It’s a cage match between history and chemistry

In one corner sits History. History has been coming here for years, doing battle, waiting for the right time. Time is, in fact, on her side. She has the full knowledge of war and violence within her, her fists carry the weight of every fight that has ever come before.

Chemistry is in the other corner, checking out her bag of tricks. Tiny changes, minor imbalances that throw the world off-kilter, that’s Chemistry’s specialty. Mess up the equation, screw with the ratio, and Chemistry will kill you. Will kill everybody. Chemistry requires endless attention, she must be fed, be watched, or it will all go wrong.

A man, stripped to the waist with his heart up for grabs, holds up a sign and walks around the ring. The sign reads, “Fight to the Death”. There will be no second round. It must all be decided now, it must all be decided here.

He locks the cage behind him and a bell rings. History remains in her corner while Chemistry starts off with a literal bang. There is a flash of light and a smell like rotting bananas, and Chemistry is on a roll. She takes a water bottle, shifts it around, and offers it to History, her fingers adding a notation, adding one little atom, turning the liquid into a pale blue poison.

Having seen this trick before, History declines.

In fact, History pays no attention to Chemistry at all. Chemistry jumps around, tweaking Bunsen burners and creating noxious fumes, but History simply puts on a gas mask and continues reading. The audience is feeling faint by now, exhausted from the multicoloured pyrotechnics and breathing unidentified gases not meant for human lungs. Chemistry does not notice.

History looks up from her book and watches for a moment. Chemistry is close to the edge, she is building a bomb in her corner, she is ready to give up and blow everything away. While her back is turned, while Chemistry is focused on her work, History scales the cage, finding a hole where Chemistry’s experiments have weakened the metal, and crawls through.

She ushers the audience out, waking them up and helping them crawl to safety. She pulls at the man’s arm, letting the sign drop from his hands, and helps him stumble out of the arena.

Chemistry is finally finished with her experiment, the countdown is on, it will all go up in flames, everything, she will burn it to the ground. She turns, triumphant, only to see that she is alone in the room, and the Bunsen burner’s flame and the pending explosion will destroy her, only her, and she barely has time to think about what she has lost when  the entire arena is swept away in a final burst of light.


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