Professor K. Linnet stepped back from the microscope on the table, and removed his mask and left the lab. He left his papers out on the desk, Dr. Jameson would be in later and he would need them.
Now, though, it was time to go home -- and -- time for some coffee.
He’d been working on this project for the last 20 years, and he was finally getting somewhere. Just one more day and it would be done, finished and completed. He’d have done it.
He dropped his white coat into one of the boxes by the door. He knew it would be cleaned and ironed by tomorrow. How, he wasn’t sure. Maybe there was more than one coat? But he didn’t have to think about any of that, the coats came back clean and that was all that mattered.
He signed out at the desk and crossed the road to the cafe opposite. As he drank his coffee he thought about his family. His wife, the beautiful Padma, his little lotus flower. His 16 year old son Amria, who was planning on going to university early to study molecular science.
He finished his coffee and left the cafe. He stopped at a stall selling flowers, and picked out a bunch of yellow roses with petals tipped with crimson. He always thought they looked like they’d been dipped in blood, but they were Padma’s favourite.
As he waited for the train, he thought he saw Dr Jameson. He shook his head, Jameson wasn’t supposed to here for another hour. But later, as he was walking the last stretch home he caught sight of him again.
“Dr? Dr Jameson? Is that you?” he called out.
The man looked round, the shadows hiding his face, and stepped into a side street. Linnet followed him down one, and then another street and then down an alleyway. The alley was a dead end, finishing close to the Slums.
“Jameson? It is you, isn’t it?”
The man turned around and smiled. Not a nice smile.
“Yes, that’s me. Can I help you? No.”
He raised his hand and aimed a gun at Linnet’s head.
He smiled and pulled the trigger.
The last thing Linnet thought was how he would never be able to give Padma the roses he’d bought for her. Before his body crumpled, and the roses fell from his now limp hands.
“I’m sorry I had to do that, Professor, but this project has to be under my name only. There’s no room for two and it has to be me, and the only way I can be certain is by killing you.
“Farewell, I’ll see you in the afterlife. Maybe.”
He laughed maliciously as he stepped over the body of the dead professor, his feet crushing a bed of fallen flowers.
A deathbed of roses.
Roses changing colour as they slowly began to soak up the lifeblood of one of the greatest scientist in the history of mankind.