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Professor Hosselhof's Harvest of Doom by Harry F. Kane

Professor Hosselhoff’s Harvest of Doom

by Harry F. Kane
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The grizzled, leather-faced peasants watched with distrust as the professor and his two assistants assembled the apparatus. It was basically a thermos-shaped box on a tripod, connected to a fridge-like contraption of coils and wires, which in turn was connected to the truck’s generator.

“Hit it!” said the professor, and the truck growled to life. It stood there, unmoving, trembling exhaust pipe adding to the heat. Hosselhoff looked at the dials on his apparatus and gave a satisfied nod. The juice was now flowing. 

“This is dead land, signor,” said the village elder again. “We thank you for trying to help us, but nothing has grown here since the time my grandfather was a little niño.” A tall, gaunt hombre with a graying mustache nodded in despondent confirmation of these words.

The professor stepped back from the apparatus and smiled tolerantly at the peasant. “Relax, Mr. Trujilo,” he said and flipped on a switch. A faint buzzing could now be heard and the thermos-like box vibrated subtly. “This apparatus, the Grow-O-Matic, is the fruit of years of research.” 

Hosselhoff looked at the gathered peasants; at the parched, cracked ground; at the lone dead tree that stood twenty yards away. “Everywhere in the universe,” he said majestically, “circulates a cosmic life-force, called by me the Borsone!” 

The peasants said nothing. 

“If my calculations are correct, and they always are,” said the professor, “all that is missing in this land is a crucial dose of Borsone. The Borsone collector here,” he pointed at the fridge-like thing with coils and wires, “collects the cosmic energy from the atmosphere.” 

His two assistants made obliging movements with their hands, showing how the energy even now was being sucked into the box. 

“The Borsone disperser there,” the professor pointed at the vibrating and humming thermos-like box on the tripod, “directs the collected and concentrated cosmic energy into the soil.” 

Hosselhoff looked at his wristwatch and smiled. “Friends, I understand you are skeptical. To you this sounds like magic. But no, it’s no magic—it is science! And I guarantee,” he lifted a forefinger into the air, “that in less than two minutes, the first effects of the Borsone, of the cosmic energy, of the life energy, will be felt by this dead piece of land!” 

The peasants finally looked almost convinced. Hosselhoff looked at his wristwatch again and chuckled. The Borsone disperser hummed.

“Look, look!” said the village elder, pointing at a piece of dried mud five yards away. It was trembling; something like the first inches of a sapling was making its way through the dry soil. 

“Signor, you were right, it’s a miracle!” cried the hombre with the graying mustache.

Hosselhoff gave a small bow. 

Then everyone fell silent. In at least a score of places the soil was erupting.  

Old, old looking skeletons were digging themselves out all around.


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About the Author

Harry F. Kane

Harry Kane is the author of Shudder and the Bad Ass Bible. His family-friendly alter ego Edward Keller is the author of Sounds of Distant Oceans, Brain Storm, Planetfall on Albaid, and Autumn Magic, Playground Sky.

Story Discussion

Stories by Harry F. Kane

Professor Hosselhof's Home Truth by Harry F. Kane

Professor Hosselhoff’s Home Truth

“The theory being,” continued the professor, “that when the children will see that this sort of thing goes on all over the place, with birds and fish and bunnies, they will realize that they don’t have to hide it, that it’s okay to talk about such things.” 

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Professor Hosselhof's Home Truth by Harry F. Kane

Professor Hosselhoff’s Harvest of Doom

The grizzled, leather-faced peasants watched with distrust as the professor and his two assistants assembled the apparatus. It was basically a thermos-shaped box on a tripod, connected to a fridge-like contraption of coils and wires, which in turn was connected to the truck’s generator.

Read More
The Perished by Harry F. Kane

The Perished

For years, the Perished community survived by the skin of their teeth. Huge tomatoes, shriveled pumpkins, and gnarly beet roots were the vegetables which would grow. The livestock had gradually died out; all but the six-legged descendants of Mary the sheep.

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Professor Hosselhof's Home Truth by Harry F. Kane

Professor Hosselhoff’s Home Truth

“The theory being,” continued the professor, “that when the children will see that this sort of thing goes on all over the place, with birds and fish and bunnies, they will realize that they don’t have to hide it, that it’s okay to talk about such things.” 

Read More
The Perished by Harry F. Kane

The Perished

For years, the Perished community survived by the skin of their teeth. Huge tomatoes, shriveled pumpkins, and gnarly beet roots were the vegetables which would grow. The livestock had gradually died out; all but the six-legged descendants of Mary the sheep.

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