Tag Archives: Dr. Smith

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 10)

4 Nov

Hi everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog and for reading Part 10 of my horror series, The Search for the Last Flower. I hope you like it!

 

 

the search for the last flower

 

 

She froze when she saw Dr. Smith lying on his bed in his pajama bottoms. She stared at him wide-eyed and then she began to scream nonstop. Caleb grabbed her by the shoulders and tried to get her to calm down, but she continued to scream. He smacked her face and she stopped. She sobbed and turned to leave.

 

“Lolita,” Dr. Smith called. “Come to me, Lolita.” His voice was rough, breathy, and the scariest voice she had ever heard.

 

“Go to him,” Caleb told her. She shook her head. “I will pay you well for a small amount of your time.” She closed her eyes tightly, shook her head again and hurried out of the room.

 

“Wait.” Caleb hurried after her. She kept moving quickly toward the front door. “Look––I will pay you triple what he normally pays you!”

 

“There isn’t enough money in the world to make me have sex with that––that monster!”

 

“I don’t expect you to have sex with him. Just remove your clothes and let him touch you a little––that’s all.” Lolita shuddered at the thought. “Give an old man just a few minutes of your time before he dies.”

 

Lolita sighed deeply and looked at the floor. “I only have to remove my clothes and let him touch me a little, right?” Caleb nodded. “Alright, but I leave in ten minutes.” She made her way back to the bedroom. Caleb followed closely behind.

 

Dr. Smith’s eyes were closed. He seemed motionless.

 

“Is he still alive?” Lolita took a step back.

 

Caleb stared at him for a moment. He walked over and shook him.

 

“Andrew, Andrew––” Dr. Smith opened his eyes. Caleb avoided looking at him in the face. “He’s alive. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can get out of here.”

 

Lolita took off her clothes. Her skin was smooth and flawless, like cream. Her breasts were plump and perky. Caleb could not turn away.

 

“If you’re going to watch, it’ll cost five hundred dollars extra,” she told him.

 

She trembled as she approached Dr. Smith. She climbed on top of him, straddling over his pajama bottom. When she got close enough her hand flew to cover her nose and mouth. The stench, cloying and nauseating, irritated her nostrils. Her face twisted in disgust as Dr. Smith’s cold, slimy hands grabbed her by the waist.

 

He pulled her closer.

 

Caleb’s face pinched. Then he noticed Dr. Smith’s eyes. Caleb squinted. It couldn’t be. Dr. Smith’s irises were yellow, as yellow as the eyes of the boy in the fire in the jungle. Ice water seemed to flow in Caleb’s veins.

 

Dr. Smith pulled Lolita to him and bit her breast. Lolita screamed, but the doctor would not let go. She wailed and pounded on his head. He gnawed and shook his head until he tore off the breast. She fell back on the bed, and Dr. Smith grabbed her foot with half of one breast still in his mouth. She howled and pressed the remaining breast tissue against her chest. Her caught leg juddered and the other kicked, trying to get away from his clutches. When he was done with her breast, he began biting off and eating her toes one by one. More horrific screams.

 

Caleb gawped at the scene before him, too frightened to do anything. Dr. Smith had become whatever it was that boy in the jungle had become.

 

The young woman lost consciousness. Caleb watched his father gnaw on that poor woman’s foot as if it were barbecue ribs. He panted and scanned the room. He could not figure out what to do.

 

Dr. Smith tossed Lolita’s leg aside. She regained consciousness and as she opened her eyes immense pain gripped her. Once more she began to wail and howl in anguish. He grabbed her by the arms and yanked her to him with ample strength and agility, as if reborn. He bit into her upper arm and pulled skin, muscles, tendons . . . each tissue fighting to stay together. She shrieked and cringed.

 

Caleb could take no more. He picked up a metal lamp from on top of his father’s night table and clobbered his father over the head several times until he finally let go of the girl. The heavy metal lamp dented his skull and should have killed him, but instead it only seemed to make him momentarily groggy.

 

Caleb gasped, carried the girl off the bed, and hurried toward the front door. When he reached the front door, he heard a noise. He looked over his shoulder––Dr. Smith was coming after them.

 

Caleb moved as fast as he could toward his car. Lolita clung onto him and tried to walk, but Caleb carried most of her weight and dragged her along.

 

As he approached his car, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his keys. He looked over his shoulder again and saw that Dr. Smith was emerging from the door. Caleb fumbled with his keys, trying to balance Lolita’s weight while he found the car key.

 

“Miss, you’re going to have to lean against the car until I open it.” He let go. He looked back—Dr. Smith was approaching fast.

