The Wonder Pill

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

I wrote this one when I was seventeen and my English Teacher, Mr. Calon, almost didn't believe it was me who wrote it, he came around and I passed but it was a close thing.

Mike Henderson had a feeling, a good feeling, the kind of feeling you don’t get every day. He looked up at the next house and he thought, this…This is where I’m going to make my first sale.

As he made his way across the yard, sidestepping all the broken toys and car parts, he thought back to what had brought him to this low point in his life. This pathetic existence of trying to sell his pills door to door, to people who probably wouldn’t even be able to afford them.

If he had to pinpoint a moment when this journey began, it would probably be when he found his sister's body on the kitchen floor. He was just finishing high school at the time, and she’d made it to the ripe old age of 23.

He’d known that she hadn’t been happy for a while. She was an unemployed single mother, living on social assistance, and couldn’t seem to find a decent man to love or be loved by. Of course, being on welfare didn’t help. She took all the training they would give her, but even if she managed to get a job out of it. She would have never been able to afford daycare, on top of all of her bills and rent, with just the minimum wage most starting positions offered those days.

What little he could do to help her wasn’t much, 400 bucks a month for room and board, and free babysitting. But it was all he could afford at the time. If she could have just gotten through that fateful night, things might have turned out differently, and he would still have a sister, and her two kids would still have a mom. That’s when he’d originally come up with the idea if she’d just had something, some kind of medicine that would help her hold on through those tough times…

Mike had finished top of his class in pharmaceutical school, and as his final project, he’d come up with a formula for an entirely new drug that had never been invented before. He called it ‘The Wonder Pill’. He knew the name was kind of lame, but maybe after it took off, he could work on that.

This new drug was completely safe, had no side effects, was non-addictive and it worked like a charm. All it did, was make you happy, not euphoric, or high, just happy.

It only lasted for about twenty minutes, but that was the beautiful thing about it, it wouldn’t make you a grinning idiot all day and the effects could be prolonged if needed, without consequence.

When he’d showed this to his teachers, and they showed it to the pharmaceutical companies that might be interested, he was immediately kicked out of school on trumped-up charges and told never to come back.

What he hadn’t figured into his equations, was the fact that happy people, tend to have less stress and the by-products thereof. Happy people are generally, healthier, and that wasn’t good.

Oh, it would be good for the people themselves, but drug companies can’t make money off of healthy people. This drug would cut into their profit margins, like a laser beam through soft butter. Drug companies talked all about how they care about their customers and their well-being, but what they really cared about was money, and keeping their shareholders happy and rich.

Mike didn’t let this hold him back. He had some money set aside from an inheritance and was pretty sure his late grandmother would be proud of how he planned to spend it.

He set up a state-of-the-art clean laboratory in his garage and made the pills himself. The ingredients were fairly simple, and he was able to make them pretty cheaply. He’d even packaged them to make them look more professional, so his clientele wouldn’t be put off by the lack of a name-brand pharmaceutical logo.

At first, he thought about trying to get some health food companies interested and get some rich people to buy them and start a new trend. But that wasn’t really what he was after, he wanted to help people, and rich people didn’t need them as much as poor people would. He figured that if he could get poor people to try them and prove that they work, eventually rich people would try them too and his pills could become something that could help the whole world.

Mike shook the memories off, cleared his mind, and started up the shaky front steps. He straightened his tie, gathered his courage, and banged on the screen door. The doorbell didn’t seem to be working unless the shock it gave him was supposed to make him scream loud enough to make the people inside come running to see what was happening.

The lady that eventually answered the door was wearing the tattered remains of a very cheap bathrobe, her hair was up in curlers and the scowl on her face would have frightened away a lesser man, but Mike was a trooper.

“What d’ya want!” she screeched.

“Well, ahem, good afternoon madam and how are you this fine day?” Mike could see that his pills would be just the thing this poor soul needed to get through what was obviously bothering her and maybe turn her miserable life around.

“What’s so fine about it?” her voice was like nails on a chalkboard.

“Umm, my name is Mike Henderson and I’m here to tell you about this new drug I’ve invented….” And that was as far as he got.

He was going to go on, extolling the virtues of his new pills, show her his bona fide credentials as a chemist, and offer her a free one-month supply of the pills. If only she’d fill out a survey at the end of the month, stating the effectiveness of his product and explaining how they’d changed her life for the better, but his practiced speech never made it past his lips.

DRUGS?!?! You’re trying to sell me DRUGS!!!”

Her roar of disapproval would’ve put a lioness to shame, and the scowl on her face darkened into something that most horror-movie monsters would be proud of.

She turned around and yelled into the house, “HENRYYYYY!”

The thing that came to the door had more hair than a human should have, and the only way Mike knew it was human at all, was the beer shirt that was more beer than shirt and the boxers that were mostly hidden under the huge sweat-matted fur of his beer gut.

“What the hell is going on Martha? How many times I gotta tell you to stop bugging me when I’m nappin’?” he growled,

He’s trying to sell me drugs!” her screech could probably be heard by even the deafest of the little green men hanging out on mars; and would’ve put an angry cat to shame.

“DRUGS!!!!!!” His angry roar was loud enough to explain some of the deafness of those little green Martians and the look in his bloodshot eyes turned Mike’s blood to ice.

The screen door banged open with enough force to shake the entire house, he grabbed Mike by the scruff of the neck and the seat of the pants, and before Mike could so much as formulate a protest to this unfair treatment, he was bodily launched off the front porch.

He soared through the air, barely clearing the front fence by an inch, and rolled to a stop at the curb, just in time to feel the wind of the passing truck that would have surely killed him.

As he was rising to a kneeling position, his sample case came zing-zinging through the air and clipped him on the back of the head hard enough to plant his face in the weed-strewn grass and make him see stars.

He lay there in the grass for a moment, hearing the string of profanity trail off and the screen door slam shut, cutting off any hopes of making his first sale here.

After his head stopped spinning and the world came back into focus, he crawled over to his sample case, opened it, took out a bottle of his new pills, and popped one into his mouth. Then he lay back in the grass for a time and thought over the shambles his life had become.

He’d had such high hopes for his career in the pharmaceutical industry and the as-yet untapped potential of his new drug. He’d been at this for months now and hadn’t made a single sale, not one.

After a few more minutes of self-pity, Mike stood up, brushed the dirt and grass off his suit, and grabbed his sample case in one shaky hand. He straightened his tie, brushed his other hand through his disheveled hair, and …. smiled.

Mike Henderson had a feeling, a good feeling. The kind of feeling you don’t get every day. He looked at this next house and thought to himself. This…this is where I’m going to make my first sale….

The End

 


Submitted: November 13, 2021

© Copyright 2021 chrispy. All rights reserved.

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olive tree

Like I said - great story!

Sat, November 13th, 2021 6:18am

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