Tag Archives: pill

Little Black Pill. Short Story.

Chad poured whiskey into the coffee mug, filling it about half way, he poured a mouthful into his own mug, then he put the lid on the bottle and put it onto the table. He pulled a small baggie from his pocket, a single black pill sat inside it.
“Is that it?”
Chad nodded, “Yeah dude, you ready?”
Frank took a deep breath then exhaled slowly “yeah, lets do it.”
Chad opened the baggie and fished out the pill, then he dropped it into the mug and passed it to Frank. “Should I just drink it here or?”
Chad looked around the small kitchen, pots and pans were stacked in the sink, covered in stagnant water and moulding food, grime coated the linoleum floor which was a dark grey with various stains splattered across it. The table they sat at was rickety and though it looked reasonably clean it felt slightly sticky. The walls and ceiling were stained yellow and a thick stench of old smoke and burnt food hung in the air.
“Maybe the sitting room would be better, the couch would be more comfortable.”

They stood and moved out of the small kitchen and entered the sitting room, it was cleaner than the kitchen though not by much. Empty pizza boxes and Chinese food containers were scattered across the floor, as were mostly empty cans and beer bottles. The sitting room was small, with just enough room for the thread worn and sagging sofa, a squat coffee table sat in front of it, covered in wrappers and glasses, the few bits of the table that could be seen was covered in scorch marks and burns. Frank collapsed back onto the couch and turned on the massive flat screen TV that took up most of the wall in front of the couch. Chad sat down delicately, he sunk into the couch immediately, he tried not to show his disgust, he’d only been here for ten minutes and he felt like he needed a shower, long and hot with plenty of scrubbing to get the grime off his skin. Frank reached out and took the mug from Chad, he raised it in a salute then knocked it back, his Adams apple bobbing as he drained it. When he finished he coughed for a moment, eyes watering. Chad took a sip of his own drink, enjoying the warmth as it burned its way down his throat, he let out a short cough of his own.
“How long should this take?”
“Any second now.”
As Chad watched Frank’s eyes started to close, his pupils were dilating and a faint grin appeared. “Just relax into it.” Frank didn’t move, he couldn’t hear Chad any more. Chad extracted himself from the couch and downed the last of his drink before turning and leaving the sitting room. He let himself out the front door and breathed deeply, the air was thick with heat and the stench of burnt plastic and petrol but it still smelled better than Frank’s place. As he walked away from the house he pulled out his phone and dialled, the call was answered almost immediately. “I’m out, gave the last one away, I’ll need more as soon as possible.”
“More will be at the usual place in an hour.”
Frank hung up and smiled, he’d gotten rid of all the pills in only a week when they’d given him a month. As word was spreading he didn’t even have to look for customers, they just came to him the only problem was it could only be taken once, after that it just wouldn’t do anything. Chad himself hadn’t taken any and he had no plans to, that was the only rule they gave him, never sample the merchandise, everything else was fair game and he should just do what he had to do. He’d a growing suspicion that there was something else happening with the pills but he didn’t care, once he didn’t take them he’d be fine.

Frank started shuddering, his body spasming uncontrollably, he fell still then started vomiting, a thick black sludge that oozed across the filthy carpet. Frank moaned, his breathing was shallow and fast, his skin pale and clammy, it wasn’t like they said it would be, he could feel an intense pain ripping through his stomach. He moaned and writhed for almost an hour before he finally passed out, drenched in sweat and sitting in a pool of the black sludge. When he woke four hours later he felt great, shakily he stood using the table to push himself up, the thick sludge had hardened into a black shell that cracked and flaked from him as he moved. He stretched slowly, getting used to his muscles, he felt strange, off. He stumbled from the sitting room and up the stairs, leaning heavily on the bannister as he went. Upstairs he stripped off his clothes and got into the shower, carefully scrubbing that black stuff from his skin.

After his shower he felt remarkably good, everything seemed different, new, he could see it all with a whole new perspective. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and frowned, something was different, but he could quite pinpoint what. He started for a moment, then grinned at himself, he turned and left the bathroom, towel wrapped around his waist. The tiny wriggling worms in his eye disappeared a moment later, their thin black bodies burrowing deeper, they’d a job to do and nothing would stop them.

One Little Pill. Short Story.

