Picture it and Write: The Right Way

by joetwo

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’s Picture it and Write for Ermilia’s blog here.  Once again, the picture is not mine I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, Enjoy.

The Right Way

I don’t know about all of these newfangled ideas going around. Back in my day we did things the right way. Science wasn’t done in some shiny new institute, by massive teams of eggheads, it was done in a castle, in the arsehole of nowhere by two, count ’em, just two people, the master, and his assistant.

Masters, well, they don’t make them like they used to. They didn’t have funding agencies back then and all of that equipment is very pricey so you had to have money, lots of it, and you could not be spending all of your time earning that money, so we were talking old money, multiple generations of it. They were usually inbred as hell those aristos, it showed, they were all a little touched, prone to cackling, hair like an unpruned hedge, but undoubtedly driven.

Then there were the assistants, like me, devoted servants to our masters. I think I would first like to take the time to sort out some preconceptions people have. We do not all have slurred speech, that one time I was interviewed we had been experimenting with high voltage current and I had just been hit with a blast of lighting, some minor facial paralysis was only to be expected, as for the hump, it is a congenital defect that runs in the family, and, in truth, I find it more of hindrance than a help and I have known many assistants with perfect postures. The very fact that my master kept me in his service with my affliction shows their loyalty to their employees and general good demeanor.

It was different times back then, we felt that the world was our oyster. True enough we did not know as much as we do now but that meant we did not know what couldn’t be done. Our work could extend in every direction, there was no such thing as the conventions or ethical considerations that so straitjacket people today. We were free, able to go in whatever direction our imaginations willed. Some days we would experiment with new formulations for protecting wood from rot, others we would try and pass light beams around corners, and others still we would try to create life. We were very active in those days. True renaissance men.

Of course like today, we did not live in a bubble. Most of the locals were quite supportive in fact. My master would consult on agricultural practices for free and I believe some of his ideas are still used to this day. But you can’t please everybody and when some young rabble rouser preacher came calling, he set his sights on us.

Let me first say that I find everything that man said to be pure offensive. I mean, how can you call things unnatural if they work? We obeyed the rules of nature in everything we did, it is just that the rules were a little more broad then people thought they were in the first place. Try and tell that to scared, simple people.

It was the escape that set everything off. I mean it can’t have eaten more than one or two sheep. Master was more than willing to pay more than the going rate in compensation, as well as a handsome reward for those willing to help bring it back. But for the preacher this was the fuse he could light and before long there was an angry mob at our door.

Big castles, though they have strong doors and stout walls always have a few secret exits in case of dire need and I took one of those at the express order of the Master. As for him, he stayed, it is a testament of the man that he still thought he could reason with the mob, placate their fears with logical explanations. He was so wrong.

Even with my disability I was able to make good time and was already miles away when the first flames could be seen coming out of the roof. I only glanced at it once, it was too much to bear.

I never went back, I have been told that the bones of the castle still stand to this day, fire blackened and uncleared. There are a number of legends about the place, reports of things seen at night, things that survived the fire. I could well believe those, we were good.

I have worked many jobs since those day, but none as a scientific assistant. I still have the skills, there are many who would still hire me. But it is the questions I can’t stand. “What would you have done different?” they ask me, as if they don’t get it.

You see, I have gone through those days for many years and it always comes back the same.

We did everything the right way.

It was the world that was wrong.