A Winston Little Story
Posted 04 February 2012 - 10:29 AM
On the morning after his twelfth birthday, Winston Little sat in the surgery room. He was on the operating table, calmly chatting with the surgeon. His mother was in the room. She always stayed with him right up to when the doctors would ask her to leave in order to start the operation. Winston took deep breaths.
The doctors began to escort Winston’s mother out of the room. Winston called out to stop her. “Wait,” he said, “I have something to say.”
She walked back. “What is it, sweetie?”
“I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m tired of going to the hospital once a month. This will be my last operation.” The room was silent. The doctor backed away and began awkwardly shuffling with some papers. Winston’s watches his mothers face go through a range of emotions: anger, sadness, pain, surprise.
“No, you can’t quit Winston.” she said. “Think of all the people you could be saving.”
Winston nodded in agreement and apologized. He told his mother that he would see her after the operation and asked the doctor to begin. He nodded and got the anesthesia needle. He plunged the needle into Winston’s arm and laid him down on the operating table. Winston watched his mother leave the room.
As Winston lost consciousness, he though about Carly a girl from his school. She was so pretty and nice. She visited him in the hospital once. She was worried about the school dance and who she was going to bring. Winston had planned to ask her on Friday.
The sedative coursing through his veins pulled Winston’s eyes closed. He wished he could be like Carly. She only worried about the school dance and not saving hundreds of lives. Tears started rolling down Winston’s face. Winston couldn’t raise his arms to wipe his face for the sedative. Winston cried for a few second until he lost consciousness.
Winston woke up later. His side was completely stitched up. His mother was back in the room. Winston looked away from her and called out to his doctor. “How many?”
“Eighty-five, this time, Winston.” It was a new record. Winston swung his legs over the table and hopped off. He thanked the doctor and followed his mother out.
Winston was troubled for the entire car ride home by the idea that he had to keep producing pills for the rest of his life. It seemed it was getting worse too as he got older. Eighty-five was a lot of pills. Winston guessed that as he grew, he would be able to produce more and more.
“Mom,” Winston called out.
She whipped her head toward him and snapped, “What. What is it now?”
Winston shrank away from her angry tone and remained quiet for the rest of the car ride. They arrived at Winston’s house a while later. Winston walked in quietly and sat down to watch cartoons. Winston was silent as the characters bobbed up and down on the screen. The show didn’t really entertain him, and Winston found himself paying more attention to the clock as the second hand wound agonizingly slowly around in a circle. An hour had passed when Winston’s mom left, hastily saying goodbye over her shoulder as she closed the door behind her.
Winston decided that he needed a nap and started walking toward his room. As he turned the corner into the hallway, something caught on his shirt and fell. There was a loud shatter and Winston turned to look. It was a picture frame. The glass in the front was broken. In the frame was an old picture of Winston’s mom from her high school days.
Instead of shame and guilt, the broken picture made Winston feel a kind of giddy joy. After all, his mom deserved to have her picture broken. She had been so rude as to force Winston to continue manufacturing pills even after he had asked her to stop. Winston walked to his mother’s room to continue enacting justice.
He started by tearing the bedding off and pushing the bed over into the corner of the room. Then he decided to look for something really important to her. He hurried to her chest of drawers and started yanking clothes out and throwing them around the room. After he had emptied the top drawer, he pulled it out and tossed it onto the bed. There was nothing worth breaking in the chest of drawers, so Winston moved to her office desk. Winston had never been allowed to touch the desk, and even still, in the heat of his rage he felt as though he shouldn’t. With the memory of how he had felt in the operating room, however, Winston yanked open the first drawer he saw.
It was empty except for a single envelope. It bore his mother’s name on it. He opened it carefully, to see if the paper was important. It read:
“Dear Ms. Little. We are sorry to inform you Ms Little that your insurance will not be able to provide for MyxoPartal Carcinocide as this medicine is considered experimental.”
Winston stopped reading and put the paper back in the envelope and the envelope back in the drawer. He wondered why she had never mentioned. He knew he could help. The room was in total disarray around him. Winston was disgusted that seconds before he had thrown his mother’s clothes all over - although seconds before, he didn’t know she was dying. Winston began to clean the room, putting everything back in its rightful place.
Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:39 PM
Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:11 PM
Winston’s mom returned to find him at the computer in his room hastily scribbling down data in a notebook. She had to computer facing away from the door, so Winston hadn’t noticed when she came in. She walked over and tapped him on the shoulders, “Working hard on your homework?”
Winston jumped, nodded, and stood up. He looked up at his mother and said, “Mom, I’m sorry for how I behaved earlier. I was just frustrated.” Winston’s mother was shocked. She accepted the apology but then Winston continued talking. “But I do want to change something. I want to run my next operation.”
“What? By yourself?” Winston’s mom sat on his bed, head cocked in confusion. “Winston, you’re only twelve years old. You’re only in sixth grade!”
“And I already have the lives of hundreds on my shoulders.” Winston interrupted. “Look, mom, just for this month I want to handle it myself. After that, we can do all of them together. Is that a deal?”
Biting her lip, Winston’s mother sat and thought for a second letting silence hang in the room. “Okay,” she finally said, “but if you are having any troubles. Ask for help.”
Winston agreed and moved to the living room to make a phone call. Winston poked in the number he had just recorded in his notebook. Within three rings, Winston found himself speaking directly to the secretary of the CEO of Aveyton pharmaceuticals.
“Hello, Aveyton Pharmaceuticals, how may I help you?”
“Hi, my name is Winston Little, and I would like to speak with your boss.”
“Um, if you have a problem with our product, you can speak to our complaints division. The number is 1- 555-”
“No ma’am,” Winston interrupted, “I would like to speak to your boss about an unreleased product of yours. MyxoPartal Carcinocide.”
The woman’s tone changed abruptly. “Listen, kid. I don’t know who you are, but I’ve never heard of that product in my life. Why are you prank calling hard working men and women like us?”
Winston heard the receiver slammed down on the other end. He had anticipated some resistance, but not as much rage. And why had the woman told him that she had never heard of MPC? Winston thought about how confusing that interaction was while he started to dial the second number he had written down in his notebook. The phone rang once before someone picked up. Winston spoke in his best, most adult voice.
“I’d like to order a taxi pick-up to this address.”
Twenty minutes later, Winston saw the taxicab pull up from where he had been excitedly waiting in the front windows of the house. He took the pre-paid debit card his mother had given him - loaded with exactly 200 dollars, told his mother that he had to go to a meeting with a pharmacist, and left the house.
As Winston approached the cab, the cab driver quirked an eyebrow. Winston yanked open the back door and climbed in.
“Hey, hey, kid. What’r’you doin’? You can’t just jump in, this cab is waitin’ fer someone.”
“That was me. I called.” Winston pointed at the number bearing his home address. “That’s my address.”
“Where’s your parents, kid? You runnin’ away from home?”
“My dad died when I was little and my mom is inside watching television.”
“Look, kid. I can’t just take you.”
Winston felt like crying. He clutched his notebook tightly to his chest. He looked at the words he had copied onto the front cover “We are sorry to inform you...” Winston took a deep breath and tapped the driver on the shoulder. The man turned around and caught Winston looking him dead in the eye.
“Look, sir. You know the pill kid, the one off the TV who saves lives? That’s me. I’m the pill, kid: Winston Little.” The cab driver’s mouth hung open. Winston continued, “I’m on a mission to save some lives and I need your help here.” Winston pulled his card out of his pocket. “I’ll pay for the ride, just please, Help me out.”
“You’re Winston Little?” asked the cab driver, flabbergasted. Winston nodded. The cab driver turned around and started the cab. “Winston Little rides for free in my car,” he announced proudly. Winston was barely able to strap on his seatbelt before the car went kicking down the road.
An hour later, Winston was at the headquarters of Aveyton pharmaceuticals, a skyscraper in the Moebius district. The cab driver wished Winston luck before he drove off. Winston checked the address in his notebook and then walked in.
The lobby was arranged like a waiting room. There was a reception desk behind which a woman stood, looking inquisitively at the pre-teen who had just walked in. To the left there was a large fish tank, which covered the wall. On the right was an old couch. Winston approached the receptionist.
“Hello, my name is Winston. I would like to speak to your boss.”
The woman popped her gum loudly. “What do you want with the head of the HR department?”
