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SirPiecemaker t1_jacgcvp wrote

"So, what is it that you wanted to show me?"

"An absolute chemical breakthrough," the scientist in front of me said excitedly; he was nearly jumping with glee. "I've been working on a personal project, you see? Toxicology to be exact."

"Right," I nodded and took a sip of my tea.

"I think I've cracked something incredible. It is a poison - at least in its current form. It destroys the body on a molecular level. Literally degrades it."

"And that's... good?" I asked and took another sip.

"What's a poison now may be a cure tomorrow!" he cheered. "Imagine if we could refine it to only target, say, cancer cells! I mean the potency is incredible - a single drop would be enough to kill a whale!"

"Oh. That does sound pretty strong," I said and sipped again. "So where is it?"

"Oh, it's..." he said and started turning around, searching the room, "it was in this... this beaker..." His words trailed off as his expression changed to one of absolute horror. I raised an eyebrow and followed his stare - he was looking at me but more precisely, at my coffee mug.

But it wasn't my mug.

No, my novelty coffee mug that was shaped like a beaker - a gift from a friend - was resting on the desk while my hand firmly grasped the actual beaker filled with a slightly translucent liquid.

"Huh," I exclaimed simply.

"I'm- I'm so sorry," he blurted out, tears welling up in his eyes.

"Tastes lemony," I noted.

"I'm so- is there anyone I can call?"

"I mean..." I said and turned my eyes upwards, thinking. I raised the cup to my lips again.

"WAIT NO!" he yelled and snatched the beaker from my hands. "ARE YOU MAD?"

"Oh, right. I mean, I feel fine, actually," I shrugged. "How soon should it kick in?"

"It- it should have already killed you," he said with a puzzled look. He cleared his eyes and examined the beaker again - it was his project. "How?" he breathed out.

"How strong did you say it was?"

"A single... single drop could kill a whale!"

"Oh. That explains it," I smiled.


"I'm not a whale," I grinned.


borislightgem t1_jachqyw wrote

Humans just being immune to random poison is so on-point for humanity


Defiant-Peace-493 t1_jacnojo wrote

Oh, there are a whole host of plant defensive toxins that don't merely not work, but have actively made us pursue them. Compounds with fungicidal or insecticidal properties are often quite tasty … or psychoactive.

See, for instance, Transgenic tobacco plants producing caffeine: a potential new strategy for insect pest control


TheRhythmZ t1_jacsc3y wrote

Lmao capsaicin normally induces so much pain it drives animals mad. It literally destroys nerve endings by injecting them with an obscene ammount of calcium. Its one of the worlds worst irritants, since it leaves aside the "actually being toxic" side of irritants to focus solely in inducing as much pain as its physically capable of.

Capsaicin is the "spicy" chemical found in chili peppers. Rotflmao.


Defiant-Peace-493 t1_jacsthl wrote

That reminds me, time to crack open that ghost/reaper hot sauce I picked up!


Mornar t1_jae83s4 wrote

Not hot enough unless it burns on both input and output!


waddapfurfee t1_jad31bi wrote

And then there are birds, who eat it up without batting an eye. Wonder how


Ignisami t1_jad62mc wrote

They don't have the receptors that capsaicin binds to, and thus are entirely immune to its effects.


I_Automate t1_jadqg6d wrote

This is selected for.

The peppers want to avoid being eaten by land animals, who would shit their seeds out nearby. But they DO want to be eaten by birds, who will shit their seeds out far away, thus spreading the species.

So....make a defense mechanism that is super effective against land animals, but has no effect on birds.


IIOrannisII t1_jadu0cx wrote

Also, birds do not masticate and so will not damage the seeds whenever they eat them, whereas those land animals will oftentimes grind the seeds down with their molars destroying the seeds ability to reproduce.


axialintellectual t1_jaduryl wrote

Good thing too that the one land animal mad enough to think they're tasty is also mad enough to domesticate them and plant them everywhere, so it's a win for the peppers anyway.


I_Automate t1_jadxzyc wrote

...mad enough to selectively breed and genetically modify them to be even more painful, because we just love the pain.

If that doesn't say something about us I don't know what does.

EDIT- Relevant comic.



Squigglepops t1_jae58sq wrote

Painful AND pretty - can't just have pain. Has took like it was birthed in hellfire too.


VictorytheBiaromatic t1_jaew6o1 wrote

Well it is more of a byproduct since the levels of capsaicin only increase with increased presence of water in the environment and it only gets stronger as it ripens. So it is more likely that the plant uses the compound as an antifungal with its ability to ward off unsuitable animals be a byproduct


Zorro5040 t1_jadjco8 wrote

The lack the receptors, leaving them without the ability to taste. Not sure if birds developed it to eat plants or if plants developed it so only birds eat it. Either way, birds are the ones who carry and spread the seeds.


