Here we go again down Writing Prompt Lane, courtesy of Writer’s Digest! This prompt reads as follows:
A mad scientist approaches you with an offer: He has a secret potion that will help you get the thing you want most in this world—be it a person, a thing, an ability, etc. What you don’t know (and won’t reveal until the end of your story) is that there is one dire consequence (not death) from drinking the potion.
As with the last one, this one was supposed to be 500 words or less. It’s almost 600. I hope you won’t mind the extra wordage too much.
Only an idiot would have entered that office, much less listen to Decker. I knew that. The lab coat with the words Mad Scientist stitched in red on it was a hint and a half if ever there was one. Then there was the severed head on the lab table. When it wasn’t begging for death, it was urging running away as fast as possible.
Yet I stayed.
Because it was blistering hot outside and the office was air-conditioned.
And because my car broke down twenty miles away from anywhere.
If you consider running over steel spikes set in the road breaking down, of course.
“I am sorry about that,” Decker said. “But I have a bear of a time getting anyone to stop. And here I have the scientific discovery of a life time right here in this bottle.”
It was a small vial of clear liquid. Could have been anything, really.
“Don’t listen to him,” the head said. “He lies! HE LIES!”
Decker rolled his eyes. “Unsatisfied customer. Pay him no mind.”
“In a moment maybe.” He gestured towards the vial. “Drink this and your greatest wish will come true.”
“Let me get this straight,” I said. “I drink that, and I’ll become a world-famous novelist?”
“That’s right,” Decker said, a maniacal grin crossing his face. “Women will be unable to resist you.”
“That’s not what…”
“Just think of it,” he said, leaping to his feet. “You can have any woman in the world. Fly, hawt huneys! For the taking! With only one sip.”
“One sip.” The head shook itself in disgust. “I wanted to be taller when I drank a potion like that. Do I look taller to you?”
Now would you say yes? Of course not. Neither did I. It was out the door and down the lane, as fast as my little feet could go.
Only. Only it was so hot outside. And Decker followed me with his vial, and said it also quenched thirst, did you know that, and the side effects would wear off in a week, maybe a month tops, and didn’t I want to have a beautiful woman eating out of the palm of my hand?
Five miles of this I took. Then it was down the hatch.
Well, let me tell you that everything Decker said was correct. I could have any woman I wanted, provided I caught her first. Not a one of them could possibly resist me, not that they haven’t tried. And each of them could eat out of the palm of my hand.
Because due to the “side effects” I’m now an eighty foot tall ape.
Fay, the latest in my collection, has been super swell about all of this, especially after my head cleared enough to explain to her what happened. She even promised to give me a date once I’ve shrunk a little and lost some of the excess body hair.
The military was a bit of a problem at first, as you can imagine, but after they realized the shells were bouncing off me (and only hurting the poor blondes I’d been picking up), they left me alone. They were even good enough to help me with a little side project while I wait to return to normal.
And Decker had better hope I return to normal. Because if I haven’t by the time the army grabs him, he’s going to be envying a certain severed head…
- A Literal Skeleton in a Literal Closet – A Brief Fiction (welltuncares.wordpress.com)