwell. And here he was, going on and on about something. This is what happens when you try to be cordial, Brian thought to himself.

    Christ, this guy is relentless, Brian thought to himself.

    “Okay show me whatever it is you wanted to show me.” Brian interrupted the former professor with. “Just please make it quick.”

    “Of course. Follow me please.” The professor responded.

    They walked down the hallway of the auditorium and into one of the dorm rooms. Doctor Sidwell poked his head around cautiously before putting his key-card into the slot.

    “Last time I checked offices weren’t in dorms.” Brian said suspiciously.

    “Calm down. I said I’ll make it worth your while, didn’t I?” The professor stood in the doorway, quaking with excitement.

    Why do I always let my curiosity take over my common sense? Brian asked himself before stepping into the dorm.

    Walking down the halls, he suddenly remembered his former dorm room. Room 117. He was looking at the numbers engraved on the doors flashing by as he tried to keep up with the professors pace. 112, 113, 114, 155, 116, 117. He came to a half in front of his old room. How many fellow students used to nervously fidget outside his door like he was doing now? But he wasn’t here to buy weed from his former self and roommate, so why was he idiotically staring at the engraved number on the door?

    “Are you coming or not?” The professor barked at him from down the hallway.

    Brian continued following the professor to the end of the hallway, and into the laundry room. The professor jumped onto a dryer and opened a ceiling tile above it.

    “Well, jump on up!”

    Brian pulled himself onto the dryer and stood up. The professor turned on a flashlight. Brian saw dozens of white blocks of what appeared to be clay. Then a red light started blinking on every single block of clay. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. 0.

    THUD. Brian awoke with a start seeing the clenched fist of the bartender as his makeshift alarm clock. Or a go the fuck home clock. Most likely the latter.

    “Bar’s closing Brian, go home.”

    Brian drunkenly stumbled out of the small bar and into the street. If only reality was as exciting as dreams.

  2. Sujakosa

    “You’ll wish you hadn’t left the department.”
    Same old awards lined the wall. Franz Boas Award, the Textor award, and those damn diplomas from Yale and Oxford.
    “Doc, I’m not interested in the past no more.”
    “C’mon, I thought the Gold Coast had open minded people. Look at this,” and he passed five stapled sheets my way. I leaned back in the stiff chair that survives purging in academia. The damn thing felt as ossified as the department’s fixations.
    “A genetics report,” I flipped another page, “on big bones? Do you want me to review the tests?”
    “Keep reading. Green tea?”
    I skimmed the report and nodded.
    “But Mammoths didn’t live in the Bronze Age. Near Giza.”
    “I know. Keep going,” as he poured the steaming drink. I inspected the mug he chose for me, looking for signs of filth.
    “Still afraid of the little germs?” Doc asked, grinning.
    “I work in a lab. They can contaminate anything,” and reached for the mug. Green tea aroma always blanks my mind. For a few seconds. Nothing grimy shown on the lip of the mug. I hoped the hot water cleansed the interior before sipping.
    “Still looking for the cure to cancer?” he asked. I chuckled.
    “Genetics can solve problems for our future. Are you still looking for dinosaurs?”
    “Keep reading.” I obeyed, like an undergraduate again. Reporting all my fossil findings. Tidying my documents. Digging extra hours. I didn’t miss it.
    I sensed him lean back. Watching me. Waiting.
    “Eighty-eight percent human? That’s embarrassing. I wonder what they mixed up in the lab to make that conclusion.”
    Doc laughed. True joy fell from his mouth. Only babies watching bubbles float laugh like that. He must have seen something new.
    “Three different labs tested that sample. And it looks like a femur six feet long.”
    “Is this a joke?”
    Doc shook his head.
    “Where’s the camera? Is Professor Krauss gonna walk through the door laughing?”
    “James, I’m telling you,” and his stretched his arms out wide, “Six feet long.”
    “You got a picture?”
    And he leaned behind his desk to open a bottom drawer. I wouldn’t be played for a sucker. Not in a million years. If they ever dug up my bones, they’d find “Skeptic” engraved in them.
    He dropped the photo on the desk. And there he was. White hair dusted in sand. Sandals covered in dirt. Crouching. Over a giant femur? The color looked amazing. The shadows look right.
    “Did you photoshop this?”
    “No! I’m telling you this is incredible.”
    “Yeah, I’m not believing it. So you found giants? Near the pyramids?”
    “Within 50 miles of Giza. That explains their construction,” he shot back.
    “All this time, grave robbers and imperial archaeologists have sniffed around the Pyramids, and no one ever saw a bone this big. In the first layer of sediment. Why does it show up now?”
    “Because I found it.”

  3. Red mage

    “Don’t you realize what we have here? We have possibly found the first steps to answering one of life’s great questions.”

    It was a statement she had heard before. Nevertheless, Aisha carefully perused the document detailing the methodology and results of a prolonged social psychological study. Her old mentor was beaming across from her from behind his desk.

    Not receiving an immediate response he continued, “This project has taken decades to come to a conclusion. I had to use a lot of graduate assistantships over the years to bring it together.”

    “It’s amazing, professor,” Aisha said at last. She really did mean it. Her mentor had always been an optimist and at one time, she may have been one of his co-authors—but that was back when she thought society could change.

    “It’s potentially a great find. I’m thinking of presenting it on the last day of the conference—“

    “I can’t let you do that.” Aisha’s voice was soft but firm.

    She always hated the silence that followed. There was an immediate change in the air. Her professor’s face shifted from bewilderment, to shock and then suspicion. He narrowed his eyes at his former student, but her face was a cool mask of finality.

    “The people are not ready, professor.”

    He sank further into his chair and exhaled deeply.

    “Of all people… You’re one of them?”

    “The people are not ready.”

