Such tiny little pills. A short story written for Screams!!! 2/2/2020.
| One A Day
I've been turning up at two o'clock on the first day of the month for so long now that it's hard to remember not doing so. And the Doctor is always prompt. I've never seen any other patients arriving or leaving, and I've never been kept waiting for so much as a minute.
Not that I'm ever inside there for long. The Doctor knows his stuff. He picks up his light and shines it first in one eye then in the other. There's always been a slight nod of his head, a scribbled note and a bottle of pills put into my hand.
The exact number to last a month. One a day, twenty-four hours apart. Don't be late with the dosage.
He'd told me at the start to pick a time that would always be convenient. I'd picked half past two, perhaps because of the time of my appointments. And I've never missed a dose - never been early, never been late, always made it on the dot.
Such a tiny little pill, pink in color. Not a problem to swallow at all. The empty bottle is in my pocket, it's presence there reassuring in spite of its emptiness. In just a minute's time I'll have a brand new bottle by my side.
Except today there is something wrong. Outside, on the street, there has gathered a group. I thought perhaps that they were waiting for someone next door, but as I approach I can see that they are waiting outside the Doctor's door. Should I push my way through them?
A glance at the door is all I need to tell me that it'd be a waste of time. It's closed, locked; there's no light inside. He's not there!
No doctor. No pills. 'He'll be here,' I told myself. I thought it was no more than a thought but I must have spoken.
"He won't," says a guy in front of me, indicating with his head a notice taped to the door. He's been struck off or something, the Doctor, and that empty bottle of pills has now become a threat.
A woman standing in front of the door, seems to be having some kind of a fit. Her face is twitching, then goes momentarily blank before she turns and throws herself on the guy behind her. She's clawing at him, drawing blood. I should try and pull her off, we all should, but I can see one of the others going through those spasms, before he runs across the road and leaps onto some passer-by. He's knocked them to the ground, is pummeling them...
Another one is starting to twitch. It's got to be the pills, such innocuous looking things. The pills had prevented this but now they are gone. I back away, start to run, but there's nowhere to go to get away from myself or the monster I'm about to become.