Flash Fiction: Professor Gehenna’s Unruly Monsters

This tale about a beleaguered evil scientist was inspired by a writing prompt. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

***

Professor Gehenna proudly strolled through his underground laboratory, smiling at the rows of spacious holding cells and their inhabitants. All was in perfect order. The tentacle beast was opening portals to the Void in moderation, and the hellhound was playing nicely with itselves. Even the killer robot his organization salvaged from that old refinery had finally stopped reading Nietzsche and questioning its existence, instead trying a saucy romance with bare-chested pirates on the cover.

As he passed by another room, a half-formed puddle of flesh on an operating table moaned at the sight of him. “Kill… me…”

“Oh, just this once.” He entered the cell, drew the laser pistol from his belt, and blew the abomination’s head clean off.

It regenerated all at once, with a pop and a giggle. “Again, again!”

“Maybe later, if you eat all your mutagens.”

“Awww.”

He returned to his tour, but hadn’t gone five steps before he spotted trouble. One of his newer scientists, in a white lab coat, was locked in the embrace of a monster with a glossy black exoskeleton.

“No! Put it down!” He raced inside and swatted the employee with his clipboard. “Bad scientist!”

The man stammered, “S-Sorry, sir, I was just-”

“Just trying to make the poor thing implant you with its parasites? Just couldn’t stop thinking of its potential as a weapon, could you? And what have I told you about all that ‘mad science’?”

“It gives evil science a bad name.”

“That’s right.” Professor Gehenna turned to the monster, which had scuttled into the far corner. “Did the mean man hurt you?”

It bashfully hid its eyeless skull behind three-foot claws.

“It’s alright now.” He held out his arms for a slimy hug, and the claws gently tore through the back of his lab coat. That was the third he’d ruined today. Good thing they were mass-produced on-site.

Before he could continue scolding his wayward employee, he was interrupted by the chant of a demonic incantation. Three cells down, another badly behaved mad scientist was loudly reciting in the Forbidden Tongue, urging on the horned demon who towered over him. The demon awkwardly played along and faked it, mumbling the words to the Ducktales theme song. Despite extensive research into the subject, that particular tune hadn’t proven to open any gateways to the abyss.

“Oh, for pete’s sake!” said Professor Gehenna, scurrying off to put a stop to it.

Most people who learned about his work — before they were thrown into the dungeon for being spies — assumed that wrangling all these unholy abominations was the most difficult part of his job. But nothing could be further from the truth. Most days, he felt like these mad scientists were the real inmates he needed to nurture. So he did, with gentle forbearance. If he didn’t take care of those poor creatures, with their silly schemes, who would?

***

Thanks for reading! And if you liked this story, many more are coming soon, so check back often.

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