Author : David Kavanaugh
“First day on the job?” asked the women in the lab coat, twirling a set of digikeys on one finger.
“Sure am. I’ve been on the waiting list for ages! It’s funny; there seem to be job openings here all the time, but I put in my application months ago and only just heard back.”
“Yes. Well, we go through a lot of interns.”
She turned and set off down the hallway, keys jingling.
“They quit or something?” asked the intern, jogging to keep up.
“The job certainly takes its toll. But it’s noble work, in my opinion.”
“I’m not worried. I’ve been obsessed with genetically modified creatures since I was a kid. My bedroom was covered in posters of all the best GMC’s: rhinodiles, land orcas, condorosaurs, super grizzlies. I’m psyched about working with them, even if it means cleaning up after them.”
“Oh, we’ll handle the clean up.”
She swiped a key at a set of steel doors which slid silently open. They walked through into a cavernous room, their footsteps echoing of the bare walls. In the center of the room stood a colossal cage constructed of hundreds of crisscross titanium beams. A bright orange DANGER sign was posted dead ahead.
“Oh. My. Freaking. God!” shouted the intern, eyes wide. “A living, breathing komodosaurus! I can’t believe I’m really looking at one. It’s incredible!”
A forked tongue hissed from between the massive jaws. The dark, stony eyes of the twenty-foot monster stared down through the cage bars, curious and cold.
“It’s huge! What do they like to eat, anyway?”
“Mostly underpaid, uninsured interns,” the woman answered wryly.
The intern’s eyes rolled. “Ha. Ha. Seriously.”
“Originally we gave them a variety of meats; venison and pork mostly. But one got loose at the company party last Christmas. Ate a jar of caviar and got all but addicted to the stuff. And that’s a not a joke.”
“So you actually have to feed it caviar now? Wow. Must be really expensive.”
“Oh, the bills were dreadful. But we found something else they like just as much, and the price is far more reasonable.”
The woman swiped a second key and, to the intern’s surprise, a doorway on the cage swung open. The beast blinked.
“Is that… safe?”
The woman shrugged. “All part of the job. Come closer.”
The intern smiled nervously and inched forward through the cage’s opening, heart racing.
“Whoa. I think it likes me. See the way it’s looking at me. I’m sure it likes me.”
In a single, fluid motion the beast’s scaly head darted downward, snatched the intern in its jaws, and tore the body from the ground. A moment later, with a little belch, the intern was gone. Only a sneaker remained, dangling from a shoelace looped around a yellow tooth.
The woman in the lab coat sighed, locked the cage, and spun her keys as she sauntered from the room.
“Thank god for interns.”