“Sweet irony, how do ye mock me,” James intoned, looking at the little plastic bottle resting in the palm of his hand, the triplet of those the professor had given to Alex and I.
“What do you mean?” Alex asked, glancing at hers with an expression of determination and distaste.
“Long story,” James and I muttered. He was so distraught he didn’t even say ‘jinx’.
Resting on the table in front of us were three pitchers of apple juice, to make the medicine more bearable and help replace the fluids we’d lose. We were to mix the liquid in the bottles with the juice, drink the whole of our personal pitcher over fifteen minutes, then casually saunter in the direction of the water closets and stay there for a while. We wouldn’t be getting any sleep that night, but that was ok because once the draught had done its work, we were going to be put in an induced coma for two weeks.
None of us especially wanted to do it, but for James and me at least, I guess it was just karma. I ripped the plastic tab off the top and squeezed all the contents into the jug, mixing it with the spoon provided before pouring out a glass. James and Alex watched me as I lifted it to my lips. I took a sip.
“It’s… drinkable. Like apple juice made from concentrate that’s been left in a can too long, with a weird sort of aftertaste… but we should be able to get it down.” I finished the glass and poured another. There was a second dose in a few hours, and I wanted to get this one done as quickly as possible.
We all knocked it back, identical expressions of distaste on our faces, then wished one another farewell and headed for the torture chambers.
You ever had really bad diarrhoea? I mean, writing-your-will-with-shaking-hands, last-words-a-wish-to-have-never-drunk-the-water bad?
This was worse.
Basically, the whole contents of my bowel found the drink even more distasteful than I did, and rushed to escape it, with burning speed.
I think that’s enough said about that. The next thirty hours weren’t pleasant. We drank a lot of liquids, avoided all food, and stayed close to the toilets whenever we got a break to stretch our legs.