AllysiaAius t1_jad3w0w wrote

Humans aren't alone in that, though. Birds aren't susceptible to it either, and love dried peppers.


badrabbitman t1_jadcgwu wrote

Well, we are alone in the fact that we choose to eat it despite the chemical defense working on us. Birds simply can't feel it, as they don't have the receptors for the chemical.


Zorro5040 t1_jadkx2v wrote

Idk, my dog has learned to like spicy food. I started eating more spicy food to disuade my dogs from asking or trying to steal, and one of them liked it and has built some tolerance. He also loves green veggies like celery, lettuce and spinach. So far the only thing he doesn't like are bananas, he'll eat a small piece then refuse more.


wolfguidingcrow t1_jae1blj wrote

My parents used to have a problem with rabbits eating all the bark off the lilac trees in their yard during the winter. They forgot to put burlap around the trunks before the snow fell that year. So one winter they coated the bark with hot sauce to try and get the rabbits to leave the trees alone.

Doing so had no effect, and my dad swears it actually increased how much bark the rabbits ate off the trees. From that year onwards, they always made sure to put the burlap on early.


send-borbs t1_jaeuog5 wrote

the rabbits were probably very grateful to your parents for seasoning their food, not a luxury they'd get often


TheRhythmZ t1_jadc165 wrote

I think its because they have no permeability on their tongues. Meaning moisture cannot penetrate it, so the calcium cannot penetrate and hurt their nerve endings. Or maybe its the lack of moisture overall, since they have no saliva, so they have no medium to carry the capsaicin to the inside of the flesh on their tongues. Fun fact: that's why the expression "it's glued on with bird saliva" means the thing is not glued/nailed/screwed on properly and could fall appart at any moment.


Errant0 t1_jaeod23 wrote

Can relate! had a massive bug poison exposure last year. Poison control and the doctor were both absolutely amazed I wasn't... expired.

Turns out the smoking habit I have from military service had blocked off some chemical receptor in my system that... didn't make me immune, but tolerant on a level they hadn't seen before.

I need to quit smoking but it saved my life in that one instance.

That's when I was educated about the entire reason plants produce nicotine... it's a pesticide that humans... like?


LurkerOrHydralisk t1_jadv6c4 wrote

Woah woah woah... caffeinated cigs?

I'm gonna start smoking. That sounds awesome.


WesternOne9990 t1_jaeqpcv wrote

THC is one and many other similar compounds. Like you said caffeine and nicotine are others.


Crowasaur t1_jacmr2v wrote

Caffeine, Nicotine, Chocolatine...


SCP_radiantpoison t1_jacsgin wrote

It's theobromine, not chocolatine but yeah, also menthol and capsaicin


FreikonVonAthanor t1_jad0f5y wrote

It's an old French joke, don't worry about it


DaDragon88 t1_jaegj8m wrote

Did you mean: pain au chocolat?


FreikonVonAthanor t1_jaegrne wrote

I come from a part of France that does say pain au chocolat, but we also say gueulatine for a slap to the face. X)


DaDragon88 t1_jaegz1l wrote

Oh good to know! If I ever go to France, I’ll know how to piss off everyone even more.

Edit: I do believe you’ve made another joke?


AlienBearAttack t1_jaex0ow wrote

I took it as the scientist misunderstood which beaker was whiich. The guy was just drinkin his tea


kinggot t1_jaenm1m wrote

Can a lemonade kill a whale? For science research


RancidRock t1_jacpqrm wrote

"Also, this is a whole mug, not a single drop ;)"


thejokerofunfic t1_jaerr0o wrote

Interesting concept for a poison- the less you consume, the more damaging it is.


The_Superfist t1_jachfr1 wrote

groan Ok, that's a well delivered last line and it was entertaining. Kudos!


hannahneedle t1_jadujs9 wrote

"This poison is enough to kill four horses!"

"Good thing I'm not a horse, let alone four"


LandscapeSweet1531 t1_jad8wzg wrote

This gives me very strong Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy vibes. I could totally see Arthur Dent doing this exact thing.


Trance354 t1_jaczwg1 wrote

All that for a "dad joke"? Take your upvote and get back to work.


Mattrockj t1_jadyqae wrote

What’s that old saying? Something like “If you’ve already tasted the poison, you may as well take it all?

Edit: If you’ve already eaten the poison, you may as well lick the spoon.


Principatus t1_jaefp81 wrote

That second sip is reminiscent of Austin Powers lmao


Letteropener52 t1_jacs1bq wrote

Emma stared at Carl in horror. "Carl...what the hell have you done?"

Carl lowered the beaker slowly from his mouth. He felt surprisingly calm despite realizing his fatal mistake. It must have an effect of the poison. "Eh, fuck it," he shrugged. He proceeded to gulp down even more of the yellow-green poison.

"Carl, what in the actual fuck?!" Emma shouted as she tried and failed to grab the beaker away from Carl.

"Well, I figured if I'm going to die anyway, I might as well make it as quick as possible," Carl said as he ran over to the other side of the room. "Plus, this stuff is surprising tasty and I don't want to die thirsty."

