Saberi Roy

The Elixir of Life


His mind was normal.

Normal?
 

 
He thought so…the leaves droop on the archway and he has pissed his heart out of the window. Looks like, he is not normal.
 

 
The man and his moods - writing his autobiography and waiting for his life to take shape…for Sirius Soor belongs to his destiny, he lives for it. When he sees the woman next door draped in her red mini-skirt, showing her thighs to the world and heaving her breasts for the men, he wants to…..well, he wants to run for his glasses and see her close. But then women are not his thing, except for that one night of passion while in University, he has largely remained asexual.
 

 
Okay, fortunately she’s gone, down the archway, down the lane and done. He returns to his desk and reads the fifth page of his book…so Dr. Sirius Soor, the 65-year old scientist is working on his autobiography and how he came out with his new discovery of living a longer and longer life. He thinks his book will sell, he has found the elixir, he knows what will keep men and women young forever. He knows. He only has to sell the idea, those journal editors don’t take him seriously and he has thrown his slippery spit on one of them.
 

 
‘So you’ve discovered the elixir of life? Dr. Sirius Soor, if you want to test the orange pill as you call it, test it on yourself first, show us the results’.
 

 
The results will come through, says the scientist.
 

 
He has given the pills to ten different subjects and they have not died, that’s it. They live and he believes they will live longer than others. They took the pills and they didn’t take him too seriously when he said, ‘if you take this pill, you will live longer and longer and longer’. They smiled at the mad scientist.
 

 
Other scientists have mocked at him, some have whispered in his ears, so ‘what are the components’? He smiled, he’s not telling them anyway, ‘Vitamins…extra doses…that’s all’. No but in his paper he did write the details of his discovery and in his book he is writing more. He never found a journal for his paper though, no one believes him.
 

 
He dreams of it…Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity, Sirius Soor and the Elixir of Life…sounds too good. One small time newspaper bought his story and screamed it out on the front page, ‘Elixir of Life discovered?’ of course, the editor put a question mark, he wasn’t too sure. The editor was sacked, the medical community called him ‘an enemy of science’ for supporting the weirdo outcast, Dr. Sirius Soor. Yet the story never gave out the components.
 

 

 
Sirius Soor picks up the newspaper and reads the headlines, one of these goes ‘Julie Stones, the famous film star has a new haircut and looks stunning’. He throws the newspaper away, this is what the world has come to – haircuts, handbags, shoes these are what reporters write about these days and they don’t even get sacked.
 
He sat at his desk, pen in hand scribbling on his manuscript, his autobiography in waiting.
 

 
‘I have worked in my lab for 20 years and I’ve patiently waited for this day and now the pill is ready. Everyone can have it and become almost immortal. The components have been chosen after 20 years of research and the results will be seen in the next 40 years as people using the pill will live longer and healthier than everyone else’, he wrote. ‘No poison or illness can bring about death to the people who take this pill.’
 

 
Sirius Soor decided to follow up on what happened to the ten who participated in his experiments almost a year ago. He had asked them to report back to him but they never did. Most of them seem to have left town or changed their phone numbers, some others asked their spouses or girlfriends to answer his call and he got sick of it. He could contact three of them. One of them reported recent diarrhoea and two others asked whether he needed them again and how much he was willing to pay. Sirius Soor was frustrated and banged the phone down, he was convinced his pill will work though and these non-cooperating rascals will live longer than their contemporaries.
 

 

 
He stayed awake all night and by daybreak completed the last chapter of his autobiography and felt elated, now he simply has to wait for a publisher to thrust it upon the world and riding on earth’s eternal soul will be his book, his autobiography, his formula and his orange pill. Dr. Sirius Soor stood up and moved to his bed. The orange pill tossed and turned before his eyes and peeled its own skin like a fruit, fragmented existence, it entered his mouth and the mouth of the woman next door and then….then he woke up. It was
midday and he called two publishers and excitedly informed that his book was completed. They asked him to send the manuscript along with published results of his experiment. ‘Published results? What do you mean?’ The scientist shouted.  Nevertheless he sent his manuscript to the publishers who promptly returned it with an apology suggesting that the book was largely an autobiography of the orange pill that they never heard about rather than the autobiography of an obscure scientist. Schizoid that he was, Sirius Soor was also depressed.
 