 

He searched through his keys but his hands trembled and he dropped them to the ground. He bent over to pick them up and Lolita groaned and swayed, about to fall. Caleb grabbed her and pushed her against his car again. She was losing a lot of blood. If he didn’t get her to a hospital soon, she would die. He tried once more to pick up his keys. The doctor’s horrid stench preceded him. Caleb turned his head and saw that he was a mere few feet away and reaching out to him.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

 

zombie-Attack-the search for the last flower-blog

We’re almost to the end of the series. I’ve had a lot of fun writing it. I hope you’ve had as much fun reading it. Thanks so much for your time.  Don’t forget to leave a comment. 😀

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 8)

1 Nov

 Hello! I hope everyone had a good Halloween. Welcome to the 8th installment of The Search for the Last Flower. There are only a few episodes left so I will not be posting one tomorrow, Sunday 11/02. I will post Part 9 on Monday 11/03 to allow some readers to catch up. Thank you for reading!

 

the search of the last flower_anti-aging elixir

 

*

 

Six months later, Dr. Caleb Wilson and Dr. Andrew Smith introduced to the world a miracle elixir that would not only stave off aging, but also turn back the hands of time. The news went viral on the web, and the two men were in all the newspapers.

 

‘The Geniuses Behind the Cure for Aging,’ the headlines read.

 

The sound of champagne corks popping, chattering and loud music, gave Caleb a headache. He walked out onto the balcony of the fancy hotel and took a deep breath.

 

Moments later, Dr. Smith joined him on the balcony. “What are you doing out here?”

 

“I needed some air,” Caleb said.

 

“Look, I know parties aren’t your thing, but this is your party. You should be in there, shaking people’s hands––mingling.”

 

“Andrew, this is our party. I think you do enough socializing for the two of us. Besides, I’m mad at you––remember?”

 

“Come on, Caleb. When are you going to let it go?”

 

“You drank the elixir without giving me a chance to test it properly! What if––”

 

“What if what? Yes, I may have jumped the gun, but it’s over now. Testing the elixir on primates would have taken too long!”

 

“Yes, it would have taken a while, but what you did was dangerous and irresponsible!”

 

“But look at me!” Dr. Smith spun around. “I’m a sixty-two-year-old man, and I don’t look a day over thirty. I feel great, too!” Caleb scowled at him. “Come on, you know the elixir worked just like I thought it would. You should be happy. I haven’t felt this good in years, and I feel better every day–– I owe it all to you! Your anti-aging elixir works!” Dr. Smith grabbed Caleb, lifted him and spun him around.

 

“Alright, alright. Let go!” Caleb laughed and straightened his glasses. “Are you sure we did right by putting the product out on the market without further testing?”

 

“Yes, yes. You’ve done all the tests needed. You’ve practically drained me of blood with all your testing. I am fine and benefitting from the anti-aging elixir. Now all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the rewards of your labor.

 

 

*

 

“Andrew, where are you?” Caleb said into his phone.

 

“I’m just a few minutes away. I’ve been feeling kind of sluggish, and it took me longer than usual to get ready,” Dr. Smith said in a hoarse voice.

 

“What’s wrong? You sound terrible. If you’re not feeling well, you could have told me. I would have understood.” Caleb sounded concerned.

 

“Nonsense, open the door. I’m parking the car as we speak.” Dr. Smith ended the call.

 

Caleb gasped when he greeted Dr. Smith at the door. “Have you looked at yourself in the mirror? You look like crap! Have you seen a doctor?”

 

“Aren’t you a doctor?”

 

“You know I’m not that kind of doctor,” Caleb said.

 

“It’s just a cold. No big deal.” Dr. Smith coughed.

 

“You’re pale and your eyes are bloodshot and cloudy. I could hardly see your blue irises. How’s your eyesight?”

 

My eyes are fine. I have a sore throat and a low-grade fever. That is all.”

 

“Nevertheless, let me draw some blood. I’ll get it analyzed right away.”

 

“What’s my blood going to tell you now that it hasn’t already told you?”

 

“I’m not sure, but obviously there’s something happening in your body.”

 

“Fine. Do you think we could have dinner first?”

 

“Of course,” Caleb said, embarrassed.

 

Caleb and Dr. Smith had dinner and watched a movie. Caleb observed Dr. Smith closely the entire time they were together. He drew his blood and drove the 30cc vial of blood to the lab to have it analyzed that night.

Caleb couldn’t sleep after seeing the results of his father’s blood tests. The next morning he called Dr. Smith with his findings.

 

*

Dr. Smith stared at himself in the mirror. He almost didn’t recognize the face he saw staring back. He looked worse than the night before, and he felt worse, too.

 

Overnight, red, painful lumps had grown all over his face. What was happening to him? He was fatigued, had body aches, dizziness, and he coughed, sneezed and continued to have a low-grade fever. He opened his mouth and examined his throat in the mirror. The back of his throat was white with pus. He grimaced with disgust.

 

He bent over the toilet and vomited what felt like sulfuric acid. He wailed in pain. When done, he grabbed a small towel and wiped his mouth. The towel was stained with his blood. He looked at his hands and arms, which were trembling uncontrollably––more red lumps. He was covered in these painful lesions. It seemed all manner of bacteria had invaded his body, but why––how? Dr. Smith’s knees faltered, and he collapsed. Too weak at the moment to stand, he curled up in a ball and cried like a child.