"That's not what..." Emma tugged her hair in frustration. "Carl, that poison is not intended to kill humans, it is intended to kill whales for every drop that is ingested by a human!"

Carl stared back at her in confusion. "What the hell is that supposed to --" His words were cut off by the sound of a loud banging noise that shook the whole observatory. "What the..." He and Emma made their way over to a nearby window, only to freeze in shock at the sight outside.

There were thousands of dead whales floating in the ocean, stretching all the way to the horizon, a sea of mangled corpses and blood. The loud bang they had earlier was the sound of one of the whales washing ashore and hitting against one of the observatory walls. Carl stared at the literal bloodbath in front of him and finally muttered, "...How many do you think I killed?"

"I honestly wouldn't be surprised if you killed all of them," Emma replied, sick to her stomach at the idea that an entire species was now wiped from the Earth because of her actions. "In fact, considering how many carcasses there are, I'm sure of it."

"Huh". That was all Carl said for a few moments. Then, he raised the beaker to his lips. "No harm in finishing this then."

"Carl, stop fucking drinking it!"


7eggert t1_jacuwj5 wrote

:-) I think it would work better with the doom coming from having to pee and even sweat. But if it's intended to kill whales; if one creates a poison to do that, why would that person be upset about it being used?


Letteropener52 t1_jaczh8f wrote

The way I intended it was that Emma only wanted to use a few drops to curb the whale population. She didn't intend to drive them to extinction.


DoomHaven t1_jad5gd5 wrote

I hadn’t heard from Carl in years. He was my best friend in university, and all the best stories from that time involved him. Like the time he mixed drinks at a pre-finals party and everyone turned lemon-yellow and got a pass on the vector calculus. Or the time he gave Cindy, the self-proclaimed “Biology Bimbo”, some sort of confidence booster before her big presentation that she aced. She took great pride making sure Carl couldn’t walk for the week after. Or the collection of beaker-shaped coffee mugs, and the misunderstandings those caused. So when I got the email inviting me to his parent’s mountain retreat, I couldn’t book time off work fast enough.

The Canadian Rockies are amazing -- tall, jagged spires of rock clawing triumphantly at the blue, Albertan summer sky. When he wasn’t at the research institute on the Pacific Coast -- something to do with whales, I think -- he spent his time at his parent’s old cabin. I grinned remembering the ragers we threw here. Carl and I made a great team back then -- he was the brains, and I was the charm.

Carl welcomed me with his trademarked shy smile as I pulled up the lane to the cabin. It looked completely different than the last time I was here. Originally, it could have charitably been called a shack, ramshackle and fresh out of a horror movie. Now, it was an almost palatial lodge; multistory and open with tall, glass windows.

“You came, Tom! I’m so happy, please, come in, come in!” I hugged my old friend -- I was one of the few he afforded this luxury. “Carl, my man, it’s been too long, you look great! What did you do to my cabin, you’ve ruined it!”

“I’m sorry, Tom. As you can see, I have some good news, and some bad news.” We shared a laugh over our inside joke almost older than our friendship. “I… uh… I needed some extra space. I loved the view. So, I made a few changes, nothing major… Uh… come in, I’ll show you around. I… I’ve made a breakthrough.”

My feet kept following Carl to his chalet while my mind stopped. He said, “breakthrough”. Carl’s failures were far more successful than anything I’d consider a life victory. But he always called them “failures”. He’d never used the b-word before: refused to, in fact. It courted disaster, he claimed.

After a quick trip to the kitchen -- I was dying for a coffee before even getting here, and he still had the novelty mugs -- we ended up in his laboratory. Of course, Carl has a laboratory in his remote, mountain retreat. It wasn’t the first time I accused Carl of being a mad scientist in jest. But the b-word kept my mouth shut. Absently, I put my mug down on the laboratory countertop and waited.

“Uh, so Tom, you may not know it, but uh I’ve been working with orcas. Lovely creatures, not the killers everyone thinks. I’ve been working on a formula to increase their intelligence. Most of them, even one drop of the solution, caused immediate death of the whales. But this one, this beaker holds the breakthrough.” The brown-black liquid sloshed in the beaker in his hand as he triumphantly waved it.

Swept up in the moment, I grabbed my coffee mug; it was fuller than I thought. I raised it to toast his victory. “Congratulations, Carl! That’s amazing!” I took a deep swig, the pleasantly sweet, lemon-lime liquid coursed down my throat. The caffeine roared through my mind, awaking me.

The look on Carl’s face froze me. His eyes were wide with fear; his mouth falling, falling open; the rest of the colour draining from his pale, gaunt face. A healthy face, though, with not even a trace of the facial scleroderma that killed his father.

“What? How did you turn my coffee into lemonade?” I checked my mug, the brown-black liquid swished around the graduated flask. Oh. Carl’s novelty mugs didn’t have precision measurements of a real Erlenmeyer flask. The refractive index of the borosilicate glass should have given it away as well, or the heft, or even that this glass was room temperature instead of piping hot.

