Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

The editors of Writer's Digest provide a weekly Writing Prompt to get your writing going.
Nocdar
Lieutenant
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:47 pm

RE: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12 ~ Side Effect

Postby Nocdar » Wed May 14, 2008 8:52 pm

     Before leaving work I call home as a courtesy, but nobody needs me to stop for anything. So it’ll be a straight shot home.

     Late Friday commute out of Boston and everybody wants to go to the Cape. Normally, I can get to Plymouth in about forty-five. Today Route three is a parking lot.

     I have the radio on and get news on the closing bell, why the price of oil is so high, why the prices of homes are going down, something about roadside bombs in Fallujah, new outsourcing ideas for India, the influx of illegal aliens, the Democratic duel between the Muslim and the witch, more headaches over the Big Dig, a double homicide in Dorchester over a large order of fries, something about a sighting of Whitey Bulger in France, and on and on ad nauseum.

     And then there’s the consumer advocate spot. Today she is telling me about the very product we had just gotten on sale. In fact my wife has spent the better part of the day trying to figure out the easy and portable inflatable pool our children are so proud of. And here I am stuck in traffic, and unable to warn my family that the blue color of the pool will leach out into the water.

     Suddenly, it becomes important that I travel at an average speed much higher than the five miles per hour I’m averaging now. The three car lengths of space between the car ahead of me and the car ahead of him need to be closed up so no one cuts in and slows me down further. I call the driver ahead of me names and utter profanities to the world at large because with the windows up I can.

     And finally the off-ramp comes into view and I decide to put my directional on and take my chances in the breakdown lane for the last five hundred yards. Someone toots their horn in a fit of jealousy and another noses out in an attempt to block my passage, and the phrase that pays is all-wheel-drive.

     Once off the highway I can mark time and soon I’m in the neighborhood and there’s Mr. Delbarkian motioning me to slow down and (small miracle) I don’t flip him off. As I pull into the driveway I can see the pool’s been set up just beyond the asphalt and I realize that expediency is no longer important. I kill the engine, shocked that my children have all turned as blue as Smurfs.

     Then I notice that one of the Smurfs is my wife and she has a devilish grin on her face as I step from the car.

     She says, “I just got off the phone with my cousin Billy, who’s a lawyer. He says, ‘ka-ching’.”

     And I understand that for the first time getting blue lips in the swimming pool could be a good thing, so I join them.

 


Mad Voicez
Private E-1
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:30 pm

RE: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12--- 524 words (oh well)

Postby Mad Voicez » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:59 pm

“After the break we will have Thomas Alkalide, from the Food and Drug Administration, to discuss why the FDA is beginning to crack down on a brand of sugar you may have in your home right now. And it’s not because of the fattening quality of it neither.”
“Kids, stop eating.” I called out.
I had just sat them down at the kitchen table for a bowl of oatmeal and a heaping spoonful of, you guessed it, sugar. There wasn’t any response from them, but I figured they had listened; after all Corn Flakes weren’t one of their favorite cereals.
“Kids,” I called out again, this time muting the TV to hear for them. “Kids I know you hear me!”
I turned up the TV again and walked to the kitchen. When I poked my head in, it was enough to send shivers down my spine. My oldest was lying on the floor, foaming out of the mouth, in convulsions. My youngest was laying face down in his bowl, shaking a little himself. I stood in the door way, hand over my mouth, unable to move. Never before in my life have I wanted to have a second me so bad, that way I could have tended to them both at once.
“What do you mean the sugar is causing mutations?” I heard the news anchor ask that guy from the FDA.
“It sounds like something from a science fiction story, but reports have some turning into werewolf type creatures, while others become something like a zombie.”
“It sounds almost like a joke.”
“Believe me, it’s not.” Mr. Alkalide said. “If you have the Sweeter than Real brand of artificial sugar, throw it out now. If you have already eaten some, I would suggest that you call 911 immediately; if your loved ones have already eaten some, I suggest that you get safely away from them and then call 911.”
That’s all it took. I turned away and ran to the front door. I swung it open and screamed when I saw my husband on the porch gnawing on the mail man. I slammed the door in tears.
“Moooooom,” a croaky voice said from behind me.
I turned around and saw my oldest standing behind me, still foaming like he had rabies. My knees started to buckle and I had to grab a hold of the door knob to keep myself from falling down.
“Baby,” was all I was able to muster out.
He charged at me, gnashing his teeth. I stepped out of the way and watched him run into the door. A split second later his brother came rushing out of the kitchen, and like his brother, came after me. Again, I stepped past him and ran for the stairs. About half way up I heard the door break and when I turned around to see what happened, I twisted my ankle and fell down the stairs.
I hit the landing with a thud and nearly lost consciousness. Which wasn’t that bad, because it helped offset the fact that my sons and husband were hovering over me preparing to eat me alive.

