This is the fifth and final installment in a Valentine’s Day series of shorts by Jennifer Weigel in which unsuspecting lovers succumb to deadly gases. You can read the other 4 installments here:

Shelby and Braydon

Brad and Jeffrey

Syrah, Ellie and Squid

Joe and Dianne

Now we get to the source of the scourge with Dr. Gruesome and Galatea: shadowrealm reversal image of a nude woman reclining on a marble bust
Now we get to the source of the scourge with Dr. Gruesome and Galatea

Episode 5, the Final Chapter:

LOVE struck once again with its noxious fog of poisonous deadly gases.  Why did it appear in such a deadly form?  Why did it drift in and out of being between those who expressed the deepest truest feelings for one another?  Something was horribly wrong; this wasn’t how love was supposed to manifest at all.  Where were the happy endings?  And why was everything always so stinky?

Back at the laboratory, Doctor Gruesome smiled with glee after unleashing his creation upon the unsuspecting world.  The mad scientist had been rejected by his beloved creation Galatea, an Android in the shape of his perfect woman.  But Galatea was not interested in being a sexpot, she had set her sights on eliminating inefficiencies in the quest for perfection in both form and function of being, and courting her creator simply didn’t fit within her agenda.

The robot’s icy withdrawal and subsequent disappearance had spawned the doctor’s vengeful wrath.  He had wrought the deadly vapor in response.  If he couldn’t have love, then neither could anyone else.  He had made sure the resulting invisible cloud of LOVE (Latent Odiforous Virulent Energy) would be as putrid as possible, because nothing ruined the mood and sowed confusion like a good bout of flatulence, or Bromhidrosis, or any other unexpected foul-smelling odor for that matter…  It’d serve them right, the lot of the lovers and dreamers and so on, to die by the most fetid of fumes, the mad scientist thought as he cackled.

The invisible cloud of LOVE appeared wherever love blossomed, manifesting out of the spiritual conductivity created between those who exhibited the emotion at its peak sensation.  Unbeknownst to anyone else, it lay waste to those who spawned its generation and then disappeared as quickly as it had come, leaving no trace.

Meanwhile, Galatea was already busy working on her own pet project, developing and streamlining plans to create a race of perfect beings by reworking her subjects to her design.  Her human counterparts were horribly wasteful of their own energies and abilities but, with some slight modifications, vast improvements could be made.  It was easy to lure victims to her lair where she could experiment upon them to determine the best course of action towards her better and brighter tomorrow, for she was wholly femme fatale after all.

Galatea returned to the laboratory from whence she had been fashioned in order to procure more materials for her work and to exploit the mad scientist’s feelings for her to entice him to her lair to further her research.  When Doctor Gruesome laid eyes upon the Android he was instantly infatuated yet again, and followed ever-hopefully.  Galatea knew he would be an amazing addition to her research, for his brilliant mind could be put to the most incredible of uses.  She began to become attached to the idea of having him around, to pick his brain both literally and figuratively so to speak.

As the robot performed the lobotomy and prepared to supplant Doctor Gruesome’s outstanding brain into the well-oiled mechanical body that would better serve him in their imminent partnership, a noxious cloud settled into the room.  Unbeknownst to both Galatea and the doctor-brain, neither of whom possessed the ability to smell, LOVE had returned.  They succumbed to the poisonous gases together, bound forever by their mutually sealed fate.

Visualization of what the foul-smelling swirling cloud of deadly gases would appear as, if it weren't invisible
The fetid cloud of deadly gases closes in…

You can find more of Jennifer Weigel’s writing by visiting her website here at Jennifer Weigel Words.

Portrait of myself with dark makeup and crow skull headdress, backlit by the sun.
About the Author

Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist residing in Kansas USA. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography, sculpture, video and writing. You can find more of her work at:

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