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Dante had once been given an uncharacteristically dark and thought-provoking assignment in his 12th grade creative writing class.  The assignment, quickly removed from the rebellious teacher’s curriculum once the parents became aware, was to write about the worst day of his life.  

The teacher was very clear on the rules: it wasn’t to be about their worst day to this point in their short lives, but what they expected would become and endure as the definitive, decidedly worst day of their existence.  Dante didn’t spend great amounts of time thinking about the assignment, but he would reflect on it years later. 

They were finally alone since they’d left the lab.  This was the worst day of his life, and that was quite an incredible statement considering the vulgar and horrifying misfortunes he’d somehow survived for nearly the past decade.  He wanted to scream at her…to curse her…to kill her.  The drive back from North Carolina was just as miserable as the drive there.  Why the fuck couldn’t she have just flown? The amount of time she’d spent sitting on her fat, disgusting ass would have been cut in half…at the very least!

Dante had been removed from the fat Italian woman’s ass crack only three times during the multi-day trip home, and that was only so that she could use the restroom. Much to his dissatisfaction, his Italian owner was in a rush to get back on the road or to sleep so she wasn’t as thorough with her restroom cleanup as he would have hoped…but then again she never was. He was promptly forced back into her dirty crack and the trip continued.  

After over 2 days on the road, 19 hours of which were strictly spent driving, one would expect to unwind for a bit…to decompress from the long journey.  Any cross-country traveler was entitled to that, right?

Not Dante.

There was no unwinding for poor Dante, but one could say there was plenty of “decompressing”.  At the conclusion of the long trip, Dante’s entire world abruptly and unapologetically rotated 90 degrees and the big, fat, sweaty ass cheeks that surrounded him were less compressed by the Italian woman’s weight on the car seat.  The huge cheeks now hung somewhat freely from the hips that owned them. They sagged with her age and excessive weight, but they held him securely and protectively.  

He remained trapped in their sweaty, grimey embrace until light poured in and a few fingers entered her crack, surely looking for him. His exposure to light was becoming more and more rare as time went on.  Dante made himself perfectly still, complying with the fingers that were now pinching him and removing him from the dirty crack, and as he slid with minimal friction against the sweaty inner glutes, Dante reflected miserably on how he got here…


What was this guy even trying to sing?  Fuck if he knew…it definitely wasn’t in key, whatever it was.  Was it even English?  Gibberish?  

It was against his better judgements, but after surveying the scene, Dante pulled the rickety, wooden door shut behind him. He creaked noisily and he feared it might fall off the hinges as it latched with the lock.  The pleasant scent of the outside air had no home within these walls; instead, it smelled of stale cigarettes, liquor, and urine.  Dante assumed all three scents could be coming from the crumpled heap of a man on the floor.  Ironically, the man appeared homeless despite his current squatting location in the lobby of this rundown apartment building.  He was unshaven and unkempt.  Liquor bottle in his left hand and a wet, unlit cigarette in his right.  His tattered and stained clothing appeared wet in some questionable areas, and Dante couldn’t get to the elevator fast enough.  Sure enough, it was out of order.  This didn’t look like the kind of place that took care of its tenants and kept up with maintenance issues. 

Dante found the stairs nearby and they smelled even worse than the lobby.  As he climbed, the sound of the homeless man’s offkey, feverish singing sounded more and more distant until only the reverberating shadow of an echo could be heard.  The singing only ceased when the homeless man paused to take long, liberal gulps from his bottle of whiskey. 

-Walks along corridor and finds door

The door looked no different from the several others he’d passed in the long corridor but he knew this was the one he was looking for.  Dante knocked gently on the door three times and waited.  After a few moments of silence, he pulled his new Nokia 3995 cellular phone from his jeans pocket along with a folded business card.  Dante punched in the numbers and held the phone up to his ear, the fingers on his left hand tracing the brass “14” hanging loosely over the door. He turned away from the door and crossed his left hand across his chest, realizing with each buzz that the girl on the other end wasn’t going to answer.

“Hello, you’ve reached Katie Walker.  I’m unable to answer the phone right now, but if you leave–”

Dante heard the sound of several security locks being unlatched on the other side of the door behind him.  A deadbolt rotated with a loud, chunky thud.  A few more security chains at the lower end of the door unclasped from the frame.  Finally, the door slowly opened. 

“Can I help you?”

