A scientist's journal - A short story

in writing •  last year  (edited)

The following story is inspired by this week's constraint of my Constrained Writing Contest, which requires you write a story that reads like an entry of a journal. Or several entries.

I hope you will like the following story and will consider giving the Constrained Writing Contest a shot yourself.

Image by pixabay


We have completed the testing of the monitoring cage. All tests yielded favorable results.

It is for that reason that we decided to conclude our former data log regarding its construction and start anew with Vol. 3 of the XT experiment journal. For all information on the aforementioned matter, please see Vol. 2 of this document. For all information about the concept and goal of this experiment, please see Vol. 1 of this document.

The cage is 15 feet long and 10 feet wide, the floors and walls are concrete and it is equipped with state of the art technology to both monitor and interact with the subject in question. All information regarding the exact detail of the cage in question can be found in the “Containment” section of the “XT experiment specification sheet”.

The next logical step is obtaining the subject. The agreed procedure and safety precautions, discussed in detail in Vol. 1 of this document, will be taken, and we are looking to extract it from its natural habitat on 5.2.2020. If required, all specifications of the tranquillizer used can be found in the “XT experiment specification sheet” in section “Chemicals”, under the name Ritaxo. All specifications of all past and future chemicals, tools and other equipment used for the purposes of the experiment can be obtained in the same document.

The target subject had already been chosen.


We have arrived at the extraction point. The weather forecast is favorable for the extraction scheduled tomorrow, so we have begun with placing all instruments in place.

We are certain there will be no difficulties.


The subject has been captured successfully. The tranquillizer worked as anticipated, the subject lost consciousness.

The subject is expected to be unconscious for two days which should allow for safe transport and the conduction of main analyses.

The subject has been safely strapped inside a cushioned wooden crate to avoid potential harm during transport. We are looking to have it transferred to the cage in our laboratory by tomorrow.

Video footage of the extraction procedure, along with all future footage, is available in the section “Audio & Video” of the “XT experiment specification sheet” under the name “Capture 5.2.2020”. Audio files captured during the course of this experiment can also be found there.


The subject has been successfully moved to the cage. Its vital signs are stable. As expected, the heart rate has been slowly increasing over time.

We have conducted the most important analyses and sent the data for evaluation. All data will be analyzed by several teams of highly specialized professionals within our facility. All data on these employees can be found online. We have thus far found the following results.

The subject appears to possess the ability to excrete fluid through its skin in an attempt to cool down. We have since lowered the temperature to 293 K. Exact time of the change and the exact gradient of temperature can be found elsewhere. The subject ceased to self-moisturize since.

The subject, though unconscious, reacts to electric stimuli as well. Short bursts of electric energy result in a contraction of the subject’s extremities. Its heart rate is also disrupted by electric stimuli. The higher the stimuli, the greater the reaction, though the correlation is not linear.

Upon prolonged exposure to water, the subject’s skin wrinkles. No other effects caused by contact with water have been observed. The subject cannot breathe under water.

Because of a sudden decline in heart rate after experiments involving change in the composition of the atmosphere inside the cage, we have decided to delay all further experiments until tomorrow when the subject is expected to regain consciousness.

Detailed analysis of all experiments and further analysis of observations listed here is expected to be done by 16.2.2020.


The subject became self-aware during an experiment, namely the insertion of a camera down its respiratory tract, causing it to cough, raising its blood pressure and heart rate. Despite our worries, the subject’s vital signs returned to their previous values shortly after.

Though awake, it remains in a sedated state. Until the tranquillizer leaves its system and the subject becomes less unpredictable, we have decided to cease all possibly dangerous experiments.

The subject’s blood and excretions have been gathered another time and analyzed for differences. The analysis showed no signs of damage caused by the tranquillizer itself or any of our experiments.


The subject remained in the sedated state.

We adjusted the temperature to 294.5 K.


The subject has regained enough its power to be able to move. It has been decided to only observe what it does.

After numerous failed attempts it managed to sit up on its own.

It appears to be fascinated by its surroundings, incapable of identifying the many instruments situated around it. After taking a good look of everything in its vicinity, it decided to lie back down.

We are greatly interested in its actions once it fully replenishes itself.


The subject sat up straight and managed to stand up on the hind two of its four extremities while we were fast asleep. Though we arrived to the laboratory not long after and have monitored its actions closely since, further study of the footage of said behavior is necessary before we draw any conclusions. The footage itself can be found elsewhere.

The subject wobbled in place for 55 seconds, then attempted to walk to the wall of the cage. It failed and stumbled on the ground. Regardless of its attempts, it got back up and tried again, this time succeeding. With the aid of the wall, it walked the entire perimeter of the cage, closely examining all equipment and other stationaries.

After having completed two complete circles it made its way back to the examination table and sat down. It kept looking at its extremities, and turning them around, as if there was something to see on the other side. The subject then proceeded to expand its extremities in many different manners, likely in an attempt to stretch. The crackling sounds of its internal structure were recorded and sent for analysis.

After several feeble attempts at producing sound with its vocal chords (the schematic of which can be found elsewhere), it finally succeeded. It took the subject some time to produce something other than silent squeaks, before mumbling something to itself. Raising its head and taking another look at the cage, it managed to speak.

“Where the hell am I?”

Such an observation marked a highlight of our study as the subject showed first signs of not only being an intelligent creature, but also part of a culture, evident by partaking in such a complex form of communication.

