The lace curtains moved slightly from one side to the other as the breeze from the last day of summer entered the room like an invited guest. Sophie stood there on the outside of the window and looked inside. She knew what she would see. Right in front of her was an empty room with blood droppings on the snow white shag carpet. Sophie wiped the tear that had left her bright green eyes and she let out a gut wrenching yell, “It is all my fault!” “I should have tried to do something to stop this. I didn’t try at all.” She continued.
Ten months before Sophie got here to the empty room she was working happily in her dream job. She had graduated college early and was prepared to start her journey and live her dream out loud. She walked the streets of her city in Kinsick, California for a solid week before she came across a help wanted sign in a small laboratory window. She knew that these days in this century a sign in a window asking for help was as extinct as the dinosaur. But, nonetheless, she stopped in front of the lab and peered in the window. It had only one window in the front and a big glass door. On the other side of the glass door was a woman sitting behind a small brown wooden desk. The woman had her hair neatly pulled back into a bun, wore glasses which were too big for her tiny face and was dressed in a lab coat. She was talking on the phone and had a small smile on her face. Sophie wondered who was on the other end of the phone. That was Sophie always wondering about something. That’s what led her to science, the wonder.
Sophie pulled on the glass door but she could not open it. It was either locked or stuck. The woman in the lab coat held up her hand to signal that she would be there in a minute and so Sophie waited. In about two minutes the woman was at the door rattling a huge ring of keys. She opened the door and smiled.
“Can I help you?” The woman asked.
“Yes, I am here for the help wanted sign.” Sophie said.
“Oh, then come in please.” The woman said.
The woman was wearing a long white lab coat over a brown pants suit and on her small feet were a pair of white Nike sneakers. Her hair was in its natural state and she wore a pink headband to hold it all together. She peered over her glasses to take a better look at Sophie.
Once Sophie entered the building she saw a brown well worn fabric chair in one corner of the room and in the other corner was a black chair, not so worn but just as old looking as the brown chair. The brown chair had an indention right in the seat from someone sitting there. There was no other furniture in the room except the woman’s desk and chair. She motioned for Sophie to have a seat in the brown chair. The woman went behind her desk and rolled her chair a few feet from Sophie.
“My name is Dr. Millie Brown.” Dr. Brown extended her hand to Sophie.
Sophie shook the woman’s hand. “Nice to meet you. I am Sophie Color.” Sophie said, letting the handshake end.
“So, Sophie let me tell you about the job.” Dr. Brown said.
Dr. Brown went on about the hours of the job which were typical office hours and since Sophie didn’t live far she basically didn’t have a problem with working the occasional night when Dr. Brown added that part. She told her it was a lab tech position and that she would be working with another doctor named Peter Swiss. There was only one other person who worked there and she was Cindy the part time Administrative Assistant who was on maternity leave and would not return until after Christmas. Dr. Brown was covering the front desk until she returned. She asked Sophie about her experience and education. Sophie told her about graduating from college and working on campus in the lab there before graduating.
“Sophie, you are very qualified for the job of Lab Assistant but I need you to cover the front desk at times also until Cindy returns from her maternity leave. Is that okay with you?”
“That’s fine with me.” Sophie said, trying to hide the excitement which took over her whole body. She wanted to get up and do the happy dance but she restrained herself. She would dance when she got home.
“Excellent. Come in on Monday morning and I will have all the paperwork for you then and you can start on Tuesday at 9am.” Dr. Brown said and extended her hand again for another handshake.
Sophie was there a week before she met Dr. Peter Swiss. He was tall and handsome. His curly black hair kissed his collar and his bright brown eyes sparkled in the dim lighting of the lab. He had a small tattoo on his wrist of a butterfly and another on his right hand of another small Monarch butterfly. Sophie thought well, at least he liked butterflies. He reached out his hand to Sophie who was still in awe of his good looks and nervously Sophie extended hers too. They shook hands and he smiled.
“Welcome aboard.” Dr. Peter said.
“You can call me Dr. Pete if you want to. That’s what almost everyone around here calls me. And you are Sophie?” He asked.