Martin looked at the pill sitting in front of him, it looked so innocuous. One little white pill, that was all. He had carefully extracted it from the baggy, pulling it from several of its friends. As he looked at it warnings rang through his mind, “Highly addictive.” “Ruins lives.” Flashes of faces appeared, gaunt, pockmarked, missing teeth, images of skeletal bodies, curled up for warmth or from pain. He’d seen plenty of it through his life, he’d seen all the warnings, all the documentaries. He had scoffed at those who took it, but here he was. Was it really so awful? He wasn’t hurting anyone after all, just himself and he knew it would make him happy again, that was guaranteed. He took a deep breath and picked up the pill, before he could second guess himself he popped it into his mouth and quickly swallowed, wincing at the taste. He picked up a bottle of Coke and quickly swished some around his mouth, it helped a little but the harsh, bitter chemical tang was still stuck to his tongue. He took another mouthful of drink and looked at his watch. Ten minutes, that’s how long it would take before it kicked in. He quickly chugged the rest of the Coke and settled himself into the couch. The high would last for six to eight hours, sometimes as long as twelve but unusually no longer. There was a two litre bottle of water nearby in case he got thirsty. He was told he wouldn’t need to drink, or to eat, but still, he wanted to be sure. He looked around his dull apartment, he lived here for almost a year now and it still didn’t feel like home. It was dark and gloomy, even when the blinds were open, there was no happiness here. He blinked and his apartment was gone.

He was sitting on his couch at home, his real home. The TV was playing morning cartoons, Jessie was lying on the ground on her stomach, head propped up on her hands. Martin’s breath caught in his throat.
“Guys, breakfast is ready!”
Jessie’s head whipped around and she launched herself from the floor, a smile plastered across her face, she bounded from the sitting room. Martin stood, feeling as though he couldn’t control his body, he moved through the house, from the sitting room and down the hall. The door to the kitchen was ajar and he pushed it open, squinting slightly at the light. Maryanne was standing at the kitchen island, adding another crepe to the pile. “C’mon, get them while their still hot.” Martin stepped forward and kissed her gently on the cheek, she laughed as she moved the pan further from him. He could feel her skin beneath his lips, so soft and gentle and warm. He could smell her, not her perfume, but her. He breathed in deeply as his hands moved of their own accord. They picked up the plate and he carried it to the table, Jessie was already sitting in her seat, her favourite Peter Pan plate in front of her. Her small knife and fork was carefully set on either side but Martin knew she wouldn’t use them. As he placed the plate down she pulled a crepe from the pile and started sprinkling sugar on top. Martin sat down, then looked around, “Do you need a hand honey?”
“No, I’m just done.”
She stepped around the island and came to the table carrying a carton of orange juice. She poured them both a glass then grabbed a crepe for herself, spreading Nutella across it and placing strawberry slices on top. Martin looked down to find that his hands had been busy while he had been distracted, they rolled up his crepe, carefully folding it over the keep both the bacon and the maple syrup inside. He brought it to his lips and tasted the burst of sweet and salty flavour. Everything faded for a second, blurring, Martin wanted to speak, say something, anything but his mouth was too full of food, he couldn’t get the words out, couldn’t breathe. He sat up and started coughing, already feeling the food disappear and the gloom settled over the room again. He felt hot, sweaty, he could feel the tears pouring down his face. It was true, everything they said about it was true. He took a slow, deep breath. It wasn’t real, it was just a memory, he couldn’t have stopped it. He was shivering uncontrollably, he throat was dry and sore, he picked up the bottle and took a few gulps. As he swallowed he realised he needed a piss. He stood and paused for a moment, his legs felt weak. He made his way to the bathroom, once he had finished there he felt his stomach grumbling. He went back to the kitchen. He could have sworn he just ate, he could still feel the crepes sitting in his stomach. He opened the fridge, there wasn’t much there. He grabbed out the ham and cheese and quickly made himself a sandwich. When that was done he scarfed it down quickly and went back to the lumpy, overstuffed couch.

