A note: This one is a bit weird, if I'm being honest.
It starts off simply enough. A tickle in the back of the throat, the urge to cough leading to spluttering. The coughing becomes more violent, becomes a dry heaving from deep in the gut. The victim no longer feels able to take a proper breath, so preoccupied with their body trying to reject the poison from their system they can only take quick, unsatisfactory gasps.
This takes place in under 30 minutes from exposure; the tickle is originally the tiny capsule that catches in the throat as it is unknowingly swallowed along with the hot drink that has activated it. Within 50 minutes the person’s body has expelled all of its fluids, victims still trying to choke in air, blood pouring from every orifice. 52 minutes and they are dead.
The unscrupulous of the world have placed capsules in random packets of tea, coffee and hot chocolate. Few and far enough in between to cause widespread panic and attempts at banning these drinks. People will not be deterred. Kettles no longer boil water, keeping the temperature below 85 degrees to prevent activation. Hot drinks are now kept behind the counter and monitored heavily from harvest to shop counter.
That doesn’t prevent it being used, just that the kill is more personal, better planned. Water must be boiled in illegal kettles, a distraction must be provided with the particularly paranoid. Most don’t believe their husband, wife, lover or even friend may kill them so aren’t watching very carefully when that rare offer of tea comes around.
Tea was communal in the old days, a gathering of souls with a few chocolate biscuits on the side. Now it’s like taking your life into your own hands. Can you trust the person making the tea?
Tales written from a prompt in just 10 minutes.
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