    “Bullshit!” She did not flinch at his outburst, but it was rare sight to see her mentor this angry.

    “You people always say ‘we’re not ready’! How are you to assess that if we don’t even try? Nothing will get better if we just stand still!”

    “The people are not ready.” She repeated the mantra hoping it would sink in to him as easily as it had for her.
    It appeared to do little to dissuade her professor from his tirade, so she tried a more reasonable approach.

    “Professor,” Aisha interjected, “you know what we do to those who do not comply. It’s not just you, but everyone who was involved in this project.” At this, she saw him freeze and knew she had the proper leverage.

    “We targeted you because you are the principal investigator and have the largest oversight over the others. Rest assured, we will contact them shortly.”

    Her professor wasn’t saying anything anymore. She had won. Aisha straightened and rested her hand on the files before her.

    “We will be confiscating your findings. It is best to live for now and wait for another time to reveal your results. But society is not ready today.”

    Aisha left the office with a heavy binder of articles, references, data, and an extensive contact list. A few blocks away, she pulled out a special cell phone to report her success to her superior.

    “We could have been on our way to solving the current educational crisis,” Aisha noted with some bitterness.

    “We exist to protect the people from themselves,” the voice assured. “They will never be ready.”

  4. Doug Langille


    Continued from Part 1 back on October 29, 2013 prompt ‘The Journal’

    I took the heavy box inside, placed it on the kitchen table and turned the kettle on. The chill was settling in my bones and I was shaking. I was pretty sure I was coming down with something. Carefully unwrapping the package, the faint smell of aged paper filled the air. It was a stack of hard-bound lab notebooks, each titled ‘Sierra’ and dated; thirty journals from late-1982 to mid-2002 when the fire happened.

    There was an envelope tucked in the box. It had my name on it in my mother’s handwriting. The letter inside was hurriedly written. I started reading as the kettle’s whistle blared.

    ‘Sierra, this is your life. I’m sorry.’


    The walk to the science building took longer than usual. Between my deepening cold and Mom’s research, I slept terribly. I wrapped my fingers around the cappuccino cup and prayed for the feeling to creep back in my fingers.

    The interview was today. I’d known everyone on the panel since I was a kid when my mother took me with her to work. The doctors and professors were like family to me. I had no other. It was just me and Mom.

    Gladstone, Mareset and Peters waited for me upstairs, but I didn’t want to go. Not now. They were on Mom’s project at the time of the accident. Seeing their names peppered through those thirty-year-old journals gave me pause.

    “Sierra, this is your life.”

    My name is Elizabeth Franklin. Sierra is my middle name. No one called me that but Mom. It was a secret name. Something between her and I. The rest of the world knew me as Beth.

    “Protocol Sierra.”

    “I’m sorry”

    A pair of hands snaked under my arms from behind and squeezed gently. He always smelled like cinnamon. Instantly, I felt warmer and smiled.

    “Hey, Chris.”

    “Good morning,” he said and kissed my neck. “Ready for your dog-and-pony show?”

    I turned around and punched him playfully in the shoulder. “That’s not nice.”

    “You’re late, you know.”

    I nodded and raised my paper cup. “I didn’t sleep well. I need the boost. I got a chill, that’s all.”

    He gave me another hug. “Gotta run. Macroeconomics awaits. You contagious?”

    “I don’t think so.”

    “Good,” he said and kissed me deeply. “Knock ‘em dead.”

    I watched him leave, feeling better, but still troubled. Why didn’t I tell him about the journals? We’ve dated on and off for years and we’re finally getting somewhere. Still…

    “Beth,” came a voice above me, loud and ringing. The atrium’s three stories made every pin drop a bell chime.

    I looked up. “Doctor Peters, I’m sorry I’m late.”

    He waved me off. “Never mind. Those other two fools went on the hunt for some Cantonese. We got time. Come on up. I want to show you something.”

    Intrigued, I ascended the stairs. Doctor Peters, Uncle Enos to me, always had something neat to show me. He was an experimental geneticist like Mom and they spent a lot of time together. I often wondered if they were more than colleagues. Maybe I could ask him about the project journals.

    For some reason, I kept thinking the project as outside of me, that there was some other Sierra. I bit my lower lip as I followed him inside his lab.

    He closed the door and threw the controlled access seal. With several million dollars worth of equipment, security was paramount– especially since the lab accident.

    I walked across the lab to the clean room and tapped on the observation mirror. It looked empty but the specimen light was on. Normally, I expected to see human analog pigs or even primates. There was no trappings of occupation either. No feeding trough, no interactivity test objects. Nothing.

    “Did Wendy send you the package?” he asked as he came along side me and peered through the glass.

    “Wendy? You mean the librarian? Yeah, I got a package. That was from you?”

    “Did you read the journals?”

    “Yes,” I lied.

    “So, you know why you’re here then.”

  5. CrAzy 8thz

    “Devin, here step into my office. I have something that I need to show you.” Mr. Gundi guided his hand to where he wanted me to walk. “I’ve found a new discovery, ” he said while speed walking and clenching my arm down the long narrow hall way. I have not seen Mr. Gundi since I graduated and that was 12 years ago but it seemed that he was very happy to see me. As we rushed down to his office I noticed a smirk on his face.

    “Mr. Gundi, why are your so excited today? I came here for the school conference now were both is going to be late” , i said while looked at my wrist watch. It was 8:53 and the conference started at 8:50. “Don’t worry about it”, he said, “This is way more important than that and i want you to be the first one to show.”

    As we entered his office Mr. Gundi quickly closed his door behind us, as if he was hiding something.I noticed a weird looking creature sitting on his desk. I never saw this creature before. Its pink-green lizard-like skin looked very moist, its arms and hands was very small but nails was as long as it tail. The right eyeball was noticeably larger than its left and it stood on two legs between 12-14 inches tall.