Winston had no idea what HR meant but he knew that she had misunderstood. “I want to speak to the CEO, Louis Aveyton. I know he works out of this building and I know that he has five minutes to talk to me. It could save a life.”
“I’ll send him an e-mail.” The woman said. There was a silence as both people stood motionless.
“Aren’t you gonna send it?”
“Oh, what? Uh, yeah.” The woman started typing on her computer. Winston watched and then went to sit down and wait.
A half-hour later, the woman called out. “You still here?”
“I’m waiting until I see Mr Aveyton.”
The woman scoffed and went back to typing. Winston sat back down and started to count as high as he could. It wasn’t particularly interesting, but it occupied the time. Men and women who worked for Aveyton would walk in and see Winston sitting there. They looked confused, but ignored him and walked on.
Time passed, Winston started to occupy himself watching the fish in the tank swim around. He was absolutely horribly bored. His stomach was starting to tear at him, because he hadn’t eaten in seven hours. Every time he asked, the receptionist responded that she hadn’t gotten a response and Winston would go back to sitting and watching the fish. Eventually the receptionist left, her shift had finished and it was time for her to go home. Another receptionist came in to fill her spot for the night shift. The second woman was shorter, with blonde hair. Her nametag read ‘Wendy’ with a smiley face and a heart after it.
Wendy was more sympathetic. After Winston explained his situation, the woman enthusiastically hopped on the computer to send another email to the CEO.
“Um...” she scrolled confusedly up and down the screen. Winston was concerned. “April never sent an e-mail to the CEO. She left her account open and she didn’t send anything.”
Winston stomped away from the table and threw himself down in a huff on the couch.
“Aww, don’t worry. I’ll send it.”
“I’ve been here for seven hours waiting for a response. The other lady, she seemed so nice, but then she was so mean .Why did she do that?”
Wendy looked sad as she typed the e-mail. Winston sat himself down on the couch and waited. Within five minutes, Wendy called his name. “Oh, Winston, he responded. He said he’ll see you now if I escort you up.”
Winston followed the receptionist to the elevator. They rode together to the 53rd floor where Louis Aveyton himself was waiting with a smile on his face.
“You wanted to talk to me, Winston?”
Posted 11 February 2012 - 02:07 PM
Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:23 PM
Winston and Mr Aveyton sat across from each other at the desk which dominated the Aveyton Inc headquarter central offices. They began together in silence. Winston waited for Mr Aveyton to speak, but he just leaned back in his chair, hands folded behind his head, smiling expectantly. Winston was first to speak.
“So, I just want one pill of MyxoPartal Carcinocide.”
Aveyton laughed. “You want me to just give you a pill?”
“I’ll pay for it.” Winston reached into his pocket and withdrew his pre-paid debit card. “I have two hundred dollars. I’ll give you fifty dollars for one pill.”
“Kid, you don’t understand. You’re a walking copyright nightmare.” Aveyton leaned forward over the table and started to drum his fists on the wood. Winston felt uncomforable and small, but he felt he had to ask.
Aveyton smiled genially. “Well, Aveyton Pharmaceuticals is the only company with the formula for MyxoPartal Carcinocide. We’re running trials now, and they appear successful, but we haven’t claimed the formula as our own yet. If you go give this to one of our competitors, they will steal our formula and we will lose millions of dollars. Giving you one pill could bankrupt me.”
“But then how come my mother was getting it from her insurance?”
“We did some dealings with them. In order to get the name out and stuff. They’re the only company that releases it, and only in small amounts.”
“Is that legal?”
Aveyton faultered. Winston noticed. “Yeah, it’s fine,” Aveyton lied.
“I don’t care about you cheating with your business. I just need one pill to help my mom. She’s sick.”
“Oh.” Aveyton’s smile slid off his face. He put his hand to his forehead and looked down at the table. “Right, you just want to help your mother.”
“Sir, I’ll offer you a deal.” Winston sat up straight and tried to use his best adult voice. “My next five pill manufacturing jobs will be Aveyton products. If you watch the news, you’ve probably noticed how every pill I mention gets a lot more popular, right?”
“I’ve noticed.” Aveyton had a roguish smile on. “So we can use the Winston bump to boost products over the next half a year. That will be a massive boost for a two whole quarters. With the equivalent boost in revenue we could finance four new investment projects for new drugs. We could be revolutionary. My God, Winston, you could make this company.”
