Kaylee, Age 10, Perth, WA, Australia
Marvolo Marple walked slowly home from school with his best friend, Steven Pitt. They came across a sign taped to an old tree branch. It read: ‘LOST- JAYDEN RIDDLE. $500 REWARDED FOR CAPTURE. LAST SEEN NEAR DR. PILLAR’S PILL HOUSE.’
“Apparently Jayden’s parents are really upset and worried,” Steven commented. “I mean, we all know that he wasn’t the brightest. Who knows where he could be.”
“Dr. Pillar’s Pill House,” Marvolo repeated, looking hard at the sign for some hint of a clue. But none came.
“Let’s go,” he said, heading in that direction.
“Are you mad?” Steven answered. “I don’t know about you, but I’d like to stick around for a while,” he said sarcastically.
The reason he said that was he obviously knew the legend of Dr. Pillar’s factory. No one knew what was inside it, but legend said that Dr. Pillar was a mad man that was crazily trying to make money, shattering laws into bits and pieces along the way. The only reason he came out of his factory was to work at his shop, which sold…You guessed it! Pills.
He sold one type of pill only at a time. Every month he put out a new pill. At the moment it was a stomach pill. All different types of cures for a stomach ache.
Marvolo followed the path that led to Dr. Pillar’s shop. He couldn’t believe that Steven had bailed on him. Once he got to the shop, he stood around for a while, thinking up a plan. He decided to look around until the shop closed to maximize his search for clues as much as possible.
Then tomorrow, he would come back, and using the clues he found today, search for Jayden. Everyone would know him. He would be famous! More importantly, he’d have $500! Imagine what wonders he could buy! Marvolo started to look around the outside of the Pill House.
The old, rickety shop showed no sign of a hint or clue from the outside so he stepped into Dr. Pillar’s Pill House. A tiny bell rang as he closed the squeaky wooden door. He’d never seen any shop like this before; Marvolo gasped in surprise. Across about ten aisles were shelves stocked with dozens upon dozens of miniature bottles of pills for stomachs.
Each bottle had its own little label, and the bottles themselves were each filled with different coloured pills that were all fleuro. There was fleuro pink, green, purple, orange; they even had a fleuro blue and brown!
Marvolo’s eyes were so transfixed onto all these minute pills that he forgot all about his mission. He was the only one in the shop and so, eventually, he went home. He wondered why Dr. Pillar’s business was so unpopular. Maybe none of the cures worked.
Then he remembered his mission. He swore to himself that he would never let himself get sidetracked again. He would come back tomorrow and search properly for clues. Marvolo realized he could possibly get a lot of information about Dr. Pillar from his mom. She went shopping lots. Maybe she even knew valuable stuff about Jayden! Marvolo ran the rest of the way home. He found his mother in the kitchen, chopping vegetables for dinner.
“Hey, Mom, you wouldn’t happen to know anything about Dr. Pillar, would you?” He paused.
“Yeah, of course I know him!” she replied. “He is really nice guy. A bit strange, though”.
“What about Jayden’s disappearance?” he said.
“Look, we all know the Riddles are a bit…weird,” she answered finally.
“So you’re not worried at all that these disappearances are starting to lead up to the same conclusion?”
“If this has something to do with Dr. Pillar, I already told you, he is a nice man”.
“Do you think it could have to do with his pills?” Marvolo questioned his mother.
“His pills are fine,” she said, turning back to her vegetables.
“Have you ever had one?” he replied immediately. She didn’t answer but seemed to be cutting the cucumber with unnecessary force.
Then Marvolo had an idea. He walked into the den and picked up the phone. He dialed Jayden’s house number and waited. Mrs. Riddle answered.
“Hello?” she said.
“Hi, Mrs. Riddle. It’s Marvolo speaking. Do you happen to remember if you gave Jayden any pills before….” His voice trailed off.
She told him that Mr. Riddle had given him a pill that he was personally given by Dr. Pillar free of change. Feeling sick, Marvolo hung up the phone and walked in slow motion up to his room. Everything was falling into place. He just needed to confirm his theory.
His theory was basically just the rumour. He did believe in it. But that wasn’t going to stop him from finding Jayden and getting $500.
The next day Steven had a stomach ache, so Marvolo stayed with him at his house while their parents went out shopping as usual. Marvolo told Steven all that he knew. “I’m just glad we’re on the same page,” Steven replied.
Later that day, when their parents were back, Marvolo went home to study for his history final. But a nagging worry distracted him. What if when Mrs. Riddle went shopping and she bought stomach pills for Steven? Stomach pills from Dr. Pillar? He ran downstairs and consulted his mother. “Mom,” he said through gritted teeth. “Did you go to Dr. Pillar’s Pill House today?”
“Of course we did. Mrs. Riddle had to get pills for Steven,” she answered nonchalantly.
“Did she happen to tell you when she’d be giving him pills?” he asked nervously.
