The Nano Technologists’ Christmas Party

Just a bit of fun. A 500-word story for the Writers in Somerset Christmas party.

It was a Christmas party to be forgotten. The Cambridge nano technology team pulled miniaturised crackers with tweezers, prising apart the shreds of micro-thin gaily patterned film to locate surprise miniaturised gifts. They released 3-D printed party poppers over each other causing diminutive proton explosions, blew midget hooters, incorporating digital enhancers that swelled the nano-din to ear-wrenching proportions.

The Christmas decorations were wild and kaleidoscopic. Brightly coloured DNA strings hung in tangled streamers, and laser particle beams flooded the room. The tree was a spectacular holographic projection, decorated with balls, stars, and lametta, generated from red blood cells, micro bacteria, and lymphoma genes. A tiny robotic Santa called ‘Ho, ho, Happy Nanomas’ careering round the room on a sleigh pulled by electronic galloping reindeer.

At present giving time the excited technologists sat round a periodic table, unwrapping gifts invisible to the naked eye, deciphering the tags on micro-dot readers. Inspecting their nano-sized presents through electron microscopes they effusively thanked each other, with calls of  ‘Just what I wanted!’ Jerry loved his Lego Higgs Boson particle collider, Mimi was overwhelmed by her Heston Blumenthal molecular soufflé builder, and Katy by her nanotube tooth whitener.

As the sherry and Bristol cream liberally flowed, couples retreated into corners where they kissed and cuddled, remembering each time to sanitise their lips of the mutually transferred trillion infections with bacterial wipes.

Time for the Christmas feast. The party tucked into constructed string finger foods, each injected with a range of cunningly engineered flavours. Smacking their lips they agreed they were delicious and more real than the real thing. For the main course they tucked into brocoli that tasted like chocolate, and turkey that tasted like trifle. They quaffed Prosecco through pipettes from glass centrifuge flasks.

Then came the games. They enjoyed exhilarating rounds of musical chairs to the random vibrations of Planet QX4236747, orbiting a black hole four thousand light years from Earth. Randomly blasted from one chair to the other, the revellers were, like electrons, always where they weren’t. Beside themselves, they were in stitches. Invisible nano-stitches, of course, Kevin pointed out, who was the laboratory wag.

Nigel stood in the kitchen gazing longingly and dreamily at the lovely Sandra. Did she return his glance? Discreetly he checked her heart rate using his pocket quantum scanner. Yes, it was rising rapidly – she did fancy him! He sidled across and they discussed research paper abstracts before engaging in a passionate embrace.

Then the bionic Santa collided with a microbe generator, releasing a swarm of rogue nano drones. The entire team was instantly vapourised by a fatal cocktail of deadly micro viruses. The evening ended with a soundless big bang.

An hour later. ‘Doesn’t look like it was much of a party. Nothing here to tidy.’ The cleaners glanced at the spotless white lab room and wheeled their trolley on.

About Terence Sackett

I am a writer and designer. I live in Nether Stowey, which is on the borders of the Quantock hills. I am a committee member of the Friends of Coleridge, and wrote and designed the booklet/visitor guide for the National Trust’s Coleridge Cottage. I look after the website for the Friends ( My novel about Siamese twins titled ‘Riven is now on Kindle. It can be read with a free downloaded Kindle app for an iPad, smartphone, tablet, or computer. The book is available from Amazon. What’s it about? Brief blurb below: It is the story of the Victorian painter Thomas Tait Genoa and his desperate flight through the West Country to save his conjoined twin daughters from the surgeon’s knife. This was before the era of anaesthetics. A 5-start bAmazon review: 'A masterpiece, truly deserving of the five star rating I have given it. The very human experience described so eloquently could not fail to tug at the heart of any parent who has ever gazed on a poorly child in the dark hours of the night and anguished over what to do for the best. This novel might be set in a very particular time and space but the heartfelt emotions of the protagonists are timeless, I have no hesitation in recommending this wonderful work to anyone who has a heart.
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