“Tom, a drop of that beaker was enough to kill a whale!”

I already knew that. In my mind, I could see the chemical reactions in the orca’s biochemistry as its brain tissue surged and expanded, as the creature’s encephalon grew, as the Vitamin A became toxic to their enhanced minds and killed them. I could feel the terror as their last thoughts knew how and why they were dying and how powerless they were to stop it. I could tell by the swish of the liquid in the beaker that Carl -- poor, slow, dumb Carl -- was still years away from his breakthrough.

“Carl, I have some good news, and I have some bad news”.


ElsaKit t1_jadcxx9 wrote

Amazing how his internal monologue changes and you know what happened before it's revealed - perfect example of show don't tell!


DoomHaven t1_jae5wsz wrote

I really appreciate that compliment, as I think telling and not showing is one of my worst weaknesses.


ElsaKit t1_jaeo5n3 wrote

Well you did great on it here! Keep practicing and I'm sure you'll gain confidence in your ability soon :)

Good luck!


Techhead7890 t1_jae3nkf wrote

>“Uh, so Carl, you may not know it, but uh I’ve been working with orcas. [...]

Is this meant to say Tom, the visitor person?

Good story and atmosphere though!


DoomHaven t1_jae5crz wrote

D'oh! I think I need a little of the lemonade myself. Thanks for the catch!


langellenn t1_jadaz95 wrote

More... I need more...


DoomHaven t1_jae5s6p wrote

I'm sorry, I can't do that with this prompt. Half the fun is the mystery of whether Tom survives, right? Those, I have 15 other prompts so far if you would like to read them?


DevonMcClain t1_jaesltb wrote

Now I’m not one to say I’m stupid but for everyone else in the class, can we have an explanation? From what I got it means he became a super genius right?


DoomHaven t1_jaev7k8 wrote

You have it correct :) For the sake of the rest of the class, would you have any comments on how it wasn't clear, or how it could be made clearer?

That's the good news. The bad news could mean that Tom realizes that Carl's breakthrough is bad. Or... it could mean that Tom's going to be a genius for the rest of his very brief life.


send-borbs t1_jaevmm4 wrote

he became a super genius and then figured out how it was also gonna kill him as a side effect


RockyMoose t1_jae5bzr wrote

Fantastic, really good take on the prompt! This one is my favorite response.


DragonEyeNinja t1_jacvqm3 wrote

(perhaps not in the original spirit of the prompt, but i wanted to go somewhere unique with this)

The chief professor of toxicology sat now at his desk. His student, having recently finished proudly describing his newest poison, placed it in front of the professor. Supposedly, it was strong enough to kill a whale within seconds. This was the final exam; the quicker or more excruciating the death, the better the grade the student would receive.

The professor was a unique kind of immortal. He did die, but resurrected an hour later. His job at the institute of toxicology was rather boring, until he suggested that he be the guinea pig for all sorts of dangerous substance. Naturally, his frequent deaths hurt a lot, but it paid well, and gave his students a chance to observe the results of their toxins through dissection of the cadaver.

He raised the beaker to his lips and downed the whole thing. Tasted of... lemon? That couldn't be right... no poisons would be as sweet as this.

Two minutes passed. The professor was still not dead. It was then that the student sheepishly realized something - she had accidentally swapped around her teacup and her poisonous beaker. After retrieving the substance, she placed it in front of him.

He took a swig this time and immediately collapsed on the floor, frothing at the mouth. An A+ for sure.


Professional-Box4153 t1_jae4ckb wrote

Wasn't this the premise of the show "Forever"?

Man gets cursed 300 years ago so that he's resurrected every time he dies. As you can imagine, after 300 years of this, it gets old, so he's researching new and improved ways of killing himself off... by becoming a medical examiner in New York where he can study the many ways that people die.

The premise was great, and the acting was quite good, but sadly, it never made more than a single season.


_TheSiege_ t1_jadl45g wrote

Was expecting this one to kill him off forever


Mr_E_Monkey t1_jadxa1b wrote

"Wait, it what?"

That I had made an embarrassing mistake nearly went without saying. That the scientists washed their dishes with the lab equipment, this mistake couldn't go without saying, so I said it:

"I told you that your unsafe lab practices would be the death of me, Mike."

Mike and I had been good friends for ages, and I knew that he must feel horrible, so it was nice to be able to get him to chuckle, as teary-eyed as he was getting.

"You son of a bitch, you just had to get one more joke in, didn't you?" He let out an odd noise that sounded like a sigh trying to hold back a sob. "How do you feel, Bill? Is there any pain?"

"No," I lied. I was getting a splitting headache, and the ringing in my ears alone was almost painful. There was another feeling, an odd not-quite-lightheadedness, not-quite-dizziness that I couldn't quite put a finger wasn't painful, but it felt like I was walking in a deep fog. Everything felt heavy. I needed a nap. But, in spite of everything, my curiosity, which was apparently enough to kill a whale, rather than a cat, compelled me to ask.

