Science Fiction

Morning Glories

By Jude-Marie Green
2,868 words · 11-minute reading time


From the author: Originally written as the submission story for Clarion West (I got in; 2010) and bought by Sam Bellotto Jr, this appeared in the October 2013 issue of Perihelion. An irresponsible scientist develops a anti-landmine device.


Dr. Diane Frankel vomited into yet another airsick bag. Her assistant, Sam, held it with two fingers and passed it along to the muscular soldier in the next seat. The soldier shifted his machine gun and tossed the bag out the open helicopter door.

Diane retched again.

“How'd you manage it?” Sam said. He kicked at her wheelchair, folded up and stowed under the bench. “Live testing, I mean. It couldn't have been funded. If you worked for a big chem company, maybe you could have pulled off this kind of test. You're a university scientist. The powers that be expect R&D out of your lab, not any kind of product they'd have to spend money on for distribution. How were you able to field test this?”

Diane coughed. “My grandfather.” She wiped her face with a handkerchief. Sweat or tears? Sam thought both.

“I told him to cast the seeds on a mine field. That village is surrounded, lots to choose from. I told him to expect vines spreading everywhere but the flowers only bloom over the mines....

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