Tag Archives: drugs

Little Black Pill. Short Story.

Chad poured whiskey into the coffee mug, filling it about half way, he poured a mouthful into his own mug, then he put the lid on the bottle and put it onto the table. He pulled a small baggie from his pocket, a single black pill sat inside it.
“Is that it?”
Chad nodded, “Yeah dude, you ready?”
Frank took a deep breath then exhaled slowly “yeah, lets do it.”
Chad opened the baggie and fished out the pill, then he dropped it into the mug and passed it to Frank. “Should I just drink it here or?”
Chad looked around the small kitchen, pots and pans were stacked in the sink, covered in stagnant water and moulding food, grime coated the linoleum floor which was a dark grey with various stains splattered across it. The table they sat at was rickety and though it looked reasonably clean it felt slightly sticky. The walls and ceiling were stained yellow and a thick stench of old smoke and burnt food hung in the air.
“Maybe the sitting room would be better, the couch would be more comfortable.”

They stood and moved out of the small kitchen and entered the sitting room, it was cleaner than the kitchen though not by much. Empty pizza boxes and Chinese food containers were scattered across the floor, as were mostly empty cans and beer bottles. The sitting room was small, with just enough room for the thread worn and sagging sofa, a squat coffee table sat in front of it, covered in wrappers and glasses, the few bits of the table that could be seen was covered in scorch marks and burns. Frank collapsed back onto the couch and turned on the massive flat screen TV that took up most of the wall in front of the couch. Chad sat down delicately, he sunk into the couch immediately, he tried not to show his disgust, he’d only been here for ten minutes and he felt like he needed a shower, long and hot with plenty of scrubbing to get the grime off his skin. Frank reached out and took the mug from Chad, he raised it in a salute then knocked it back, his Adams apple bobbing as he drained it. When he finished he coughed for a moment, eyes watering. Chad took a sip of his own drink, enjoying the warmth as it burned its way down his throat, he let out a short cough of his own.
“How long should this take?”
“Any second now.”
As Chad watched Frank’s eyes started to close, his pupils were dilating and a faint grin appeared. “Just relax into it.” Frank didn’t move, he couldn’t hear Chad any more. Chad extracted himself from the couch and downed the last of his drink before turning and leaving the sitting room. He let himself out the front door and breathed deeply, the air was thick with heat and the stench of burnt plastic and petrol but it still smelled better than Frank’s place. As he walked away from the house he pulled out his phone and dialled, the call was answered almost immediately. “I’m out, gave the last one away, I’ll need more as soon as possible.”
“More will be at the usual place in an hour.”
Frank hung up and smiled, he’d gotten rid of all the pills in only a week when they’d given him a month. As word was spreading he didn’t even have to look for customers, they just came to him the only problem was it could only be taken once, after that it just wouldn’t do anything. Chad himself hadn’t taken any and he had no plans to, that was the only rule they gave him, never sample the merchandise, everything else was fair game and he should just do what he had to do. He’d a growing suspicion that there was something else happening with the pills but he didn’t care, once he didn’t take them he’d be fine.

Frank started shuddering, his body spasming uncontrollably, he fell still then started vomiting, a thick black sludge that oozed across the filthy carpet. Frank moaned, his breathing was shallow and fast, his skin pale and clammy, it wasn’t like they said it would be, he could feel an intense pain ripping through his stomach. He moaned and writhed for almost an hour before he finally passed out, drenched in sweat and sitting in a pool of the black sludge. When he woke four hours later he felt great, shakily he stood using the table to push himself up, the thick sludge had hardened into a black shell that cracked and flaked from him as he moved. He stretched slowly, getting used to his muscles, he felt strange, off. He stumbled from the sitting room and up the stairs, leaning heavily on the bannister as he went. Upstairs he stripped off his clothes and got into the shower, carefully scrubbing that black stuff from his skin.

After his shower he felt remarkably good, everything seemed different, new, he could see it all with a whole new perspective. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and frowned, something was different, but he could quite pinpoint what. He started for a moment, then grinned at himself, he turned and left the bathroom, towel wrapped around his waist. The tiny wriggling worms in his eye disappeared a moment later, their thin black bodies burrowing deeper, they’d a job to do and nothing would stop them.