Sophie swallowed hard before she spoke. All she could think of was that she hoped that Dr. Pete was not married. Although, he was about ten years older than her. She didn’t care. This man was absolutely beautiful.
“Yes, I’m Sophie. I started a couple of weeks ago. “ Sophie said.
“Well, Sophie, shall we get started this morning?” Dr. Pete asked as he moved some stuff around the work space and sat on a small rolling stool that the doctors use when you have your check up at the hospital.
Sophie tried to pay attention to the words coming out his mouth but she couldn’t take her eyes off of his handsome face and his luscious lips.
Sophie sat a few feet from him on her identical rolling stool and he told her all about something he was working on that his boss, Dr. Brown didn't know about. He said he felt that he could trust her. Sophie nodded and watched as he put different liquids in test tubes and filled them halfway and walked over across the room and placed them in the lab’s freezer. Sophie didn’t understand all that he told her but she understood enough to know that his experiment was dangerous enough it sent chills down her spine.
For the next several weeks Sophie and Dr. Pete worked on what they were supposed to work on and she covered the front desk and answered the phone and she also worked on his project on the side. She watched and asked questions that she would not get the answers to. He would tell her that in time all of her questions would be answered. She hoped that they would and hoped that those answers would not land anyone in jail or worse.
Six months after Sophie started working there Dr. Pete asked her out for coffee at the coffee shop, The Underground, around the corner from their job. Sophie agreed and she had arrived first at the shop. The girl behind the counter had green hair and was wearing a company tee shirt which had the Underground’s logo on it. Pinned near her collar bone was a name tag which said, “Hello my name is Greta.” Sophie smiled as she read the menu posted behind Greta on the wall. Sophie had hoped that would have Earl Gray tea and a banana muffin but this was not the kind of place that had anything similar to what she wanted. She settled on a small decaf coffee with sugar but no cream and a small chocolate donuts with nuts. She gave the girl a $20 bill and told her to keep the change. Sophie walked to a table near the window and sat down. She waited for Dr. Pete while sipping her coffee and picking at the chocolate donut in front of her on a small white napkin. A few minutes later he arrived.
Dr. Pete put his massive key chain on the table across from Sophie and walked up to the front counter where the girl, Greta, was standing helping another customer. Dr. Pete ordered a large coffee, black and a glazed twist donuts. He walked back to the table where Sophie was sitting and sipped his coffee before he said anything.
“You know the secret project I am working on?” Dr. Pete asked.
“Yes, of course.” Sophie said as she thought what kind of idiot does he think I am? I am in the lab every day with him as he works on it. Did he forget that fact?
“Well, I am almost done.” Dr. Pete said.
Sophie nodded her head.
“It is a serum that will bring the dead back to life.” Dr. Pete said.
“What? Once you are dead you can’t be brought back.” Sophie said.
“That’s what everyone thinks but I have invented something that can do just that. I am going to test it out on my cat Henry. Henry passed away two days ago.” Dr. Pete said.
Sophie nodded her head again. She was speechless. She felt like she had a scientist out of the Twilight Zone sitting in front of her. Was he a mad scientist in every form of the word? She didn’t know what to do or what to think.
“Sophie, are you still listening to me?” Dr. Pete asked.
Sophie turned her gaze from looking out of the window back to him and nodded her head yes again.
“Well, I was thinking that next week you could help me. Well, help me more is what I mean. What do you say? It would be a great experience for you.” Dr. Pete said.
Sophie wanted to scream, “Man, have you lost your mind? What the hell? Bringing dead cats back alive, what the hell? And then what people? This is some out of this world type of stuff.”
Sophie had no words. She just looked at him and he stopped talking long enough to realize she had not said a word since he started talking.
“Sophie, I know this sounds crazy. I know you are thinking that I am some mad scientist out of some weird science movie or something but trust me if this works this will be a scientific breakthrough and something that nobody else in the world has ever accomplished.” Dr. Pete said.
Sophie was still speechless. But, although her gut was telling her that he should not be doing this
And that nobody should be playing with life and death. She agreed to help him and meet him at the lab next week after they closed. She worried about what she had gotten herself into. She would find out the answer soon and it would not be pretty.
