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The Andrew's Project (Metamorphosis) for Forbidden's Picture Challenge

Short story By: Mistress of Word Play
Science fiction

The story of fifteen year old Ethan Andrews and how his life changes when a genetic experiment goes wrong.

Submitted:Nov 11, 2009    Reads: 127    Comments: 15    Likes: 15   


It had been another long day at school. Ethan Andrew's rode his ten speed up the driveway and parked it next to the front sidewalk. He had today, as he had everyday, been subjected to the ridicule of his peers. After gym class some of the jocks had once again entertained themselves at Ethan's expense. While he was showering they had taken different color magic markers, worse yet they were permanent markers, and had drawn circles and squares all over his white briefs. Ethan had not put on his underwear and now felt his jeans chaffing the more delicate parts of his body. He just couldn't understand what the jocks found so funny about tormenting him. They had the looks, the talent, and the girls. Ethan had his rather gawky five foot six body, scruffy brown hair, and eyes, that at a young age needed glasses to see half way decently. Ethan's parents were perceived as odd by most people because they were both scientists and accomplished scientists at that. They had both been hired by the Department of Defense to work on top secret projects. Any other teenager would be thrilled to have them for parents, but Ethan felt part of his unpopularity stemmed from the fact that the jocks considered him a geek. Ethan unlocked the front door to the family's rather plain ranch style home.

"Hey!" he yelled to the empty house, "Anybody here?"

He was met with the same silence that had greeted him for the last six weeks. Ethan realized he was alone. No big deal he thought. It's getting to be a regular thing around here. Ethan was used to finding no one at home, because his parents sometimes worked very late hours. He walked to the kitchen to dig up some grub. Ethan's stomach had started churning and making loud growling noises, so he went to find a bite to appease his tummy monster. His mother had dubbed it that when he was younger and it just kind of stuck with him. As he entered the kitchen he found the note his mother had scrawled. It read:

Will probably be home late. Fix yourself a snack and be sure to do your homework. Your Dad and I have made a breakthrough we have to discuss with Ed. Love you. Hope you had a good day at school. Mom

A good day at school, that was a laugh, he thought to himself. As he placed the note back on the counter he spotted the apple. It was his favorite thing to eat. He had always loved yellow delicious apples. His mother kept bags of them in the house because she knew how much he loved them. He picked the bright yellow apple up and carried it with him back up to his bedroom. Now what kind of discovery had his parents stumbled upon this time. It was true they were the best in the field of Genetic Research but Ethan knew very little of what they actually did.

When he reached his room Ethan turned on his CD player and with the sounds of the Fray blasting he reached under his mattress retrieving a baggie filled with his stash. He needed a hit rather badly today. A little smoke and that nice juicy piece of fruit would help offset his day. Ethan knew if his parents found out he was indulging in marijuana they would be devastated, so Ethan went to his bedroom window and opened it just enough for the smoke to escape. He expertly rolled the joint and lit it. The first hit was always the best, it was just always wonderful. He settled back on the pillows of his bed and took a huge bite of the apple. For several minutes he would take a hit of his joint and then take a bite of the apple. The realization struck him that his lower body parts were still feeling uncomfortable. Of course, he thought to himself I still haven't put any underwear on.

He climbed rather reluctantly out of his bed and made his way to the bureau where his underwear were. As he reached down to open the drawer he noticed his skin had a strange color to it. Not only did he now have a golden complexion, but his skin seemed to glow. To make matters worse all of his scruffy brown hair had fallen out.

"What the hell!" he exclaimed to his image, "What in God's name is going on?"

A pain hit him through his middle section. It was so intense Ethan found himself on the floor. He whimpered and then a loud groan escaped his lips. Ethan's chest cavity exploded and an outpouring of moth-like creatures began.

Within two minutes there was nothing left of Ethan Andrews save a few sparkling golden specks of dust. The tiny insects, which were once Ethan Andrews clustered together and flew deftly toward the bedroom window. For an instance the band of creatures paused as if they were reluctant to leave, but then with remarkable speed they escaped into free air.

Three hours later a car found its way into the Andrew's driveway. Two people emerged. They talked intently one to the other. Their mood was one of joviality and high spirits. The man, Mr. Andrews, unlocked the front door and with a show of chivalry bowed slightly to his wife.

"Ethan!" Mrs. Andrews shouted as she came in the door, "Ethan we're home!"

The silence was eerie when they entered the house. Ethan's mom could feel the hair standing up on the back of her neck. A terror hit her in the abdominal region and a sense of horror gripped her heart.

"Something's wrong," she said to Mr. Andrews, "this is just not like Ethan at all."

"I'm sure he's fine," Ethan's father replied, "he may be sleeping."

Ethan's parents made their way to their son's room. They could hear the CD player pounding out one of those wretched songs their son loved so much. As they entered the room Mr. Andrews noticed the faint smell of the marijuana Ethan had been smoking. What he didn't expect was to find the half eaten apple on the dresser where Ethan had placed it.

"Oh my God!" he cried, "I just can't believe it!"

He picked what was left of the fruit up and showed it to his wife. The realization hit her that their baby had eaten the apple they had injected with a genetic altering agent. Mrs. Andrews screamed and fainted. Mr. Andrews walked to the phone next to his son Ethan's bed and called his boss.

"Edward," he spoke slowly and cautiously into the phone, "there's been an incident here at my house. My son! Oh my God, my son he ate the specimen and now he's gone!"


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