Winston nodded weakly. He had no clue of half of the words Aveyton had said, but judging by the smile, Winston guessed they had a deal. He stood up and extended a hand to shake. Aveyton took it and shook, heartily. They rode together in the elevator down to the basement where Aveyton pulled one pill out of a shipment and fed it to Winston. Winston thanked the CEO and walked out.
The next month was uneventful. Winston spent his time at home, incubating his mother’s pills. She asked him frequently who he had signed a deal with, who was performing the operation, and what pills he was creating. Winston made sure to keep it very secret. Until a month later, while sitting in the living room watching television, he told his mother that he had to go for his operation.
“You, you’ve been a month already?”
It had been a little longer, and Winston was feeling the actual wait of the pills in his side. “Yes, mom. So now I have to leave and get the pills.”
Winston’s mother glanced at the clock. “It’s seven o’ clock at night. When will you get home?”
“Tomorrow.” Winston answered with no hesitation. Then he grabbed a backpack and walked out the front door. Winston took a cab to cheap hotel at an address he’d written down in his notebook a month before. The hotel lobby was grungy and dark. Dust covered most of the lamps, causing a dusky glow over the place. It was the only hotel Winston knew of where he felt safe and also they would put up a room for a child. He approached the counter and laid his pre-paid card up next to the bell and rang it. He found himself set up with a room pretty easily.
The plan was going all according to plan. Everything was working smoothly. Winston walked into his room alone and locked the door behind him. Then he started to ready himself for the operation. He emptied his bag on the bed. Out fell a needle, some thread, and his father’s straight razor. Winston went into the bathroom and ripped down the shower curtain, then walked back and laid it out on the bed, so as not to dirty the sheets.
Winston took his shirt off and laid himself down on the bed. It was a scene entirely different from his previous operations. Instead of the gleaming, white walls of a doctor’s office, Winston found himself surrounded by the rust brown walls of a hotel room. Instead of the firm, safe hospital table Winston was sinking into the mattress. Instead of being surrounded by doctors who cared, Winston was alone. Feeling alone and unsafe, Winston reached for the bedside phone and called his mother. It was 10:50. The phone was on it’s second ring when Winston was met by his mother’s sleepy voice.
“Is something the matter?” Winston could hear her waking up. There was some panic in her voice.
“No, listen. I’m about to go in for surgery and there’s something I have to tell you. I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for everything you’ve done. I want to do every operation I ever do again with you. I’m sorry for being a bratty kid. I don’t want to be. Thank you. Thank you. Just thank you. Sleep tight.”
Winston put the phone down before his mother could respond and then got ready to start his operation. He grabbed the razor and with three seconds to mentally prepare plunged it into his side. He had seen it done hundreds of times at various levels of consciousness, but nothing could have prepared him to do it himself. The pain was amazingly intense. Winston dropped the razor next to him on the bed. Blood poured at alarming rate out onto the shower curtain. Winston dimly thought that he should have iced the area before starting to cut, but then decided that instead he should just finish quickly.
Winston grabbed the razor again as tightly as he could with his wet hands. He stabbed into the hole he had made and dragged the razor along, ripping the skin for the length of his pill-bearing organ. Therein he saw red and yellow pills. Slowly, he started picking them out, one by one. Being as careful as he could not to touch the edges and set off another fireball of pain. Winston laid the pills in a bowl on the bedside table. Slowly, one by one. As he worked, Winston thought that his surgery dimly reminded him of a game of operation. The quiet laughter nearly caused him to black out with the pain.
Winston pulled the last pill out of him and laid it on the table. He smiled as pumped a fist into the air in triumph. A twinge of pain in his side reminded him that his job was not done. Winston picked up the needle and thread and started to sew himself shut. Within ten minutes he was done. His head was spinning. The gash in his side was throbbing with pain. Winston felt himself losing consciousness, but he counted this as a victory. He grinned as he passed out in the dingy hotel room.
Winston rang the doorbell of his house the next day. His mother came to the door and answered immediately. Winston pulled the bowl full of pills from behind his back. “MyxoPartal Carcinocide. Take one a week. If there are any complications, speak to your doctor.”
Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:10 PM
*waits for more fiction*
Posted 17 February 2012 - 01:33 PM
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users