The Locust Theorem


Our Story of the Week is a sci-fi story from the writer Jasmin Kirkbride.

Jasmin has an MA in Ancient History from King’s College London. She currently lives and works as a publisher in London with her dangerously large collection of books. Jasmin must write or she is subject to mood swings.

Her short stories have been published in various magazines, including Open Pen, Haverthorn, Hark, and The Cadaverine. As for her flash fiction, Jasmin has won the TSS Monthly 500 Contest and been shortlisted for the Kilburn Literary Festival Flash Fiction competition. She has also written a series of self-help books aimed at young adults, including Stress Less, Believe in Yourself, Boost and Don’t Panic. Her writing is represented by Sandra Sawicka at Marjacq literary agency, and she is currently working on her first full-length novel.

In The Locust Theorem, Jasmin explores a mind-bending science fiction concept that’ll leave you questioning what our bodies are really capable of.


‘It is probably best if we start with your body. I’d like you to touch yourself – on the arm, the face – somewhere where your hand can make contact with your skin. Feel it. Soft. Malleable. Our bodies are fantastically adaptable – fantastically adaptable – to external conditions. Well now, let’s think about that for a minute. Let’s think about external conditions. Where do external conditions start?’

A drop of sweat runs down my back under my shirt, from hairline to elasticated briefs. Bellbirds croon in the jacaranda trees outside. Thirty-seven degrees and the air conditioner’s broken. The lecture hall steams softly with our collective heat. Under my hand, my arm perspires, dampening my notes.

“Anderson!” My body snaps straight when Doctor Evans picks me out. Her rimless spectacles fix on my face.

“Where do external conditions start?”

“Um. Outside of me?” Clueless again. Several of my classmates titter but Evans only smiles a little.

“Alright. Let’s turn the question on its head. Where do you start?”’ Read more…