The Struggles of Man

by Loren Haas

Earlier in the experiment, she was a far more graceful creature. Her movements flowed through her entire body, starting at her muscular limbs, pouring into her knobby joints, exploding into the cat-like arch of her back. Each muscle bulged and sprang in tune, a synchronous melody of the body and the mind. Every test proved her an art form. Now, however, the true nature of the beast has been revealed. Her once graceful movements have turned brutish. She leaps savagely, pouncing on her prey with perfect rage. There is blood caked on her teeth, her nails, into her precious hair. Her muscles pop individually, each action independent and almost fully reactive. Her left side, I’ve noticed, is almost always favored; she throws all her weight behind it, barreling down her prey through the sheer force of her muscles. I wonder what drove this madness into her. Is it just the soul of the animal? Does she taste completion on her fleshy tongue? Or does she desire the taste, so she tears and gnaws and gnashes until the coppery taste of her victory fills her mouth?
The Director and I glance away from the bloodbath, towards each other at the same moment. I cannot read a single inch of her face, no indication of one thought in her head. “We could grab a nightcap to celebrate our findings,” she says suddenly, “if you’d like.”
Perhaps, one day, man will forget the pleasures of victory. Perhaps we will turn our backs to the spoils of war and instead climb our way to our rightful place among the sky and the stars. Perhaps, then, we will ascend our earthly desires and our human villainy and instead become a beacon for enlightenment midst the darkness.
Until that day, I follow the Director out the door.

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