It was Sign-Up Day at Meriweather High School, and the armored trucks were lined up outside. Everyone was excited. Everyone would change. The ballplayers would get stronger and run faster. The board scores would improve. The future would be better in every way.
The cheerleaders would get cheerier. The teachers would get teachier. Some called it “mind bending,” and some refused to take part, but it was so simple and effective. Nothing to it. Just sign up and get in line. A nice man in a white lab coat handed a kid a brownie — nothing special; storebought — and a three-ounce plastic bottle. The chemicals were hidden by artificial flavor. Three ounces were good for a term. Everything was good and supervised. If a kid had a bad reaction, another man in a lab coat just dropped back by the school and gave him another little plastic bottle. Very few needed balancing out.
It was all good. Every kid in the school knew who his or her Congressman or woman was. They knew the difference between crimson and garnet but didn’t care whether or not their friends were black or white.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Or whoever the heroes of their religions happened to be. Jesus was a superhero in graphic novels in 3D. He wore a cape and wielded a light saber. The Christians got together and read the George Lucas Version of the Bible. Meriweather’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter was number one in the state.
So was everything else. It was a really good school with really nice men and women in really clean and pressed white lab coats with really good three-ounce plastic bottles.
Times had changed. The aspirations of the long-ago sixties had been realized. Chemistry had become an agent of idealism and enlightenment. The world was becoming a better place. Xarelto Collins wanted to be a cheerleader. Her twin sister Celebrex was going to play the saxophone. The kid brother, Abilify, was playing football. Xarelto’s boyfriend, Fabior LoCasale, played soccer and kicked for the football team. Celebrex loved to jam with Pavulon Pike, who played guitar.
Eighty percent of the kids had been named after prescription drugs, all of which were now obsolete. For the parents, it was nostalgia. The kids just thought their names were cool, and their parents, with names like Cody, Adrienne, Jason, and Layla, were just uncool.
Quay Murieta was ambitious. The student activity fee covered only three supplements apiece. Quay wanted to be smart, athletic, and musical. It was his definition of having it all. He wanted to be able to outrun Abilify and outplay Pavulon.
Quay was short for Quaalude. It was probably because his parents were old.
Mrs. Carson announced that everyone would receive the smart juice. That gave Quay one more option, but he found his choices vexing. He had no obvious one, no specific supplement that would expressly take him where he wanted to go, which was, uh, to bed. He wanted to be a great player, football and guitar, and he wanted the two to translate into great sex. Which sweet drink would help him overachieve there? Did he need Personality? Would the athletics juice build … all his muscles? Would the increased endurance do the trick?
Quay needed some guidance. He couldn’t just ask one of the men in the lab coats to give him the elixir that would make him horny. He thought about it. In a month, all the cheerleaders would have enhanced breasts. The athletes would have harder skulls and durable knees. Parts of their brains would grow in size. Which magical little bottle would make other parts of his body grow?
A guidance counselor. Quay needed guidance. Mr. Rischer wasn’t going to help. Sonata O’Grady. He needed her advice. Where was she? Ah. Over there in the Creative line. They frowned on double-dipping Musical and Creative. It wasn’t banned, though. They had lots of the same ingredients, supposedly. Creative helped a kid write. Musical helped a kid play.
“Sonata.” Just saying the name aroused him.
“Yeah, sugar.” Sonata called everyone sugar, even though she was smarter than that.
“Mind if I ask a personal question?”
“It’s the only kind I answer.” She laughed. Hearing her laugh aroused him.
“What makes you so damned sexy?”
“Creativity, Quay. It’s the secret to my success. You can, um, direct your energies.”
“What you mean?”
“Uh, I mean, you know that Athletic juice all you ballplayers take?”
“Well, see, I did some research, and what happens is, it genetically engineers what you focus on. In other words, you be lifting weights. It boosts whichever ones you concentrate on. You be practicing football. It makes the exercise twice as good. It builds you up wherever you go in your body.”
“That’s where the Creative comes in.”
“I don’t follow you.”
“Say, you think a lot. Your brain power increases. You got Athletic in your system. You work your brain? It kicks in, too.”
“And what about if you think a lot about sex?”
“There you go,” she said.
Quay thought a few seconds.
“You let me break in line?” he asked.
This is my first futuristic short story. One of my novels was set in the past, and I’m working on another. Some of the novels I’ve been reading are influencing me. My current one, Crazy of Natural Causes, is set in the present, and it’s on sale for $1.99 on Amazon right now. It’s not futuristic, but it will make you think. http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436215069&sr=1-1&keywords=Crazy+of+Natural+Causes
Most of my books are available here. http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1