What I Do

I didn’t drink in college. Barely went to any parties. I kept my heads in the books and my nose clean.

My dad had been in the city when The Monster attacked, y’know. He survived, thank God, but he was never the same. When I told him I was going into macrozoology, he stared blankly and smiled politely.

Macrozoology. Big animals, dad.

I didn’t tell him. He’d have worried.

Anyway, I studied hard. I graduated near to the top of my class as makes no difference. When The Monster came again, I was working at an independent biochem firm. It was my team who figured out what, where, and how to pump that giant bastard full of enough drugs to kill it.

Long story short, I was picked up by the government for their macrozoology initiative, and the horrifically large salary that went with it and…

And that’s where it all fell apart.

Because The Monster had a son. Smaller, more agile. But weaker. Strictly a military problem, they said. Our department would be dealing with the fallout only, this time.

Oh yes, the fallout. Whatever radioactivity made The Monster and The Son of Monster so damn big also made them heinously radioactive. Shed skin cells, bits of blood and flesh blown off by military weapons…all of this is essentially hazardous nuclear waste. We even found a toenail once. It was the size of our vehicle. And the vehicle was a hummer.

At first, we jokingly called ourselves the Department of Pooper Scoopers. And then…and then…

We found it. The size of a small house. Shaped like a rabbit dropping, oddly enough.

It was off the shore where Son of Monster had recently emerged. The stench, and the radioactivity had both been downwind of a sleepy fishing village. Population 45.

Formerly.

The point is that I graduated with a 4.0 grade average. And now I pick up the atomic death shit of giant monsters.

The point is that I really think you should take your mother to the parent show ‘n’ tell instead, son.

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Josh Hechinger is a future writing superstar/cautionary tale. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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