The door was opened just enough for Dante to see a few strands of raven black hair, followed closely by a single emerald green eye.  It scanned him inquisitively, and then the door opened a bit more…enough for him to see the woman’s face.  She was quite pretty.  Dante suspected that she was a few years older than he was…perhaps in her early 20’s.  Raven-black hair clung to the sides of her friendly, attractive face and her neck, not quite soaking wet but close.  

“Umm…yeah, I’m here to see Katie?” Dante said, answering as if asking a question.  

The pretty, raven-haired woman looked up at him.  She initially responded with a subtly wrinkled brow and a slightly tilted head.  His presence clearly confused her, and he could see her scanning him up and down, as if she were assessing what kind of risk he posed.  The ability was probably a ‘pretty girl prerequisite’ for living in a place like this.  

Dante broke the silence, “We umm..met at my school…at UNH. She did a presentation earlier this month for the Sophomores.”

Any hint of concern or uncertainty melted from the raven-haired woman’s face.  She opened the door the rest of the way.  

“Oh ok, Awesome!”

Dante was slightly taken aback by the quick expression change and the girl’s over-the-top interest. Her fingers tightly gripped a pristine white towel that circled her otherwise naked body. Dante gulped, trying to avoid staring at the woman’s cleavage.  Gratefully, he found an opportunity to take in a full eye-full when she leaned forward outside the door frame, taking a quick look left and right down the hallways.  As she scanned left and right, Dante stared down. Her breasts were pretty big despite the raven-haired girl’s short stature…they might have been as big as Katie’s. 

She continued, “Yeah, Katie is my roommate. She’s not home yet but you can come in and wait for her.”

“Sorry if you were waiting awhile, I was in the shower; just gotta take a minute to get dressed.” The raven-haired woman disappeared back into the bathroom. Dante caught a quick glimpse of the pristine white towel dropping at her bare feet right before the door shut, and he cursed himself for having not been looking up at her body.  

From the other side of the door, she shouted “You can just make yourself at home.”

Dante was happy to leave the uncomfortable, unclean, unkept, and frankly…unsafe hallway and now he was looking around in the empty living room.  It was as if he’d just walked through a portal into another world. The smell of urine and cigarettes was gone, replaced graciously by lavender and vanilla.  The carpets were a muted but pleasing gray, the fibers plush and soft. Unlike the brown, flattened carpet in the hallway, not a stain to be seen. The lights didn’t flicker, the walls were clean, and most importantly not a single drunken, soiled, homeless man was singing.

It would have been clear to anyone that two women lived here, evident by the cleanliness and fragrances but to Dante, there were amusing and endearing clashes of what society deemed feminine and what they deemed…well…”science-y”.  The carpets were immaculate and every surface dusted.  Decorations adorned the walls of inspiration and femininity. One thing that was out of place in the very purposeful and cozy apartment was a pink X on the carpeted floor.  It was near a wall on the far side of the living room.  There were fancy books about Paris and Italy fanned out on what looked like an expensive, dark-wood coffee table along with beautiful fresh flowers. Over the back of the white three-cushion sofa was an afghan blending different shades of pink.  Above it on the wall hung two framed diplomas.  One of which was conferred to Ms. Katie Walker last year.  

The other diploma belonged to an Alexandria Bexley and judging from the handwritten date, she received hers five years earlier than Katie. Dante heard a hair dryer come to life in the bathroom so, realizing he was going to be waiting a bit longer, he took a seat on the center cushion of the white couch.  

Dante’s attention was pulled to the distant corner of the dark-wood coffee table.  Next to a pale pink manilla folder was a beautiful, glass chess set.  It looked a lot like one he’d almost gotten his sister for her birthday, but practically ran from the store when he glimpsed the price tag. 

The pieces were beautiful and appeared to be handmade.  One set was nearly as transparent as the chessboard itself, but tinted a pale blue.  The other set, also made of some sort of crystal or glass, was far more opaque.  It was a bright, vivid pink with what almost looked like static galaxies, brilliant flecks of stardust sprinkled in different densities and structures.  Dante was amazed to see that the structures were different in each piece, even in the repeating pairs and every pawn.  

