“To Live and Die in a Lecture Hall”, a Friday Fiction Story

To Live and Die in a Lecture Hall

blackboard-math-by-athree23-on-pixabay

“So that’s magic?”

Agent Michaelson sipped his coffee and let his eyes wander over the wall of equations and graphs and diagrams that stretched the entire length of the lecture hall. Professor Gurwitch looked up at him from the rightmost edge of the board, his dark eyes half-hidden by strands of sweat-soaked hair. The room smelled of formaldehyde with a faint whiff of scorched metal and grave dirt. The theme to “Miami Vice” thumped out from a speaker sitting on a metal gurney next to the half-head of a mostly-decayed corpse in a fine grey suit.

“No, Agent Michaelson. That is a formula. It shapes magic or whatever force exists that we call magic. You can call it a spell if you like.

Michaelson walked to the gurney, set his ceramic cup down with a soft clink, and narrowed his eyes as he realized exactly whose body it was.

“Yes,” said Professor Gurwitch. “That is President John…wait. You weren’t informed?”

Michaelson shook his head. “Nope. Not a hint. This will work? He’ll reanimate?”

“If you follow the directions precisely, yes. It all has to be done today you understand, the anniversary of his murder twenty-five years ago. Your agency spent a lot of money on the research,” Gurwitch said with a wry, tired smile. “I do not believe it will be wasted.” He turned his back on the agent to turn off the music.

Michaelson pulled a pistol from his pocket. “No,” he said quietly. “Only you, Professor. I’m sorry.”


Honestly, I can’t tell you why a shadowy federal agency might want to bring a certain well-known President back from the dead in the late 1980s, but I’m sure they had a good reason. If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the past 18 months it’s that we can most definitely trust large government agencies, especially on matters of life and death.

And I’m sure Agency Michaelson went on for many more prosperous and happy years and died of old age in bed, surrounded by his friends and family. Absolutely.

Nothing nefarious going on here! Ha ha!

Write along with the prompt right here!

(Photo Credit: athree23 on Pixabay)

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