"So, how does this poison work, again?"

Maybe it would be good, for Mike, to focus on the science, for a moment, instead of his dying friend. If I could do that much, maybe it would be worth it.

He pinched the bridge of his nose between his forefinger and thumb. "So, we know that whales' brains sleep one half at a time, right? While we were researching cetacean intelligence, trying to unlock the potential of their brains, we discovered that this compound had the unfortunate side effect of synching up both halves of their brains. When exposed, they would fall asleep -- completely -- and drown. It only took one drop, no matter which species. It..."

I didn't hear the rest of his explanation, as everything faded away.

I woke up a short time later, on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance. It was a good thing that we were headed to the hospital, as I think I gave the poor paramedic a heart attack. I suppose I should be grateful he didn't try to bash my brains out.

Mike met us at the hospital, absolutely beside himself in relief. Neither of us were the hugging sort, but this felt like one of those situations where an exception could be made.

"I...I don't understand it. Don't take this the wrong way, Bill, but why are you alive?"

It was my turn to laugh. It felt great, and I felt more refreshed, more alive than I had in years. I supposed that dying might do that to a fellow, or maybe just the deepest, soundest sleep I had experienced in years. "I don't think that poison works the same way for humans, since both halves of our brains normally sleep at the same time. Though, I guess it is a good thing I wasn't in a pool."


MagicTech547 t1_jaen6hf wrote

Nice one!


Mr_E_Monkey t1_jaepj2u wrote

Thanks! I thought a relatively mundane explanation could be fun, and a bit easier than trying to come up with a chemical or magical explanation. I'm glad you enjoyed it! :D


sleepgasm t1_jaczimb wrote

Not bad for a deadly poison is about all I could think before my consciousness began to slip away. I vaguely remembered the doctor running to catch me as the ground rushed to do the same and then nothing.

I opened my eyes to see the beaker shattered in front of me. It’s contests spilled and already beginning to dry. Weirdly everything looked a little green. From the dull orange glow on the walls I could tell the sun had begun to set meaning I’d been out cold for at least 5 hours. Realizing it had been a minute since I regained consciousness I began to stir. My body was still a little stiff from the impact I assumed. The doctor didn’t end up making it to me on time then. The doctor! I jerked my head up and turned it to the other side. He was lying a foot away from me. I turned away before I could see more but I’d seen enough. His eyes has dissolved and it looked like his brain had too or at least that’s what I assumed was seeping out of his nostrils and ears. Fear and confusion began to set in. How much longer before I died? Why hadn’t I already died? How is he dead if I had the poison? Lost in the rush of my thoughts I didn’t realize that I’d crawled away to sit up against the door of his lab. I could only see the lower half of his body from behind the table now. I can’t believe he’s gone. I tried to push up further away from his body but my hands kept slipping on the floor. In all the panic that struck me as odd since the floor was as dry as a lab floor can be. I looked at my hands and saw that there seemed to be some sort of oily layer on them. It looked a little green too. I traced my hand prints back to where I was lying and I saw a big patch of this same oil in the shape of my body on the floor there. It looked like a body outline at a murder scene except it wasn’t my body that was dead. I slowly stood up and walked around the table that hid doc’s body. It was exactly what I feared — he had the oil on his hands. The fingertips were already starting to blacken with a dark green at the edge. The implication was too much for me. I could feel the bile rising as I ran out of his lab.

Furiously pedalling my bicycle on my way home I didn’t notice the oil patches I left behind on the road or on the stairwell. I got home and ran straight to the bathroom. The last time my body was scrubbed so hard was when my mother took it upon herself to rid my body of its epidermis. I watched the oil swirl around the shower floor and disappear into the drain. A faint film of green over the soapy water creating a neat spiral. It reminded me a tree frog I’d seen on Planet Earth once. As I stepped out of the shower I towelled myself multiple times to be sure that I’d gotten all the oil off. Satisfied on not seeing the tiniest amount of green on my white towel I stepped out of the bathroom.

That was maybe the last moment of peace I ever felt. A fleeting sense of control before my worst fears came true. The poison seemed to reacted with my body in a way that is beyond my understanding. All I know is that I produce copious amounts of it through my skin now. Anything living that touches the oil doesn’t remain that way for long. Washing it away doesn’t help either. The news channels reported mass fish deaths in the rivers that handle our towns run offs. As far as I can tell even leaving it alone doesn’t make it any less deadly. Judging by my experiments on the flies that I managed to trap in my apartment it looks like the oil vapour is just as fatal. I’m scared all the time now. More than one person has died because of me — I think it was the oil I left behind on my way home. The news channels are calling it a chemical spill but I know it’s already gotten government attention. It’s a small town. Word gets around fast when outsiders come in. I’m starting to run out of food too now. I made a few grocery runs earlier but they’re too risky. I can’t control the oil and no matter how well I bathe it’s back within 10 minutes. I wish I had more courage. I would hang myself. Or burn myself. I don’t know. Anything but this. God, help me. I wish I could kill myself. At least death would bring release. Death would bring peace. God. The god of death. That’s what I’ve become. Maybe I’ll walk upto the nearest reservoir and take a quick dip. I’ll help millions that way. Help them find the release I can’t seem to find.