 
Dejected, he worked on an antidote for only an antidote could kill now, no poison can. He worked meticulously for two years on this antidote and when it was done, he had a green pill in his hands. He tested this only on himself though and within three days he could feel his energies dissipating and his body disintegrating. He stayed in his bed, did not answer phone calls or the door bell. He had no friends anyway so these are from the bank or the phone company or may be the maid.
 

 
Then the door bell stopped disturbing and the phone also stopped ringing. One neighbour told the other neighbour that scientist Sirius Soor has died. His books, lab equipment, his manuscript, papers, personal belongings were all discarded, disposed of and thus ended the story of the obscure scientist.
 

 
Sirius Soor and the Obscurity of Life.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
40 years later
 

 
Jack Swipes speaks with Tim Rotter on the iPhone.
 

 
‘Tim, you know what? Remember we once took some pills at that scientist’s lab? What was his name now?
 
Tim shouted back, ‘Sirius you mean? Man I was thinking of the same thing. I’ve crossed 85 and I look younger than my son, the pills seem to have worked, this is fantastic, I’m so happy, this is a miracle!’.
 
‘Yes, I’m 86 too. We should report this to the scientific community, I haven’t found anything in the papers though. Do you think we should visit the scientist once? I’m sure he’s still alive. Do you remember where we went, that was more than 40 years ago’?
 

 
Jack and Tim went to visit Sirius, only to be informed that the scientist was dead.
 

 
‘Oh come on’, Tim declared. You think the scientist never tasted his own pill? And if he died 40 years ago, then it’s my wife’s salt less, oil less, sugar less dishes that seemed to have kept me alive all these years! But poor soul, she cooked and cooked for me and died one fine morning. I miss her ’.
 

 
Jack tried to comfort Tim who sniffled as they made way back home.
 

 

 

 
60 years later
 

 

 
Tim Rotter speaks with Jack Swipes on the ePhone.
 

 
‘Jack, are you there?’ Tim sounds depressed.
 
‘Of course, I’m there. What do you think is happening?’ the voice from the other end responds.
 
‘People from the media came to me yesterday, I told them about the pill. They said there are reports of 7 others who have also crossed 100 but look younger. Is your son alive?’
 

 
‘No my son is gone. My grandson’s here, but I am a lonely man’.
 
‘Maybe we should call the press together’
 

 
The newspapers and online magazines screamed, ‘Elixir of Life – Found and Lost’. Nine people provided testimony. They had two common conditions, they all took the orange pill given by scientist Sirius Soor and they all lived beyond 100 years and yet look very young. It turned out that the 10th subject died in an accident. The reporters flocked to the scientist’s residence and found an old couple residing in the apartment where the scientist lived. ‘There is no trace of any documents and he never told anyone what the components of the pill were. One publisher informed that 60 years ago their publishing house received a manuscript from one Dr. Sirius Soor but it was returned according to their records’, the papers wrote.
 

 

 

 
80 years later
 

 

 
Jack Swipes speaks with Tim Rotter on the pPhone.
 

 
‘Tim, the other immortals are with me, this can’t go on, we want to die now. Enough.  125 years, is this a joke? I look younger than my grandson. Are you with me?’
 
‘I am. But how did the scientist die, if we are immune to poison? I heard he poisoned himself’.
 
‘I’ve spoken with some scientists. They think he discovered an antidote. I went to a scientist and personally asked whether he can make an antidote for me, I can’t jump off a cliff and break my bones. I’ve lived long enough now, I’ve lost too many close people, I can’t keep up with the times’.
 
‘Yes, said Tim, ‘I’m with you too. Let’s call all the seven others, I will get their phone numbers really quick’.
 

 

 
And as the nine ‘immortals’ as branded by the world joined hands to end their lives, the scientists of the World Scientific Organisation organised one conference after another, one seminar after another and called for scientific papers, ideas and chemical equations from bright young scientists that could help find not the elixir of life – but its antidote.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Copyrighted material – Saberi Roy, 2007-09-20
(The characters and names here are fictional, any similarity with living or dead persons is unintentional.)
 

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Saberi Roy.
Published on e-Stories.org on 23.09.2007.

 

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