Cluster sample

This week’s photo prompt courtesy of Roger Bultot

The University was once the pride of the city. Its students excelled, its faculties co-operated and its specialists collaborated.

And Professor Ludowici was their finest—his experiments were audacious, his imagination limitless.

Then, a year ago, came the silence. The townspeople say it was the professor’s last project, that one day they’ll all come back. Such is their faith in the professor.

Some claim to have seen a light in his window late at night, but there’s no real evidence.

They all crawled to shelter before they fell. If you venture close, you can just hear the gentle snoring.

*****

My Friday Fictioneers contribution. Many thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting the link-up each week.

31 thoughts on “Cluster sample

    • The picture took me there straight away – the lack of people, and the greenery growing over the path onto the building. Then I read or heard something about some study of how yawning is contagious, and not just in humans. The story didn’t end up exactly as I thought, but they never do, do they?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The prof’s name should have set alarm bells ringing.
    Let’s hope the townies are right.
    I really like the pace and rhythm of the piece – they both add to the tension without labouring the point.

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  2. It seems the university trusted the professor a bit too much and he went a lot too far. Let’s hope he can bring everyone back. It sounds a little like a Sleeping Beauty situation. A good story, Margaret. 🙂 — Suzanne

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    • Yes, they were blinded by his brilliance, I expect. And it is a Sleeping Beauty situation – that’s what I thought of when I saw the prompt. Thank you for your comment, Suzanne.

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    • There I was imagining some sort of mass hypnosis, or a subsonic signal that messed with their brainwaves, broadcast through loudspeakers scattered throughout the campus, or a brain implant ready to receive a signal at the flick of the professor’s switch, and all along all he needed to do was provide some cold kegs, and maybe a dance party. Much cheaper, much more fun. I’ll consult with you next time I’m in need of an authentic uni vibe. Many thanks. 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

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