—————- This is the first time I’ve ever written anything outside of my notebook and even that’s mostly just notes and bits. Not a writer by any stretch of my imagination but I’d like to try so please be generous with your feedback.


DishOutTheFish t1_jadbk66 wrote

OH GOD this is amazing man!


sleepgasm t1_jade9sm wrote

Thank you! I hope you really did enjoy it :))


DishOutTheFish t1_jades8m wrote

I did! Don't put yourself down, you've written, so you're a writer! Good for you, and thank you very much!


sleepgasm t1_jadg1u5 wrote

You’re very kind :) I didn’t proof read it before I sent it cause I was in a hurry but I can already see how I could’ve done a better job. Next time! :) Thank you for your encouragement!


lululit t1_jadbij5 wrote

"Did you....?"

He looked down at his hand.

"I guess I did."

Her face went white. Slowly, timidly, she stepped towards him, gesturing to the chair she just got up from. She helped him sit down. Everyone else stood frozen in place, not believing what they'd just seen. He appreciated them not freaking out, but somehow this was worse. The dim hum of the projector, the pale glow of the PowerPoint they had been presenting. Those were the last things he would experience?

Some brave soul from the back ventured a suggestion. Should they call emergency services?

"I think there's no use," she said. "He drank, like, half of it."

He didn't like that comment, since it made him sound stupid, but it was accurate. Half the beaker was now empty. It was pretty tasty, though. He could still taste it. The thing he couldn't believe was that he'd taken several sips without even noticing.

He looked back at his hand, no longer holding the beaker.

"How long?" he said, his voice now starting to quiver.

She furrowed her brow. Something was off, she thought. He should be dead already, not that that was something she wanted. Just strange. She told him so.

"Then how am I still alive?"

"Honestly, I have no idea. How do you feel?"

Someone in the back said something again, possibly the same guy as before. She told him to shut up.

"Open your mouth."

He did.

"How are you just fine? You drank way more than a drop."

Her tone was more one of bewilderment than relief, he noted, but he was still thankful for her words. He licked the inside of his mouth. It was kind of sticky, but the taste was beginning to fade. She kept looking at him like he was some sort of alien microbe on a microscope slide, but he still felt fine. Someone said something in audience once more, which they both promptly ignored.

"You said a drop of this could kill a whale?"

"Not could," she reiterated, "would. Definitely would've already."

"I drank, like a half a beaker. Like 50 milliliters. How many drops is that?"

"What?" she asked, not understanding.

"You said a drop would kill a whale. How many drops did I have? 50?"

She pondered this for a second.

"That's not how it works. You can't drink more poison and get less of an effect. That doesn't even make sense."

"And yet..." he posited.

There was silence once more. Well, except for the hum of the projector. He faced towards the crowd again. The high school gym, full of students. He suddenly felt very self-conscious. Everyone was looking at him.

"Anyway," he said, springing up again to continue the presentation, "this stuff is really dangerous, huh!?"


Aquaberry_Ice t1_jadf6i8 wrote

Somewhere, a bunch of dead whales have floated to the surface. Loved this!


Nellthe t1_jacyum6 wrote

Authors note: I tried something different, a bit darker, hope you like it!



Three days ago - The oceanic life research facility (OLRF) - Mariana Trench division, Indonesia.

“Fascinating,” Amelia said.

“What’s that?” Daniel asked sipping his coffee, his earbuds in his ears like always.

“I said,” Amelia raised her voice. “Fascinating!”

“What’s fascinating?” Daniel asked taking another sip of his coffee.

“The liquid that new species of fish produces, the one we discovered last month,” Amelia said with annoyance. “One single drop of the liquid can kill a whale… What are you even doing now?”

“Drinking my coffee, with milk finally,” He answered.

“What milk, no one bought milk once again,” Amelia said.

“What was this then?” Daniel asked shaking the empty beaker.

Amelia froze instantly, could it be? No one could be that stupid to pick a beaker with an unknown liquid from the laboratory table, right? She thought to herself. Then again Daniel was, well Daniel the IT guy, he never really cared much about anything, living life on reserve power.

“Where did you find it?” Amelia rushed towards him.

“Here,” He pointed to the table where liquid from the fish stood minutes ago. “It tastes kinda funny though. Which kind is this, don’t tell me they mike out of limes now?”

“You idiot!” Amelia yelled.


“You drank the poison?” Amelia frantically looked around the lab, hoping she was wrong.

“What? WHAT?” Daniel yelled the information only hiding him now. “No I took the white liquid from here, the milk.”

“That is the poison,” Amelia said. “It was white, like milk yes, but what the hell Daniel, do you even use your brain?”

“Oh my God, Oh my God, what do I do now?” He started pacing around the lab.