    “Woah, what is that” i said jumping back. My heart felt like it skipped a beat as I never saw any creature like this one before. Mr. Gundi laughed and said,

    “This right here is one of my newest creations.”

  6. Observer Tim

    This is also late (like last week’s), so I used it as a prequel to this week’s.


    It was my first time back at Olsson since I graduated, and the seminar had been intense and tiring. Finally I got a break; rather than rub egos with my colleagues, I found a nice bench on the Lawn where I could watch the coeds go by.

    I was watching a big shaggy black dog roughhousing with some girls when a hand touched my shoulder. It was Professor McFadden, my old physics professor.

    “Dennis? Is that you?”

    “Sure is, Doc. How ya been?”

    “Fantastic! I’ve made the most incredible breakthrough. Come see!”

    Before I knew it I was towed to his office in the Science Building; McFadden’s office was in the same place it had been twenty years ago. So was the sticky glazed doughnut that always perched on the corner of his desk. I knew he bought one every day, it just looked like the same doughnut.

    As I was taking off my jacket it knocked the doughnut off the table. Expecting a sugary splat, I was astonished when Doc caught it.

    “You’re fast, Doc!”

    “Haha, no lad. I’m prepared. That’s what my invention is about.”

    “I don’t follow you.”

    “You remember how I always used to complain that there was no ‘do-over’ in life? How the Second Law of Thermodynamics held us prisoner?”


    “I’ve beaten it.”

    “But that’s impossible!”

    “Apparently not. I couldn’t change the entropy, so I messed with the time. I’ve managed to build a time reverser.”

    “A time reverser?”

    He nodded. “It only works for a short period, a couple of hours according to my calculations, but it allows me to go back and try again. I call it the Mulligan Machine.”

    “But that’s…” No, I’d already said it’s impossible. “Do you know what you could do with this?” Ideas were already forming in my head: some of them ethical, some not so much.

    “That’s why I was happy to see you, Dennis. You were always practical. Before I get your thoughts on what to do with it, would you like to try it out?”


    He handed it to me; it was about the size and shape of a cell phone with a bluetooth earbud. I put it in my shirt pocket as instructed and put the earbud in. Then he took a bite from the doughnut.

    “Now think about activating it.”

    There was a flicker and the doughnut was intact in his hand.

    “Did I just…?”

    He nodded.

    “That’s amazing! So if I went back a couple of hours, I’d remember the session but could go do something else?”

    “Just so. I haven’t tried it though.”

    “I’ll be your guinea pig, Doc.”

    “Are you sure?”

    “I need the rest. See you in a couple of hours, Doc.”

    I cranked it to max and activated it.

    The clock on the wall said 4:00 am. The calendar said January 1986. I was three years old. It would be more than a couple of hours before I saw Doc again.

  7. Mandolin

    I turned to grab my books off the desk and noticed a yellow slip of paper sticking between the pages of my textbook. I pulled the slip loose and unfolded the paper. The note was scrawled in hastily written words.

    Please come to my office. It is of utmost importance. Hurry. I found it.

    Signed, Professor Morrow

    I hadn’t seen the professor in over a week, which was not unusual when he was working on a project, he would lock himself away in his lab furiously testing formulas and theories. I think the man sometimes forgot to eat and he always appeared in a slight disarray; rumpled clothes and stained lab coats dominated his wardrobe.
    I stepped out into the hallway, took a right, and headed towards the basement door. The rooms I passed were empty. It was the last day before break and late in the evening. All the students had been long gone, headed towards sandy beaches, late night parties, and all day hangovers. My heels clicked along the gray, tiled floor as I strode down the hall. I had been working with Professor Morrow since the end of my freshman year, a prestigious accomplishment for a freshman, soon to be sophomore. Professor Morrow rarely accepted any student below a second semester junior into his program.
    Microbiology had fascinated me for as long as I could remember, from the first time I laid eyes on a moldy sandwich shoved in the bottom of my backpack, the result of a lunch forgotten, to now. Of course it had not gained me many friends during my childhood or teen years, or even now I suppose. My days were spent studying and nights were spent in the lab. Books, research papers, test tubes and bunson burners became my companions. My classmates viewed me as quirky and my colleagues couldn’t understand why I worked so hard, both shunned me and rarely was I ever invited to join them, not that I would have gone anyway, I was content to let them have their parties, the movie date nights, their never ending social obligations. One day I would show them all, that I was more important. They would regret shunning me when I became renowned for my work.
    I descended down to the basement and opened the door to the lab. The white walls and floor calmed me, the sterile counters and antiseptic smell comforted me. Professor Morrow sat on a stool hunched over a microscope, his gray hair was frazzled, and his clothes were rumpled as never before.
    “Hello, Professor. What have you found?”
    “Oh, I am so glad you are here. I have been going over your work from last week and it is brilliant! I ran some additional tests and calculated more formulas, just to double check and make sure, but I found it! I found the cure for cancer! Once I announce this to the world I will be famous!”
    “You what? YOU found it? Professor Morrow, that is my work, you mean I found it. I have poured everything I have into that research!”
    “Now calm down. I’ll see to it, that your name is mentioned in the research paper. I have worked for years in this forsaken lab, grovelling for funding and grants, I am due this accomplishment. It was my research that lead to the discovery, your work only helped me find it a bit sooner.”
    “No, Professor Morrow, I don’t think so, I need it more than you.”
    “Need what? What are you doing? Now wait a minute! No,stop!”
    I turned to grab the research papers of the desk and I noticed a few splatters across the white paper. I stepped over the red puddle that was now forming on the white floor, my heels clicked as I stepped out of the lab. Now my classmates couldn’t possibly shun me. They wouldn’t dare shun the person that had discovered the cure for cancer. I would finally be popular and I discovered that keeping a pocket knife in my bookbag would come in handy one day.