Sarah Jane
General
 
Posts: 4720
Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:35 pm

RE: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

Postby Sarah Jane » Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:11 pm

This is a great topic.  I actually used it for school, though I twisted it a bit.  I'll make my story better and post it here!

Sarah Jane ;)


MissDedodakes
Private E-1
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:49 am

Re: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

Postby MissDedodakes » Mon Jul 07, 2008 6:11 am

And so it begins. And like a disease it spreads. It’s terrifying, it’s aggravating, and it’s deadly-

Dude, chill. It’s just beef.

It’s always beef.

I vowed never to have the kids eat beef again after this, but for all I know, it’s already too late. It’s the newest on a list of dangerous food; intoxicated with one or another chemical... this was because they were cloning beef. Do you not know the government’s cloning beef to make it more available? No? Well, you know now.

The hospital doors burst open and I find my daughter, Annemarie- she’s only seven- already comatose. The chemical shuts down all brain functions. In an hour she could be dead. I didn’t make it early enough to even talk to her…

This wasn’t my fault. My husband aggravates me. He sees no need for healthy foods, only McDonald’s fast food and the occasional KFC. He’s an idiot. We’re divorced, but the kids stay with him on the weekends. Look where that got us.

Her brother, Sean, is ten and also lapsing into a coma. My husband is nearby. His face is pale. He says nothing.

I say nothing as to how infuriated I am at him, how terrified I am at the fate of my children. There is a silent noise before a beeping sound comes from Annemarie’s monitor. Doctors scramble to her bedside. Suddenly the beeping subsides.

I think you know what has happened…

It’s only a matter of time before its Sean’s turn.

I turn away. This can’t have happened to me…

Ah, but it has. It’s happened to already dozens of families. This chemical has no cure.

But I’ll say now, that this wasn’t my fault.

Not that it matters anyway.

Another beeping sound filled the room.

candme
Private E-1
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:09 pm

RE: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

Postby candme » Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:45 pm

Oh no...it can't be...I've got to get home to check the kids!! Frantically I raced out of the store not noticing that I still clung to the newspaper that warned of this God awful and life changing event. As I drove from the supermarket back to my home, everything was a blur all I could do was pray that my children weren't affected by what I'd read that morning. Apparently for the past year, the government had been adding proteins to the nation's milk supply in an effort to boost the health of its citizens. The paper stated that scientists began toying with the DNA of the proteins and created a super protein. The super protein strengthened bones and teeth as it was supposed to but over time it began to morph and cause a very disturbing side effect. I cried after reading how disfiguring this side effect was. My heart was racing trying to get home before the kids, I had just bought a new gallon of milk the evening before and I knew that they always went straight to the kitchen to drink a glass of milk after school. Finally I screeched into my driveway, every move I made was driven by the terrifying thoughts of what may have happened. I put my key into the lock and stopped for a second, I didn’t want to scare the kids, after a few deep calming breaths I braced myself. I walked into the house and everything seemed normal, the kid’s backpacks were strewn across the living room floor and in the distance I could hear music playing from one of the bedrooms. I called out to let them know I was home and to find out where they were, they yelled that they were making snacks in the kitchen. I felt myself calm down a little and walked into the kitchen. When I walked in, I saw that my son with his head stuck in the refrigerator and my daughter was standing at the sink. I said hello to them both, when to my horror they both turned to reveal that they were holding tall glasses of milk!!! I must’ve fainted because when I woke up, my children were kneeling over me looking ever so worried. A couple tears ran down my face as I looked at them, the side effect had already taken over…both of them grew long, thick, Fu Manchu moustaches…

Im back acre1964
Private E-1
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 10:22 pm

Re: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

Postby Im back acre1964 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:10 pm

