Not Tested on Animals – a 500 word story

In response to The Daily Post’s prompt of Window. 

Any and all feedback gratefully received 🙂

Not Tested on Animals

The scan confirmed all life was extinct, Dr Madeline Swann switched off the monitor, muting the high pitched alarm.

“Report please.” Professor Caan said, snatching the offered tablet from her hands and swiping through the data. “Seems I was right, the humans are less able to survive the further advanced they are. Look.” He said, waving over the reports. “They were the third species to perish on this Earth. Was this a category eight planet?”

“Yes, almost completely reliant on their internet network, about 98% saturated.”

“What method did you use to bring extinction?” He asked, not looking from the reports.

The image of her family flashed through her mind. She monitored them on every Earth. Fate always brought them together, no matter what. She shook the image from her mind.

“Simultaneous volcanic eruptions, restricting the sun’s penetration.” She said, swallowing the lump strangling her voice.

“And how long did the human’s take to perish?”

“Two weeks Professor.”

He looked at her, eyebrows raised. “And how long did the category four planet last?”

“Three and a half years.”

Professor Caan nodded up to the bank of monitors, at the twelve Earths rotating in their own dimensions and the eighty eight blank screens.

“What’s the status of the control planet?”

“Their ozone’s depleting, their planet’s temperature is increasing and their jet stream has already started to show signs of destabilisation. At this rate of degeneration they’ll start to experience the catastrophic events we accelerated elsewhere within fifty years.”

“I’d like to see how each remaining planet tolerates an event like the one on planet eighty eight. It’s the perfect opportunity to further our study.”

Her pulse jumped. “By murdering seventy billion people?”

He handed the tablet back. “They are test subjects Dr Swann, nothing more.”

“What if we need them later for other purposes?” She asked, searching for the logic to change his mind.

“We’ll find more planets, there are infinite dimensions.”

“It took five years to find these.” She said, gesturing to the screens.

“Dr Swann, our remit was clear. Monitor each planet’s ability to cope with devastating events to ensure the survival of our own.”

“And we’ve done that.”

“Yes we have, and after we’ve completed the experiment we’ll have an infallible disaster plan should the worst happen.”

“But Professor, I…”

“Doctor. These are the President’s orders. I would prefer not to be terminated for disobeying them. Set the events in motion. Now please.”

Dr Swann stalked to the control desk, and opened the comms channel to the planets. Gripping the edge of the desk, she breathed down into her chest. So much scientific blood was already on her hands, so many innocent lives sacrificed to their cause.

She opened her eyes and looked over at the Professor. His expression changed the instant their eyes locked, realisation flinging him towards her.


“Sorry Professor. I can’t.” She brought her open palm down on the DISCONNECT panel and instantly, each of the twelve screens – and Dr Madeline Swann – were peaceful.


About Nicola Auckland

Busy wife to one & mum to two. I've caught the creative writing bug, now need to practice, get awesome and write something worth reading. Simples.
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10 Responses to Not Tested on Animals – a 500 word story

  1. magarisa says:

    Such a thought-provoking and riveting story.


  2. Brilliant story ! So witty and understated- I could see Dr Swann & Professor and the monitors ..


  3. calensariel says:

    I’m a real sci-fi fan, so this really tickled my fancy. Too bad it wasn’t a bit longer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. abarn003 says:

    This is a very creative and thought provoking piece. The title, “Not Tested On Animals” speaks to the cruelty and absurdity of animal testing, but this story also makes me think about our current climate changes and how we are, in a way, experimenting how far we can endanger our planet before we all die! Very thoughtful and complex.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, I hoped people would pick up that our Earth was the control planet (it was more obvious in the pre-edited version!). You’re right though, it was intended to highlight the downward spiral of our own climate.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.


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