This is just my short take on my own personal experiences in college, as a bio student!! It’s really short, so i might write more someday??
The room smells like bleach.
It always smells like bleach.
You reach for a loop, sterilize it over the flame, let it cool, and plunge it into the broth. Biology is one of those overlooked talents, but it’s close enough to chemistry so you rarely lose anyone.
Marissa disappeared a few years back.
You never liked Marissa.
You swipe the wet iron loop around the petri dish, treating the solidified agar with… you check the label. Acinteobacter baumanii. After setting the plate down, and covering it, you swipe the loop through the flame again.
Iron loops, salted plates, a dish of cream on the doorstep. All preventative measures that help you get through the day. You thumb at your iron necklace, which doubles as a stim toy, and paw at the salt in your pocket. Today feels.
“Good morning,” your lab partner, Delphinus says, coming into the room.
She smells like poppies and incense, so you avoid eye contact.
It takes another ten minutes for your other lab partner, Tulip, to show up, and the three of you continue to silently contaminate agar plates.
“So, any plans for spring break?” Delphinus asks, and you remain silent. You know it’s a probe, you know you never tell them where you’re going. If you tell them, then They will know.
“I’ll be going back to my house with my family,” Tulip says, and she hisses as her skin burns. She knows not to lie, it’s the deal she made first year.
Perfect grades, perfect jobs, perfect houses. Not a single lie.
“What about you?” Delphinus asks, and you remain quiet. If you lie, you will be punished. If you tell the truth, you will be taken.
If you promote silence, you will skate by.
You finish saturating you plates, and clean up your station before silently slipping out.
It takes fifteen minutes to walk from your lab to your dorm.
Well, in reality, it should only be a simple cross of the street. But you know where the sprinklers are. Today feels different, it feels.
You reach your dorm, your boots damp with the sprinkler water. You throw open the window, and smile at the crows. The crows have always taken a liking to you, you give them raw grain and set your computer to play biology lectures out loud every afternoon. Your personal favorite, Exodus, is playing with a younger crow today, her child. You smile at the young crow, and go for the bag of grain. Before sticking your hand out of the window, you make sure to thumb your iron necklace, just in case.
A sprinkling of grain for a feather, one from Exodus and one from her child, whom you name Siobhan. The crows sing their appreciation, and you sit against your wall, the quiet drone of your professor’s recorded voice lulling you away.
The crows have been your only friends for the last three years.
Other students don’t enjoy the idea of being left in the dark, they want to know, more more more.
“You’re too closed off!” “You never tell us about you!” “Come on, we’re friends now, just give me your name!”
Some whisper that you’ve been cursed, your GPA lends to that idea.
Some say you were born like this, and you’re simply too scared to tell anyone.
Other say that you’re one of them, and if you speak, your voice will destroy the minds of all who hear it.
It’s really none of that, it’s just that you’re a legacy child, when your father came here before you, and hopped around from major to major, he never carried himself from one place to another, he left bits and pieces of himself in many different places.
You’ve only ever had the one major, so you can’t have that luxury.
So you simply stay quiet.
The last time you spoke was orientation, day one, hour one.
It was your name.
Marissa, the cruel one that she was, she took you true name, and she twisted it, and tarnished it and burnt it, and you knew you could never speak up to that name, publicly at least.
But you could commit one horrible act, so people would forget your name.
And what the fae did to Marissa was worth every thing you gave, every word and sound you’ve ever uttered.
You never liked Marissa.