Read by Christina Lebonville
About the Author…
from the author’s website (linked above)
I am a software engineer and writer, happily married and living in Chicago with my wife, two kids and one nuisance cat. I have a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University, and a Masters of Software Engineering from Penn State. In addition to Chicago, I have lived in Fort Wayne, IN and Philadelphia, PA.
I have been accused of being obsessed with pirates, bacon, zombies and my kids (not necessarily in that order). I’m a knitter, guitar player, budding accordionista, board and card game enthusiast, as well as an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
About the Narrator…
Christina Lebonville is known by the online moniker, Evil Cheshire Cat, a tribute to her sense of sarcastically dark humor and toothy resemblance to the re-imagining of the classic Wonderland character in American McGee’s video game, Alice. She has done voice work and writing for skits and songs played on the now retired comedy podcast, The Awful Show, and is the co-creator and former co-host of the podcast Obviously Oblivious, a nearly four-year running comedy podcast with a science twist. Christina has since retired from podcasting to pursue a doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience.
My Heart is a Quadratic Equation
by Shane Halbach
“So, uh, Chrysanthemum, what do you do?”
“Science. You know…science stuff. I’m a scientist.”
“That’s…not very specific.”
“Well, it’s kind of hard to explain,” said Chrysanthemum. In words you’d understand she added to herself.
She used the lull in the conversation to take a pen out of her pocket. Idly she doodled the inside of a hydrogen-powered rocket on a spare cocktail napkin. It was a nice restaurant, she’d give him that. He’d even ordered wine. Big spender. She added an extra fin to her schematic, for stability.
He broke the silence. “Chrysanthemum is an unusual name.”
“The Chrysanthemum is in the Asteraceae family and has been cultivated in Japan for over 2,000 years.”
Brian coughed and looked down at the table, quiet once more.
Turn off the mouth, she thought, this is not how normal people talk.
She stole quick glances at him, her eyes flicking back and forth between his face and the pen in her hand. He was clean cut, with short brown hair. By the way it was carefully styled, she guessed he didn’t keep it short for the convenience, the way she kept her own black hair short. He was taller than she was, but then she was petite. His nose was a bit on the large side, but at least he seemed nice. It would probably be an adequate genetic pairing, if she didn’t mind inane small talk.
He took a breath and waded in again.
“Have you always lived in the city?”
“Yes,” she replied glumly. This is intolerable. How do people do this?
This time the silence stretched on and on, like time in a black hole as it approached singularity. Her mind groped for something to say.
“I’ve created a nuclear-based energy weapon,” she blurted out.
Brian raised his hand.
### (Continue Reading…)