The young man who disturbed her earlier greeted the judges. His warm greeting gained a smile from the judges. Dr. Stemajojuaishe was was quietly watching from the corner of her eyes smirked and made a remark that only her nose heard.
“A bright smile equates a dull mind.”
She watched as the young man demonstrated the mechanical ball turned into a camera, a video and sound recorder while floating in mid air. While the judges and the small crowd exclaimed delight and fascination, Dr. Stemajojuaishe shook her head.
“I did that before too. Way, way before I even started my elementary years. It was so easy then, what could be so unique about that?”
Then the judges turned to her side. She gave them a curt nod and a small smile. The judges were familiar with her reputation. They respected and feared her at the same time.
“A pleasant morning Doctor! We hope it won’t be bothersome if you show us your latest invention.”
A former colleague of hers spoke.
“Oh please not at all. It’s quite simple really.”
She swiftly reached for the small, pink vial. She flashed the bottle before them.
“This itsy, little bottle, ladies and gentlemen, contains a substance man dreamed possible. This will give you a lifetime of youth and beauty.”
A loud murmur emitted from the crowd as they grew curiouser and curiouser.
“This is the Vial of Youth. This, my friends, is the ultimate fountain of youth!”
A loud gasp of disbelief and wonder came from the crowd.
“Doctor, can you prove it?”
Her longtime adversary, Dr. Luther, challenged her.
“But of course Dr. Luther! That is why I’m here.”
She slowly opened the vial and inhaled its scent. She lifted the vial to the audience as if in a toast and was about to place it on her lips when Dr. Luther’s booming voice came out.
“Hold it! May I try it doctor? I trust that I’m in good hands.”
A smile of satisfaction and pride crossed her lips.
“Yes, you may.”
She handed the vial carefully to Dr. Luther’s hands.
“Just a drop or two will do.”
Dr. Luther lifted the vial to the crowd and said, “The Vial of Youth. Many thanks to Dr. Stemajojuaishe for my future, everlasting beauty.”
The crowd laughed and watched as he slowly dropped the pink liquid twice into his mouth. The crowd waited excitedly and anxiously. Dr. Stemajojuaishe watched confidently as Dr. Luther placed the vial on the table.
“Well Dr. S, I can’t seem to feel any changes. Are my wrinkles gone?”
The crowd laughed again.
“Dr. Luther, you’re an impatient man. Just a few seconds and you’ll have to thank me again.”
Dr. Luther gave a smirk and suddenly clutched his throat in shock. In horror and disbelief, the crowd watched as one, two, and three teeth fell from his mouth and his gums started bleeding. Dr. Luther shouted and pointed at the inventor.
“Doctor! What have you done to me?”
When his skin started shrinking on his forehead, paramedics who were standing by rapidly rushed to his side. Dr. Stemajojuaishe seemed glued on her feet as she watched in terror and shame her greatest work failing her. The crowd stared at her with contempt, fear and judgment. The young man who talked to her earlier looked at her with pity. When somebody started thinking of calling the authorities, Dr. Stemajojuaishe quickly gathered the vial and her bag forgetting the rest of her tools and started for the exit.
When she saw the police car outside, she hurriedly crossed to the other side of the museum for the back door. She was again faced with the hateful crowd. She was almost drowned by the crowd when somebody pulled her arm and led led her to the back door. It was the young man.
“Doctor, follow me!”
After a split second hesitation, she followed him. When they reached her car, she turned to him.
“Why are you helping me?”
He just shrugged.
“I don’t know…Because I want to.”
She slid inside her car and said, ” Whatever. Thanks.”
“No problem doctor. Just go. Now.”
She drove home. Her home was in a place nobody knew where. While driving her car, thoughts of confusion and anger drove her mind. This contest was supposed ti make her the most coveted scientist in the world. With this disaster, she vowed to come back and make every one present pay for her shame. She trampled her feet heavily and carried her bag back into her home lab. Tears competed to fall on her cheeks. She remembered the stares of those hideous people. She walked and walked with growing speed.