A chess player himself, Dante took to analyzing the board.  It looked like it was-late game.  Most of the important decisions had already been made, and some could argue that fate had decided the winner long ago. Things were not looking good for blue.  A lonely king shivered alone on the second row, separated from its stronger pieces, protected only by a diagonal pawn occupying a dark square, which protected the blue king from any dark-square bishop attacks.  Unfortunately for blue, pink also had a light-squared bishop.  And a rook.  And three active pawns.  Most threatening of all was the brilliant, sparkling pink queen.  It shared a diagonal with the weak blue pawn and the weak blue king. It was far away but prepared to close the distance in a second’s notice.  The only thing separating the blue king from the pink queen’s wrath was a lone pawn, but it was hardly helpful.  Pink’s rook shared a row with the ‘protecting’ pawn.

Next move was mate.  Dante realized that even if it were blue’s turn, the only option was to delay the inevitable.  Blue could impose a superficial check on pink with the last knight, but would immediately lose it to a pawn. Blue’s king was isolated and trapped.  The blocking pawn was pinned.  It was over.  Dante placed two fingers and a thumb on the blue king, gently laying it down on its side. 

“Yeah, Katie’s a lot better than me.” 

Dante’s eyes rushed up from the chess board to see the raven-haired beauty standing before him with a grin, her hands on her hips. Her hair was styled to a chin-length bob and she wore a simple yet stylish black v-neck t-shirt with a pair of dark-blue jeans. She shifted a balled-up pair of socks to her left hand, freeing her right hand for a friendly greeting. 

“I’m Alexandria.”

Dante smiled politely, accepting her much smaller hand in his, “I’m Dante.  It's nice to meet you.”

Alexandria took a seat on the cushion next to him.  Dante considered shifting over to the other side of the couch but he didn’t want to appear rude, and the woman didn’t seem too bothered by the closeness.  She laid her left ankle atop her right knee, pointing a smooth, pale sole at Dante.  

“So how did you and Katie meet?”

Dante watched five small, chubby toes disappear into the checkered teal and brown sock. 

“She spoke at my Cellular and Molecular Biology class.” Dante said.

“Oh, that’s right!  I forgot she did that.” Alexandria said, slipping her other sock on. Dante spotted that her toenails were painted to match her fingernails.  He didn’t care much for feet but also didn’t mind them…and Alexandria’s were objectively small and cute, just like her.  Both sets of nails were an alluring purple. The color was somehow deep and textured; he felt he could get lost in them…as if they were windows to another world…and then they were abruptly and unceremoniously concealed by her sock. He snapped back.

“Yeah, I ended up asking her a few questions during the Q&A and she actually approached me after the class ended…we got to talking for a bit and she mentioned this experiment that she’s working on.”

“Awesome! Yeah, I figured that’s what you were here for.  We’re actually working on it together. We each needed to find helpers for this big presentation we’re doing in about two weeks.” 

Alexandria extended her hands to the pale-pink manilla folder, spinning it playfully as she chuckled, “I found my helper a few weeks ago and I guess Katie found you.”

As if on queue, a key could be heard entering the front door and the deadbolt slid. Katie entered quickly, perhaps to keep as much of the building’s atmosphere out of their sanctuary as possible.  She set a few large but seemingly light boxes down next to the door and removed a cold-weather beanie, allowing her beautiful long, brown hair to flow freely down.  As she ruffled her hair with her fingertips, traces of crimson red could be spotted, subtle highlights throughout the girl’s mane of beautiful hair.  Dante watched her eyes detect his.  

“Hi Dante.  I’m terribly sorry you had to wait.” Katie said, kicking off her boots and aligning them neatly at the door.  She then painstakingly locked every one of the latches and slidebars on the door.

“Oh, it's no problem.”  Dante said sincerely.

“I see you’ve already met Alexandria, then?” Katie said, now the majority of her attention on opening the large sealed boxes.

“Yes, we did!” Alexandria said, patting Dante on the knee and rising to her feet.  Dante didn’t mean to, but he peaked a bit as Alexandria stood up; the top band of a racy black thong peaked back at him and he was grateful the educated, talented young women were so focused on the components coming out of the box that they didn’t notice his blushing red cheeks. 

“So you blew the two transistors on the B-side right?” Alexandria said, distractedly readjusting her shirt to properly cover her lower back.  