The thing is called a pen and paper. The bad side affect is they saved your life with it. The funny thing is you wake up find you are a great person. You always will be in your childs eyes.
Writen by a man who so far has none wondering if I can ever live up to my father.
Something to thing about for people thinking about getting married.

theSkilled
Private E-1
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:08 pm

RE: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

Postby theSkilled » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:02 pm

Guy is laying on the floor.
That is the first thing I notice when I got home. My dearest son, Guy, was on the floor with his new toy sailboat in his hand. Molly, the oldest of my five children, is crying and holding the twins' hands. The second thing I do after looking at my four year old son is drop the groceries on the floor and scream. That makes Molly, Adam and Teddie scream all the louder. I dropped to my knees next to my son and Molly cries out, "No, Mom! Don't touch Guy! It's his boat!" I looked at his boat and his hand, they connected as one. The boat attached to him. I ran to the TV and the headline news was "New Mind Control is Toyyz's Plastic Boat. Do Not Buy." I could no longer scream, but Adam and Teddie could. Molly began to cry louder. Then something made my heart stop. I had bought two boats.
Molly?" I asked. "Where is Emma?"

User avatar
booshfan421
Private E-1
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:18 am

RE: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

Postby booshfan421 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:41 am

The service station was packed with people, yet no-one seemed to be queuing up at the counter. They were all crowded around the TV in the corner - even the cashier. I half-expected the teenage boy prowling the aisles to make a run for the door with all his goods, but he too was focused entirely on the screen.
I entered the store, frowning. What could possibly be so interesting that it had the whole of the store entranced?
I soon found out.
"An official source has informed us that not only do TVs result in 'square eyes', but it now seems to be SUCKING THE SOULS from children aged nought to ten years old. Camilla has the story,"
"Thanks, Mac. As you can see from the riot behind me, parents from all over the country are trying desperately to break into the Granada studio - all to keep their kids safe and sound. This is not a joke. I repeat, this is not a joke. A complaint was filed this morning to Granada, from a twenty-two year old woman in Essex. She said, and I quote: 'My daughter woke up this morning and went straight to the lounge to watch her favourite cartoon. When I called her for breakfast a few minutes later, she turned to me with an empty look in her eyes and walked clumsily to the table. She hasn't been the same since.'"
"Camilla, do we have any actual proof that TV is the cause of this?"
"Scientists are carrying out tests as we speak, but it seems highly likely that TV is actually the cause of this trauma. We have received several emails about the same type of case - all affecting kids of the same age,"
This was enough for me. I abandoned my groceries and sped off without paying for the gas. I had to get home - I just had to. My kids were probably being sucked right into the TV now, under the care of the babysitter I had hired the previous month - typical adolescent, let them do anything they wanted until bedtime.
"Jenny! Sebastian!" I screamed, bursting into the lounge. My two precious babies were lying on their backs in the middle of the carpet, in a pool of their own urine and vomit. I screamed - I couldn't help it. Scarlet, the babysitter, came into the room behind me and echoed my shrieks.
"How the hell could you let this happen?!" I yelled at her, and she shrunk back, terrified.
"I- I didn't have a clue... I went to make a sandwich..." she trailed off, looking at my kids with wide eyes.
"You'll be sorry. I'll MAKE you sorry!" I bellowed, and lunged for her.

Meanwhile, in the Granada studio, the employees share a bottle of champagne, all giggling manically, as they celebrate their success. The idea of putting instructions in the middle of a kids' cartoon was pure genius. Those dumb kids would listen to anything - paint a murky picture, and, while the paint's still wet, lie on it until your parents get home. Ha!
What an April Fools Day it had been.

User avatar
sns3guppy
Private E-2
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:02 pm

Re: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

Postby sns3guppy » Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:30 am

The world spun by my car as I stood still, my foot heavy to the floor and the engine racing. Tires screamed, cornering here, braking there, yet I scarcely remember the drive home. Certainly not the three red lights or the stop sign. It wasn’t until the following morning that I discovered signs of cat on the front grill. All I heard, as though through a fan in a fog, was the radio report of Unixal 1829, and it’s emergency recall.

Unixal 1829, the report said, was a common key ingredient in fifteen different medications and a dozen health drinks. The announcer rattled them off as though the casual listener came equipped with pen and pencil while dodging traffic on the 405. It was the next to last product that caught my ear, and sent me into the tailspin. KiddyPie children’s vitamins, the announcer said. The same ones I gave my three darlings since they were old enough to chew . The same vitamins that proclaim “Building Bodies Made of Stone.”

