Softly They Scream

He slumped in the bowels of the ship. The air was dank and stagnant, and it smelled of soured apples mixed with the swill of the Arctic sea. The lump in the corner stank of urine.

He was Professor Ballard, expert in botanical poisons, brilliant man of the world plucked from prestigious research. Why was he chained?

The lump stirred. Lucas Carlotti, his devoted assistant, let out a sigh not unlike the groan of the oaken hull.

“Wake up, Carlotti!”

Carlotti opened a crusty eye. The other was swollen shut. “We’re doomed, sir,” he mumbled.

“Get up!” Ballard yelled. “We don’t belunn…” The slur in his voice bled into his vision. He tugged the chains, feeling them shred layers from his aching wrists.

It was then he noticed his collecting trunk contents strewn across the stinking boards. The Zigadenus from Alaska. His famous find. Where was the bulb?

His blurry eyes fell to the metal bowl someone had tossed his way.

The water with the tang. His heart fluttered as it failed. The water laced with death camas, his parting gift to the world.


Copyright © 2015 by Emily Clayton
Originally appeared on Flash!Friday:

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