Amelia took a deep breath, trying to stay calm despite the panic rising within her. "There's nothing we can do now," she said, her voice barely above a whisper. "You should have been dead by now."

"What do you mean, dead?" Daniel asked, his face going pale. "Amelia, please tell me you're joking."

"I wish I were," Amelia said. "That liquid is highly toxic, and there's no known antidote. Well, we have just discovered it."

Daniel sank into a chair, his hands trembling. "So, what's going to happen to me?" he asked, his voice barely audible.

"Maybe it's not toxic to humans," Amelia said, her voice rising with hope. "Let's get you to the medical bay and see what we can do."

She helped Daniel to his feet, and they rushed out of the lab and down the long corridor toward the medical bay. Amelia was in a state of panic, her mind racing with all the possible outcomes. What if the poison really was lethal to humans? What if there was no cure, no way to save Daniel's life? Was she to blame? Was him?

As they reached the medical bay, the door slid open, and they were greeted by the medical team on duty. Amelia explained the situation to the doctor in charge, who immediately started examining Daniel.

"What do you say he drank, exactly?" the doctor asked.

“New poison from the new fish we discovered at the bottom of Mariana Trench,” Amelia asked. “It’s highly toxic, he should have been dead already.”

Doctor just nodded and continued to examine him. “He looks just fine, his vitals are up a little bit, but that could be from the panic. Let’s leave him here overnight and we will monitor him.” The doctor said.

Amelia nodded and said goodbye to Daniel leaving for her lab, hoping he would be ok.

Two days ago - The oceanic life research facility (OLRF) - Mariana Trench division, Indonesia.

> 08:30 AM: SOS signal towards the mainland.

> 08:36 AM: SOS signal towards the mainland.

> 08:38 AM: All contact was lost with The oceanic life research facility.

One day ago - The oceanic life research facility (OLRF) - Mariana Trench division, Indonesia.

> Still no contact with the OLRF

> Rescue teams deployed to the OLRF location, one day to arrive.

Present day - The oceanic life research facility (OLRF) - Mariana Trench division, Indonesia.

“What do you think happened, Chief?” Henry asked his commander, Norris.

“No idea, maybe the power is just out?” He said.

“Don’t they have like a gazillion backup generators?” He asked.

“I don’t, I guess we will see in a few minutes,” Norris answered and turned towards the side of the chopper, looking out of the window.

As choppers drew closer they could finally see the OLRF in the middle of the thick forest. Seeing it this up close, the facility completely dark, a feeling of unease came over Henry, something felt way off. As they came closer and closer, they could notice that the windows on the second floor were broken and the front door of the facility was busted. Looking closer Henry saw what looked like a white lab coat in front of the building, and something red around it. No, it was a body in the coat, a body missing its limps laying in a pool of its own blood.


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ImmaRussian t1_jadfpf7 wrote

"Hoo shit, Jesus Carl, be more careful about what you-"


"Christ Carl, no; you're fine, you're not a whale, are you? One drop will kill a whale, it would take like a gallon to kill a human. You should really be more careful about what you drink though."

"Why the FUCK did you put this in a goddamn coffee cup?"

"Well, it was a handy container, and I was already late for the meeting."

Carl slammed his hand down on the table "Ok, more to the point, why did you put it in *my* coffee cup?! This is MY coffee cup!"

"Why did you bring a goddamn coffee cup shaped like a beaker into the lab, Carl?"

"It has FLOWERS printed on it?!"

"Still, drinks in the lab?!"

A third voice cleared their throat from the other end of the long table, "It's very good to know that The Consortium won't need to find another testing director, but you've both demonstrated to our satisfaction that your lab protocols have become very lax, which we'll talk about at a subsequent meeting... And I think we're all very anxious for you to get on with the presentation."

".... Right."

Carl and Francine both remembered then, that they were in the middle of a meeting presenting their work from the past month to the directors of the Consortium, whose motives were often as terrifying as they were mysterious. The other end of the table was always shrouded in darkness at these meetings, so it was also never clear exactly how many people were watching them. After 15 years working for them though, Carl and Francine had learned two things very thoroughly: A certain familiarity with their workplace that occasionally allowed them to forget where they were, and to *never* question their employers, who paid quite handsomely and left them largely to their own devices.

"Yes, anyway... This poison, which is mostly safe for human consumption, is what I've been working on for the last month, and if, for some reason, you needed to kill a whale, it would only take one drop, but here's the real kicker: It would only take one drop *dropped into their aquarium*. For a whale living in an enclosure with the recommended water volume for an adult blue whale, one drop in that enclosure will be enough to kill the whale within an hour. Which... I don't mean to brag too much, but if you weren't aware, the 'recommended water volume' for a blue whale enclosure is very large, so this poison is... Incredibly potent. If you could deliver the poison directly into the whale's body, it would take about 0.000001 grams of it ."

The voice at the end of the table spoke up again, gravelly and raspy, but high pitched; "That is splendid, this will work perfectly for our purposes."

