It’s a day late, but I got it done! I wrote another piece of flash fiction. This time I used 1,000 words as the limit. I’ve read a few articles that cite different lengths for the format. I opted to go with 1,000 because 500 feels a bit too limiting for some of my ideas. My first draft of this story even clocked in at almost 1,100. I managed to get it under 1,000 and I’m pretty happy with it! I do enjoy these characters, and had fun playing with the idea of a Mad Scientist who hasn’t a clue what she’s doing. I hope you enjoy it, and hopefully we’ll see more of Angela and Dr. Minerva in the future!
Angela inhaled deeply. She looked in the car mirror, checked her hair, and adjusted her glasses so they sat perfectly on her face. She straightened her back, rehearsed her introduction for the tenth time, cracked her knuckles, and smiled a thin lipped smile. She was ready for anything. She stepped out of the car, and walked with a very determined, professional gate toward the laboratory, her new heels clicking on the pavement. She knocked sharply on the door, which promptly shot open as a massive explosion came from inside, knocking her flat on her bottom. Dazed momentarily, she pulled out a compact mirror. Her hair was messy, her glasses cracked, and her makeup smudged. Angela wasn’t the type to worry, however, as she took out her replacement pair of glasses, combed her hair, and fixed her make up. She got to her feet appearing as perfect as ever and the smoke hadn’t even cleared from the doorway. She marched straight through the door.
* * *
Dr. Minerva scratched her grey, frizzled hair as she stared at the machine she had just built. She stood on the tip of her toes, tried to reach a loose panel and smash it with a hammer. She grumbled a bit and patted her round belly, tossing the hammer behind her as she was almost ready go give up. She jumped a bit as a loud crash came from behind her. The hammer had let loose a massive calamity of sound as a pile of scrap metal and discarded machine parts fell to the ground. She spun around on the balls of her feet and stared at the mess. There it was. The solution to all of her problems. A little electronic piece of who knows what, separate from the rest of the mess. She picked it up, smiled a wide, manic smile and clicked her crooked overbite together with excitement. She didn’t know what it was, what it came from, or what it would do. She just knew it was the solution to all of her problems. So she got back to work.
She placed the little electronic thingamajig against a spot on the machine that looked like a good place for it to be, and smashed away with a hammer. Somehow it managed to stay attached as some little blinky lights started to blink away. Dr. Minerva smiled at what she had assumed was a successful addition to her machine. Suddenly noticing a tiny thing that looked like it could be twisted on the thing she just hammered on, she decided to give it a turn. There was a loud, sharp, knock on the door as she twisted the twisty bit, and discovered that it had a rather unique and exciting function. It caused explosions. Great, big ones that knocked newly hired assistants flat on their bottoms while they knocked on doors. Splendid.
Dr. Minerva saw a woman with inexplicably perfect hair, professional clothes, and pristine black rimmed glasses walk through the smoke. The woman smiled and stretched out her hand.
“Hello, Dr. Minerva,” she said, “My name is Angela. I’m your new assistant.”
Dr. Minerva smiled a sooty smile and clicked her teeth together.
“Hello,” She shouted as she shook Angela’s hand excitedly, “Good to have you on board!”
Dr. Minerva spun around and grabbed a wrench.
“Now grab something big and chrome,” she said with a grin, “I have a feeling this thing needs something big and chrome slapped on.”
Angela was stone faced, but internally surprised. She turned to the heap of metal and scraps that took up most of the laboratory. She stepped up to the nearest large, chrome thing she could find and dragged it towards Dr. Minerva.
“Hold it up,” Dr. Minerva said as she pulled out a small, pointy thing that was probably used for soldering.
Angela sighed internally as she looked at the massive, heavy, chrome chunk of metal. She lifted it with much difficulty while somehow making it look incredibly easy. Dr. Minerva soldered the chrome chunk to her massive contraption. She removed a little microchip esque object from her pocket, looked at it, grunted, and soldered it to the chrome chunk. She stepped back, and smiled.
“Thanks for your assistance, Angela,” Dr. Minerva said, “Isn’t it beautiful?”
Angela gazed, as stone faced as ever, at a massive patchwork of metal, blinking lights, and microchips. It seemed to have a door on the front of it. Or the side. Angela couldn’t tell which side was which. So she opted, as usual, to lie.
“It looks wonderful,” Angela said. “What does it do?”
“Haven’t a god damn clue,” Dr. Minerva said as she tossed away her probably soldering iron, “Wanna give it a spin?”
Angela was incredibly surprised and nervous. Internally, of course. Externally she appeared calm and collected.
“Of course. I’d love to.”
Dr. Minerva spun around and looked Angela with wide eyes.
Dr. Minerva reached up and gave Angela a firm pat on the shoulder.
“Ten different assistants got to this point and damn near wet themselves before running out the door.” Dr. Minerva smiled. “You sure you’re not scared?”
Angela was positively terrified. Internally.
“Not one bit,” Angela said, stone faced.
“HA HA!” Dr. Minerva yelled, “I like you! Let’s do it!”
Dr. Minerva grabbed Angela by the hand and dragged her inside the machine. The door slammed shut, and lights started flashing. Angela stared forward showing zero signs of the complete terror she was feeling. They stood silently as Dr. Minerva smiled.
“Your credentials,” Dr. Minerva said, “All of ’em were faked, weren’t they?”
“Bald faced lies the lot of them,” Angela admitted.
“Good. I hate people who know what they’re getting in to. No damn fun.”
“What exactly does this thing do?” Angela asked.
“Haven’t the slightest. That’s kind of my thing.”
“Oh good. This should be interesting.”
There was a great crash, a whoosh of air, and the lights went out.
“Welcome to the Job, Angela. Let’s get started.”