He sat down and picked up the small baggie, he wanted to go back, no he needed to go back, but how long would these last? He looked at his watch, he had been out of it for about seven hours. The more you used them the longer they worked. He had one more day before he had to be in work, he could definitely have another pill, but then what? Could he really wait a week to see them again? He fished out another pill, they were expensive, but it was definitely worth it. He would have to take it easy though, he couldn’t use too much too fast, he didn’t want to get addicted after all. He looked at the white pill and resisted the urge to pop it into his mouth. He had to be careful about all this, clinical. He had proven it worked, he had seen them. It was the few hours they had spent together before the accident. He shuddered again, he had seen them lying on the road, mangled and bloodied, the officers had tried to stop him from seeing but they had been too late. He had avoided these pills, these little miracles for so long because he was terrified that was what he would see, he didn’t think he’d be able to stand seeing it again. He looked at his watch, then at the pill in his hand, he popped it into his mouth, “Fuck it.” He settled back in the couch, his heart thudding heavily in his chest, it wouldn’t be long now.

A Pill A Day. Flash Fiction.

Andy took his pill and washed it down with a gulp of water. He grimaced as the taste hit, sour and bitter and sweet, all at once. He took a swig of soft drink and swished it around his mouth, clearing the taste a little. He hated the damn things but he needed them. They looked so innocuous, little white oblongs, yet they were practically the only thing that kept him alive. Sure he needed food and water and sleep like everyone else, but if he missed one of those pills he was done for. No ifs, ands, or buts.

He had been on them for nine years and his body had adapted well to them, he had none of the reported side effects, no rashes, no sores, so far his liver was doing fine, at least according to his last blood test. The taste of the pills, and the occasional blood tests, were a small price to pay for the little pill. Of course there was the actual cost, but that wasn’t too bad either. Most of the time he was just able to forget about it entirely. After all, payment was only required once a year and it varied, so it was easy to forget about. He didn’t like to think too deeply about what he was doing or why, he just did it. It was never anything big or immediately off putting, they were simple things, deliver a package, drive to a location and pick up something, that sort of thing. He knew the people who supplied the pill were not the most trustworthy and they had been linked to many shady operations, but nothing was ever proven. Besides, nothing he ever did seemed directly bad. How dangerous could it be to deliver a package? After all, he wasn’t responsible for what ever was in the package, or what they did with it afterwards. He just did his job and then for another year he had his pills.

He knew the pills were worth it, they might not have had any fun side effects like getting him high, but they kept him alive and so far he had nine extra years from them, he had no plans of stopping, why would he? A pill a day and a bitter taste was a small price to pay for life. He had decided, after the first job, that there were things he would not do, he would not kill someone, he wouldn’t kidnap anyone, wouldn’t sell drugs to people. He had made it clear to his supplier, at that point he had a year that he wasn’t supposed to have. He had everything in order and he had already accepted his death. He enjoyed his extra time, but he wouldn’t do so at the expense of someone else. He knew that someday they would ask him to do something awful and he knew that he would refuse. When that day came they would stop giving him the pills. He wouldn’t plead or beg, he wouldn’t be angry. His family would think it had just come back, that the disease struck again, too fast and too aggressive to be caught this time. They would mourn him, but he knew they would also be happy, happy that they got the extra time with him, just as he was happy he had extra time with them.

Secret Worship. Short Story.

Andrea stared at the tiny pill in her hand, so much power in such a small thing. It was black, almost impossibly so, to her it looked as though it absorbed the light around it. There were no markings on the pill, no etchings or pretty pictures, there was just the darkness. She could feel it reaching out through the palm of her hand, searching, yearning for the warm, sticky-smooth feel of her blood. Andrea took a deep breath, then with an almost casual flip of her hand she threw the pill into her mouth. It was harsh, bitter with a sour tang that almost burned, she brought the cup of water to her mouth and quickly took a gulp, washing it all down. The taste stayed in her mouth, she had been warned it would. She took a small bottle of mouthwash from her bag and quickly swished it around. She had about a half an hour before it hit. Plenty of time to get rid of the taste.

