Submitted into Contest #137 in response to: Write a story about a scientist.... view prompt


Historical Fiction Mystery

           Albert Finley was born with what the medical professionals referred to as, “Macrocephaly,” or an overly large head. Doctors warned Albert’s parents that this condition most often led to complications later in life, so they should prepare themselves.

           His parents chose the name, Albert, after the world-renowned physicist, Albert Einstein, a role model for Albert’s father who was a physicist himself. Little did they know how this namesake was going to impact their son’s life.

           In the first year of Albert’s life, his parents had several tests done on almost a weekly basis to check the progress of their son’s condition. The doctors put him through MRI’s, had him assessed for signs of autism, checked for infections and tumors, yet nothing seemed out the ordinary other than an increase in his cranium and his brain activity.

           Three weeks before his first birthday, Albert began to take his first steps, though his large skull made it more difficult to balance and he stumbled several times. His speech was limited, but he seemed fascinated with the way things worked. Everything from the flight of a house fly to the cars driving down the street.

           As he grew older and started in school, Albert’s parents would receive several calls or notes from the teacher concerning his odd behaviour in class. While the other children played with toys and dolls, Albert would use up every piece in the LEGO box to create an extravagant model of the solar system. He didn’t have any friends and was teased a lot by the other children because of his large skull.

           While lessons were being taught, Albert seemed distant, like his body was present, but his mind was somewhere else. He gazed out the window at the clouds in the sky instead and wondered what it would be like to fly like a bird.

           Albert’s parents realized their son was special by the time he turned eight and could identify every element in the periodic table. Albert’s father began sharing his love for science at an early age, and his thirst for knowledge seemed unquenchable.

           Oddly enough, when Albert reached his teenage years and began high school, his grades began to drop, so his parents arranged a meeting with Albert’s teachers. Each one of them stated the same thing; they said that Albert refused to participate in class and all his homework assignments were handed in incomplete, yet his tests and exams were perfect. In fact, his chemistry teacher showed them one test where Albert had corrected the formula on one of the test questions. Nobody had ever noticed it before, and it would have been impossible to answer without the correction.

           It was suggested by the high school principal that Albert be put into an advanced program at a special school for gifted students. The name of the facility was, Sycamore Academy, and Albert began his stay there one week later.

           As Albert and his parents entered the front doors of Sycamore Academy for the first time, his parents were in awe of the list of awards, commendations, and plaques that lined the walls of the foyer. A large portrait sat upon an easel of the academy’s founder, Lord Francis Culver, an aristocrat with a passion for higher learning. His philosophy was that an exceptional mind has the potential for exceptional things, whether it be through science, philosophy, or the arts. His academy was dedicated to helping the students tap into the grey matter within their brains and expand the potential and the physiology of brain activity.

           Doctor Elizabeth Harding greeted them as they walked into the office. Doctor Harding was a Neuroscientist and oversaw the running of the facility. Her experience allowed her to facilitate the academy with the latest neurological technology. She asked to speak with Albert alone for a moment, so his parents stepped into the hall.

           After approximately ten minutes, Albert joined his parents in the hall. For the first time in an exceptionally long time, they saw their son smile. His mother tried to find out what Doctor Harding had talked to him about, but Albert refused to reveal anything about their conversation. Doctor Harding appeared in the doorway and said that her assistant, Maria would show Albert to his room.

           Maria led them down a long corridor with windows on both sides lining the length of the hall. Outside, they had a view of the forest the surrounded the facility to the East, and a man-made lake to the West. Benches were mounted to the base of each window.

           As they walked through the double doors at the end of the corridor, flashes erupted through a window to the right. They had to shield their eyes from the brightness. Maria explained that they were conducting experiments using Nikola Tesla’s original alternating current designs and were finding ways of improving on the design using modern technology and materials.

           Through another set of doors were the male dorm rooms. Male and female students were kept separated except during class studies. She explained that hormones had an adverse affect on a student’s intellectual capabilities.

           Albert was given a private room and was told that he would be given a schedule for his classes later that day. Maria handed him a map of the school and grounds and said that she would take his parents back to the main lobby. They quickly said goodbye to Albert and left with Maria.

           Albert unpacked his belongings and studied the map. Within minutes, he had it memorized. He heard a knock at the door less than an hour later. A young man slightly older than Albert stood in the doorway. He introduced himself as Paul, a student at the academy for the last two years. He was also the Resident Advisor (or RA for short), in charge of the dormitory where Albert was staying. He handed Albert his course study schedule and told him to call on him regarding any questions or concerns.

           Albert’s first day was spent in a private session with a psychotherapist who tried to release any emotional barriers that would potentially impede his learning abilities. After that, he was asked to perform a series of tests to measure his intelligence quotient. He then spent an hour in a dimly lit room with a hypnotherapist who was supposed to open Albert’s mind to its full capability. During the hypnosis, something unusual happened, however. Albert began speaking in German. When the hypnotherapist asked if he learned to speak German in school, Albert replied that he had always known how.

           Once Doctor Harding received the report of Albert’s results, she contacted his parents and asked him if they had taught Albert to speak German, but they claimed that to their knowledge, he had never studied German and neither of them knew how to speak it. She made a note of it and watched Albert’s case much more closely from then on.

