The new reports came in:
"Pepsi and Coke, the nation's leading cola manufactures could have some competition…"
"They say that years went into the making of the formula…"
"And you are telling us Jim that the price is only half as the big companies?"
A gigantic new development for some soft drink company to put them on the map, in a way that the big guys would be very nervous about, and it worked. Half the dose of caffeine, twice to potency, it was called revolutionary. The energy drink market was going to be completely unhinged, which turned out to be a fitting description in the end.
"Dude, you totally need one of these more than anyone else I know! Just try it!" the stubble was glued to his face like the mouse was glued to his hand. Gaming junkies, all of them were the same, an idea that Christian was all too familiar with.
"Seriously, I will never sleep again if I ever touch one of those, and I've grown fond of it."
"Pah, you sleep way too much man. You're like the PRINCE of naps!" stubble bequeathed the title in an attempt to sell Christian. No dice.
"Hear me on this Anthony; I'm really just not going to drink that… stuff." Christian curled his upper lip like a shaving of cheese curls from the block, and followed it with a yawn that stifled the heat of the day. Which was another thing,
"And another thing, how can you dehydrate yourself like that on a day like today? It's 87 degrees outside and you might as well be syringing the water out of your body drinking those!" Christian got to "you might as well be" and Anthony tuned him out. No, Anthony drowned out the sound of his voice with his slurping. He shook his head at Anthony, and counted his blessings that he only saw the "caffeine junkie" every couple of days at his usual spots.
As previously eluded to, Christian was a nap taker. And he enjoyed spending his time in places where he could very easily take naps without being bothered. When he found one, he frequented the spot, to an extreme that the attending staff would typically be familiar with him on a first name basis. The local Library was one of his favorites, not just for the quiet atmosphere, but the staff was super friendly and understanding. At the end of the day though, truth is that the giant leather recliner in the upstairs reading area could not be beat for sleeping furniture. There was just something about the cool feel of the leather against his skin, coupled with the way the cushions engulfed his entire being that rocketed him into REM with break-neck speed.
For a literal change in scenery he would sometimes find a nice park bench, or perhaps a tree to achieve optimal slumber underneath, cradled nicely in between the roots and against the trunk. And when he was in a particularly peculiar set of mind, it was the local internet café that grabbed Christian's attention. This makes no sense what so ever, a fact that Christian, is painfully aware of. Caffeine runs rampant in a place like this, and let's not even get started on the constant chitter of fingers against keys and mouse buttons. On second thought, do lets. It's more effective than counting sheep sometimes for the Prince of the Nap. The worst of the available smorgasbord of problems and issues that accompanies such a unique nap location was running into Anthony.
Anthony and all his faux ambition of becoming a major league gamer is enough to drive anyone to insomnia. Though it may not be entirely fair to say that his ambition is unreal, just the possibility of it being achieved, yes that is more less likely. And so like every day, Anthony swilled his body disintegrating "gaming fuel" and slowly developing more forms of tumors than they will have names for long after he has perished from their complications. Or not.
It would be easy to see how gamers were targeted with this design, after all it was made by 1337 inc. Google is your friend if that is lost on you, and that is put in far more a kind word than Anthony or any of his "clan" would feed it to you. To say that they broke sales records would be something akin to saying Hercules was a pretty strong man once. The new formula inspired drink posted numbers that would make box office blockbusters blush like a school girl who's had her breast groped on her first date. 1337 Inc. was promising to become a new juggernaut in the stock market, as they almost immediately announced plans to go public.
And for the first few days, life couldn't have been sweeter for consumers and profiteers alike. It took only a week's time, and the first case was considered an isolated incident. The idea was that they didn't adhere to the warning on the side of the can. That suggestion coerced more people, including the store chains that had deals with 1337, to read the side of the can. After which time, the number of adults who reported to have shit their pants once in their post toddler years on a later posted survey from one of those social networking places increased by more than 85%.
The drink was not FDA approved.
The answer was the worst possible decision for any who made it, get it off of the shelf immediately. The situation was only dire in one place, in one city. The store clerk was put into the local ICU by the "disgruntled" man who inquired as to the location of his "drink."
The news reports came in again:
"The man apparently screamed, reportedly like an animal growling…"
"Tore pieces of the clerks flesh from his body with his bare hands…"
"Quoted just before his mental breakdown as begging for just one sip…"
"The grisly seen we are told is too graphic to put up on your television…"
"Members of the victims family are asking for donations for the necessary surgery to put their loved one, literally, back together…"
"On August 17th, just a week after the new drink released by 1337 INC has been released; we are now being told that the city will be quarantined. You have until Noon to gather your essentials and evacuate via the designated places. There will be testing facilities, so the authorities are asking that you remain patient during the process. Good luck, and god bless."
Sometimes Christian just didn't get out of bed altogether. And on August 17th, just a week after the new drink released by 1337 INC had been released; Christian chose to take the day. It was about time to just, listen to music, catch up on some TV, and perhaps go for a run if it seemed the idea. He looked at his alarm clock that he didn't need to set because of his extended vacation.
"Bah, 11:45 in the morning," With that he rolled over, away from time and the idea of waking before two or three in the afternoon. Yes, the late afternoon would be a good time for "productivity" as far as that concept reached on a day like today.
Noon came, and passed, and Christian slept peacefully. The city was locked down, to keep the affected grouped together, so as not to allow any further attacks on the public. And Christian slept peacefully. Many basic services had been discontinued within the city borders, so that people didn't need to pay for utilities and the like that they weren't using while away and safe. And Christian slept peacefully. Elisha called him repeatedly for at least an hour, consistently being forwarded to his automated voice message system.
"You know I'm sleeping if I didn't answer, so leave a message on how to get back to you and when I wake up, that will probably happen."
"Christian damn it! I hope you made it out of the city before they closed the gates, please call me back!" She hung up, beyond frustrated, and a bit further removed from sanity by her complete fear. Something cold and horrible deep in the pit of her stomach told her that the boy that she loved so horribly and completely had not made it out, and was trapped inside with miles of people who had become mentally unhinged. She had heard the news reports of the poor man who had been torn apart by one of the crazy people, and that was a day ago. Who is to say how all of their conditions had deteriorated since then? She hit the redial on her cell phone, listened to his voice again, call it for good measure. Everything inside of her told her that he was still in his bed, and sunset was coming fast.
Elisha was overcome by her fear, and vomited onto the street.
And Christian slept peacefully.