    1. snuzcook

      Oh human, evil is the deed
      you commit just to succeed!

      Good story, Mandolin. A few sentences that ran on a bit, but the story built suspense subtly and ended with a nice twist.

  8. bubblesfreak

    Arial is walking down the school hallway. She bumps into a guy.

    “ Oh i’m sorry.”
    “ It’s fine, wait… Hey Arial, how are you?”
    “ Oh, hi Professor. Bectel i’m doing good, what about you?”
    “ That’s good and i’m doing good thanks for asking. Hey I have something to show you can you come to my classroom for a second?”
    “ Um, yeah sure, but what do you have to show me?”
    “ Well, I went on my hike with my family like I do every year and I found something really cool when we went.
    “ Oh, what is it?”
    “ You’ll see, but it’s really cool.”

    They walk up to the professor’s door, he takes his key and unlocks it.

    “ Here we go now it’s really cool and I think I could sell it to a museum and get a lot of money but I think I want to keep it.”
    “ What is it?”
    “ Ok, here it is.”
    “ Is that a crown?”
    “ Yes, it is and where we were hiking guess who was the queen there.”
    “ Who?”
    “ Queen Clancy.”
    “ Wow, for real?”
    “ Yeah, isn’t it cool.”
    “ Very.”

    She looks at the crown and wonders if there is a way she can get it and take it home. Thinking and thinking to herself she can not come up with any way to get it. Finally she comes up with a idea.

    “ Hey, when you die who are you going to pass it down to?”
    “ Well, if I die when my wife is still alive the it will go down to her but when she dies then it will go to probably my oldest son.”
    “ Oh.”
    “ Yeah, I just can’t believe that I have Queen Clancy’s crown. She was the most powerful queen ever she didn’t let anybody touch her crown ever and now I have it.

    Arial thinks to herself again and won’t stop until she has a idea to get that crown.

    “ Hey, Professor Bectel Hannah is here to and she said that she really wants to see you because she misses having you as a teacher.”
    “ Ok, where is she?”
    “ Down by the bathrooms by Ms. Kelly’s room.”
    “ Ok, i’ll be back.”

    Walks out of the room to go see another one of his former students. When he gets halfway out the door he turns around.

    “ Almost forgot i’m gonna bring the crown down there because you never know someone could steal and I wouldn’t want Hannah to not have time to come see the crown now would I.”
    Ok, how did you know.”
    Well, it’s obvious because you kept doing things but if you want i’ll let you borrow it but you have to bring it back.”
    “ Really?”
    “ Yeah, after all you were my number one student and made me look like an excellent teacher.”

    Takes the crown and hands it to Arial and says:

    “ Just don’t let anybody take it though.”

    She smiles and then turns around as she walks away she turns around.

    “ Thank you Professor Bectel.”
    “ No problem.”

  9. Queen.Bum

    As Christiana was taking the stairs, she took a quick glance up and she saw someone, but she wasn’t sure if it was the person she thought he was.

    “Professor John?” she asked.
    “Oh hello Christiana.” he replied.
    “Hi professor, what are you doing here?” asked Christiana.

    As she asked and was standing there for his response, he kind of looked excited for something, but she didn’t know what. She quickly asked, “you seem really excited for something sir… What is it?”. Her and professor John were quite close, when he was her professor in college.
    “Well you see, are you in a hurry?” he asked.
    “No sir, why?” as she was standing there not knowing what was happening he told her to go to his office with him.
    “Come with me to my office Christaina.”

    As they were walking through the halls and as she was passing her conference room, she noticed people were in there waiting and eating the snacks that were there. She looked at the time and thought to herself, ok I have an hour then I have to be back for this conference. As she and professor John were walking to his office, he just kept going on and on babbling on how he was so exited on his discovery.

    “So what is this discovery you found, professor John?”
    “Just wait and see, we are almost to my office.”

    Man your office is far, she thought to herself. As they kept passing rooms and conference meetings, she kept on getting more and more worried. Where is he taking me? As they finally arrived to his office, he told her to go in.

    “Come in.” he said.
    As I was walking in, I saw huge machines out of no where and he began to explain his discovery.
    “Wow you found all of this out?” she asked.
    “Yes, it took me a while but I finally found what I’ve been looking for.” he replied.

    As he was showing her the charts and the discovery, she thought it was a pretty cool discovery.
    “When did you discover all of the swirls?” she asked.
    As he was explaining how he found all of the swirls, she thought it was amazing that he discovered this a couple of weeks ago and that it took him a long time to get all of the information for everything he needed to find the swirls. As he was explaining everything to her about the swirls she said, “I’m sorry sir but, I kind of have to go to my conference meeting.¨ But I would love to come after and you can finish telling me your discovery.”
    As she walks aways to go to her conference the professor says, “it was nice seeing you again Christian.”
    “It was nice seeing you too professor.” she replied

  10. Royce07

    “Hello professor turner, how have you been?”
    “Oh Johnny, I have been really good, I have a new discovery that I need to show you follow me to my laboratory, if you will.”
    “Yes, professor.”
    “Johnny I have to tell you this new discovery can change the world, I still don’t know whether it could be for good or bad, but I know that it’s going to be a big impact in the world. My biggest concern is how the people are going to see it as, even worst how the government is going to react to it. I want you to see so you can tell me what you think about it.”
    “Why me? Don’t you have colleagues in the science field that will give you better feedback than me?”
    “Yes, but I can’t trust those greedy backstabbers will do anything to convince me that it’s a bad idea so that one of them can use it.”

    We arrived to his laboratory and I could tell that he was busy working on experiments, it was a mess in there, once in the room, he took me to the back where there was a door, before he opened the door he turned back to me and said..

