The Pill


Derek chuckled mildly to himself as he nervously bounced the small yellow pill in the palm of his hand. Once I ingest this one little pill, he thought, my biology will be permanently altered. He paused his hand, and pondered for a brief moment.

He shrugged. Worth it.

He clapped his hand to his open mouth and picked up the glass of water before him. A faint objection of last chance trailed through his mind before disappearing forever. He chased the pill with the water, swallowing until the glass was empty. He slammed the glass down on the table and stood up, looking around as if with new eyes.

“What am I doing?” Derek laughed. “It’ll take at least half an hour for anything to develop.”

He turned to sit in his recliner next to the ornamental plant that his mother had left him upon her demise. Reaching for the remote control, he popped the footrest up and turned the television on. After just a few minutes of flipping through the channels, the remote slipped from his fingers as a soft snore slipped from his lips.

A thin line of drool crept from the corner of his mouth, and the first hairs landed on his shoulder. Within six minutes, Derek was completely bald.

Fourteen hours later he woke with a start. He shook his head, trying to clear it, and noticed the cool breeze across his scalp. His right hand crept up above the place where his eyebrows used to be, and his eyes widened as he brushed the final loose hairs from his skin.

He kicked the recliner down and leaped across the room to the bathroom to freeze in front of the mirror, his knuckles whitening as he gripped the sides of the sink.

Derek squeezed his eyes tightly closed until his cheeks began to hurt, and opened them again. Still bald, and not a single psychic power to be found. He took a step back and stumbled against the bathroom door, knocking the knob into the stopper on the wall behind. The sound startled him, and he jumped back forward, nearly falling into the sink.

“No. Take a breath, man,” he told himself, and he paused for a deep breath.  He felt his mind begin to clear, to push the worries to the side, making room for bigger and better thoughts. He felt an itching deep inside his mind, a need for…something.

He whipped around to his left and pointed at his mother’s ornamental plant.

The pot shattered, and a smile appeared on Derek’s face.

“I think I can work with this,” he nodded, the grin growing wider and wider. “I can definitely work with this.”