 

The phone rang. Dr. Smith took a deep breath and clambered to his feet. He tottered past the mirror and glanced at his reflection. He jolted and almost collapsed again, but he held onto the sink. He rose and braved another look. It had been less then an hour since he last looked at his reflection. The red lumps had become large bruise-like areas. The center of some of these areas had become black––dead tissue. The skin in some of these black areas had broken and now oozed a greenish-yellowish fluid. Dr. Smith howled.

 

The phone had long stopped ringing. He stood frozen, holding onto the sink, afraid to move. There was a thudding on the door. He tried to take a step, but his legs were wobbly, and he couldn’t let go of the sink long enough to move forward.

 

“Open the door, Andrew!” Caleb pounded on the door.

 

“I can’t––” Dr. Smith thought he had said, but only a hoarse, whistling sound emerged.

 

“Open the door, or I will break it down!” Caleb banged on the door a few more times and then began to ram it with his body until he was able to crash through it and into the house.

 

He ran from room to room looking for Dr. Smith. “Andrew, where are you?” His heart throbbed. When Caleb finally entered the master bathroom, he froze. He turned pale and stared at the doctor. He couldn’t find the words he so desperately needed to say.

 

Dr. Smith groaned and extended a weak, fragile arm toward him. This caused Caleb to run to him. He lifted his father and helped him to his bed.

 

“You’re not well, Andrew,” Caleb told him.

 

Dr. Smith forced a chuckle. “I’ve already figured that out for myself.” His voice was weak and raspy. “What is happening to me?”

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

 

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Zombie Face by Christian Peña (brucethebandit on deviantART)

 

Don’t forget to leave a comment to qualify for the ‘Giveaway’. I’d love to hear from you.

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 7)

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!

Welcome to my blog and to Part 7 of my series, The Search for the Last Flower. I hope everyone has fun plans for All Hallows’ Eve. I’m taking my dogs, Cocoa and Scribbles to a doggie masquerade ball. He, he. I’ll post pictures later. 😉 Anyway, I told you on my last post that I plan on having a Giveaway at the end of this series to show appreciation to my wonderful readers. Few things make me happier than people reading my stories. It’s why I write. People commenting on my blog about my short stories, articles, and books are right up there on my What Makes Vashti Happy list. To qualify to win some cool prizes all you have to do is read this series, The Search for the Last Flower, and leave me a comment. There’s no obligation to say you love the story if you actually hate it. Really––I won’t hold it against you. So here are the prizes you’ll receive if you win:

A signed copy of my novel The Basement

A custom designed book mark

A $30.00 Visa giftcard

and a few other surprises

Good luck!

***Don’t forget to read the previous installments if you haven’t already done so. 

 

FIREFACE_by_hart3uk

FIREFACE by Rodney Hart (hart3uk on deviantART)

*

 

Caleb couldn’t believe his eyes when he arrived at the laboratory paid for by Dr. Smith’s sponsors. The lab was huge, and anything he needed or wanted was at hands’ reach. Caleb walked around, gawking at everything.

 

Dr. Smith laughed. “You look like a chimp that’s never been outside his cage.”

 

Caleb combed his fingers through his blond hair. “I’ve never worked in such a large and well-equipped laboratory.”

 

“Well, get used to it. This is what a scientist of your caliber should be used to.

 

“What if . . . what if I can’t replicate the effects the flowers had on the Amazon tribe?” Caleb felt the pressure, and his hands shook. “I have only one flower. What if there isn’t enough essence in that one bloom for me to work with?”

 

“Caleb, both you and I know that one flower isn’t enough for us to make a tonic.” Dr. Smith walked over to Caleb and placed his arm around him. “What you are going to do is figure out which of this flower’s properties enabled the tribesmen to live longer, healthier lives––what properties kept them young. Once you have discovered that key element, you will then develop a synthetic version of it, and that will be our elixir.”

 

Caleb pulled away from him. “You can’t possibly know if that will work!”

 

“Of course it will work. Why wouldn’t it? Caleb, you’re a doctor and a skillful scientist. One of the best I’ve ever known.”

 

“You’ve never told me that.” Caleb looked at him askance.

 

“I’m telling you now. Look, you have everything you need at your disposal. I’ll get you all the assistants and equipment you need, but time is of the essence. You can do this. I have faith in you. The world is relying on you!”

 

Caleb coughed, and his legs wobbled. Dr. Smith put his arm around him again and walked him to a nearby chair. Caleb sat and took a deep breath.

 

“I know this may seem like a lot of pressure,” Dr. Smith said.

 

Caleb whisked his head and stared at him, openmouthed.

 

“Alright, it is a lot of pressure. But, Caleb, I’m telling you –– you can do this. If anyone can, you can.”

 

“I don’t know. I’m still thinking of Clarice. It isn’t like her to be gone so long without calling me and––”

 

“Stop! I didn’t want to tell you this now because I didn’t want this to interfere with your work. Clarice was cheating on you.” Dr. Smith’s eyes shifted down and to the left.

