The HazMat suit scared them a little. However, their well-trained faculties of judgment remained objective. Admittedly, the preceding chemist hadn't brought his A-game, but neither had the audience brought their goggles, gloves, or eyewash.
After assembling the elaborate machinery of beakers and glass tubes, the aspiring chemist extracted liquid from containers with labels unreadable from the seats. However, stickers written in skulls, crossbones, and melting flesh -- images any illiterate could understand -- seemed to heat the room hotter than any Bunsen burner ever could. But everyone remained still, awaiting propositions and premises, the skeptics narrowing their eyes in anticipation.
finalist in The Binnacle's Fourth Annual Ultra-Short Competition, published in 2007