           Each day, Albert exceeded the expectations of his teachers. His knowledge of the sciences seemed to come naturally to him, but he excelled in physics. He could relay Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity almost verbatim. The way he described physical phenomena in the absence of gravity was so impressive, that he was asked to give a special presentation in front of the faculty. After he finished, Doctor Harding arranged for a special session for Albert with the hypnotherapist.

           Once Albert was deep in a trance, the hypnotherapist read a list of questions that Doctor Harding had prepared. They were not questions about science, but of Albert Einstein’s personal life, such as the city where he was born, the names of his two wives, the names of his children, what year he won the Nobel Prize in Physics, and where he died. Albert was able to answer every question correctly and without hesitation.

           She began to think that he had perhaps read the biography of Einstein but had another theory; one that science may not be able to explain.

           Over the next several weeks, Doctor Harding took it upon herself to sit in on many of Albert’s study groups and was thoroughly impressed at how much knowledge this young man had. The large head that sat above his shoulders held the large brain of a genius. She felt the need to evaluate her theory further, however, and set up another hypnotherapy appointment for him.

           Before the session began, Doctor Harding asked for Albert’s permission to provide him with an electroencephalography cap (or EEG), which held electrodes that would identify and indicate changes in brain activity. He agreed and placed it on his head. Albert made a comment that it looked like his mother’s shower cap. His attempt at humor was unexpected and caught the doctor off guard for a moment before she began to laugh.

           Doctor Harding asked question regarding quantum physics, something a man as young as Albert would know little of. She then questioned him about Elsa, Einstein’s second wife. She had asked him how they were related to which Albert explained that Elsa was his second wife, but also his maternal first cousin because their mothers were sisters, but also they were paternal second cousins since their fathers were also first cousins. The way Albert described Elsa, was not from a book, but from the eyes and heart of a man in love.

           Once the test was finished, Doctor Harding looked over the one-hundred-page print-out from his EEG. When stimulated by specific questions, Albert’s EEG spiked, while during ordinary questions, there was no abnormal activity. She did, however, notice that his brain activity was much higher than the average academic. It didn’t prove her theory conclusively, but she knew that there was definitely something extra-special about Albert. If she were right about him being a reincarnation of Albert Einstein, however, she had to figure out a scientific reason as to how it would be possible.

           Later that evening, Doctor Harding made a call to Albert’s parents. She explained that Albert was an exemplary student, but that something had come up that she had a tough time explaining. She told them it began with him speaking German, then was his vast knowledge of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Albert’s father explained to her that he had several books on Einstein at his home, so it was quite possible that Albert could have read them. She then explained the results of the EEG and his reaction while explaining his relationship with Elsa. She wanted to know if the books that Albert’s father had at home contained any personal information about Elsa, but he said there was no personal information, only his theories.

           Doctor Harding was not a religious person, nor did she believe in the possibility of coming back to life in another person’s body, but her instincts were telling her that there was more to Albert than what was on the surface.

           After several days, Doctor Harding decided to meet face-to-face with Albert and confront him without the aid of hypnosis. She asked him if he believed in life after death, and he said no. She asked if he had ever studied Albert Einstein’s theories, and he admitted that he read the books in his father’s library a few times. Then she asked if he knew anything about Einstein’s personal life, and he hesitated before saying no.

           Doctor Harding found this suspicious, so she asked him the same question continuously until he admitted that he Google searched Einstein’s life a month before starting at the academy. He explained to Doctor Harding that he has a photographic memory which allows him to retain vast amounts of information for prolonged periods of time, but it isn’t permanent. He found that things that he had studied earlier in life had all but disappeared from his memory to make room for all the current knowledge. He also admitted that hypnosis does not work on him, so he was quite aware during those sessions.

           Doctor Harding was furious at first at Albert’s deception, but relieved that she did not need to explain to anyone how Albert Einstein’s reincarnated mind was now in the body of a seventeen-year-old boy.

           Albert continued his studies at the academy, though under less deceptive circumstances. He was later accepted with a full scholarship to the prestigious University of Oxford, one of Albert Einstein’s former institutions. From there, he continued his studies in Physics and hoped that one day he could accomplish even half of what his idol and namesake had done during his lifetime.

March 12, 2022 21:18

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Michał Przywara
23:04 Mar 20, 2022

That didn't end at all how I was expecting -- great twist! I guess it's a good lesson about not jumping to conclusions. Thanks for sharing.


Greg Gillis
18:36 Mar 22, 2022

Thank you. I am glad you enjoyed it. If you like twist endings, you may like my most recent entry, "City of Gloom."


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02:38 Mar 20, 2022

Good story! I loved it..


Greg Gillis
18:02 Mar 20, 2022

Thank you Lee Anne. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


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Sharon Hancock
01:34 Mar 14, 2022

Loved it! Very creative storyline. I enjoyed it a lot😻


Greg Gillis
18:05 Mar 14, 2022

Thank you, Sharon. I have always been interested in Albert Einstein, so this was easy for me to write.


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