 

“That’s a lie!” Caleb yelled.

 

Dr. Smith gave him a sympathetic look. “Do you think me capable of telling such a lie?” Caleb looked shamefaced. “I saw her with my own eyes with that doctor fellow she’s off in the jungle with.”

 

“Dr. Johnson? She can’t stand him!”

 

Dr. Smith laughed. “I’m sorry Caleb, but it was all an act. She looked very cozy when I saw them together. He had his hands all over her, and she was enjoying it and even initiated a kiss.”

 

Caleb swallowed hard, and his face burned red.

 

“That woman never loved you. She was simply using you––as soon as she found someone else she thought could take her further in her career, she dumped you and took off with him. That’s what happened. Meanwhile, here you are about to throw away the chance of a lifetime––because of her.”

 

Caleb shook his head. “I can’t believe she could do this to me. I thought she loved me.” He laid his face on his hands and wept. Dr. Smith patted him on the back while rolling his eyes.

 

“I don’t think I can do this,” Caleb cried.

 

“So she wins then? She cheats on you and leaves you, but still you’re willing to give up everything for her. Is that it?”

 

“No! I hope she rots in that jungle alongside her lover. Two rotting corpses embracing in the middle of the Amazon Basin!” Caleb continued to weep into his hands.

 

Dr. Smith chuckled, but quickly became serious when Caleb looked up at him.

 

“Caleb you’re just making excuses because you’re afraid you can’t do what is asked of you. Do you think I would put this task in your hands if I thought you couldn’t do it?” Caleb shook his head. “You’re damn right I wouldn’t! Forget that women. She was never interested in you in the first place. Don’t allow her to steal your future and our fortune, alright?” Caleb nodded. “If you’re successful, and I’m sure you will be––you will never be forgotten.”

 

Caleb’s face lit up. He got to his feet and took a deep breath.

 

“Look at you! You actually look like a brilliant scientist with your new wardrobe.”

 

“Yeah, a wardrobe you chose for me.” Caleb shifted his tie.

 

“What’s wrong with it?”

 

“Khakis, loafers, white shirt and tie?”

 

“You look sleek and stylish for once.”

 

“There’s nothing wrong with this outfit. It’s just not me. If I’m going to do this, I need to be comfortable. I need to be myself.”

 

“Very well, you can strip down to your underthings if it will make you feel better. We need to begin.”

 

Caleb wrestled with his tie until he finally removed it. He unbuttoned the first couple of buttons on his shirt, and he kicked off the shoes. Dr. Smith looked at him, shook his head and walked away.

 

“Wait!” Caleb yelled. Dr. Smith stopped and turned to face him.

 

“What is it now, Caleb?”

 

“I saw something . . .”

 

“What are you talking about?”

 

“That night––at the field. I saw something strange in the fire.”

 

“Caleb, you were unconscious when I got to you. You had inhaled a lot of smoke. Of course you saw things . . . you hallucinated.”

 

Caleb shook his head. “No, I’m talking about the bonfire the tribesmen had started. They were burning the boy––the boy you shot.” Caleb felt sick; he bent over and held onto his knees. He retched several times.

 

“What’s wrong? What did you see?”

 

“He was alive!” Caleb’s face twisted in fear.

 

“Who was alive? You’re not making any sense!”

 

“I know it makes no sense, but the boy in the fire, the one you shot––he was still alive. They were burning him alive and he looked so––” Caleb’s eyes rolled to the back of his head, and he collapsed.

 

“Caleb!” Dr. Smith knelt by his side. “Caleb, wake up!”

 

Caleb opened his eyes and stared at Dr. Smith. “The boy was alive.”

 

“Nonsense!”

 

“I checked his pulse myself and he was dead, yet he struggled in the fire. He growled, squirmed, and flailed his arms even while the fire consumed him. It’s impossible, I know—but this is what I saw.”

 

“Listen, the lack of oxygen to your brain due to the smoke inhalation caused you to have temporary hallucinations. There was no struggling boy in the fire.”

 

“Maybe you’re right. It seemed so real—and those eyes––I can’t forget those yellow eyes.”

 

“Forget about our last day in the Amazon. Most likely it was not as you remember it. I’m sure your mind’s version of what happened in that field is completely erroneous. I think the best thing for you to do is to immerse yourself in your work. Get in your zone. It’s where you love to be anyway.”

 

“That’s what I’ll do. I won’t think of anything but my work.”

 

“Good man.”

 

As soon as Dr. Smith was out of the lab, he took his phone out of his jacket pocket and called Caleb’s assistant. “Listen carefully. If that woman, Clarice, calls for Caleb, tell her he is unavailable––better yet, tell her he is no longer interested in speaking to her. Don’t allow any calls from her or her assistant . . . um, what’s his name––oh yes, Dylan, to come through to Caleb. You are not even to communicate the fact that Clarice or her assistant called him. Do you understand?”

