Splice

I was spotted in the crowd by someone I knew from years ago. We’d played together in the shelters when we were kids. She signalled one of the soldiers to pull me aside, and they did. The crowd didn’t want to let me go. I still have scars from when the soldier dragged me through the barricade. I didn’t see my saviour again after that. I’m sorry to say that I don’t even remember her name.

When I first arrived, I spent a full year working just on animals before I started with people. It might have been interesting if it hadn’t been so grotesque and pathetic. It started simple: they were testing me. Seeing what I would do. The requests came into the lab and we did the experiments.
We made pigs with cornered torsos. We made cows with udders covering their lower halves. We made hybrids of chickens and ducks, of goats and donkeys.

Now I’m working in Pairing. One human, one animal. Seeing what traits we can steal from animals without dragging along some unwanted ones too. The animals seem somehow stronger than us. As if their will to live is stronger than ours. I’m not sure that they realise they’re inside a Dome; I can hardly think about anything else.

I injected myself with Africanis this morning. I do not expect to be able to record another journal entry tomorrow morning.

7 thoughts on “Splice”

  1. This is great post-apocalyptic comovedy – vintage! The mood is great, I was reminded of oryx and crake (which was my initial interpretation of the theme). The first paragraph is great and traumatic, but the context is not entirely clear – same with the reference to the dome from your previous story. I am interested in how those things fit together and would like to know more!

    I loved the ending – the breed is obscure enough to give a double take :)

    1. Ta!
      O&C is very much the feeling I wanted, so I’m glad that came across.

      Overall I’m not very happy with this. I left it too late and I never quite get the story straight in my head, which I think comes through in the general mess of the “plot.”

  2. In a nasty world the narrator has been allowed to survive because of their genetic skills. They have previously bred useful animals and are now trying cross species mixes. The motivation appears to be that humans are not doing to well in the post-apo world. The narrator has injected herself with wild dog, whether in despair or in the name of science in unclear.

    I liked the general ideas and image of such a dark and desperate place. Seemed too much information packed into the story though. I would have like more exploration of characters motives and less exposition about the world.

    Really liked the last two paragraphs but feel the rest was just set-up for this interesting end. Especially like the idea (slightly expressed) that animals are intrinsically more adaptable because they can’t fret over their circumstances and that the narrator envies this ability.

    When your narrator envies dumb blindness you know your world is dark!

    1. Thanks, man.
      It’s odd that I write such gloomy shit, when I’m actually quite chirpy, no?

      I can see what you mean about too much info packed in: nicely echoes my rush to write it!
      I may have to rewrite a little for print.
      I was trying for despair, so it is groovy that that comes across okay.

      Out of curiosity, what makes you think the narrator is female? (No clues given either way in the story, I’d say. Sort of.)

      1. Actually quite chirpy – yes [but then all the truly cynical ones are…]
        Gender thing – so many micfic narrators are genderless that I am conscientiously choosing a random gender rather than the alternatives – use male because I am OR use some nasty s/he his/hers OR use some nasty singular they/em/whatever.

  3. Our Hero has been taken in by a group of individuals who are working on making human / animal hybrids. Our Hero isn’t happy with this, or the place that they’ve found themselves in, and decides to end (or dramatically alter) their life by taking “Africanis” — I assume that this makes a person / dog hybrid, or something of the sort.

    The first paragraph is a powerful scene, but something about the sentences jarred me. Perhaps it’s the sentence length (all mostly the same) affecting the rhythm of it. Maybe I’m just being picky.

    But then sometimes the sentences didn’t seem to flow (or jump) well together. For example:
    > The animals seem somehow stronger than us. As if their will to live
    > is stronger than ours.
    That seems a bit disjoint to me. However,
    > We’d played together in the shelters when we were kids. She
    > signalled one of the soldiers to pull me aside
    was a nice jump.

    Also:
    > When I first arrived, I spent a full year working
    The comma broke the sentence for me a bit.

    Is this related to your Dome story by any chance? 😛

    1. I see what you mean about the riddim of P1. Doesn’t quite feel right.
      This was very rushed (more than usual!) and I’m not happy with it.
      Rewrite status confirmed!

      Re Dome: what Dome?
      :)

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