    “Before I open theses doors. I need to know if I can trust you, what you will see behind these doors must stay between me and you, no one must know what is here until I decide that the people are ready for it.”
    “Of course professor, I won’t tell anyone you have my trust 100 percent.”
    He opened the door it looked to be like a long hallway, I could not tell really the lights hanging up from the ceiling were very dim maybe because all the spider webs were covering the light bulb. I heard him lock the door behind us.

    “Follow me this way.”
    I followed him down the hallway, the walk took forever, I felt like I was walking miles until we reached another door, he unlocked the door and we stepped inside. It was another laboratory it was nothing compared to his other one this one was more clean and organized, also looked more advanced.
    “Johnny are you ready to see my new discovery?”
    “Yes, I am.”
    He opened a briefcase and pulled out a dozen of tubes.
    “Here it is Johnny one of these tubes can cure any disease. I have been running tests with this and finally, after years of trying and trying it is finally done.”
    “Professor, this is incredible, when you told me that you had a new discovery this is not what I had in mind, wow I am amazed.”

  11. Optimistic17

    It was another boring, normal Tuesday. I stayed after school for a long speech I was going to be giving. I was president, so this wasn’t anything new for me. As I started to walk into the meeting room, I got bumped into.

    “Hey! Watch where you’re-” I started to say. It was Professor Harrington.

    “I knew it! I knew they were real! I told everyone that they were real and no one listened!” Professor Harrington rambled down the hall. “Ah! Yes. My favorite student, you must come see what I have discovered. Come, come.” He stopped me.

    “Um..I actually have to go.” I stuttered.

    “Ah, no. It’s okay. Come with me.” he grabbed my wrist and twirled around.

    “Uh, okay?” I followed along.

    We came to his office door and it was dark inside. He unlocked the door with a small golden key and twisted the knob.

    “Why is it so dark in here?” I asked as he pulled me through the door. A gush of cold wind hit my face. I was a little frightened. Professor Harrington can be pretty crazy sometimes. The professor let go of my wrist and I reached for the light switch.


    Mr.Harrington slapped my hand.

    “No! Don’t touch that! You’ll wake her…” He panicked.

    “Her? Her who?”

    “Follow me back here… Watch your step.” He grabbed my wrist again.

    “Woah…” There was a big tank full of water and a small light inside. The waves reflected
    off the walls and Professor Harrington’s glasses. Inside of the tank was a beautiful creature.

    “Professor… Is that what I think it is?” I stared in disbelief.

    “Yes, yes it is. I have finally found one! But you can’t tell anyone about her yet… I want to do a little more research on her. If people find out about her now, they will try to steal her and claim her! People will be offering me money before I can find out everything I need to know!” His hair was sticking up along the sides as usual, because on the front part he had no hair. His eyes got wide. “Swear not to tell a single soul?”

    “I swear.” I was still staring at the beautiful creature. She had long blonde hair that swooshed around through the water. Her tail had blue scales and she was wearing a blue top. Her eyes were gently closed. Had he killed her?

    “Professor Harrington… Is she dead?” I asked.

    “Oh! No, no. She’s not dead. What would she be worth if she was? She is sleeping. I gave her sleeping medicine when I captured her. That way she couldn’t escape.”

    When I turned to look back at her, her hands were against the glass tank and her big blue eyes were wide open, staring right back at me.

  12. gamefreak17

    As Ryan is walking down the stairs, he sees his old professor running down the hallway. As he looks at his professor in shock about him running he goes ahead and talks to him.

    “Hi professor Rice. Nice to see you again.” Ryan said.
    “Oh hey sorry but I have to go I just discovered something amazing. Want to come and see?” His professor said taking deep breaths at the sametime.
    “Sure what is it.” Ryan asked.
    “I’ll tell you on the way there. Professor. Rice said.

    Ryan and the Professor both run up to his office. Ryan was surprised that his old teacher can run faster then him. They both enter into the office.

    “So what is it that you wanted to show me?” Ryan asked his professor.
    “I’ll tell you right now.” Rice said while locking up his door.

    Ryan looks around his office to try to find out why his professor was so excited.The professor then goes behind his desk and picks up a plate wrapped in tin foil. Why is he getting a plate for? Ryan thought to himself.

    “You made dinner?” Ryan said with a confused look on his face.
    “No no no. I found crystals in the backyard of my house.” The professor said.
    “Crystals? What kind of crystals?” Ryan asked.
    “These are really rare purple crystals.” He said with excitement opening the tin foil.
    “How do you know that these are rare crystals?” With a questioning look.
    “ The only purple crystals that are in the world today were found in somewhere in Asia and Africa by a man who was just planting fruits in his backyard.” He replied.
    “So then what are you going to do with them. Are you planning on selling them or keeping them forever?” Ryan asked.
    “Thats the thing, I really don’t know what I’m going to do.” The Professor replied.
    “Okay well if you need help getting rid of them just tell me when you have the chance.” Ryan told his Professor.
    “Well that’s one of the reasons why I wanted you here. I wanted you to have one before I give them aways if I do end up giving them away.” The professor told Ryan.

  13. Lilly Wheatfield

    You never know what you have until its gone. I never thought that that would apply to school. School gave us purpose, but you don’t realize that until you’re done. I missed this place, Advena University. Every time they have some big conference, I come back here. I guess I miss this school, it gave me purpose for six years. Now I have a degree in Space science and no job; no purpose.

    “You’re here for every one of these stupid conferences Jason .” A voice from behind me says.

    “Dr. Barbaricus.” I say as I turn around, to face the man who changed my life.

    “You say that stupid line every time.” He laughs.

