Superkid and the Mutant Plants

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The Caring of Your Carnivorous Flora

It was an unlikely and somewhat disconcerting relationship between the mad doctor and his carnivorous plant. He did some research, gave the Venus flytrap plenty of water, put it where it would receive plenty of sunlight - not too much though, he discovered, Venus flytraps don't like direct sunlight - and invested his energy into catching it the biggest, juiciest insects he could find. And his devotion to it only grew as the days passed. Soon his inventions were gathering layers of dust, his concoctions were either congealing or evaporating, and the sketches on his drawing board were fading from his lack of inspiration. Fortunately, it didn't take him long to realize that his evil scheming was falling by the wayside and he came up with a brilliant idea that would allow him to balance work and family. Since the Venus flytrap needed more light than what the basement provided, Dr. Red decided to move his laboratory upstairs.

"There we are," he grunted as he set down his heavy worktable that he had dragged all the way upstairs - and no, I don't have any clue how he got it up the ladder! He flashed a smile at his precious plant sitting on the shaded portion of the windowsill and cooed to it, "Now you can watch Daddy while he works!"

The Venus flytrap seemed to smile back at him - seem to, you understand, because everyone knows plants can't actually smile. Maybe they could in cartoons and whimsical pieces of literature, but you wouldn't consider this a whimsical piece of literature - and certainly not a cartoon - now would you?

With all the "gushing with love" and "goo goo eyes" between Dr. Red and the Dionaea muscipula, it might appear that this story is going to turn into a romantic comedy to the untrained eye. But some of us know better. Some of us know that all this is nothing more than a setup for a tragedy - made all the more gripping by the knowledge that this was Dr. Red's first true love for someone other than himself… even if it was a plant. For what could be more heartwarming than a cold, withdrawn evil scientist finding "the one" who would melt his frozen heart and show him the true meaning of love? And, consequently, what could be more heart-wrenching than having these two torn apart just when this same cold, withdrawn evil scientist had learned the true meaning of love?

But can we, in good conscience, allow this tragedy to happen? Can we just sit back as tragedy takes this love in its cold, skeletal hands and rips it apart like gooey fettuccini? Well, what else can we do? You're just a reader and I'm just the narrator who relates these kinds of events to you as they happen.

And so the story continues on its course with Doctor Red's and the Dionaea muscipula's love for each other growing - both unaware of the tragedy that was to befall them - never knowing that it would strike them unexpectedly and cruelly one day.

And strike them one day it did. It happened on what appeared to be an ordinary, non-tragic day to the mad doctor and his precious Dionaea muscipula, neither of whom ever figured it would be an unordinary and very tragic day. Dr. Red was working on his weapon, as usual, occasionally smiling at his plant. He was mixing solutions together to put into his extra-large degradable capsules - which he had finally received after reordering them about two weeks ago… and never mind how he did it without a phone!

"Once I get this mix right," said Dr. Red to the Venus flytrap as he poured a murky purple liquid into a beaker full of thick, red goop, "Superkid will not stand a chance against me! For when this stuff touches him, he will become paralyzed! Then I will stick this helmet on his head - " he pointed to a baseball helmet that the mad scientist had outfitted with strange, flashing lights; odd, gleaming knobs; and miles upon miles of wire, " - and use it to suck the brains out of him until he's nothing more than a gibbering baby! And then I will have defeated that obnoxious snot, Superkid!" Overcome with the excitement of it, he threw out his arms and laughed evilly.

The Venus flytrap rocked as though it was laughing with him… but it was just a breeze coming through the window that Dr. Red had opened so it wouldn't be so hot. Everyone knows plants can't actually join in a mad scientist's mirth.

The potion turned deep marigold. Dr. Red lifted it above his head, grabbed another potion (poisonous green), and said, "One more chemical should do the trick. Then I will have my Paralyzing Potion!"

He slowly tipped the test tube. The potion slowly flowed toward the mouth of the tube. His mouth slowly stretched wider. His heart slowly beat faster.

The liquid flowed to the lip… it formed into a drop that slowly grew bigger… the drop stretched and started slowly to fall toward the marigold mixture… and then…

HIS WATCH BEEPED! Heh heh, did I scare you? No? Oh, so you saw the words coming, huh? Okay then. We'll just move on.

