#230 The Museum of Unnatural Beauty

by Jasmine Dao

“Pound for pound, the koalaby is unmatched for its level of cuteness,” the head scientist explained. She adjusted her glasses, so thick her eyes appeared in owl-sized proportions. She could pass as one of the zoo’s exhibits herself.

She continued, voice lyrical from excitement. Inspired by the platypus, genetic engineering was used to combine animals in different combinations. Many sold well as pets; the more inspired creations went on display. The Zoo of Mutations was a horrible first name. The Flask Menagerie flopped. The Museum of Unnatural Beauty was the one that sold tickets.

The crowd stopped in front of a plexiglass which divided them from the green enclosure made to simulate a eucalyptus forest with an Australian backdrop.

The trainer brought out a box. The tips of furry ears could be seen, then a paw. The baby koalaby peeked out into its new world of greenness, daylight, a thousand eyes staring back.

The trainer picked the nervous joey up. It began pissing itself, and the crowd tittered. The trainer jerked in surprise. Suddenly the creature squawked, its eyes rolling back and furry body convulsing. The little ball of life disintegrated within seconds. There was silence. Then anger. A chant began and picked up in volume. “Refund! Refund! Refund!”

Moments later the young scientist could be heard apologizing as she doled out vouchers, something about “expired DNA polymerases.” A man came up. “No wonder this museum was so cheap. Cheap cheap!” and with that he flew off in a huff.


Evan said...

This is great! The Museum of Unnatural Beauty sounds amazing.

Cath Barton said...

Great idea!

Clint Okayama said...

Extremely fun. I'd love to read more.

SzélsőFa said...

bitter and horrible as it should be. kudos.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I love 'the flask menagerie'. Wonderful piece. Fun and frightening at the same time.

nace said...

well-written! i also would like to read more!