We were instructed not to attempt communicating with the subject, only stay put and observe.

We are awaiting further orders on how to proceed and are only observing until.


The ban on communication remains.

The subject appears healthy, but bored and lacking exercise.

During its sleep we have conducted some additional analyses, though no additional breakthroughs need be reported here. The subject appears to be much like some others we have encountered before.


We have received the results of all our extensive analyses, shortly followed by orders to terminate the experiment. The DNA of the subject has been stored in several separate containers so as to allow for safer transport to the many collection banks.

Based on the results gathered thus far it is safe to conclude the subject shows no signs of superiority. It has therefore been conducted its species is of no potential hazard to the plans of our leaders.

All restrictions of landing on their planet have thus been cleared.

We feel confident in saying that it is thanks to our extensive study noted briefly in this journal, and to a further extent elsewhere, that the excavation of our necessities and the termination of the indigenous species will proceed smoothly.

All detail regarding this study can be found in the aforementioned sections of the “XT experiment specification sheet”. In a week time we will have prepared an extensive article on the matter and add “human” to the list of exterminated species.

Signed below,
Kri O’zab,
Head of Xzolab Inc.

While you are waiting for content new,
in the comments below leave me a clue,
an idea for a story you'd love to read,
a journey to the unknown my keyboard will lead.

constrained writing contest.jpg

If you enjoy writing yourself, I am hosting a constrained writing contest, where each week I limit your writing with various rules and force you to be creative in brand new ways! If you're not a writer yourself, check it out and see what others have come up with! :D

I turn your writing prompts into stories.

Previous writing prompts I have fulfilled:

Happy ending
#1 - Living off the grid
#3 - A young thief
#8 - A traitor from hell
#9 - Not alone
#10 - Millitary testing grounds
#13 - Bigfoot
#14 - And angel in love with a whore
#15 - Down the rabbit hole
#18 - Reborn as a 10 year old
#19 - A struggling door to door salesman
#24 - Rebellious talking food
#26 - Ssssnails!
#28 - Mission Erased
#32 - Dog's breath
#38 - Abducted
#42 - Killer clowns
#43 - A penny
#44 - Fear
#2 - A dolphin tea party
#4 - Stained hands
#7 - The giant depressed onion
#21 - The red star
#25 - Long-distance Relationship
#27 - A dream
#30 - Potato
#31 - Dragons
#33 - The Jungle
#35 - A life lesson
#36 - Unicorn meat
#39 - The Purple Road
#40 - Immortal Store Clerk
#41 - Artemis' Hell

#5 - The homeless man
#6 - A blind date
#11 - The wealthy man
#12 - Happy ending
#16 - Asshole soulmate
#17 - My bunny Fluffy
#20 - War veteran
#22 - Wishing to meet a villain
#23 - School trip
#45 - Crafted armor

#29 - Green Chewing Gum
#34 - Turkey Trauma
#37 - Stuck in a loop

Next writing prompt to be fulfilled:

There are currently no writing prompt for me to fulfill.
Post your idea in the comments below to have it turned into a story!

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Five minute freewrite challenges I have fulfilled:

Fire, Toilet, Flash, Soft feet, Pillow, Grounding, Surprise, Ending the pain, Going for a walk, Car Mechanic, Murderer, Dog hair, Ducks, Untested medicine, Forbidden love, Vacation, Awakening, Dentist, Wild west.

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Goddamn dirty aliens! 😜 Nice journal entry idea. I figured the subject was probably a human when the sweating was mentioned. For some reason, this story reminded me of a recent movie I watched: 'the shape of water'

Have you seen it?


Damn! That detail is too revealing! @foragingquietude picked up on it also! But I so very much like it I'm leaving it for sure! :D

I did, yeah! It's got a very powerful message, and talks about some awesome topics as well (spying, hiding technology, ... ), but other than that I wasn't too fond of it. Don't know what broke it for me, because the idea is awesome, but... Don't know..

You? Did you like it?


Um, I know what you mean actually and I do know what broke it for me: it was a love story between a woman and... A fish. That part was pretty much unnecessary. She could have helped him without it turning into a sexual relationship really... It was just very obvious and very random at the same time. Especially as the fish-guy really had very little going on in terms of character and made bloody awful noises.


You put in words what I couldn't.
Like, this is exactly what bothered me also, I just couldn't point my finger on it before someone said it out loud. Like seriously, it could've stopeed with her feeding it, then saving it. That's it. No need for, as you said, any further relationship.

  ·  last year (edited)

I think you just won your own contest ;)

Clever and self contained. I liked it :)


I appreciate the kind words very much, but no :P I can't be participating in my own contest :3 Though this week I really would've wanted to. Really love the idea of a story being told through a person's journal. :3

Thank you very much, and I'm very happy you liked it! :D

Oooooo. I like it! I picked up on the hints, but I wasn't expecting the ending. Job well done!


Thanks! I believe, and hope, it was worth missing out on the great weather we had today. It just struck me out of the blue and I had to write it down. I fell asleep for a solid hour and a half right afterwards, but oh so worth it. :P

Hey, at least I managed to shock you with something. ;)


Lol! You so did! Hopefully mine won't disappoint. I haven't had much of a chance to think about it, but I have a few ideas churning.


I'm looking forward to reading it when it's done! :D

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