 

“Yes, Doctor,” Caleb’s assistant responded.

 

“Fine. It’s for his own good, you know. That woman is bad news. Thank you.” Dr. Smith hung up and walked away with a sinister grin on his face. Now there would be no more distractions.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

 

Cool-blonde-hair-men-Dr. Caleb Wilson-the serch for the last flower-blog scientist-in-lab-the search for the last flower-blog The_Search_for_the_Last_Flower_Vashti_Quiroz-Vega_Blog

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 5)

29 Oct

Hello! Thank you for visiting and reading my short series, The Search for the Last Flower. This is Part 5, if you haven’t read the other installments, it would be best for your overall experience to do so prior to reading this one. ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 )

the search for the last flower

 

 

Caleb stared at him, looking despondent.

 

“Come––stay in front with me.” Dr. Smith took his arm again. “Don’t worry about your team, they will be closely guarded by my men.”

 

He addressed the group. “We’re about to start on a quest––a quest for a species of flower that will save humanity. Look around you . . . these are the people that will go down in history with you.”

 

Caleb glowered at him.

 

When they arrived at the field where the flowers grew, the tribesmen were already there. They had ignited a fire around the periphery of the field. The elder and his men looked at Dr. Smith and his gun-wielding ruffians, but didn’t seem alarmed or surprised.

 

It was midnight, and the flowers should have been in bloom. Dr. Smith looked around the field. His jaw dropped and his eyes widened. He moved to one side, then the other, his blue eyes reflecting the flames that were growing by the second around the field.

 

“Why are you burning the field? Dr. Smith yelled at the elder. “Where are the flowers?” The elder stared at him with vacant eyes. Dr. Smith shook Caleb. He placed Caleb in front of the elder. “Ask him––ask him the whereabouts of the flowers. Have they already harvested them?”

 

Caleb did what Andrew ordered. The elder remained calm and with a mild expression, explained all to him. Dr. Smith gripped Caleb’s arm tighter. “What did he say, Caleb? I see but one flower in the middle of the field. Where are the others? Tell him he must talk!”

 

The elder looked at him and frowned.

 

Caleb pointed to the lone flower. “The elder said that the flower you see in the middle of the field is the last of its kind. There are no more.”

 

“He’s lying!” Andrew wore a crazed look on his face. “I will shoot one of his men if he doesn’t tell me where the other blooms are––tell him!”

 

Caleb jolted and then communicated what he had said to the elder, who gaped at Dr. Smith.

 

“The elder said this particular flower couldn’t be picked without causing damage to it. It only blossoms once a year, at midnight, and dies before dawn. It will only last a few hours after being picked, and will not make it out of this jungle.”

 

Dr. Smith groaned, hurried to one of his men and grabbed his rifle from him. When he returned, he pointed the weapon at a young native standing next to the elder.

 

“No!” Caleb yelled. “Please, stop! The elder speaks the truth.”

 

The gun went off. The young man gripped his chest. He looked at Caleb, at the bloody hole in his chest, and then at the elder, his father, before falling to the ground, dead. The elder fell to his knees and wept over his son. Soon the other tribesmen gathered around the elder and his son, and they, too, wept.

 

Large drops fell from Caleb’s eyes as he stared at Dr. Smith, astonished. He shook his head, unwilling to believe that this was his father. “How could you do this? Don’t you understand? Once the flower is picked the plant dies. All the flowers have been picked, except for the one that remains in the field.”

 

“He lies,” Dr. Smith said.

 

“These people don’t know how to lie!” Caleb yelled. “Only one flower remains. Take it and go.”

 

Dr. Smith pointed the gun at him. “You’re leaving with me, but first, go get me that flower!”

 

“I can’t––I won’t.” Caleb grimaced with fear and repulsion. “The field is on fire!”

 

“Oh, don’t be so dramatic. It’s a small fire on the periphery. You can jump over it and run.” Dr. Smith showed him how with his fingers running and jumping on his palm.

 

Caleb narrowed his eyes and his mouth fell open in disbelief.

 

“Go pick the flower already before the fire gets bigger!”

 

“You wouldn’t shoot me.”

 

“Maybe not, but I would easily shoot another one of them.” He pointed to the tribesmen.

 

“You understand the flower will not live to dawn,” Caleb told him with a lump in his throat.

 

Dr. Smith grinned. “I didn’t get where I am today by being unprepared.” He gestured to one of his men. “The box, please.” The man handed him a small, metal box.

 

Caleb creased his brow.

 

“Pick the flower and place it immediately into this box,” Dr. Smith ordered Caleb. “It will instantly freeze the flower so that none of its properties will be lost.”

 

Acknowledgement flourished on Caleb’s face.

 

Dr. Smith cackled. “Go now, don’t waste any more time.” He handed him the metal box. “The longer you wait, the riskier it will be to escape the flames.”

 

Caleb gazed at the fire, which crept over the field toward the flower. How was he going to do this without burning alive? Caleb spotted an area where the fire was low and had not spread as far. He hurried, jumped over the low flames, and ran to the flower.

