Flash Fiction: The Experiment

This story was written for last week’s Cracked Flash Fiction competition – you had to start the story with the sentence given and had a maximum of 300 words.

The Experiment

“I TOLD you it was only a theory,” Sebastian said. From here he could see Melville Koppies, the Sentech tower, and the grounds of the University of Johannesburg’s APK Campus in the light of dawn. Beside him floated his best friend, Gerhardt. “I never thought that it would actually work,” he added. Gerhardt’s scowl said it all.

“I wish now that it was just some crackpot theory,” Gerhardt said. “It only sounded like a good idea last night. Super powers, I mean, not drinking whatever awful concoction that was that you gave us. I doubt they’ll let us back in the lab now.” He sighed, propelling himself backwards by accident.

“That last shot of mampoer must have made me measure something wrong.”

Gerhardt flailed about with his arms, but only managed to startle a pigeon.

“Still, I thought it was just going to be a laugh,” Sebastian said. “You know, a story to tell one day. The day we almost got super powers when we drank something in the lab. My uncle started it, you know. At Christmas lunch. Although he also had quite a bit to drink beforehand.”

“Is that the inappropriate uncle?”

“For all his faults and… many prejudices… he is a magnificent scientist.”

“With some crackpot ideas.”

“Yes, fine.”

“He probably also had some of the mampoer.”

They both flailed about as they, at last, floated closer to the ground, leaving them at roof level.

“You know, being weightless is a damn stupid super power to have. Flying is cool, bobbing around flailing your arms is just… well, you can be glad that no one is here to see us and put us on YouTube.”

Gerhardt glanced down and saw his roommate standing at the window and laughing, his phone recording them.

“Great,” he sighed.

Story Notes:

The story is set in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa, at the University that I attended (although the story is complete fiction… I hope…). There’s a photo of the 237-metre-high Sentech television tower below.

Also, mampoer is moonshine.

By NJR ZA (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D via Wikimedia Commons

By Carin Marais

Bibliophile, writer of speculative fiction, non-fiction, and maybe-fiction, language practitioner, doer of stuff.

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