A Coldly Calculating: Prompt for Our Write Side~”Cheap at Half the Price”

Write a story 700 words or less answering the challenge.

Cheap at Half the Price


Image © Copyright John and Margaret ~ All rights reserved


by John Yeo

    Cecil Wharton, held his audience spellbound with a smooth flow of well-rehearsed patter.

   “Hi, everyone! The drinks are on me! Business is booming! Sales have gone through the roof. Our products are beginning to be recognised everywhere. Step forward and enjoy a glass of this fabulous tonic and cure-all. We guarantee you will not only feel better physically, your bank balance will swell. Join our successful team, we will show you the way to enhance both your health and your bank balance.”

   These encouraging words were inwardly digested by Coral and Doris; both married with young families, this was a situation neither of the two friends had ever experienced before. Immersed in a world of friendliness and positivity, they were introduced to some high-powered successful people and made to feel special.  Doris and Coral were fired up, excited, they soon signed up to become entrepreneurs, with this successful company. They began to start taking orders from their friends and acquaintances. Business soon boomed, with an impressive turnover, although there was a negative reaction from several customers regarding the beneficial effect and the complaint that prices were too high.

Coral’s Aunt Bessie, was very vocal in her unhappiness with the price, and flatly refused to have anything to do with this elixir.

 Coral was an attractive young lady who made friends easily and was soon successfully selling high levels of the product. Coral was invited to five-star hotels to attend conferences and introduced to many successful employees.

 One fateful day, Coral was attending a sales meeting at a venue, not far from Aunt Bessie’s home, and she called in to see her unexpectedly.

“Hello! Aunt, I am working nearby and I thought I would drop in and visit, to see how you are getting along.” Coral said; smiling, as she hugged her Aunt.

 “I’m fine Coral, except for my aches and pains, this arthritis is always painful and I can’t seem to shift it whatever I do.”

   “Aunt Bessie! I know you won’t believe me but I have just the thing for your painful arthritis, we have a new product that will ease your pains.”

 “Now Coral, you know I can’t afford the high prices your firm charges for their products and I don’t believe in them anyway!”

“Aunt Bessie: I insist, I want you to try this elixir. I will pay the cost and you will feel tons better. Here take these two Bottles, follow the directions and I am sure you will ask for more as you begin to feel the effects of a pain-free life. Just take one tablespoonful a day.

The afternoon passed swiftly before Coral had to leave to get back to the conference.

“Goodbye, Auntie Bessie! Let me know how you are getting along with the elixir, OK!”

 “Goodbye, Coral, I’ll give it a try, if it gets rid of these horrible pains it will be cheap at half the price!”

Coral was in New York, when she heard the news, the firm she had been employed by was wound up, due to a number of unexplained deaths linked to their products. The Managing Director was facing charges of criminal negligence.

 Horrified, Coral boarded an aeroplane and was soon knocking hard on the door to Aunt Bessie’s home. A neighbour asked if she could help.

Coral nervously said, “Yes I am trying to contact my Aunt Bessie.”

 “I know where she is darling, always so kind and good-hearted, several of them went at the same time, all ladies of the church!”

  “Where?” Screamed Coral! Now very nervous and upset. “What happened? When?”

  “Don’t worry love, she’s fine, they all went on a church pilgrimage, I can give you a contact number if you like,” said the neighbour.

  “Yes, please! it is very important, I need to speak to her!”

A few minutes later Coral shakily dialed the number and got through to her Aunt Bessie. “Auntie, you remember that elixir I gave you, please stop taking it. I will explain fully when I see you! Don’t take any more at all!”

“Oh! Don’t worry darling, I flushed it all down the toilet. I don’t trust things that I don’t know anything about.


Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved


Cheap at Half the Price