He tipped his watch toward his face in surprise, which tipped the beaker anticlimactically away from the marigold mixture, and murmured. "Lunchtime already?" Then he shrugged and set the two chemicals down. He glanced over at the Venus flytrap and grinned at it. "You look like you're ready for lunch too."

The plant bobbed its head as though it was agreeing - but again, it was just the breeze. So Doctor Red went downstairs where he was most likely to find a bug. Looking into the mess down there, he discovered a big, fat, shiny black spider in one of the beakers that still had rust-colored residue in it. It didn't seem too pleased with having its house disturbed for it scrambled madly inside the beaker when Red picked it up and inspected it. Dr. Red on the other hand was quite pleased with his find. As he climbed up the ladder, he called playfully to his little sprout, "I'm coming, Vena! I caught you a real treat today! Ah, ah! I'm not telling, but I'll give you a hint…" He climbed out of the trapdoor where his Venus flytrap could see him, so he hid the beaker behind his back. "It's big and black and…"

The beaker dropped out of his hands and shattered on the floor. The big, black spider immediately shot away for freedom, but the malevolent doctor didn't even notice. His attention was on his Venus flytrap and his jaw was agape at what was stealing his attention.

"Vena!" he cried, "what's happening to you?"

That tragedy that I had been alluding to for the last little while had struck and struck hard. Although, Red was really the one to blame. If he had only been a little more careful, it would never have happened. The evil doctor, of all people, should have known that you should never leave unstable chemicals out in the open where children can get into them - especially young sprouts. Some terrible luck could also be blamed too.

You see, Dr. Red had left it right in the path of a sunbeam, which is what started it all. The sunbeam heated the marigold mixture to a violent boil, causing the chemical to expand to the rim of the beaker and then spray all over the place: onto the table, onto the wood floor where the little spots the mixture touched swelled into horrendous boils like those on a teenager's face (nothing personal), and, most importantly, onto Dr. Red's precious plant, Vena… yes, I know it's a little strange to give your plants names, but he is a mad scientist, after all.

Where the chemical splashed onto the Dionaea muscipula, shiny and enormous lumps grew. Vena twitched as though in pain, though I'm pretty sure that was just a breeze. Her mouth snapped open and shut, which may have been tiny droplets of the mixture striking her trichomes. Then she let out an unearthly shriek, which could have been the result of… well… you know, I can't think of anything! And did I really refer to a non-sentient plant as a "she"?

But there were more strange and totally inexplicable effects to come. For you see, the Venus flytrap… it began to grow! It grew with a sound like when your mom puts on her sweatpants and the fibers rip, but a dozen times more terrible. Its stalk expanded, becoming thick and corded like your big brother's muscular arm. Its teeth lengthened, becoming pointier than needles and more crooked than your own teeth… hey, you didn't think I'd leave you out, did you?

Its head grew, quickly becoming the size of a basketball… a wrecking ball… a, uh, something bigger… and it was still growing - much too quickly to really keep up with. On the other end of the plant, the pot it had grown in cracked and then utterly shattered as dirt poured out and thick snaky roots plopped onto the table and then slithered over it. One of the roots headed for the beaker.

Doctor Red started to lunge. "Vena, no!"

Too late! The root struck the beaker on the side, sending it spinning like a coin toward the rapidly growing Venus flytrap and flinging even more of the viperous chemical all over it until it tripped over one of the roots and dumped the entire thing onto its stalk. An enormous lump shaped a little like the profile of someone quite ugly erupted from it, which caused the plant to give another shriek and begin to grow faster. A root struck his weapon and pushed it over the edge of the table where it hit the floor with a clack. The roots themselves hit the floor with heavy thuds and slithered along, growing thicker and thicker by the second! They soon hit the walls and began to tangle and coil together, slapping against the walls so hard that Dr. Red thought they might collapse.

"What am I going to do?" he moaned. The office was quickly being filled up by heavy roots and if he didn't get out soon, he would be crushed. But he couldn't just leave Vena!