“She said she would be giving them to him straight away.” Once again Marvolo walked into the den, but this time he phoned Steven. He asked him if he had taken any tablets or pills lately. He said he had taken three pills.
He said his mother told him that they take five hours to take effect. He took the pills four hours ago. Marvolo couldn’t bring himself to tell him what pills he had taken. He just couldn’t. He laughed weakly while Steven made some pathetic jokes.
Then Marvolo made an excuse to leave the phone and headed to his room, shaking with fury. That’s why he wasn’t thinking straight when he decided that tomorrow, no matter what, he was going to follow Dr. Pillar to his shop and wait until it closes.
Then he would follow him back to his factory and unleash the horrors within. He knew whatever he would discover would probably be highly dangerous and definitely illegal. Scared about the upcoming event, Marvolo turned off his light and got into bed. He lay there awake for ages staring at the wall. He managed to finally drift off to sleep an hour later.
Marvolo was running through the factory at top speed, his heart beating out of his chest. His adrenaline was going at 100km an hour. Dr. Pillar was close on his tail and was quickly closing the gap. Closer. Closer. He could feel Dr. Pillar’s hot breath on his neck.
Then suddenly, Dr. Pillar reached out a shriveled hand and….
Marvolo sat up in his bed gasping for breath. He was sitting in a pool of sweat. He looked at the clock on his wall. 5:35. He yawed and fell back on his pillows. Eventually, he got up strength and went downstairs.
Even more nervous now having had that dream, Marvolo spilled half of his cereal. So he gave up the food idea and went to Steven’s house to check his theory. But before he left, he told his mother where he was going.
“Oh, about that” she started. “Mrs. Pitt called me last night. He seems to have gone missing about an hour after he spoke to you”. Without thinking, Marvolo took off, heading for Dr. Pillar’s factory.
He grabbed his bike from the garage and pedaled as fast as he could, not stopping to think or plan on what to do. He soon approached the brick factory.
Smoke was coming out of the chimney, making grey clouds. The wind was blowing hard against the window panels and the last bit of paint seemed to have peeled off years ago. The old oak tree was banging against the side of the door.
Marvolo waited on the other side of the street for Dr. Pillar to come out of his factory to go to work. After some time, Dr. Pillar emerged from the building looking flustered.
Dr. Pillar wore a black bowler hat with brown pants and a black shirt. He had a leather jacket and matching shoes.
As Dr. Pillar revved up the engine on his Commodore International, Marvolo started cycling, making sure to keep a good ten metres behind him. Then he realized. The factory was empty! He might as well look in it now.
So Marvolo lagged behind, hiding behind the oak tree. Once the car was out of sight, he put his bike against the tree and opened the door to the old factory.
He gasped loudly. Just like his shop, Dr. Pillar’s factory was absolutely filled with hundreds upon hundreds of bottles of pills. “Wow!” Marvolo said as he saw all the labels on the bottles. There were headache pills, stomach pills, smart pills, happy pills and tons more.
“Are you enjoying looking at my factory?” a voice behind him said menacingly. Marvolo froze. He could smell Dr. Pillar’s rusty old breath hot on his neck. He was dead meat. There was no way to escape. He turned around to face his doom.
There Dr. Pillar stood, leering a toothy grin at Marvolo. “But, you just left for your shop!” he said nervously.
“Let me tell you a story,” Dr. Pillar replied. “Ten years ago, I made up the idea of this factory. I needed money, so I broke into this house and turned it into this factory.”
“I started inventing. I invented all sorts of pills. But I soon became too busy, so I hired someone to run my shop. He would pretend to be me. He would act like me. Dress like me. But he started to go crazy. He truly turned into me.” Dr. Pillar’s voice was getting high and shrill.
“The fake me started selling unauthorized pills secretly. He started selling pills off the streets. People started realizing that there was something wrong with the pills, so they turned him into the government and got him locked up”.
“But I was still too busy to run the factory and the shop on my own, so I broke into jail and brought the fake me here. He continued to work for me selling illegal pills”. Dr. Pillar grinned like a mad man.
“What happened to the people who took the unauthorized pills?” Marvolo said eagerly, wanting to know more.
“They turned into all sorts of creatures: monkeys, hyenas, frogs, locusts.”
“Which pills were unauthorized?” Marvolo asked in awe.
“The headache, stomach and smart ones mostly. And now I think you know enough. I shall put a memory charm on you and you shall leave.” Before Marvolo could reply, Dr. Pillar yelled “Memorian Lossaned!!!”
“You can go now,” some strange guy said. Marvolo obeyed and walked home. He had a really bad headache, so his mother gave him three pills. She told him they take five hours to have an effect.
And that is the end of the story. I, Marvolo, now spend my days in ponds on leaves. I spend time with Steven and Jayden. That is right, I am a frog and Steven and Jayden are locusts.
This page was last updated on July 08, 2012 by the KIWW Webmaster.