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Wish Pills (rough draft/unreviewed)[]

After work at the convenience store each morning I’d sit up on my laptop for a few hours before going to bed.

Usually only two to three customers came in per night, and Jerry who worked the shift before me went home as I was walking in. So, most of my human interaction was derived from the internet.

After a terrible political debate – more like an argument – on the discussion forums I usually frequent, I decided to change it up a little and download the onion browser. Something about this particular website caught my attention.

“Wish pills,” it read on the headline, and scrolling down seemed to confirm it.

This dark website was all about these tiny white pills.

“Do you wish you were someone else,” the first rhetorical inquired.

“Wish you were somewhere else, doing something different with your life?”

I’m sure we all do, I thought.

The next lines read, “Wish you were taller?”

I do.

“Wish you didn’t work at that damn convenience store?”

My heart hopped into my throat as I read these lines.

“How did they know?”

I ordered instantly, almost immediately waiting upon hitting the “confirm purchase” button to authorize the transaction, impatient in the penultimate minutes between clicking the button and receiving the small, brown packaged box.

When it ultimately arrived, I took the box into his bedroom, ascending six flights of stairs to my apartment.

Inside, was a small package containing six black pills.

The directions instructed taking only one, orally. But I, Dave – being the daredevil adventurer I was – took two, which I crushed up and snorted.

After thirty minutes, not feeling anything, I decided to call my friend Briar.

“Yo,” I introduced himself, “Briar, remember me? Dave?”

“Of course I do,” replied Briar over the headset, “who else would I remember?”

“I dunno,” I admitted, glancing frantically over the various batman memorabilia and architecture. He and Briar had bonded over a shared interest in superheroes and comics.

Being in the middle of a pandemic, it was a painful reminder of this new loneliness.

I sighed, looking over to the mirror.

“I guess I just needed someone to talk to.”

Before I could receive a response, I noticed something different about my reflection.

I looked… younger, the dark circles under my eyes were almost entirely gone, and my hairline wasn’t receding as bad.

Was I hallucinating?

I didn’t think much of it, deciding I needed sleep and was overworking myself.

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow, goodnight, Briar.”

I hung up the phone.

The next morning, I woke up in agony.

Nearly every part of my body, particularly my legs, felt like they were on fire. I threw off the covers, and screamed.

They were covered in what looked like tree bark.

It was a nightmare to walk to the phone to call in to work. I couldn’t afford it but I also could not physically make it on my bicycle in this condition.

As I passed by the mirror, I almost didn’t even notice my frown as my eyes were now so sunken into my head they were practically invisible, and my teeth were nowhere in sight. I tried to scream as my voice retreated into my body being pulverized from the inside-out by leaves.

It wouldn’t be long now.

Soon, I would be as tall as a tree.

And I wouldn’t have to work at that damn convenience store anymore, that’s for sure.

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