Love can be a very strange thing sometimes. Fortunately, there are ways of manipulating those who've succumbed to the strange sickness of love. In this case, it was the Venus flytrap pushing through the ceiling - almost literally, two appendages that could have been taken for arms, with three fronds on either end that looked strangely like fingers, appeared to be pressed against it with a crackle of breaking timber. The doctor, mad with love, turned and stumbled outside then turned and gaped at his baby.

Which wasn't so much a baby anymore as it was a granddaddy of mutated monstrosities. It had finished growing and now towered over fifty feet with ten feet of needle-like teeth, thirty feet of arm-like appendages and over five thousand feet of water-carrying veins… Does that sound about right? I'm guesstimating the numbers here. In any case, it was big enough that the evil scientist - who had seen some pretty impressive stuff in his day - was very impressed.

"Holy cow," he breathed. "Vena?"

It moved - and it sure as heck wasn't the breeze this time! Only a full-force hurricane could get this hulking giant to budge! But upon hearing its name, it turned its head and looked down at Dr. Red.

He laughed, "Vena! My, look at how you've grown!"

The plant just stared at him. Then it opened its mouth and hissed, "Rrrrrrrrrrrrah!"

Dr. Red's grin became a worried frown. "Vena?"

"Rrrrrrrrrrrrah… Rrrrrrrrrrrrrredddddddd!" Then it reached down for him with one of its appendages that looked remarkably like arms.

Red cried as he backed away, "Whoa, whoa! Vena! I took good care of you remember? Whoa!" He leaped backwards before the three fronds that looked remarkably like fingers snapped shut over where he had been. The arm-like appendage with the three finger-like fronds came back to the Venus flytrap's head. The Venus flytrap's head faced the finger-like clench as though studying it curiously… you know what? The thing's alive for crying out loud! I think we can safely assume that its arm-like appendages were arms and its finger-like fronds were fingers and its head-like head was a… well, a head! And the head studied its fingers clasped in its arms as though it was curious - no wait, it did study it curiously.

The fingers opened. When the gigantic Dionaea muscipula discovered its hand was empty, it threw back its head and gave a shrill fingernails-on-chalkboard screech of "RRRRRREDDDD!" And then it shot its arm down again.

"VENA, NO!" Dr. Red launched himself away from her grasp but tripped over something that clattered in front of him so that when he fell, he discovered that it was his weapon he had been constructing before his baby started having growing pains. Behind him, Vena's hand struck the asphalt with a crack and scooped up the resulting chunks. Once again it opened its hand to find that Dr. Red was not in its hand and it threw the chunks in a fit of temper and screeched again, "RRRRRRRREDDDDD!"

More arms shot from its body and aimed for the mad scientist. Snatching up his weapon, Red took off running, dodging giant plant arms, bobbing left then right then under. Never before had Red run so fast! He had a searing pain in his side, which might explain why he had never done it before. In desperation, he looked ahead for some sort of refuge from the wrath of his child-rearing experience gone wrong and he spotted a street corner. He thought, if I can reach it, I'll be able to hide and Vena can't get me! Or that could have been his side-ache talking.

Suddenly, the street in front of him erupted into a shower of pavement. A thick root had just popped out of the street and was swinging right for the doctor.

"Aaaaack!" Doctor Red thought he was done for, but somehow he managed to leap over it as it swept under him. Although it didn't manage to grab him, it did knock his feet out from under him and he fell onto the ground in a belly flop. And you thought water was painful!

But there wasn't time for a collective "Oooh!" The root had reared back for a second attempt at the doctor's head as he was getting back to his feet. But this time when it came swinging for him, he cleared it with inches to spare! Fueled by the adrenaline from his victory, he swung around the corner and disappeared.

The giant Venus flytrap leaned over in an attempt to see around the street corner, but it couldn't stretch that far. So it probed around it with its root to see if it could feel around the street corner, but although its root was long enough for that, it didn't feel its villainous creator anywhere.

Dr. Red had successfully escaped.

The enormous mutated flora threw back its massive head and blasted the town with its shrill cry of "RRRRRRRRRRRREDDDDDDDD!" Then it thrust its roots into the ground with an earth-shaking crack and pushed them outward through the soil.


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