    He still looks the same as he did the first day I met him; Pepper haired, lightly wrinkled skin, and a big warm smile. This man was my teacher, my tutor, my mentor, my adviser, and my role model. He gave me a purpose. This man showed me wonders and beauties of outerspace. This man had a passion for outer space, and all it contained. A passion that he passes onto me. I longed to go up there, and learn everything I can. I want to go up there, I want to go back home. No one but Dr.Barbaricus understood that. When I say I want to go back home, I mean thats where we were from. At least thats what some believe. One of my favorite astronomers, Carl Sagan, once said, “We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star stuff,”. That quote changed my life. That was how I saw outer space, my home. Dr. Barbaricus believed that it was not just home to us, though.

    “How have you been, Jason?” He asked looking at me.

    “I’ve been getting by, sir. It’s harder than I thought to get a job with a Space Science degree.” I said dryly.

    “Jason, there are other jobs you could take, matter-of-fact yes, but those jobs don’t give me a purpose.”
    Dr. Barbaricus looked at me, then looked to see if anyone was around.

    “If it’s purpose you’re looking for, then I can give it to you. Come into my office, we must talk.”
    He pulled me into his office, looked around to see if anyone was near,then closed and locked the door. “I need your help, Jason.” Then he looked me dead in the eyes and said, “ I found them.”
    “Found whom?” I asked.

    “The aliens”

  14. DrewOrange

    It was time. I finally made it back. After about three years all the graduates, and professors are all back for this small get together here. It’s crazy how I’m going back to the place where my career started from. Back in college my favorite subject was science. Nothing was better than learning that. Mr. Wright, was my favorite professor without a doubt. Seeing my favorite professor and discussing my career now, and the subject that got me started with it.

    Half an hour into the get together, and I have yet to see Mr. Wright. I mean back then he was always the first one in class. It’s quite surprising him not being one of the first people being here. Not seeing him here tonight will really hurt me. That’s mainly the only person I came to see her tonight, and wanted to talk to.

    “Have you seen Professor Wright?” I asked Ms. Pollegan.

    “I seen him earlier today, he was walking around campus earlier today.”

    “Did you know if he is going to be joining us tonight?”

    “I honestly do not know, sorry Dana.”

    He could be in his room. I thought to myself. I decided to walk around campus. Hopefully I would run in to him somewhere at this point here.

    I walked outside of the hall, seeing nothing at all. When I started to make steps out, the lights started to come on. As the final row of lights came on, I saw a short man pacing down the hall. I could tell by the back of his funny looking shoes it was Mr. Wright.

    “Professor Wright!” I yelled out.

    He stopped walking, I could tell he turned his body and looked back at me. I started softly jogging his way.

    “Mr. Wright, Remember me? It’s Me Dana Smith.” I said.

    He took his glasses off and looked up at me.

    “Oh yes, I remember you, Miss Smith. I was actually looking for you.” Professor Smith said.


    “Yes, I must show you something new I discovered immediately.”

    He had to show me something? This made me feel really special. I was honored to possibly be the first person to what he has discovered.

    While walking down with Professor Wright down to his lab, my mind was wondering so much. I really wanted to know what he had discovered, but I didn’t want to nuisance and ask him.

    “So how many people have seen you discovery, Professor Wright?” I asked.

    “None. Yet.. You’ll be the first to see it.”

    My heart jumped with merriment. I’m going to be the first person to see his discovery this was exciting to me.
    When we walked into his lab, he leads me straight to a closet.

    “This is your new discovery? A closet?” I questioned.

    He smacked his forehead with frustration.

    “Open the closet Miss Smith.”

    I felt my face flush. Well, this is embarrassing I thought to myself. After I felt my face cool down opened the closet door.

    “Oh wow.”

    I couldn’t believe my eyes. Another Professor Wright.

  15. The Kcirps

    “Come with me come with me now, you have to come and see?” My Professor said
    “What is wrong professor?” I say
    “Nothing everything is good, in fact everything is perfect” He said
    “Then tell what’s going on” I said

    He stops and turns around and stares at me with a look I have never seen from him it was a kind of look of a crazy man but, the professor is not crazy he is a very smart man.

    “How about you come and find out!” My professor said
    “Okay” I replied
    He leads me into a hallway that I have never been down and we walk for miles it seems like. All of a sudden we turn into a lab and the lab was normal and claim but the professor was not.

    “Where did he go?”
    “Who professor? Where did who go?” I say
    “Come help me we must find him we must, now!”
    “Would you just tell me who” I say
    “Yes..yes all in good time, you know I have been working with stem cells, yes?” Said the Professor
    “Yea” I say
    Well I have figured it out finally I was up all night working on it and, and it worked
    “What did tell me” I say one more
    “The clones, I have found a way to clone people using stems cells and last night I went to the annual Ball and there he was the vice president and he talked to me. I grab a strand of his hair and ran back here. Where I took his hair into the machine over there. Using the 3D printer with a whole block of human stem cells I came to copy the vice president. Now we must find him.
    Getting the information I want I said that I would help him find the clone.

    We looked high and low for the clone. We went everywhere and couldn’t find a trail of him. I mean how hard could it be you think someone would see a naked man running down the street none the least a copy of the vice president. By now it should be on the News, but its not and he is out there somewhere. When we were about to give up hope we found him down on the waterfront. He seemed sad and unhappy when he saw us coming he jumped in and treaded on water for a little bit and then he went under never to resurface.
    “Well I guess there are still some bugs to fix” Said the Professor
    “You think the vice president just killed himself!” I say
    “On the bright side I can always make more.” Said the professor
    “ Thats just messed up your creation just killed itself” I say
    “So..” He said
    “So if you were god and your creation you just made came to the conclusion to kill itself how would you feel?” I say
    “Not that bad to be truthful” He said
    “Wow I can’t be apart of that” I say
    “Wait, think about it I could bring back your father.” the Professor said
    I turn around to look him in the eye and I stood there.

