A special white pill can instantly end your pain.
|The Wonder Drug
by: simple spider
Lydia Dawson smiled, but not happily. Her mouth bent and twisted on the right side into a strange sort of half smirk that would have been more at home on the face of a young boy burning ants under a magnifying glass. From the top floor of the four story office building that she proudly owned, she watched the sun cast golden rays over the asphalt parking lot of the Sunset Commons shopping center. Dawson Private Realtors, she loved the sound of it. She especially loved to hear it come out of other people's mouths.
A familiar chill rushed down her spine. In her hand she gripped the bottle of RLX26 tightly. Had she the sensitivity to analyze her own feelings she might have discovered a mix of racing thoughts: a fear of feeling empty, a fear that she was a bad mother, that sells were falling, and an overriding dissatisfaction with her life in general. Instead she stared at the bottle of “performance meds” she swiped off the desk of Dr. Williams. She took them yesterday morning in the middle of a session, but it was really his fault for leaving them out.
She went to him once a week, not for therapy, but because for $150 an hour he would listen to her say anything she wanted. That was the point. He was paid to shut the hell up.
“RLX26,” Dr. Williams replied when she asked about the twelve little bottles on his desk, “It's a trial drug. It's supposed to help people think faster and more positively. Just a study for now. Do you want to apply for the next trial?”
Of course she didn't. Who wanted to bother with filling out surveys? Who had the time to document every little change in their tiny little mind; her own included. Instead she had simply swiped a few pills from each bottle when he was called out of his office. It had served him right for interrupting her talk time to flirt with the receptionist he was obviously banging.
Now in her office she popped the cap on the bottle for the first time. She would need the extra energy for the night ahead. Three pills was probably average. She took four just to be safe.
One of the benefits of being your own boss is undoubtedly the fact that you get to choose how much you want to work. Unfortunately for Lydia she was what her daughter often referred to as: "a hard-ass bitch!"
It was past seven and everyone else had gone home for the afternoon. She would have made them all stay, but laws were laws, and she wasn't paying anyone she didn't have to. Lydia herself was still working the phones, trying to bate Marge Patterson into buying a home $40,000 above her budget.
"Hold on Marge, I have another call. Dana, I'm sorry dear I'm with a client right now. Whatever the problem is we can talk about it when I get home tonight."
"Dammit Dana, I don't have time for this!"
"I really ne-"
The pills reached Lydia's brain at 8:06pm, just as she cut her daughter off. Her head began to feel foggy and almost instantaneously her mouth became dry as if all the glands had suddenly stopped working. Trying to ignore her discomfort she switched back onto the line with Marge.
"Marge, you still there? I..."
Lydia Dawson could no longer remember what she wanted to say. In fact she could no longer remember who she was talking to. She hoped, vainly searching for something familiar, that the voice on the other line could clear things up.
"Lydia, what is the price? Lydia, are you there?"
Whiteness came in a blinding flash and the memory of Lydia Dawson ceased to exist.
"I...I'll call you back when I find her."
A girl who had no idea who she was hung up the phone. Startled, she gazed around the room and out the window. The first thought to enter her mind was of the parking lot; it was ugly. She looked around at the strip mall and found that this too offended her senses. Suddenly uncomfortable in the cramped space of the office she walked out into the hall.
None of the corridors were even remotely familiar. The entrances were locked and she had no idea how or even if she was supposed to open them. After nearly an hour of wandering around she found herself going back up to her office. It was hard to breath with walls all around her. She wanted to be somewhere that wasn’t so closed in and metallic. She collapsed into her chair and looked out the window. A dark empty parking lot; menacing and lifeless. She started to cry.
The phone in her office rang again. Startled, she picked up the receiver carefully.
"Dana, I'm sorry dear I'm with a client right now. Whatever the problem is we can talk about it when I get home tonight."
"Dammit Dana, I don’t have time for this!"
"I really ne-"
Dana dropped the phone is disgust. “Cold bitch!”
She sat in her mother's bathroom staring at herself in the mirror. She scrutinized her reflection. Her hair was dyed jet black and combed straight down in a jagged part across her face. It intentionally allowed only one bright brown orb surrounded by black eye shadow and a massive amount of mascara to stare back at her. The nose ring in her right nostril gleamed under the light. Her chin was pointy and her tiny neck trailed down into a body that was boney and not much else.
Was she pretty? Her lips were too small she noticed. She tried to compensate by rubbing red lipstick beyond their edges. She tried to push her hair down more, perhaps hide the nose that seemed glaringly big in the florescent light. Nothing seemed to make the face she saw look any better.
It was hard to look; especially today.
She started dressing in this manner to get the other kids to notice her. She especially wanted Nathan Keener to notice.
And he did.
He said that she was a vampire freak. Then he called her a dike.
She screamed loudly at her reflection in the mirror. She thought she was especially ugly when she cried, her make-up running in black rivulets across her face.
Tired of staring at the ugliness of her reflection she looked at the pills she had managed to swipe from her mom's cabinet that morning. In her hand were eight Zanex, a packet of six Durahist and a tiny white pill with the label RLX26 stamped on it. She swallowed them all at once and sat on the floor closing her eyes. Would they really kill her? She told herself she didn't care.
The last memory she had as Dana Dawson was of her mother and what a bitch she could be almost all of the time. After the whiteness came however, the girl's mood improved considerably. She wasn't afraid, but curious to find out about the world around her. She marveled at the wonderfully soft skin on her legs and delighted in running a finger gently along the shin to the tip of her toes. Her hands too, with their slender fingers and pink nails, were quite beautiful.
Standing up at the counter the girl saw her face for the first time. It repulsed her. It was so foreign and with the black rivulets under her eyes she looked much more sad than she was. She timidly touched the skin to find that the black gunk smeared off. Relief poured over her. She turned the water on and slowly washed her face. She took great care in combing her hair back, removing the nose ring, and carefully dabbing away the eye shadow. When she finished she smiled and continued spend the next forty-five minutes making faces in the mirror.
Smiling and happy to be in her own skin she noticed a cell phone on the floor with a “call ended” sign flashing. Cautiously, she picked it up and pushed the “send” button. The girl curiously put the phone to her ear, not quite sure what would happen.
"Hello," said a girl with no name.
"...um, hi," replied a woman with relief rushing through her body, "...I'm so glad I have someone to talk to."
"Me too! I was wondering if you could tell me what happened?”
“You don't know what happened either?”
A long silence of heavy unsteady breathing followed, the girl waiting with anticipation for a reply.
“It's okay! I'm here with you and you're here with me!”
For the first time in the very short time she could remember the tightness in the woman's chest relaxed.
“I'm glad you're here with me.”
The girl giggled.
Later they would be found. Later there would be rehabilitation. Perhaps they would even get their memories back, if they really wanted them. But that was later.
“What do you see in front of you?”
“It's too much to describe.”
"Is it beautiful?"
"I'm not sure. There's too much to see."
The girl giggled again. Her new friend obviously had lots to tell.
“I wanna know. Tell me everything!”
And she listened. Then she talked. And it seemed the same to both of them, nothing else mattered.