Fill: Light-Red Science

This fill was inspired by a prompt from thnidu and fills the “alternate reality/universe” square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo challenge. They requested a piece set in ysabetwordsmith‘s shared world Schrodinger’s Heroes, and here is the tale I’ve come up with. This will likely not make much sense without reading at least a little bit of that series, so feel free to head over to her site and familiarize yourself with the characters.

This is mostly ridiculous, with an awful attempt at an inside joke, but at 433 words it more than doubled the mark I was aiming for and I’m counting it a win!

Light-Red Science

It had been an unusual dimension where time had moved much slower and left the Alter!Heroes in a relative dark age. There had been a quintessential creepy castle back-lit by lightning and the roar of thunder for farks sake. They’d found Alter!Alex playing mad scientist a la Dr. Frankenstein in the dungeonous basement, and Alter!Quinn, who owned the cheery piece of real estate, was the real life version of Count Dracula; land, court title, fangs, and all.

It was the race through treacherously dark woods on a clichéd stormy night, chased by an angry mob of villagers with their ubiquitous pitchforks, that firmly sealed the door on ever visiting that alternate reality again, but as the group tumbled back into their own dimension the scream that tore the air informed them they hadn’t made it home alone.

Apparently the full spectrum light bulbs that had been used to upgrade the compound were great for scientists prone to spending much of their time indoors, but really quite disastrous for vampires. Alter!Quinn had been exposed for perhaps three, maybe three and a half, seconds but it was enough to leave all of his face and the tops of both hands a startling light-red as if he’d been sunbathing in the Waxahachie sun without protection. The burns were most severe across his nose, likely to blister and peel even with treatment, and the overall hue clashed horrendously with his hair colored crimson and coal.

Kay rushed towards her med kit, while Bailey hit the lights, and the rest worked to steer the vampire towards a soft place to land for the moment.

“Ah, shit,” said Kay, “My burn salve is Silver Cream, which would be overkill for this use on any of us, but on him? Is silver bad for you? That’s a common myt-, uh belief, about vampires in our universe.”

“Unless poisoning me on top of scalding my skin with your magic torches is the goal I wouldn’t recommend that potion,” he replied tartly.

“How about herbal remedies?” prompted Ash.

“Many are fine, just no garlic, please,” begged Alter!Quinn.

“We can always try aloe gel, or even perhaps an infusion made with yarrow,” Ash suggested the well known sunburn cure and one she remembered from summers with her Navajo relatives.

So the team set about moving their newest stray into safe quarters, the lights dimmed all along the way, while Kay & Ash worked on developing a vampire friendly sunburn cure, and they just barely overheard their own Quinn’s quip that the particular shade of rouge his counterpart was sporting wasn’t really his color.


The idea of all of Quinn’s fun hair colors really appealed to me, so here is his Crimson & Coal hair! I also liked the fanon based on him being a vampire because of the t-shirt reading “The sun is trying to kill me.”

The reference to Yarrow as a Navajo remedy for sunburn comes from Healing with plants in the American and Mexican West by M. Kay.

Silver Cream is awesome for burns. It was always on stock in the first aid kits when I worked in restaurants.

Published in: on January 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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