Andrea sat in her small room. The carpet was a pale blue, the walls a light cream that had been covered with pictures and posters. A desk took up one wall, her bed the other. A small flat screen TV hung on the wall opposite. She lay back on her bed, watching the cartoons as they moved across the screen. Andrea shifted, getting comfortable, moving the duvet this way and that. Her parents were away and wouldn’t return for another two days. She had plenty of time to come down and be back to normal. They’d never know. She wondered if her pupils were dilating yet. Her heart beat began to increase, was it responding to the chemicals or just her own fear? She took a sip of water, her mouth dry. Everyone liked taking it in clubs, she never understood why. Alcohol would dull the edge, the loud music would just infringe. No, she wanted to take it in solitude. It seemed right, almost holy, to do so. Soon she would feel it, ride the waves downwards into darkness.

 

She didn’t know when it hit. There was no falling away of the veil, one moment she was lying in bed, the next she wasn’t. A big, goofy grin appeared on her face as she stood from the grass. It was different for everyone apparently. The scent in the air was odd, but good. A mixture of apples and popcorn and candyfloss. She could smell them separately and together, the smells danced with one another, twisted and cavorted. She took a deep breath, aware that it shouldn’t smell good, but not caring that it did anyway. A sudden wind picked up, it washed over her, filling her up. There was no feeling to it, it was not hot or cold, it just was. Around her the trees swayed and giggled to each other in their own, whispery language. Elsewhere she could hear the steady beat of a stream, providing it’s own music, it’s own rhythm. She spun in a circle, the light intoxicating and warm on her skin. Somewhere there were birds and far off the sound of a party, horns and pipes and laughter. All of it making the sweetest sounds. Andrea stopped spinning and instead, she started to walk, her first destination was a tree, the oldest and strongest in the small clearing in which she had found itself. She felt its bark, running her hands along the rough edges, feeling it shiver beneath her touch, she leaned against it, listening to the dull, slow throb of life from inside. She laughed and stood back, then she stumbled from the clearing, she needed to find the stream. It was so important.

 

She found it, not a stream, but a river, glistening in the sun. She waded in, not worrying about currents or her clothes. It was a lazy river, a kind one. The water was just barely warm making it soothing and invigorating. She dived beneath the water, feeling it rush over her, coating her, marking her. She burst from it, then everything froze. Droplets of water hanging in the air like pure diamonds, glittering in the light, a rainbow to her left, impossibly bright, impossibly perfect. Then time resumed and she landed in the water again.

Andrea played until she had her fill, then she left the stream behind, emerging dry and warm onto the far bank. She could hear them all now, not just the birds, but the general murmur and talk of animals as they went through their days, singing to one another.

 

In the distance Andrea could still hear the party, though she knew she could never make it there, every time she tried she would stumble from place to place, finding things that were more and more beautiful than the last until she woke in a daze, in the drab, boring world she had been given to. Andrea danced and flitted from one clearing to the next, sampling ripe, juicy fruits in one and eating hunks of hot, succulent meat in another. She was pure, a reveller, a unit for the cosmos to express itself, it would be a sin for someone to come here and not enjoy themselves, it would be a crime, a transgression of the highest order.

 

And so, Andrea enjoyed herself sampling things here and there, dancing and laughing to her own music until she felt it. A small faint breeze, slightly chilled. The sun seemed to lose some of its shine, its vigour. She continued to celebrate, though it took on a frenzied, desperate tone, the end was coming, soon she would wake. Andrea scooped up an apple and bit into it’s flesh, firm and juicy, sweet with a welcome tang to it. She crunched the apples flesh between her teeth once, twice, then it was gone, her mouth empty, dry and cramping slightly in anticipation of an apple that would never come.

 

Andrea reached out blindly until she found her glass of water, then she tipped some into her mouth, thin rivulets of water flowing down either side of her mouth, chilling her chest as it soaked into her thin t-shirt. After a moment she opened her eyes, looking at her clock. Seven hours had past. She stood and stumbled to the bathroom on tired, shaky legs. Once there she sat on the toilet and peed, when she was done she stayed sitting, trying to summon the energy to stand. When she finally stood, she flicked on the light, wincing slightly, and stared at herself in the mirror. Her eyes had a wild, faraway look, her pupils blots of darkness in her eye, her skin looked pale, almost translucent. She turned from her reflection and stumbled back to her room. Her stomach grumbled in dismay, calling for food. She had no interest in eating just yet. Anything she ate would be disgusting now anyway. On the TV cartoons played on. She reached into her bag and looked at the small bag of pills she had left. There were six. She could go again in the morning, maybe even tomorrow night too. She put them away again, already tempted to have another.

