TITLE: BYRNE RISK
GENRE: Middle Grade Science Fiction
Kate scowled at the beady purple eyes and wondered how this fresh catastrophe had happened. Why can’t things ever be simple? The murinda peeked at her from behind an empty beaker on the glassware shelf, his pointy nose sniffing the air. She glanced around her lab. Where there was one fur-ball on the loose, there were bound to be more. Duncan is so going to pay for this. The murinda's tag showed his number, but she recognized his green shaggy fur and the little black spot encircling his eye. She lifted her hand up to him, palm open.
“Come on, one fifty seven,” she whispered.
He sniffed her fingertips, whiskers quivering, before stepping down to her. She stroked his silky fur to calm him and tried not to panic herself. She had only been gone an hour or so, collecting samples in the forest, but somehow he had escaped. She scanned the shelves of chemicals, the counters cluttered with DNA sequencers, sonicators, and tablet screens, and the floors crowded with boxes of equipment. There were a million places for the tiny murinda to hide.
The familiar musty smell of animals filled the crowded room, and streaky sunlight filtered in through the blinds. Her notebook screen lay on the benchtop. Everything seemed exactly as she left it. Then a flash of purple ran under the bench, hurtled across the floor, and hid under a cabinet. Another wriggling yellow fluff, with a matching yellow tail, tried to squeeze under the sequencer.