 

Once he reached the flower, he was mesmerized. It was exquisite, just as he had imagined. It was approximately ten inches in diameter. The large petals were the color of a summer sky. In the middle of the flower were long red stigmas, and its stamens were vibrant yellow like a sun shower. The stem was just as described by the tribesmen, a lively lime green. The small leaves were colored in the same lime green and had turquoise stripes.

 

Caleb had never seen anything like it. It was such a shame to pick it, knowing the plant would die and no one else would ever set eyes on it again.

 

The heat became intense. Caleb looked around him and saw flames. There was no escape. It seemed the flower would not be the only one to perish. A wall of smoke surrounded him. He began to cough and wheeze. He dropped the box. He fell to his knees and continued to cough. He lay as close to the ground as possible and waited for the end to come. He hoped he would lose consciousness before the flames engulfed him. He closed his eyes.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

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I will be posting Part 6 on Thursday the 30th. I’d love to get some feedback from you. Tell me how you like the series so far in the comment section below. Thank you!

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 4)

28 Oct

Welcome to the 4th episode of The Search for the Last Flower. I want to thank everyone who’s taken time from their busy schedules to read my series. I appreciate you. ♥ 

* Please be sure to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before reading this installment.

 

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Dr. Smith’s eyes gleamed with excitement.

 

“During the ceremony, the elder presents a flower. This flower is passed around, and the leaders of each family sniff it and pass it gently over their wives’ faces. It’s almost as if these people worship the flower.”

 

“What flower is it?” Dr. Smith’s pulse raced as he thought of the possibilities.

 

“I don’t quite know. I’ve seen drawings of it done by the tribe’s artists. It’s unlike any blossom I’ve ever seen before…” Caleb’s words drifted, and he seemed in a daze.

 

“Well, what does it look like?” Dr. Smith talked fast and walked in circles at a speedy pace.

 

Caleb was jolted from his stupor. “Oh . . . yes. From what I’ve gathered by looking at the drawings and listening to the people’s descriptions, the flower is large with blue petals. It has a yellow middle and the stem is long, thick and light green. The leaves are striated and small in proportion to the bloom.”

 

“I don’t recall ever having seen a flower such as you described.”

 

“No, you wouldn’t. According to the tribesmen, they are the only ones who have ever seen it. The flower only grows here. Only a few bloom at a time once a year.”

 

“So––I don’t understand. What has this flower to do with these people’s immortality?”

 

“During the ceremony, the flowers are passed around and then the blooms are crushed and consumed.”

 

“So you believe this flower’s properties are what slow down the rate at which these people age?”

 

“Yes, I believe so.”

 

“That has to be it!” Dr. Smith clapped and stared at Caleb, wild-eyed. A few of the natives stopped in their tracks and stared at him.

 

“Shhh! You’re acting like a crazy old man. Do you want to scare them?”

 

“Aren’t you excited? We’re at the threshold of a thrilling discovery. You should be excited.”

 

“I can’t get excited yet. I’m not even sure we’ll be invited to the celebration.”

 

“What?” Dr. Smith frowned. “These flowers are an incredible gift to the world. It’s the cure for aging. This tribe has been selfishly enjoying it for too long. It’s time the world benefitted from such a miracle.”

 

Caleb got to his feet and looked at him, brooding. “And you’re going to be the one to introduce this miracle to the world. Am I right?”

 

Dr. Smith shook his head. “You and I will harvest the properties of this flower and introduce its miraculous benefits to the world––together.”

 

“Listen Andrew, I understand you mean well, but it isn’t going to be that easy.”

 

“Of course, I mean well. Why should the cure for aging stay here in the middle of the Amazon with some jungle tribe?  No one wants to grow old, get sick and die. We can give people eternal youth.” Dr. Smith’s eyes glazed over as he stared sightlessly into the jungle.

 

“Alright, even if we get invited to the celebration, it doesn’t mean they’ll allow us to participate. As a matter of fact, I don’t think it’s very likely that we’ll get anywhere near those flowers.”

 

“I don’t care!” Dr. Smith pounded the palm of his hand with his fist.

 

Caleb gasped and looked around. A few of the tribesmen were staring askance at them. Caleb smiled and waved at them, and they went about their business.

 

“Stop yelling, Andrew. I mean it. You’re going to get us kicked out of this village.”

 

“Alright. But listen––we need to find out where the flowers grow. We need to collect enough of them to create an elixir. An anti-aging tonic that will blow the market sky high.”

 

Caleb stared at him with a disappointed expression.

 

“What? We’re not allowed to make a profit?” Dr. Smith picked up a rock and threw it hard to the ground. Caleb shrugged and looked down. “We’ve been in this stinking jungle for weeks. We’re introducing something magnificent to the world, and we’re going to make a little money in the process. So what? We’re entitled to making a living, aren’t we?”

 

Caleb nodded reluctantly.

