Patented Pain Preventative

The following is a piece of short fiction I wrote for a WattPad Competition a while back. My goal was to tell the story entirely through dialogue from one character. How did I do?

Hello, friend! 

Looks like that horse threw you pretty hard. Left you with a bit of a limp. Think you’d be interested in trying my Patented Pain Preventative? It’s made from the best poppies shipped all the way from Egypt and mixed into some of the best whiskey this side of the Missouri! It’ll take that ache and soreness right out of your backside…and your front side too!

What’s that? Will it be habit-forming? Why! Not at all! I’ve sold this here Pain Preventative from the Neches River to the Columbia and from the Baja to Lake Superior and not one of my customers have complained that they picked up any new habits from it. One gentleman even managed to put away his pipe forever! He chews tobacco now instead, which hasn’t pleased his wife too much, but she’s stopped complaining about the burns in her rugs and furniture.

‘How well does it work?’ you ask. Just you look right here at this picture once I get it out of my pocket!

Look there! See that poor, boney horse in this picture? That’s the very same bay brute you see hitched to my wagon right here! He was so stove-up from malnourishment he couldn’t move. Patented Pain Preventative perked him right up and within two weeks he was as stout and as sound as he appears today! Never mind the smell though. It tends to give equines gas, but won’t bother the digestive system of a homo sapiens one bit. Oh, by homo sapiens, I mean a hominid or human. I guess I could just use the words horse and man, if they suit you better.

Anyhow, Patented Pain Preventative is just what you need my friend! It’ll keep your body so healthy and durable you won’t even know the passage of years. Right now, they’re working on a formula for an elixir that will keep the skin supple and the hair rooted and colored so you can look as young as this Pain Preventative will make you feel!

‘Bet it cost a fortune,’ you say! Not at all! Today, I’m offering the first five bottles for the very reasonable price of two bits a bottle.

Aaah! Your friend may object to the price, but remember, the key ingredient is concentrated Egyptian poppy seed, and can you imagine how much it costs to ship that seed all the way across an ocean, let alone this vast continent? Indeed, twenty-five cents is a bargain any day!

But tell you what; since you’re such a fair-minded, hard-working gentleman, and my first customer today, I will grant you a boon, by friend. I’m going to give you your first two bottles for the price of one! Shall I make that three bottles for your fifty cents? Very good, sir! You are a shrewd negotiator!

And if you get to needing more, or would like to give the Patented Perpetual Youth Elixir a try, just let me know before I leave town. I will happily do business with you anytime.

Thank you for your patronage, my friend! Have a wonderful day!


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