The Unicellular Detective

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While investigating a murder, a single-celled detective is led into a world full of bacterial filaments, proto-multicellular colonies, and a new concept called “love.”

This story is from Year 8, The Year of Revisitation
I revisit one of the stories I’ve already written, and write a new standalone story connected to or inspired by the existing one through a character, a place, an object, a continuation of events (okay, sequel), and so on.


I’ve written at least a couple of stories about single-celled organisms doing and being more than what’s expected (below). This time, I aimed to write a goofy story about a paramecium who’s a detective. But as soon as he became a homicide detective, things got serious. The story took on some classic noir stylings, with other unicellular characters loosely filling familiar roles like femme fatale and trusty sidekick.

[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 31 seconds. No sound. Digital image. Cartoon depictions of anthropomorphized unicellular organisms in a line. From left to right, three filaments of cyanobacteria, a Stentor, a paramecium with flagella who’s wearing a fedora, a slime mold, and a dinoflagellate with glasses. The words “Short Story” and “Genre: Science Fiction” are displayed in front of the image. Animated bubbles rise over the image throughout. The title card fades. Dialogue from the story appears next to the character who speaks it, fading as the next character’s dialogue appears, from left to right. “Having a nucleus doesn’t make you superior,” the bacterium says. “Some protozoans believe that being unicellular means being solitary,” the Stentor says. “There’s something you should know about me, and it’s not that I’m a plankton,” says the paramecium. “Fetch me, if you need me, Plankton. You know I’ve got your membrane…always,” the slime mold says. “Are you sure you don’t have some unnatural affinity toward morbidity?” the dinoflagellate says. The story title appears at the end. Website URL is displayed at the very bottom throughout.]


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