 

They gathered as much information as possible from the tribesmen as to the whereabouts of the flowers. The people of this tribe were honest and naïve, and they trusted too much, too quickly. Before long, Caleb knew where the flowers grew.

 

It was nearing the end of the year, and the tribal people were preparing for the harvest and celebration.

 

“So when will these flowers be in bloom?” Dr. Smith asked Caleb.

 

“I have heard the natives mention that the moon will tell them when the flower will bloom.” He breathed on his glasses, creating a film of moisture on the glass, and then wiped the lenses with his t-shirt.

 

“What nonsense is this?”

 

“It isn’t nonsense. They said that on the next full moon the flowers would bloom.”

 

“When is the next full moon?”

 

“Tomorrow night,” Caleb responded with a brittle voice.

 

“What’s the matter with you?” Dr. Smith rolled his eyes, annoyed by Caleb’s demeanor. “We’re so close to accomplishing something amazing, something no one else has been able to achieve in the history of mankind, and you’re pouting!”

 

“This doesn’t feel right, somehow. It feels too much like stealing. These people have welcomed us into their home with open arms, and now we’re going to take their most valuable asset.”

 

“Nonsense!” Dr. Smith opened his blue eyes wide. “These flowers don’t belong to them. They’ve had them for generations. The time has come for the rest of the world to benefit from the flowers’ properties.”

 

“Fine, but everyone should have access, not just the rich.” Caleb stared at Andrew directly in the eye. “I mean it! If I’m to be a part of this, then I want everyone, rich and poor, to benefit from the product we create. Understood?”

 

“I completely agree.” Dr. Smith cocked his head to one side and put his hand over his lips. Caleb narrowed his eyes.

 

The following evening, Dr. Smith met Caleb at the designated rendezvous point. Dr. Andrew Smith brought with him several men carrying powerful guns. A few of the men were carrying 12-gauge semi-automatic shotguns and 45mm assault rifles.

 

Caleb stumbled and gaped at Dr. Smith and his men. He pushed the rim of his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “What’s all this? Are we going to war, or are we going to pick flowers?” The armed men chuckled.

 

Dr. Smith scowled at him. “Do you think these people are just going to hand over these flowers? No––they are not. We need to be prepared for anything. I intend on making my anti-aging elixir, and if I have to wipe out the entire village, then that’s what I’ll do!” Dr. Smith kicked a rock lying near his feet.

 

Caleb combed his fingers through his messy hair and inhaled deeply. “These are a peaceful people.”

 

“Enough, Caleb! You have always lacked the resolve to take the necessary steps to get what you want. You’re weak! I have tried to strengthen and make a man out of you, but you continue to disappoint me!”

 

Caleb felt like his heart was on fire as he listened to the words coming from the man he loved as a father––that for all practical purposes was his father. He stared at Dr. Smith with glistening eyes. “Well, we’ll see how far you get without me and my team.” He turned to leave.

 

Dr. Smith stepped forward and grabbed his arm. “You know I can’t make the elixir without you. Please don’t do this.”

 

“No––you will never be able to extract the properties from this flower to make your precious elixir without me. So I guess there will be no anti-aging tonic for you to make millions from, will there?” Caleb shook his arm free and walked away from him.

 

Dr. Smith gestured to his men and they all pointed their guns at Caleb, who heard the click of multiple guns. He turned and stared at them with a bewildered expression. All color drained from his face.

 

“I’m sorry, my son, but this is too important. This is more vital than you or me. Think of all we could do with the essence of these flowers.”

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

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Be sure to stop by tomorrow for the next installment of The Search for the Last Flower.

What did you think of today’s episode? Please let me know in the comment section below.

The Search for the Last Flower – (Part 3)

26 Oct

I hope I’ve entertained you so far with my story, The Search for the Last Flower. Here’s the 3rd episode. If you haven’t read Part 1 or Part 2 please do so before reading this part. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

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*

During an aerial search over the Amazon Basin, Dr. Caleb Wilson discovered the existence of a previously unknown tribe. The flyover was followed by a visit to Dr. Andrew Smith, a doctor in pharmacology and microbiology, who was like a father to him. Caleb had lost his mother when he was an infant and his father when he was an adolescent. Dr. Smith, Caleb’s father’s best friend, took on the duty of parenting after the death of Caleb’s dad.

 

Dr. Caleb Wilson’s girlfriend, Clarice, had gone on a missionary trip to a remote part of the Amazon. He had not heard from her since. She was traveling with only two others: Dr. Johnson and her assistant, Dylan. Caleb thought it was a bad idea to go to such a remote part of the jungle with so few people, since small parties could easily disappear in the Amazon, but once Clarice set her mind on something, it was near impossible to change it.

 

The destination of Clarice and her party was kept secret in order to protect the tribesmen who lived there. She did not want all sorts of characters invading these people who had managed to live in secret for so long.