  16. Sarah Pancakes

    “Quickly now child, quickly!” Professor Stan exclaimed. I rushed right on his heel so I wouldn’t loose him, I still don’t understand what can be so important to take me from trying to figure out where I’m suppose to live, it wasn’t like him to cause an inconvenience, but at this point, he didn’t seem to care. It was fairly easy to follow him because he is a particularly heavier man, long hair he was forced to tie in a ponytail.

    “Where are we going so fast Mr. Stan?” I said merely out of breath, I didn’t understand how he managed to rush this long without caving in. Before I knew it, we were on the other side of the campus, heading to the science wing.

    “My room Sarah! I’ve done it! Finally done it!”

    “What? What have you figured out?”

    “The missing piece, don’t tell me you don’t remember!” He said pushing forward; we were now down the hall of his room. Only, it was his room from last year, his room was in the new hall that was built over the summer. This building was dark and cold; the only light that was shown was from the wide, vine-covered windows. I hadn’t the slightest clue to what he was talking about, last year I spent some time in his room after class because his theories peaked my interest. I remember taking all kinds of notes and observing him attempt to make his mind seem right. I also remember him being obsessed with animals, and dinosaurs and how they compared to humans (besides the obvious way) he liked to look at how we evolved from them and with them to the littlest detail. Could that be what he was talking about? Maybe he finally came up with his theory and he’s going to explain to me how he altered the actual facts to make himself seem right, and on the first day? Oh joy. We finally made it to the front of his room where he stopped to take in a long breath.

    “Now…you have to promise me that you wont tell a SOUL what you see in here.” He managed to mutter out.

    “I promise.” I said nonchalantly, I know it is just a theory in his head; he might be too paranoid for another person to take it and call it their own. He looked around as he took the key out of his pocket; the lock was loud as it unhinged itself. He opens the door only wide enough to let he and myself inside, once we were, he shut the door. With a smile on his face and ran to the other side of the room where an old rusty desk stood.
    “Are you prepared Sarah?” He asked, bending behind the desk.

    “Sure.” I muttered rolling my eyes. He stood up with his hand hidden.

    “I present to you. A real, live, Dinosaur” he said as he placed a tiny Triceratops on the desk.

  17. Kemter

    **I guess I’m a little late to the party with this one, but I thought I’d put it out there anyways.**

    Hector tried to imagine there were other students working with teachers in the dark classrooms he passed. Tried to pick out any sound at all besides the echoing tap tap tap of his sneakers on the tile floor.

    Mr. Dugan had requested he return after school for a “teacher-student conference” and the misgivings Hector felt when he agreed hadn’t shaken throughout the rest of his classes. He would be worrying about the usual problems (for instance his history teacher trying to rape him) but Hector had a little something extra special in his corner when it came to a fight.

    His strength.

    He was pretty sure he was an alien or maybe a superhero because both his Mom and Dad were human and also certifiably his parents. It was something he knew to hide, but there was a reason Greendale Middle School had no bullies. Hector wasn’t afraid to kick an ass where it need be kicked.

    He found Mr. Dugan at his desk in room 233B. The old professor had majored in ancient cultures for in-state tuition and only found out later how unfortunate that was for his career.

    Mr. Dugan looked up at him with a slow smile, “Take a seat Hector. This shouldn’t take long.”
    Hector threw himself down and waited for the fight to come to him.

    Looking down over the rims of his spectacles Mr. Dugan asked, “Do you recall our unit on ancient mythology?”

    Hector vaguely remembered a dream in which he was a roman gladiator, “Yes.”

    “And do you remember your project on ancient heroes?”

    “I did Hercules,” Hector sat straighter; he had never seen his history teacher so excited.

    Mr. Dugan stood unexpectedly, jauntily walking to sit on the edge of his desk by Hector as he commented sternly, “You’re report was incredibly accurate for a straight C student.”

    “I didn’t cheat!” Hector found his hand making a dent in the metal support of his desk. One thing he prided himself in the most was his sense of morality. To have it question when he had never even littered sent Hector’s blood boiling.

    “Oh I know,” Mr. Dugan seemed to smile wickedly if the man had a the personality to pull off such a face, “You left out a vital piece of information. Hercules, after completing his 12 Labors of penance, was to become a God. But the fool didn’t want to part with his mortality. Do you follow?”

    Hector nodded, he could understand not wanting to give up a piece of yourself for power when you already had so much of it.

    Dugan continued, “Hercules fought to regain his mortal soul from Hades—”

    “And he succeeded in stealing it back,” Hector knew the story.

    Nodding, his teacher asked, “And do you know what happened after that?”

    “Nothing happened after that,” Hector squinted with confusion, “that’s the end of the story.”

    “Wrong,” roared Dugan, “That fool broke the natural order of mortality! All mortal beings must die, and their souls belong to Hades. By disrupting the cycle Hercules forced the Fates to start back the clock and reincarnate him and all the other pathetic heroes in the ancient world. He created a new cycle in which he was born again and again so his mortality could be retained!”

    Hector blinked, interested but taken aback by the outburst, “It’s just a story Mr. Dugan. Why did you call me back for this?”

    His teacher laughed deep and sinister although his flesh began to gray. Hector could only balk open-mouthed as Mr. Dugan hardened into a charcoal shell through which burst a man two feet taller. This new man was cloaked in black mist that fell like a toga down his pale, nearly translucent, skin.

    He slicked a hand through his inky hair as if disintegrating Mr. Dugan had misplaced an invaluable strand.

    “I called you back, you insignificant worm, because I will see an end to this insufferable cycle yet. How do you steal your soul back? I am HADES and you WILL ANSWER ME!”

