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Research Cycle

By Rebecca Cuthbert

The results weren’t ideal—she’d liked her assistant. Ken? Keith? Quiet, eager. But feeding the subjects had been his job, and he’d signed the liability waiver. Anyway, wasn’t science about taking risks? She was an explorer, a revolutionary, and until this morning, Kyle (Kevin?) had been, too.

True, she hadn’t anticipated the subjects’ aggression, and with their size … well. But a conversion from herbivore to carnivore was interesting—worth more experimentation, surely.

She’d hire a new lab assistant tomorrow. For now, she’d run the tests herself. She’d be careful.

Besides, there was no way they could still be hungry.


Rebecca Cuthbert (she/her) writes speculative, slipstream, and dark fiction and poetry. She loves ghost stories, folklore, witchy women, and anything that involves nature getting revenge. Recently, her story "Falling to Pieces" was published in Defunkt Magazine's Anatomy issue, and her poem "Still Love" will be out soon in Nocturne Magazine.

Two drabbles, "I Take" and "Ghost-Knocking," are forthcoming in Black Hare Press's Halloween issue. For publications and more, visit


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