 

Caleb had begged and pleaded with her to give him the coordinates of where she was headed. She didn’t give him exact coordinates, but he finally managed to get a general location. Now he was afraid she might be lost or worse—hurt somewhere in the jungle. He convinced Dr. Andrew Smith to go with him on a search and rescue mission. He put together a team, and they flew out as soon as everyone was together. They landed near the area where he had spotted the mysterious tribe and set up camp.

 

Caleb did extensive research of the area, including expeditions on the ground and a study of satellite images. Certain that this was the tribe Clarice and her party had visited, he assembled a small group of men and did daily searches near the village, always being careful that he and his men did not interfere in the tribe’s daily life or activities. They had yet to set eyes on Clarice, her assistant, or the doctor.

 

They kept vigil from afar until one day, the elder of the tribe invited Caleb to join him in the village. The tribe spoke a Portuguese dialect, and since Caleb was fluent in Portuguese, it did not take him long to establish communication with them. He asked the elder many questions, including if he had seen Clarice and her party.

 

Apparently, Clarice was memorable for the elder and his tribe; her light auburn hair, pixie haircut, fair skin, and green eyes had caused a stir in the village, where all the inhabitants possessed long dark hair and some shade of brown eyes. They had never seen a white woman before, or a freckle-faced redhead.

The elder told Caleb that Clarice and her party had left after a couple of weeks to go on another mission. Caleb was relieved. He thought it strange that she didn’t call to let him know. Then again, he realized that it would not be easy to place a call from this remote part of the world.

 

After several visits, Caleb won over the tribesmen’s trust. He then began lobbying for the others to join him, assuring the elder that he would select only a small group of his finest men. Dr. Andrew Smith and a few others were chosen by Caleb to stay at the village for a while. The others would remain on the perimeter, out of the way.

 

 

*

“Are you sure that’s accurate?” Dr. Smith asked.

 

“I ran the numbers twice, and I interviewed the head of the tribe.” Caleb stared wide-eyed at him. “There are eight generations of healthy, living relatives in this tribe.”

 

“That doesn’t seem possible!” Dr. Smith walked back and forth with a mobile expression. “Who is the oldest member of this tribe? And how old is he?”

 

“The oldest person is always the head of the tribe.”

 

“But that man could not be a day over fifty, for God’s sake! How could he be the father of eight generations? At what age do these people begin producing children––at six years old?”

 

“The elder of the tribe is one hundred and forty-four years old.” Caleb wore a satisfied smile. “These people marry young and begin procreating between the ages of sixteen and eighteen.”

 

Dr. Smith stared openmouthed at the young man with the tousled blond hair, scruffy beard, and eyeglasses whose gold wire frames were too large for his facial features. He walked away shaking his head.

 

Caleb ran after him. “Andrew! I have checked the facts and interviewed nearly every member of this tribe.”

 

Dr. Smith continued walking even faster.

 

“These people are living longer, healthier lives. Ninety-year-olds look and act like thirty-year-olds!” Caleb yelled after him. “Don’t you want to know why?”

 

Dr. Smith stopped short, and Caleb ran into him. He turned and gazed at Caleb for what seemed an eternity. Caleb fidgeted and pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his nose.

 

“You’re right. It’s worth looking into. Begin by documenting what these people eat, drink, where they bathe, what plants they use for medicinal purposes, and anything else we can find out about their daily habits. If I am to believe the facts you have presented me with, then somewhere in this isolated jungle is a cure for aging.”

 

 

*

 

Caleb sat on a tree stump and observed the men and women of the tribe. There was a cool breeze that tousled his already disheveled hair. He took a deep breath and inhaled the fresh fragrances of the nearby forest. There was a wall of trees around the village. If a person were not careful, it would be possible to wander into a jungle and never be found again. During the day there was a quiet cacophony of sounds, mostly insects and birds, occasionally monkeys. Overall, this was a peaceful place. The tribesmen were friendly, active, robust people. He jotted down in his journal any new observation, peculiarity or thought while watching them go about their daily activities.

 

“Magnificent people, aren’t they?” Dr. Smith said, jolting Caleb out of his zone. “The men are powerful, and the women are beautiful. They all get along so well. They respect each other and are kind to one another.”

 

“And they put up with us snooping around.” Caleb looked straight ahead.

 

Dr. Smith looked at him sideways and chuckled. “Yes, they do.” He sat down and made himself comfortable. “It is very peaceful here.”

 

“I’d like it to remain that way.” Caleb wore a grave expression.

 

“What do you mean by that”? Dr. Smith looked puzzled.

 

Caleb cleared his throat and sat upright. “We’re at the edge of a huge discovery. I believe I know now what is keeping these people young and healthy, but I don’t want this village turned into a laboratory or the tribesmen analyzed as if in a Petri dish.”

 

Andrew’s eyebrows shot up. He got to his feet. “Well––what have you discovered?”

 

“At the end of each year, the tribe has a celebration in which they dance and feast.”

 

“What are they celebrating?”

 

“Their immortality.”

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

 

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I hope I’ve met your expectations so far. I’d love to read your thoughts in the comment section below. All the best!