Katie was now removing a thick jacket that had protected her from the cold air outside, revealing a light-gray turtleneck sweater and jeans slightly lighter than Alexandria’s.  The outfit would have looked strictly professional on another girl less…endowed than Katie.  The turtleneck was appropriately loose in the stomach area, but the part that covered her ample chest was working much harder.   It didn’t seem fair from Dante’s point of view, even though he was contributing to it in his own mind right now…that someone as intelligent and driven as Katie could be sexualized in such a way. It's not as if she could hide them.  Was it his fault for being unable to break his focus?  How could he help it though?  She was so short and yet so incredibly stacked.   Her tits were just so–

“--No, it was the two on the F-side.  The B-side was okay.” Katie quickly replied, handing a few small baggies filled with tiny components to Alexandria. For the first time, the raven-haired beauty’s cute freckled cheeks dipped and she frowned.  

“Hmmm…I think I know what you’re going to say.” Alexandria said, taking a seat back on the couch next to Dante, spreading out the tiny transistors on the table.  

Katie removed a spindle of sodder from one of the smaller boxes and smiled, “Well hey, I don’t think you messed up in getting the PN2222-type transistor.”

Alexandria grumbled, “Yeah, but you said from the start that we should have gotten the 2N2222-type. You said we needed the higher power dissipation and temperature ratings…”the raven-haired girl picked up a loose transistor on the edge of the coffee table and held it up.  Even in her tiny fingers, the device seemed so small…its three legs were bent and charred, suggesting it had burnt off whatever device it was attached to.

“...but I said we didn’t need them. Katie Walker: the girl that’s always right.”  Alexandria joked

Katie laughed, “Don’t be so hard on yourself.  You suggested the PN-type because it’s way more commonly available than the 2N-type.  If this ends up working…” Katie’s eyes quickly darted to notice Dante paying attention, as if she’d forgotten he was even there…and then back to Alexandria, 

“...WHEN this works, we’ll have some concrete data that might point to the problem with the PN-type because I agree it would be better to use that transistor.

The conversation continued as the girls walked down the hallway that Dante hadn’t yet been down, adjourning into the bedroom on the left.

The day that Katie presented in Dante’s class was not the first time he’d heard of her.  She had actually attended the same highschool as him, but had graduated 4 years ago.  Someone on the outside looking in might be confused to hear this, considering Dante and Katie were about the same age.

Katie Walker had become somewhat of a legend at her high school and everyone knew about her.  Her intellect was stunning; she excelled in all subjects, particularly math and science, and there wasn’t an AP class out there that teachers would later on describe as ‘incapable of challenging her’.  As if all of this wouldn’t have been interesting enough for a teenager, Katie Walker started her Freshman year in high school at the age of 10, and graduated with a perfect GPA and attendance at the age of 13.  Sure enough, she was valedictorian.  Dante was just starting out his Freshman year as she was graduating despite them being roughly the same age.  He remembered this clearly because it was the only time in the school’s history that the staff mandated that everyone attend the graduation to see her speech. She was one of those students that could have literally done anything 

The girls came back out of the bedroom and Dante only picked up on the middle of the conversation.  

“...at least you have me to do the soldering!” Alexandria said and the two chuckled.  The girls entered the living room, appearing once again to have forgotten Dante was even there.  Alexandria took a seat to Dante’s left as she had before and Katie sat down on his right side.

“Whoa..what is that?” Dante asked a bit nervously, somewhat knowing what it was already from their earlier conversations at the university.

Katie’s small biceps slightly flexed as she lifted up from her lap what looked similar to a Nerf gun. 

“This is the prototype I was telling you about.” With two hands, Katie gently handed the device to Dante.  Dante turned it over in his left hand and inspected it on all sides.  There were several green circuit boards attached to various parts of the gun.  

“Gently!” Alexandria said.  It seemed a bit like an overreaction to Dante but the girls didn’t appear as strong as he did so they were probably just not used to someone handling the device with only one hand. 

Each circuit board had a black stencil snap of a letter, and Dante could see 7 in total, stenciled A through G.  The two new transistors the girls had just soldered, which was on the F-side, were on the bottom of the gun and hung delicately from only two wires that ran up into the gun’s assembly.  A spaghetti of green, white, red, and black wires ran from where the gun’s hammer would have been located and disappeared into the chamber.  There were several switches and a few extinguished LED lights affixed to the bulky, black side of the gun. Dante didn’t dare touch them.  The last thing he noticed was a single pink wire that ran from the trigger assembly up to what looked like a radio transmitter affixed to the tip of the gun.  

“So…this is what you’re going to use..on me?” Dante asked a bit nervously.


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