#TonicIslandTonic #Novel #Creepy #Fiction Here’s the prologue. I am doing this on the fly, so don’t judge. Just enjoy
Tonic Island Tonic
Frankie Valinda Ghee
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Jessica wasn’t doing very well. She was currently in the living room of her Downtown Spokane apartment sprawled on the floor right next to her classy leather portfolio. Her glassy eyes focused alternately on the spilled contents of her expensive glass topped end table, a puddle of wine colored vomit, and her cell phone.
She was no more able to reach out and dial for help than she was able to scream, dance the polka or breathe. This was it.
In one day, Jessica went from feeling a little under the weather at the office, to pretty sick in the car on the way home, to this moment of full-blown hard core terror. This was it.
It was funny too, because she was smack dab in the middle of the best year of her life. She was taking aerobics classes and lifting weights. She was eating better and feeling more energetic. All told, she had lost 37 pounds since January, only 6 months ago.
She’d made some new friends and was no longer spending “no plans….just a quiet evening at home” night every night. She was actually out there, in the game, having fun.
Jessica had her new friend Julie to thank for a lot of this best year ever stuff. No doubt about it.
Jessica Perkins was a financial planner with McNeal and Crosby, and her 10:30am appointment on December 30th of last year was Julie Mann. Julie was a 38 year old fitness instructor/waitress/wannabe poet who had recently come into quite a tidy sum of money with the passing of her last remaining sibling. She wanted some advice about how best to deal with the inheritance in a low risk fashion that would let her spread her wings a bit without risking a comfortable retirement.
Julie arrived at the door to Jessica’s office at 10:30 on the nose, and Jessica was immediately struck by her relaxed nature and obvious confidence. Jessica was used to setting an almost overly professional tone with new clients in order to put them at ease. She wanted them to know that she took her responsibilities seriously and was not the reckless type who would squander the life savings of little old ladies on high risk ventures.
This Julie Mann though, was a different story. Instead of Jessica making Julie feel safe, Julie’s very nature set Jessica at ease and calmed her in a way that was completely refreshing, and before she knew what had happened, the two women were sharing stories and laughing like old friends from way-back.
Soon Jessica was spending free time at the gym where Julie taught classes. She’d met Julie’s boyfriend and most of her family. Now, the two acquaintances really were friends, good friends.
One of the things Jessica liked most about Julie was the way that she carried herself. She wasn’t ugly by any stretch nor was she quite pretty. She was a black woman who looked about 10 years younger than her 38 years. She had skin too light to be purely African and too dark to be considered anything but black. She had smallish almost oriental looking dark brown eyes and a head of thick black curly hair sporting a few random, wiry grays. Her lips were awkwardly pink and almost too full for her small face, but somehow it all almost worked together, almost. There was nothing about this woman that said beautiful, but she carried herself…not as if she thought she was beautiful, but as if she truly never gave the question a thought. Julie was striking, because she was, for lack of a better word, joyful.
Jessica’s weight shifted downward onto the red and tan Oriental rug for which she’d spent way too much at a charity auction last March.
Her upper body pitched over so that her head hit the ornate brass leg of the overturned end table with a “pud.”
Funny that it didn’t hurt. It didn’t feel like anything. As a matter of fact, Jessica couldn’t really feel anything at all right now, just a lot of fear and frustration.
She couldn’t make her body do what her brain was telling it to do. She so desperately wanted to reach out and pick up that god damned phone. It was there, right next to her strangely twisted and surprisingly not throbbing, foot.
“Maybe this has something to do with that tonic,” she thought, “But I haven’t taken any for almost two weeks now. “
Julie’s boyfriend Dillon, had turned Julie onto it, and both of them had seen results right away: improved energy for workouts, better sleep patterns and less stress, so when Julie sent Jessica the link, she of course, had to check it out.
Jessica wasn’t one to buy into the whole homeopathic snake oil business, but she couldn’t deny that everything Julie said about the tonic seemed to be true, and when she finally bit the bullet and ordered herself that first bottle she preached to everyone that asked her about how miraculous it was.
Jessica had taken a capful each day religiously (with a healthy breakfast) for over four months, and she was certain now that it had been a major factor in her journey back to almost pre-thirties health.
But Jessica had stopped taking the tonic. It was pretty pricey stuff. By the time she’d paid sales tax and shipping and handling for the one large bottle of tonic, her debit account had been reduced by a cool forty-nine dollars. It was definitely worth it, and she planned to make paying for the tonic a priority.
Jessica had placed her most recent order on a Wednesday when she saw that her current bottle was at the halfway point. But by Thursday of the next week, she’d forgotten all about it. She’d continued taking the tonic she had, but when that ran out, some twelve days after placing the order and the new bottle hadn’t arrived, Jessica called the number on the website. It rang and rang, but there was no answer, no voice message, nothing.
Then it got crazy at work, and she met someone at who actually wanted to date her. Things like fifty dollar bottles of tonic didn’t seem as important as everything else. She let it go.
She hadn’t thought about Tonic Island tonic again until this very moment, and the thought was quick to pass.
Now, Jessica Perkins was thinking the last three thoughts she would ever think in this life.
“How long have I been lying here?”
“How long before someone notices I’m in here like this?”
“How long has it been since I last…breathed.”