‘Biology practicals’, a short story by Timehin Adegbeye

Nobody likes Biology practicals. The lab is dark and airless, and instead of microscopes and Petri dishes, we have only decomposing carcasses of dissected frogs and lizards spread across the tables. The whole room smells like formaldehyde and sweat, and I am convinced that 60% of the smell comes from Mr Adisa himself.

Adisababa, as we call him, drones on and on. Chinyere and her band of overeager oversabis are hard at work, drawing whatever deformed animal we’re supposed to be studying today. Felicity and I are all the way at the back, in the very last row of unimpressive students with no desire to change our status. I’m not left-handed, but that’s the hand I use to hold my blunt pencil during Biology practicals. My right hand is busy.

Felicity is sweating, small drops dotting her brow as she pretends to focus on whatever babble is coming from Adisa’s mouth. Her blouse is open by at least two buttons more than it should be, and the part of her camisole that dips helplessly into her cleavage is damp. So are her panties.

Felicity’s thighs are spread as far apart as her too-tight uniform skirt will allow, but it is not because she wants more air between them. The fingers of my left hand jerk back and forth across my sketchbook, mindlessly mimicking the furtive movements my right is making. The room is dark and airless. Felicity is sweating. So am I.

Adisa drones on and on, while the illegible squiggles in my sketchbook become fainter and fainter as my left hand stops moving. My brain is too focused on the biology of what my right hand is doing; I’ve never been a good multi-tasker. Felicity is sweating. Felicity isn’t breathing properly. Felicity is crumpling the blank pages of her sketchbook. Felicity is biting her lip. Felicity is making a strange sound in the back of her throat. Felicity is sweating.


Adisababa abandons his monologue, and the sharp sound sends a jolt through my body. Who knows how many times he has called her? Felicity’s thighs slam back together, trapping my hand in a deliciously painful grip.

“I said, come and show me the hippocampus!”

Felicity is trembling, the damp walls between her skirt massaging my fingers as she tries and fails to get her legs to work. Her mouth opens and closes soundlessly.

“FELICITY!” Adisa’s eyes are bulging like a dead frog’s.

Finally, a helpless sound escapes Felicity, and then three words: “…I…I’m coming..!”

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