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Mad Science

Jo has a history of writing for corporations and governments but in more recent years has pursued her dream of writing fiction. Since embarking on this journey Jo has had short stories and poems published in magazines and anthologies including--The School Magazine's "Touchdown" and "Blast Off"; Zinewest 2017, 2018, and 2019; the 2019 Four W Thirty "New Writing: Pearl" anthology; Short and Twisted 2017 by Celapene Press; online collections by Storm Cloud Publishing--Open House 2 and 3, Short Tales 4 and 5, and Christmas Tales 4; and Poetica Christi's Wonderment. A number of pieces will also appear in upcoming publications including One Surviving Story by ICOE Press; an anthology by the Estelle Pinney competition; a Bloomsbury UK book of poems for children; a US children's magazine; and three collections by Black Hare Press. Jo has also made several shortlists and highly commended lists in writing competitions.

Jo loves to share the joy of writing with children as mentor to a gifted and talented students' creative writing group and co-author with the Littlescribe literacy program (www.littlescribe.com). Littlescribe co-authors provide story starters and writing tips to students who complete the stories and become co-authors! Jo recently launched her own writing workshops for children and will soon expand these to include adults.

Jo writes for both adults and children. Current projects include collation of short stories into a collection and picture book manuscripts. Jo lives with her husband and three children in Australia. She is on the web at www.jomularczyk.com or on Facebook @ facebook/Jo-Mularczyk-Author-943701629315011/ or on Instagram @jo_mularczyk_authorpage
It really worked!
Julia looked around at the wooden pews and the distorted rainbow light cast by the stained glass windows. She was now standing in her childhood church. She wondered why that had been the first place to pop into her head? A therapist would probably have a field day with that one!
She looked down at the contraption in her hand, the contraption that represented ten years of her life, thousands of dollars and countless lost relationships. The science community had scoffed at her when she had first presented her proposal. They had told her it would never work, that it was unnatural. They had mockingly called her Jules Verne.
And now here she was, looking at a displacement nodule that could transport a person to any location instantaneously. Her first test had been successful which is how she now stood across the country in the pulpit of St Anne's staring at a multitude of candles laid by blindly faithful parishioners. Her derisive thoughts betrayed her allegiances. Julia had turned away from her childhood faith in her adult years, choosing instead to worship at the altar of science.
"Okay, this is no time to examine your crisis of faith," she muttered. "Let's see what this thing can really do."
Julia took a deep breath and held the nodule in two hands.
"The Eiffel Tower," she said forcefully.
Just like the first time, the nodule started to heat up in her hands and a tingling started in her palms. It radiated throughout her body like tiny jolts of electricity. Her breathing sped up and she felt her heart racing. A tiny voice inside tried to question how many times her body could withstand these stresses but she silenced it. Her surroundings gradually faded out of focus and at the last moment she saw a priest standing with his mouth agape. She stifled the urge to wave.
The next thing Julia was aware of was a bright light piercing her eyelids. She opened them to a bright Parisian morning, the Eiffel Tower looming in front of her.
"Julia," she whispered to herself, "you bloody genius! Nobel Prize here I come. In fact...." A mischievous grin spread across her face as she thought about the physics convention going on today in London. A group of her peers was meeting to fawn over each other as they presented their latest theories and dissertations. She could imagine the looks on their smug faces when she materialized in the middle of the convention hall with her displacement nodule in hand. But first she might enjoy a bit of sightseeing.
"When in Paris," she said to herself with a manic laugh.
Julia strode towards the Eiffel Tower but she was so busy gazing up that she stumbled on a stone.
"Oh hell!" she cursed. Her eyes widened in fear as a tingling started in her palms.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, March 16th, 2020


"Mad Science" started its life as a response to a number of prompts in a flash fiction competition. The story had to include a candle, a "first" of some sort, and a three-word opening sentence. Once I started writing, Julia became a strong presence with her crisis of faith, her singular drive, and her vendetta against the science establishment who'd scorned her. I had planned to have a final twist in her destination, but I wasn't sure what that would be until I decided the nod to the whole science/religion tension seemed right!

- Jo Mularczyk
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