No.
She had to save them, ration them out. Make them last. These were the last ones, there was no more once they were gone. Well. That wasn’t true. These were the last safe ones. Sure she could go out and buy more if she wanted, but there was no guarantee there. They all had the extra ingredient. These were pure. The chance of dying wasn’t too bad, but dying wasn’t the only side effect, nor was it the worst.
She had to keep these safe. Wait to use them. She didn’t want to become an addict. She wouldn’t. Of course she wouldn’t, look at her. She was raised right. Went to a good school. She was a good girl. She wouldn’t become an addict. Her hand twitched slightly towards the bag. Andrea stood from the bed and marched downstairs. It wasn’t too late, the pizza place down the road was still open. She would have that. Hot and tasty. It would be as good as anything else she had eaten while she was on her trip. She grabbed the menu from the kitchen and read through the options, forcing herself to choose.

When it arrived, she managed to eat three slices and no more. She told herself she just wasn’t that hungry. That was all. She put the left over’s into the fridge, she could have it for breakfast. She crawled into bed, her body tired and heavy. She watched the cartoons on her TV as she drifted in and out of sleep. Just before her sleep became real and restive, she turned her head, barely aware she was doing it, and the last thing she saw was her bag.

A Pill A Day. Short Story.

I hope everyone had a good Patricks day, I went out to a bar with some friends, got drunk, drunker than I expected but it was fun enough. Didn’t feel great on sunday though, felt kinda sick. I think my days of drinking without hangovers are coming to an end. First time I felt pretty crappy after drinking. Normally I’m tired but thats it. Seems to be the end of an era. Still I had fun seeing friends and all that. If the hangovers increase in severity I may give up drinking. I don’t think it’d be worth it to be quite honest. I suppose I’ll worry about that another day.

I’m getting closer to the end of college, two months left. Thats it. Two months and I will have finished my exams (and assuming I pass) I will have a degree. Yay? Hopefully after that I’ll be starting a masters degree in Creative Writing. After that year, I have no idea what I’ll do. I always said I’d get a hdip, then teach, but I don’t know if I want to teach as a stop gap job. I suppose there is no rush or worry there. There’s still over a year to go so no use panicking. So much can happen in a few moments, never mind a year.

Speaking of years, it’s one month to the one year anniversary of this blog. I’ll have to plan something for it. Do something awesome.

Anyway, on with the show!

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A Pill A Day.

He counted out the pills, checking and double checking. It was important to get the dosage right. Once he was sure he had exactly twenty, he began taking them. First the five dark blue, then the three red, then the four light blue, two pinks and finally, the last 6 yellows. He washed each grouping down with a gulp of water. Once they were consumed, he began packing away the boxes. It was an annoying daily ritual, but an important one. Once the pills were put away, he took out his vitamins, only three of those at least, grouped together to form massive doses. He didn’t have to take them, but he figured it couldn’t hurt. It was almost ten years now that he was taking those pills, and every day he counted them out carefully, just to be sure. First individually according to colour, then in total. It hadn’t steered him wrong yet. His nieces and nephews, they were more cavalier about the whole thing, their parents gave them their pills. He wondered if, when they were old enough to count them themselves, would they be as careful? The advertisements showcasing the dangers of miscounting, of taking one less or one more had pretty much stopped. Occasionally you would spy a poster, faded and worn from the sun and rain but still clinging to the wall it was glued to. The television didn’t show pictures of the deaths, the overdoses, the diseases, not anymore. He never really understood why the order was so important, they were going in on an empty stomach, before breakfast, so surely they would all just jumble up together in his stomach. But it didn’t matter that he didn’t understand it, it only mattered that he followed it.

With the pills taken and cleared away, he began to make breakfast, just a cereal, drenched in cold milk. He ate slowly, enjoying the food. He liked living alone, the solitude it afforded him. His parents were getting antsy, as were his siblings, he should find someone, settle down. He wasn’t worried though, he was still young, only twenty eight. Sure he’d had relationships and enjoyed them, but it was nice, having some time for yourself. His housemates had been moved elsewhere, job relocation so he had the place to himself until new ones moved in, probably only another week or so. Even when the house was full, he enjoyed being alone in his room, it was relaxing. He picked up his bowl and drank the dregs of milk, draining them from the bowl,. His mother always gave out to him for doing it as a child, but it never seemed to stop him. He put the empty bowl in the sink, a benefit of being alone, no one to nag you about the dishes, then began to get ready for work.

