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Jessica Cambrook, 11 Sep '12

We were gods. For a time.

Now we are like lambs for the slaughter.

One of our test subjects has gone missing. We counted and recounted but one of them has escaped. We know their behaviour in more detail than we know our own, which is a blessing and a curse. If we reflected too much on our actions we – anyone! - would be revolted.

We called them egocentric for reproducing in their hell-pit, yet we brought our children with us, feeling wholly superior, to watch those Down Under and laugh like they were acting for our amusement.

We who remain alive have armed ourselves with guns but I know it is not enough. He who has escaped knows who we are and he won’t stop until he has revenge.

In desperation, after the first family were found massacred in a nightmarish house of entrails and blood, we stole one of the women from Down Under. My son, the youngest and fittest of all self-proclaimed “scientists”, tied the woman where they could all see and told them he would make her feel the fury of his blade until the escapee was brought to us. An eye for an eye and we could all go back to normal.

It was the first time we had ever made contact with them as equals.

Their disfigured children didn't understand; they wouldn’t have even if they were adults. The elders of Down Under chose defiant silence. My son told them all they were to watch, and if any looked away that they would be shot. I could not watch, but I heard the screams of that woman and from those Down Under and I prayed to a god that no longer listened to me that someone, anyone, would tell my son where the man was.

No one did.

We left the woman on the stake for all to see as a reminder of their insolence. The next morning, she had been removed and another of our families had been defiled and killed.

Now we have a choice.

Do we stay and try to find the escapee, maintaining our reputation as an 'honest' and important town and keep our decades-old experiment going? Or do we flood Down Under and flee, risking someone finding what we have done and paying the consequence?

Comments · 10

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  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    Part 2 of
    I know this isn't as intriguing or anything as the first part, I'm sorry! I tried my best! I'd appreciate any feedback you have :)

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Angela Watt said...

    Hi @Jessica Cambrook. I liked it but not as much as the first. This now seems like a middle part and that there is more to come, which of course is your choice. I liked the ambiguous ending of the first piece, but then I like that style of writing and not everyone does. I guess you can't please all the people all the time as they say and in the end you can take on board the feedback but then you have to make a choice about where you go next. I do really enjoy your writing and look forward to reading more whether it's this story or something completely different. :-)

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Hi Jessica, I enjoyed this just as much as the first part! Really well written. It might not open as many questions as the last part but it provides answers and moves the plot along at pace. I loved it.

    BTW you can link to your Burrsts using the share link on the right of your burst, in this case part 1 would be It just keeps links shorter, there's a bit of a write up on the blog -

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    Thanks @Angela Watt, I completely agree with you. It's like Jeepers Creepers 2 where you see the monster and suddenly it loses its mystery and as a result is less scary. I'm putting this to bed until I can think of something exciting to follow it up with.
    @Anthony Blackshaw I've changed the link so it looks a lot neater now. Thanks for the kind words :)

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    @Mairead O'Neill your name always makes me read your comments with an Irish accent. New Zealand's only over the water I'll just pop over for uni every few days! That course actually does sound good though, is that what you do?

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Charlotte Williams said...

    Personally, I liked this just as much as the first one, it's brilliant. Actually, I think I might like it a bit more because of the details and the plot.

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Ross Tarran said...

    I feel partly responsible for this story reaching a second part, but glad I was now! This is better than expected, as second parts are generally more difficult to make interesting (see my current two-parter!). I agree with Anthony and Charlotte, it's as good as the first part for me, probably because the tables have turned in this one, the 'scientists' having become scared and uncertain of their future.
    I don't think it's like a horror film where you now see the monster clearly, because the man from Down Under hasn't been seen or described at all, so he's still very mysterious and clearly to be feared based on his actions.
    Now for maybe the biggest challenge of all - concluding the story in a satisfying way. ;)

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    @Charlotte Williams thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!
    @Mairead O'Neill I can't imagine a NZ/Irish accent hybrid, you need to do an audio sometime soon :D
    @Ross Tarran You should feel entirely responsible! Thanks for the positive comments, I'll have to get my thinking helmet (a cap just won't cut it this time) on...

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Metta H said...

    It was like science fiction; one of the few pieces in the genre that I have really liked and want to read more. These ritualistic practices still go on today in real like in some cults. It will be good when this barbaric behavior is only found in science fiction. I look forward to seeing more of your work. I liked the piece you wrote on 9th September titled 'We Were Gods', even more; the desciption was better in that piece.

    • Posted 10 years ago
  • Jessica Cambrook said...

    Thanks @Metta H I actually didn't realise this practice went on in real life, this is just an imagined snippet into a dystopian future... Interesting comment, I'll have to look that up.
    I have to agree with you, I prefer the other too! Thanks for the kind words :)

    • Posted 10 years ago