  18. Gurney Halleck

    I looked in awe at the Traveller Building, as I had as a freshman, and I must admit as a graduate student as well. The columns of the entrance were not Doric or Ionic, but shaped like infinity symbols. The doors bright stained glass depicted historical events both real and alternative. My personal favorite was the depiction of Washington being rowed across the Delaware in chains with General Howe in the back of the boat.
    I opened the doors and walked in. I had all afternoon to catch up with my professors before giving my talk about the time distortion present at the event horizon of a black hole. Some recent missions by the International Space Agency had brought back some interesting data that I had some theories about.
    I walked down the main hall, past the large lecture halls filled with freshmen taking their required world history class. I had started as a history major and transferred to the college, wanting a more practical application of the major.
    I took the stairs up past the second floor where there were more intimate classrooms for advanced classes. I prefered the stairs. They were much more stable and less likely to change with time. At the third floor, I stepped into the Hillyer Gallery and admired the statues and busts of those who had been the leading members of the college. Their eyes seemed to look towards the future, while their visage was bent towards the past. It was most fitting.
    I exited the gallery into the hall of the professors, my hard soled shoes tapping and echoing on the marble floors. Again, consistency of use offset the outrageous cost. I glanced at the signs on the doors as I went by. Professor Milford – Slang and Jargon of Europe, Early 17th Century. Professor Warren – Theoretical Application of Electricity in Ancient Times. Professor Livonia – Fashions of Africa AD. I had found her classes exceptionally helpful at times and was quite a tailor in my own right, or so I thought.
    “Jon. Jon? I thought that was you. What in the world are you doing here?”
    It was Professor Krenim. I had taken his class on philosophical paradoxes and had struck up a friendship with him. His wild white hair, never controlled by his Louisville Grays ballcap, still shot in different directions as he strode towards me.
    “I just knew it was you. I knew you would be here for the conference, but I have something to show you. It’s about your talk.”
    He beamed as he steered me not towards his office, but one of the labs.
    “I’ve gotten around the paradox Jon. I figured it out and Hans here,” he pointed to a small man in a lab coat, “did the math and made it possible.” He waved his hand and someone stepped out from behind a row of machinery.
    “Oh Christ,” I muttered, as I stared at myself.
    “Exactly,” I replied.

  19. Manidipa

    Hi everyone, this is my first post here, it was really difficult to cut down and reach the word count limit…hope this still is a good read.

    Walking the corridors of the Linguistics department in JNU brought back long lost memories. The students, the professors and the endless chatter. But now was not the time to be lost in the past. I had to get a series of jobs done to run the Annual Linguistics Conference smoothly.

    I moved swiftly towards the Head of Department’s office. On the way I peeked into the department office and saw a familiar face, office manager Mr. Rawat. I went in to say hello, he blinked and stared at my face. I said, “Monica”, he squinted a little longer, “2002, re-routed field trip”, slowly his squint changed into a smile of recognition. “You have changed a lot since”, he said. I nodded and asked who the HOD was now. As he uttered “Amisha Ahmed”, I was thrilled – she was my favorite professor and I was her favorite too. I knocked on the HOD’s office door with anticipation.

    I was excited to meet Amisha again after ten long years. I have thought of her often, but never had the courage to come and see her. But today I was here to meet the HOD and it happens to be her.

    “Come in”, boomed Amisha’s voice from inside. I stumbled in and stood there with a nervous smile. She looked up, screamed “Monica!!” and spread out her arms. I hugged her. She was happy to see me. “You went missing for so long, how have you been? Why didn’t you ever get in touch with me? ” But before I could answer her questions she went on enthusiastically, “you know, this is such a special time, I just returned from a field trip in the remote north east India – Arunachal Pradesh. There is this tribe called Polani with only five surviving native speakers whom I met for data collection. They have Dravidian words in their lexicon and the syntax has its influence too! It is a very significant finding because the other languages in that region don’t have this influence at all.” She went on.

    All this talk was making me uneasy and I started fidgeting.

    Amisha noticed my uneasiness and stopped, “What happened Monica, why do you look distracted? Does this news not excite you?”

    I couldn’t meet her gaze, I kept looking down, “I…I am…out of touch Amisha, I have not even thought about this in a long time.”

    Amisha couldn’t hide her shock , “How come Monica? You were one of our best students…What, what were you doing all these years?”

    With my eyes about to overflow and my heart about to explode I manged to mumble, “I had to work…my family…support.” The room was filled with silence.

    She spoke again after a long pause, with a hint of disappointment in her voice, “So what brings you here today?”

    “I am here to coordinate the Annual Linguistic Conference”, I said. Amisha raised a brow. “I am employed with the event management company you have hired for this conference.”

    1. Reaper

      Welcome Manidipa! I hope we see more from you. I found your story enjoyable and very readable, so please don’t take anything below as anything except helpful advice that you should freely ignore if you disagree with it.

      Nice read. Good twist at the end. The characters were relatable and believable. If I were to give any advice it would be two pieces.

      In a time of text messaging it is hard to resist unexplained acronyms, but unless you use the full phrase once I would avoid using things like HOD. In quote or text it makes sense and does help with the word count but seeing head of department once would have made it easier to interpret.

      Second is when you are editing down look for unnecessary double explanations. When your MC meets her old professor you say, She was happy to see me. While it doesn’t detract from your story it was unnecessary. When someone speaks in exclamation and then hugs another person they are usually happy to see them. You did a good enough job of expressing the joy that you could have used the words from the restate somewhere else that you cut out.

      This is good, and trust me, most of us struggle with the word count. It does help with tightening up your other writing though.

      1. TiaKuwai

        Thank you so much Reper for the feedback.
        Now that I read the line (she was happy) it looks redundant to me too.
        About HOD, since I mentioned Head of department once at the beginning of the paragraph I thought using just HOD would suffice. Maybe that MC was headed to meet the head of department was not very clear. Will try to be cleaner next time.