This was the second story I wrote using my Caption This! technique.

The chick hadn’t laid yet.

The scientists were all waiting, in the low humming of medical equipment. The noise growing louder and louder as it swirled on the clean white tiles which decorated the room.

The chick stood still, as still as a bird could ; tilting its head sideways with hatred, incomprehension, distrust. It didn’t want to stand on a slab. It didn’t know why it was here.

Hassan Braman was the first to break the silence.

- Maybe, maybe we shouldn’t look at it so much. Maybe it’ll freak out. Maybe it’ll just take longer if we look at it.

Dr Park sighed in disagreement but it was Raj who answered.

- You mean like in the boiling pot expression? Come on, Hassan, we both know since we’re standing on the same plane, time actually lasts the same for any of us.

- That’s not what I meant, what I meant was that maybe, when you’re waiting so much for something, time tends to distorts itself, not objectively, but for your own consciousness.

Somebody in the back repressed a chuckle as Raj examined the thought, frowning while doing so. As the Indian engineer opened his mouth, Braman continued.

- Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I should go back to my calculation.

And with that, he simply walked away. Step, step, step echoing through the silent room.

Dr Park couldn’t repress a I always hated the guy ; which made Raj shrug.

- Anyway, the wait shall be over soon, added the chief researcher while looking at his colleague, waiting for her to ease a little.

Park squinted her feline eyes towards her male colleague and his sad try at a smile.

-And with amazing results, Raj added.

-Hope so. Nina, what are you still doing here? snapped suddenly Park, who liked to bark.

Surprised by the comment, the assistant who had almost thought herself invisible, tried to reply, was cut off.

-Havn’t you got some better things to do? I don’t know, vacuum recipient to prepare for instance, added Park with all the contempt she could put in every syllable.

Nina blushed and fled to her own task. Gazing at Raj’s beard, Park continued:

-It will be a miracle if we’re actually to put this off. I mean, we would actually be the smartest people on Earth if we were to succeed while surrounded by such incompetence.

In the background, a metal plate smashed the floor, covering the electrical hum for just a tiny moment. Maybe two seconds while eyes rolled in Nina’s direction, squating an picking medical equipment off the white tiles.

-What did I say? Added Park, deeply gazing in Raj’s beard even though she would never admit it.

The man didn’t answer, didn’t even register the thought. For the last couple of seconds, a cold, tingling sensation had crept across his spine. He didn’t like the way the third doctor, Vandana, had kept silent. Of course, she had never been outspoken but this was different. Raj asked :

-What’s on your mind, Dr Sahai?

Vandana Sahai blinked at the interrogation, as if totally lost in her own thoughts before regaining his composure. She adjusted her tie.

-I… erm… I wondered about gravity. About what you said earlier. Our gravity plane.

-What about gravity? Asked Dr Park. Too quickly for her own taste.

On the slab, the chick slowly, gently closed its eyes, sat in an awkward fashion.

-I think someting’s wrong with the chick, yelped Park.

-I meant the mass of what’ll come out. Would it alter our gravity? asked Sahai.

-Hmm, I guess, Raj replied. If the object was that dense, it… the chick wouldn’t be able to sustain it, let alone the egg shell.

Dr Sahai smirked, displeased by the answer.

-Maybe, she mumbled. Or maybe the object will attain it’s full potential only when it’ll be perceived.

-Perception has nothing to do with it, planets turn in deep space without needing us to look at them, that’s what basics physics law are about, they don’t need to be observed to be. They. Just. Are.

-Nina? Nina! Is the vacuum tank ready?! suddenly yelled Dr Park, her voice shivering with a hint of terror.

-That was just a thought, added Vandana with a sympathetic gesture.

-Maybe we should let the chick lay in the vacuum, suggested Dr Park.

-Don’t be silly, Susan, yelled Raj. It would kill it!

-As a little caution, just to be sure, she added.

On the slab, the boxed eggshell began to shake and for a tiny second, the low electrical hum disappeared. Nobody was able to hear what Raj answered. The eyes of the doctor widened. The chick, the head of the chick was drawn inward, to its entrails, as if something inside the bird had grab it from the inside of its belly.

They all understood.

Dr Park tried to run while every atoms in the room was attracted towards what came out of the rooster. Medical equipment, clothes, flesh, oxygen, spiraling gently toward a gravity point so great, it began to attract the floor, the ceiling as well.

Two hours later, on June 13th 2036, nobody really understood why the Earth was pulled inwards by an invisible force. Four hours later, the sun began to be attracted.

In the end, in the great void that was once the Milky Way stood a small black hole, just as big as an egg.

I’m releasing a short story every fourth Friday of the month. You can read the previous one When Ulrich left.

Otherwise I write papers, mostly about movies, comics, books or videogames. If you want more coming from me, that is.



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Basile Lebret

Basile Lebret


I write about the history of artmaking, I don’t do reviews.