He enjoyed working, it was pleasant enough work and there were worse jobs. Though there were better jobs out there, he didn’t mind too much, after all, he was a cog and every cog needed to be working or the entire machine could grind to a halt. He knew he wasn’t that important, but it could be nice to pretend.

The work day went by pretty fast and he was feeling pleasantly tired when he left for the day. He still had to do his hourly workout, so on the way home, he stopped into the gym, registering his name on the way in and out, logging what exercises he did. He was tired, more tired than normal, but he pushed himself harder to complete the run. He preferred running outside, but they were putting a stop to that now. Apparently people had been lying about their exercise times, about how much they did. When people checked into the gym they couldn’t lie. He still ran outside occasionally, but he didn’t need to log it, it went into his extra activity file.

His life was mundane, but he enjoyed it. He never wanted to travel or see the world. He was happy with his family and friends. Why would he need to travel? Exotic foods were interesting distractions, but he did not need to leave the country to sample them, everything was available here for him. He met many interesting and different people all the time, he was constantly exposed to other cultures. Everything he could ever want was at his finger tips and he was happy. Sure there were bad days, but everyone had those. Days where things were dull and boring and pointless, but they faded away, they always did. The truth was he was happy and so was everyone else.

When he got home, he was too tired to do much of anything so he decided to go to bed. He wanted to sleep, but felt a little guilty for it, so instead, he dozed and watched the television. It was nice, peaceful, the gentle lull of sounds in the background, the warm, comfortable bed.

He jerked awake, the TV was suddenly louder, it was dark outside, the room was bathed in red light from the TV screen. An urgent bulletin. The music was loud, too loud. It made his head hurt, the light made his eyes ache. He picked up the remote and tried to turn it off. Nothing. He looked at the clock, its blue numbers glowing faintly. It was half nine. This wasn’t the news. He felt faint stirrings of panic rising. Something big must have happened. Another terrorist attack? That was usually the case, though he could only recall one other urgent bulletin. He had been seven, five nearby towns had been bombed, they had been warned to stay indoors but he and his family went outside to look anyway and all around them they could see thick plumes of smoke. People they had known and cared about, killed while working, while shopping, while visiting relatives. The music reached it’s crescendo, then the screen switched to a reporter. She was pretty, maybe twenty five, her eyes were wide and shining with fear. Her long black hair framed her face, pouring down over her shoulders. She was wearing make up but it couldn’t hide how pale she looked. He sat up in bed, fighting with the duvet to get it off him, he was too hot. She began to speak, he squinted at the screen, there was no sound, someone had cut it off. Someone must have said something to her off screen, she looked to her left, then shook her head Writing started scrolling across the bottom. He tried to make it out, his eyes were tired, sore.

Words jumped out at him, pills, poison, sabotage. It took a few moments for his brain to kick in, to sort out the jumble. They were saying the pills had been sabotaged. That they had been poisoned. Her voice clicked in suddenly, filling the room, making him jump, “-Terrorists have issued a statement, alleging that they have sabotaged shipments of Health Pills. The statement is unconfirmed but state health agencies are encouraging people to dispose of their pills at the nearest Centre for Health and collect new dosages. Again, they are asking people not to panic at this unconfirmed statement. They have made no demands.” His heart was thudding heavily, she was frightened, so was he, no one knew much about the terrorists, only that they wanted to destroy the new way of life.

He tried to calm himself but it wasn’t working, urgent bulletins were only used in dire situations. He had been sheltered from most of them, his parents told him when they were children were was usually one at least once a week. He threw his legs over the side of the bed, he was sore all over. He stood, then fall back into bed, his legs cramping uncontrollably. He grit his teeth, face screwing up, trying not to scream in agony. Somewhere he could hear a phone ringing. Sweat poured down his face, soaking his pyjamas, his sheets. The cramps eventually subsided, leaving him lying on the bed, gasping for breath. The phone was ringing again, he looked at it, it seemed so far away. Cramps wracked his body again, he gave in and begun to scream.