The Special Ingredient
“The Special Ingredient” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Nirali Anand, Oakridge International School, India.
The Special Ingredient
Emma Johnson was a shy, 15 year old girl who loved chemistry. She had shoulder length hazel hair and sky blue eyes. One day while she was making a potion…
”A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and done!’’ Emma said as she added the final touches to the potion. “What about a little bit of this too,’’ Claire Steven, the class bully, said smugly, dumping in half a bottle of a different liquid. “Ugh.” Emma exclaimed, “Now I have to start all over again.” As she was walking to the sink to dump it out, she tripped and the potion spilt all over her. Suddenly there was a cloud of dust and she was gone.
“Woah! Where am I?” Emma said to herself as she looked around. There were all types of amazing things like flying cars, hover boards, and more. She was amazed so she decided to walk around. She entered a clothing store called “shine” expecting normal clothes but she entered and saw all types of amazing clothes. Some of them had settings which could change the color or design of the dress, some were light sensitive and became brighter as it got lighter outside. She ran over expecting them to cost thousands of dollars but instead found the prices ranging from 20 to 100 dollars. By then she was dying to know where she was but little did she know it wasn’t the place that had changed but the time all together. She left the shop and passed a huge building with a flashing sign. “June 5th, 2040” it read. “OMG! Am I in the future?” She was overjoyed but extremely scared that she was stuck there forever and as much as she loved it, she didn’t have a life there and had to get back!
Suddenly she caught sight of someone familiar. She was staring at the woman, waiting for a bell to ring. “Hey what are you staring at?” the woman exclaimed. Suddenly it hit her. The voice, the attitude, the face, it was Claire. The one who bullied everyone in 9th grade, the reason she was here in the first place. “Claire!” She screamed, running up to her. Never in her life had Emma been so happy to see Claire. Claire was startled. “Who are you and how do you know my name?” she asked uncomfortably. Emma was hurt. “You don’t remember me?” she said desperately. Claire examined her carefully “Emma? Is it really you? I thought you were in Paris, and why do you look so young?” she said confused. “I’m from the future. Remember when you dumped that potion on me in class, this is where I disappeared to. “Oh, so that’s what you meant when you reappeared and said you’ll find out soon enough” “So, I need your help to get back.”
“First tell me what you put in my potion“
“I don’t remember.”
“Come on Claire, think.”
“Well I’m pretty sure it had some weird name. Something like fairy acid, or something like that”
“Fairy acid huh? Never heard of it. But there is something called angelic acid. Is that it?”
“Oh yeah, I remember now, it WAS angelic acid”
“No wonder, and another thing, where is the nearest major public chemistry lab?”
“It’s half an hour’s ride away. Here, you can use my phone to call an Uber.”
“I’m surprised that Uber still exists.” Emma exclaimed
“Oh it exists all right, just not in the way you would expect” Claire remarked.
She pulled out a small ball from her pocket. ”What’s that?” Emma asked curiously. “It’s a phone, duh.” Claire replied, rolling her eyes.
“Hey it’s not my fault. I’ve only been here for like ten minutes”
“Anyways, how in the world does it work, I mean, its sooo tiny”
“There’s a password and then it opens up. Rambunctious.” she muttered.
“Why is that your password?”
“Because, no one ever says that, duh.”
“Typical old Claire” Emma said under her breath.
Five minutes later…
“Oh look, there’s our ride.”
Emma was fascinated. So this was what Claire had meant when she said that it wasn’t in the way she would expect it. It was a floating roller coaster car. “Is that what I think it is?” Emma said gulping. “It depends. What do you think it is?”
“It looks like a floating roller coaster car.”
“Then yes, it is what you think it is.” “Oh no!” Emma whispered as they climbed in.
“Aaaaaaaahhhhh” Emma screamed. They had been flying over the city on the roller coaster cart for around ten minutes and Emma had been screaming her lungs out. “I think I’m gonna hurl!” she said groaning. “Don’t worry, it’s almost over.” Claire said. “And I have a bottle of water for your throat. Well, it’s not exactly for your throat, but you can use it for your throat. I mean, like, to, umm” she glanced over at Emma who was staring at her with an expression that said, ‘Shut up’, “I should shut up now shouldn’t I.” “Ya think” Emma replied.
The cart came to a sudden stop and Emma and Claire got off. “Here, it is. The city’s best public chemistry lab.”
“About that water…”
“Ya sure, here, take some.” Claire said holding out a bottle of water.
“tha-” Emma looked up slowly at Claire who was bursting with laughter, she had just dumped the entire bottle of water on Emma’s head. “Some things never change,” she sighed.
“So, are you going in?” Claire asked, tears in her eyes. “Yeah, I guess so”
“But this had better work.”
She walked up to the front door, and went inside.
A few minutes later, “OK, now for the last ingredient, one cup of demonic acid.” she said as she poured it in. She mixed it in and then slowly, Emma closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and dumped it on her head. When she opened her eyes again, she found she was back where she started. In the chemistry lab. The period was over, so she ran to her next class, hoping she didn’t miss too much. Everyone was surprised to see her, especially Claire. When she asked Emma what happened all she said was “You’ll find out soon enough.”