Now, this is the chapter where the Sciency wiency stuff begins:
Alice doesn’t like pranks!
“Martin, meet syringe needle. Syringe needle, meet Martin.” Dr. Wartenberg whispered, as Alice lowered the syringe towards the crippled white mouse, preparing to inject it with the serum. “I don’t appreciate ya naming yer lab rat after me.” the human Martin complained, watching as they attempted test no. 14. They’d been at it for days, trying to perfect the serum for human use. But, it wasn’t even ready for mice use. “Shit!” Alice cried out at the fourteenth failure, while Dr. Wartenberg threw up his hands in defeat. “I’m not cleanin that up!” Martin muttered, scrunching his face up in disgust at the sight of rat guts and blood in the glass enclosure. Test subject showed movement in paws, momentarily clawed at the glass of its enclosure, before swelling up and exploding. Fail. The exasperated old man scribbled on a yellowed page in his diary . “Dr. Wartenberg, I’m gonna work late an’ figure this out. Maybe there’s a problem with the dosage or somethin. I dunno, but we’re gonna make this serum a success, no matter what! ” she promised, as the dejected doctor left the lab.
“Alice, you’ve been ere all day. Ya haven’t eaten a thing. Let’s go.” a concerned Martin ordered. She rubbed her eyes, which were under strain from peering into the microscope for too long. “You don’t understand. If I perfect this serum, it could help paraplegics around the world. Soldiers who’ve lost their limbs in warfare, polio patients, paralysed people….they’ll all benefit from it, Martin. I can’t leave now….You go ahead.” she explained, refusing to budge. “It’s gettin late an’ Matt’s gonna worry. Besides, ya can’t travel alone by tube. Yer new to London an’ it’s pretty unsafe to travel alone ere at night, kay? Besides, if we leave now, we can still grab a bite at Breakfast Club before it closes! ” he cautioned. “Fine. Lemme just refrigerate these samples an’ we’ll go, kay? ” she finally agreed, succumbing to his puppy eyes and remembering her promise to her husband to pick up his favorite dish. The in laws linked arms as they walked out of the lab and headed for the station after stopping to pick up takeaway at Breakfast Club. “This is good! ” she exclaimed, as they listened to music from his iPod via earphones on the train journey home. “Ya can never go wrong with The Proclaimers. They’re bloody awesome! .” he praised, as she tapped her foot to the rhythm, forgetting about the failed experiment.
“Ya seem tense today. Everythin all right? ” Matt asked, as they washed the dishes after a hearty meal of Bangers and mash. “Don’t ask.” Martin cautioned, licking his fingers. “Yer s’possed to help, ya know? ” Matt reminded, turning to his lazy brother and offering him a dirty plate to wash. “I’ve done my share o’ washin an’ scrubbin today.” Martin yawned, washing his hands of the chore. “Oops! My ring! ” Matt cried out, as his wedding ring slipped off his soapy, slippery finger and disappeared down the sink drain. He stuck his hand in to retrieve it. Suddenly, he let out a pained cry, struggling to free his stuck hand. In horror, Alice dropped the plate she was drying onto the floor, shattering it into tiny pieces! “I’m just joshin around, love! ” Matt revealed, pulling out his unharmed hand with a laugh, on noticing her hurt expression. She took him by surprise as she slapped him across his face, before leaving the kitchen with tears in her eyes. “Mum never reacted that way when we played the same prank on er, did she?” Matt asked Martin who was standing at the doorway, watching his brother rub his stinging cheek in disbelief.