Francine became more visibly agitated as she considered her next words "My only word of caution about this substance is that it uh... Perhaps might be inadvisable to produce it in large quantities. Aside from simply being somewhat expensive to produce in bulk, a spill to the tune of even one gallon would do incalculable damage to whale populations the world over. A sufficiently large spill or leak could easily render the entire planet free of whales within a generation."


Francine's face turned white as she packed up her papers, and, with a shaking hand, accepted an envelope slid down the table.

The darkness spoke again, "Now, Carl, do you have anything to report on your new nanostructure idea?"

"I do, but I have good news and bad news about how it's made. The good news is it's actually much cheaper to produce than I could have ever hoped; I have those figures here," he waved a piece of paper, "but the bad news is... Look, how do you feel about reptiles? I don't usually ask questions like this, but... Do you have any moral issue with breeding them systematically while keeping them in constant excruciating pain?"

Carl heard silence, then faint hissing from the other side of the table, and his face turned white too...

'I thought my day was unlucky when the vending machine ate my dollar, but Fuuuuck.'

The gravelly, high pitched voice returned, "Francine, we feel that your presence is not necessarily required for the next portion of this meeting. If you'd like to return to your work, you may do so while we continue discussing Carl's progress."


verbal-emesis t1_jadm6jb wrote

I love it!

I was confused for a bit because I missed the subject change between the poison and the nano, but then I re-read. Maybe add something to indicate who is asking Carl about his project? Maybe no one else got confused and it’s fine the way it is.


alexj12s t1_jaegz7q wrote

Tw - death, passive suicidality, animal experiments.

Edit: fixed the formatting

She looked down at the glass. "Lemon-lime", she said.

"Oh my god, did you just drink it?" He freaked out. While already grabbing a needle, he went on. "We have to knock you out immediately. Then, we can slow it down and maybe I can find a way-"

She put the glass down. "No", she said.

He froze. "What?"

"No. You're not gonna try to save me."

The scientist looked at her in confusion. "But- you're gonna die. Very, very painfully and slowly. I'm- I'm serious, that shit is the definition of deadly!"

"No, Sir", she said. Her yellow eyes watched the small fish in the tank next to her. They were destined to die, too. There were experiments planned to be performed on them the next day. But they didn't know that. They just went on with their time, eating the food they had gotten just a minute ago and swimming around in their little universe. "Am I contagious?"

"Not unless you get eaten"

She nodded. "I admire you, Sir" She picked up her coat. "Although this was my fault because I made the mistake, you didn't even tell me I did something wrong." She put on her coat, it was cold outside after all. "You just went on to saving me." Her gloves were next, then her phone disappeared in a pocket. "You're working in here, day and night. Just to save them. That's admirable. I'll see you sooner or later"

The scientist was so surprised, he couldn't even answer. He could just watch her walk out, into the world. She was one of the fishes - only she knew her destiny. But she didn't care either. She had made peace with death a long time ago, and she wouldn't stress herself about it now. She walked and walked while the pain grew stronger and stronger. The sun set and she kept walking, although much slower by now. At midnight, her legs gave in. She collapsed onto the ground, but she kept crawling. And she didn't mind. She crawled for a whole night - first over streets and stone, later over grass and moss. The trees of the forest were dark and calming, and she smiled the whole way. Once the sun rose, her arms gave in as well. And she just laid there, in more pain than you could possibly imagine. Worse than any human had ever experienced. But she didn't care.

And the scientist didn't either. She had been wrong. As soon as she had left the room, he had locked the door again. He had gone back to his work, unbothered and uncaring. He didn't mind her death. He didn't care about the others. He also didn't work to save them - they were just kids, they were reproducible. He wasn't. He worked to save himself. In the afternoon, he killed the fishes for his own sake.

And she got eaten by an animal. He was infected a month later. He died, too.


USSPython t1_jaeq6f3 wrote

Sooner or later, he did see her again, now didn't he


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runswithdolls t1_jacvv4v wrote

Not enough words to be a full story but this is my contribution:

Thank God I'm not a whale, I think.

.. Until I start struggling to breathe and suddenly remember my mom's mermaid blood.


Alarid t1_jadij9v wrote

"I struggle to grab my phone, to open Genshin one last time."


-monkbank t1_jaducxn wrote

“Well, it’s slow-acting. You’ve got another hour. I go grab the antidote.”


wlsb t1_jadvipw wrote

Subversion: the poison only affects whales.


archpawn t1_jaeghx9 wrote

Is the beaker on the table or are you drinking from it?


Talalol t1_jaf0p4f wrote

As I lower my cup , a fear penetrates into my soul. Is this my final moment?

A british boy emerges from a closet and says "I can't believe you've done this!"

As I fall to the floor, a faint sound grows louder and louder.

Hee hee



An angel grabs my soul, I see my body below as I am whisked away through the ceiling into the sky above.

The angel looks down at me , with a pale white face and beady eyes. I am Jackson Michael , and I will pass your judgement.

What torment awaits me?