Dr. Pete laid the dead cat, Henry, on the table in the back of the lab. There was a room in the back with lace curtains and a shag white carpet that nobody really used. Dr. Pete explained that at one time it was used as a break room when they had more employees but now it was just an empty room for the most part that nobody used and he doubted that anyone remembered that it was there. Henry was stiff and looked a little creepy. His eyes were still open. He was a black and white cat with a stripe down his back similar to a stripe a skunk would have.
Dr. Pete put on some blue rubber gloves and so did Sophie. He turned the cat on his back and instructed Sophie to get a vial from the top shelf. Sophie saw about five vials on the top shelf and asked which one. He told her the first one. Sophie grabbed and carefully gave it to Dr. Pete. Dr. Pete talked into his phone, recording the whole experiment. Sophie stood next to him and held on to Henry as Dr. Pete filled a syringe with the liquid from the vial. Sophie wanted to turn away but she could not. Her eyes were glued to the dead cat on the table and the syringe in Dr. Pete’s hand. He slowly injected the cat with the fluid and they waited.
“This could take up to ten minutes.” Dr. Pete said.
Sophie nodded and continued to stand in silence next to Dr. Pete and wait for any signs of life from Henry, the dead cat. They didn’t have to wait long. Two minutes later they heard a “Meow” sound from Henry. Sophie jumped back from the place she was standing. She could not believe that it worked. Henry seemed to be coming back to life. Dr. Pete stood there and grabbed Henry like he was going to cradle him in his arms like a newborn baby.
Henry was slow to move at first. He lifted his head up and then his body. Dr. Pete extended his arms towards Henry. He mumbled something that Sophie couldn't understand and Henry leaped into his arms. Dr. Pete cried with joy. The joy was short-lived.
Henry’s eyes changed from the green color they were to bright red. Sophie called those devil eyes. Henry moved up towards Dr. Pete’s neck and before Dr. Pete could move Henry had bitten a huge chunk from his neck. Blood spewed all over him and Henry and even Sophie got blood on her lab coat. Henry growled, like a wolf growling deep into the dark night. The white carpet was now covered with Dr. Pete’s blood and beneath his feet there was Henry licking up every droplet of blood he could.
Sophie ran to Dr. Pete, who was on the floor now, face up. He was holding his wound and Sophie knew that if she didn’t get help he would die. Henry was still licking up the blood until he saw Sophie. He arched his body and his tail stood straight up behind him. Those devil eyes looked Sophie straight in her eyes and Henry was ready to pounce.
Henry did indeed pounce straight for Sophie’s neck. In one swipe of the hand Henry was dead again. This time Henry’s head was on the floor next to Dr. Pete. Sophie had beheaded the cat with a sword left in the room. Sophie was sure she could get to the sword in time or how the sword even got there but she was glad it was there and she got to it. She called 911 and Dr. Pete was at the hospital in a matter of minutes.
Sophie took Henry and his severed head and covered them with a blanket and took them outside to the back of the building’s garden. She knew that if the cops saw it or anyone saw it they would have questions that she didn’t want to answer. This was the best thing to do.
Sophie explained to the cops that it was an accident. A wild animal had attacked the Doctor and she didn’t know what it was because it happened so fast. They seemed to believe her since there were reports of coyotes in the neighborhood a couple of weeks ago. Dr.Pete would have to explain the rest.
Sophie picked up Henry behind the building and dug a grave as deep as she could. Her arms were tired and her hands were raw from shoveling but she didn’t stop until the hole was done. She threw Henry and his head in the grave and covered it back with dirt and said a prayer for the demon cat. She never told anyone about what happened that day in the lab and the only reminder of what did happen was the few stains of blood on the white carpet which Sophie could not get out. As for Henry. He lived again but hopefully never in this world.
Dr. Pete recovered and he and Sophie checked the grave of Henry. Dr. Pete wanted to bury him in a pet cemetery so they proceeded to dig up the grave Sophie put Henry in. They dug but did not see Henry and looked at each other and then in the hole again and at each other in horror. Henry was gone, severed head and all.