I didn’t hear the whole report, in the way I sometimes tune in half-way through another thought. I caught “side effects,” and “recall,” and something about the FDA. After that, I chased station after station, but missed most of the story. All I knew was that Unixal 1829, the secret wonder ingredient in KiddiePie, was recalled, and that Justin, Allen, and Mae took two every morning. I should know. I give it to them.

I arrived in my driveway to crush one skate and a Hot Wheel under my car at precisely three thirty, and managed to get it in Park before bolting for the front door. My cell phone was in hand, thumb poised to speed dial 911 to bring the flashing lights. My babies, my prides and my joy, I had to see them, to make sure. The door was unlocked, I burst in, and I found them in the kitchen, together.

I have had good times in my life, and I’ve had bad. I’ve been shocked and surprised, and scared to death. But never, not in my wildest imaginations or dreams would I have ever imagined this. Little Mae stood by herself on a chair, stacking cups on a shelf, while Justin and Allen scrubbed a sink full of dishes. Justin washed, and Allen dried. A tear formed in the corner of my right eye, and I scrambled for the little television that I keep by the microwave.

“The full effect of the recall is not yet known,” said the announcer, “but the FDA is taking every precaution. So far, effects ranging from helpfulness to lack of boredom have been reported, and at least half of the parents who have called in so far say their children are getting better grades. Until the cause is found, Unixal 1829 will remain off the shelves.”

I ran to the car and raced to the store. I had to get more before it was all gone.

Trissa
Private E-2
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:38 pm

Re: Unusual Side Effect 5/6-5/12

Postby Trissa » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:03 am

"It's five-oh-five and this is your station for 'the drive'." The radio announcer's smooth voice came through my car stereo as I buzzed along in the usual Friday night commuter traffic. It was a thirty minute drive for me. I accelerated a little after several cars took an offramp promising TGIF sanctuaries. Myself, I was headed home to my husband and two children; Randy and Travis, ages two and four.

I was just five minutes from our driveway when the announcer's voice took a turn. "Breaking news. Just in from the CDC; a recall of children's bubble bath. The bubble bath, Mrs. Twinkles, product code 'BB-903' is being pulled from store shelves due to a highly unusual side effect. A representative of Mrs. Twinkles has stated that the side effects are not long term, but people need to be cautious..."

I pulled into our driveway before the announcer had finished and dove headlong into the house. I raced past my husband and headed for our bathroom closet. As I feared, I had recently bought one of the offending bottles of Mrs. Twinkles.

"Tom, where are the kids," I asked as I raced around the ground floor searching.

"The sitter already had them fed and in bed when I came home." Tom frowned as I dashed past him and up the stairs. "Babe, what's wrong?"

The children's bathroom is at the top of the stairs. As I passed, I smelled it: the overpowering aroma of gum-scented bubble bath. Mrs. Twinkles! As I neared the children's bedroom, I heard giggling. I almost fell into their bedroom as I opened the door. They weren't in their beds...they were floating above them! Randy and Travis bounced near the ceiling in a mist of bubbles. And the bubbles seemed alive! The bubbles laughed along with my children as they swirled in a pattern that looked like an old woman.

"Mrs. Twinkles?" I said finally finding my voice.

"Mama'" my children squealed as they floated towards me. I could feel Tom's presence behind me. We both stared in disbelief as the old woman mist smiled at us. "Don't worry," she burbled. "As long as they remain in the house, they'll be fine."

"She's right," Tom said. "I just heard on the news that there was a mix-up at the bubble bath plant. The chemicals have a sort of helium effect when absorbed in the skin. It wears off after a couple of days; like helium balloons."

"What about Mrs. Twinkles?" I asked.

"Maybe I'm a hallucination," the old woman mist offered. "I'm not sure myself. But in the meantime, I'd like to hang around. We're having a good time, aren't we kids?"

My sons giggled and swooped around the ceiling with glee. When they finally tired, we tried to anchor them in their beds with the blankets. Over the course of the weekend, they finally came to earth. But they begged me not to throw out the bottle of Mrs. Twinkles. I have bought a different bubble bath for normal use. But once in awhile, on long weekends, we have a visit from Mrs. Twinkles.

Previous

Return to Writing Prompts and Challenges

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests