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Scientific Progress

by on August 30, 2012

This story was written for Trifecta’s weekly writing challenge. It is also a continuation of the Farthington Milroy and Winifred story arc, which exists in the same universe as Fillmore Streamlet and Cyan. Roll film!

“Winifred!” Farthington Milroy cried in his most dramatic voice (he’d been working with a vocal coach recently). “The time has come!”

“Yay,” said Winifred tiredly. She was still a bit rattled after the cricket experience. “I’d better throw the switch on the lightning machine now, I suppose.”

“Really, Winifred. That old dinosaur? Certainly not. A lightning machine is a relic of a bygone age. A less enlightened age, even. No, we mad scientists have to recognize our obligations to the world now, to society. When we violate the laws of nature in unspeakable ways, we have to do so in a socially responsible manner! Thusly, I no longer use a lightning machine. My creation, Frankenmanatee, shall be given life through….” he paused for effect, which would’ve made his vocal coach very proud, “solar power!”

Winifred’s mouth fell open like the codfish she wasn’t. “Sir, that’s….”

“Incredibly brilliant? Yes, Winifred, I know. Now then. As I said, the time has come! Activate the solar panels, which I have incidentally constructed entirely out of recyclable plastics!”


Farthington sighed. He really did need to put in that call to the Igors’ Union. “Winifred, why are you still standing there instead of activating the solar panels so that I can bring my creation to life? I’ve been practicing my line on flash cards all week. Live, Frankenmanatee! LIIIIIIIIVE! And I can’t say that until you start the machine.”

“Sir…” Winifred ventured timidly. “I can’t start the machine. Because it’s night. The sun doesn’t shine at night.”

The mad scientist considered her observation for a long moment. “Ah. Yes. So it is. Good point. Well. Right then, so much for the recyclable plastics. Bring out….the dinosaur!”

“Right away!” Winifred ran joyfully to the lightning machine. Within moments she had pitched out the solar panels and hooked up the replacement. Lightning crackled throughout Farthington’s lair.



Farthington checked his flash cards. “Live, Frankenmanatee! LIIIIIIIVE!”

*to be continued*.

  1. You’ve got to have your big line prepared in advance. You can’t just wait until the last second and expect inspiration to strike.

  2. Frankenmanatee? I’m frightened. Hold me. Thanks for bringing the humor once again. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the weekend challenge.

  3. In the words of FDR, the only thing you have to fear is fear itself. That, and Frankenmanatee. *cue ominous music.*

  4. I was intrigued that he would have a social conscience and go green. Kind of a bummer he’s just like the rest of us and goes back to the dinosaur because it’s convenient 🙂 At least he delivered his line perfectly!

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