Seeing is Believing. Short Story.

Greg looked at the cigarette on the table, it looked so innocuous. He picked it up and after a few calming breaths, lit it and took a drag. He started coughing almost immediately, he grabbed his glass of water and took a sip, after the coughing had eased a bit he took another puff. He exhaled slowly, this time it didn’t burn as much. The taste of the smoke was pleasant, it brought a sweet tang with it and a smooth after taste. She had told him it was an easy smoke, but he hadn’t quite believed it. His friend Denise had managed to score it for him and she refused to say exactly where or how she had gotten it, only saying that it was intense.

Greg looked around the room, he didn’t feel different and everything looked the same. He had finished off the joint about ten minutes ago, surely he’d be feeling something by now? He stood from the couch and went over to the window, he looked down at the crowded street. Was there something going on today? Normally at this time the street was empty. Maybe a festival or a protest? There had been a lot of protests lately and he had never bothered to keep track of them. After a moment Greg grabbed his jacket and headed out the door. Denise had told him it would be fairly fast acting, maybe he just needed a bit of exercise and fresh air to get things going. There was a park nearby, large and open, it was always a good place to sit around in for a few hours.

Greg paused in the lobby, the crowds looked even denser from here. They didn’t seem to be protesting anything, in fact they didn’t seem to be making much noise at all. The people outside trudged past the windows, there was no sense of direction to the crowd, it was like everyone was just milling about. One of the people looked in and Greg froze. The mans eyes were blank, his mouth slack, it looked as though something was pulling the skin of his entire face downward, making it saggy. His eyes moved over Greg without seeing him and the man continued on. Greg’s heart began to beat faster, they all looked like that, dead, soulless eyes staring at nothing. He took a step backwards, then yelped as his back hit the cold doors of the elevator. He released a slow breath, it was just in his head, that was all. The drugs were kicking in and things were just a little freaky. The people outside were probably just on their way to lunch or something and his mind was filling in the rest.

Greg stepped outside into the cool air. None of the people seemed to notice him, they continued in their aimless walking. Greg started walking, he wanted to get to the park now, it was a nice, sunny day and the open space of the park was exactly what he needed. He started to duck and weave his way through the crowd, he got about fifty feet before he noticed that he hadn’t bumped into anyone. Everyone was moving about aimlessly, but they all seemed to avoid him, no matter how close they got, they never actually touched him. He began to walk in a straight line, the crowd subtly parting for him. As he walked he began to notice that they were all wearing odd clothes. Some were in business suits, others were in short and t-shirts, while others still were wearing pyjamas and hospital gowns and a few even looked to be dressed up in old timey costumes. Maybe there was a convention going on somewhere, wouldn’t be the first time he’d seen people in some crazy costumes walking about the place.

The park was just as busy as the street, the crowd seemed to have doubled in size, despite the park being large it seemed as if it was completely full. As he entered the gate there was a woman stretching, she looked like she was getting ready for a jog, “Man, busy day here isn’t it?”
The woman glanced around, “Uh yeah, I guess. I thought it was the same as always.” She turned away from him and continued her stretching. Greg moved deeper into the park.

He found a clear bench and sat down, the people around him were tightly packed, but he noticed no one seemed to be bumping into each other. He heard a bunch of ducks take flight from the pond, he watched them climb into the sky for a moment, then looked around again. How could he have heard them? The pond was about fifty feet away and with this many people the dull roar of the crowd should have been deafening, but it wasn’t. He couldn’t hear any of them, they moved silently and he had yet to see or hear one talk. He felt a chill race through his body. It was just the drugs, that was all. He studied the faces of those closest to him, now that he was sure they were just a hallucination he felt no guilt in staring. The only thing these people had in common were that they all seemed incredibly miserable. Not one of them smiled, they all just plodded along. Whenever he made eye contact with one he felt his stomach sink. There was something awful about those eyes, like every bad thought and feeling he had ever had were radiating from them. Nearby one of the people stumbled and seemed to fall, she wore an old style dress, it made him think of Victorian London, the crowd as a whole stopped for a brief second before they all turned as one and they attacked her. Her mouth opened in a silent scream as those closest began to tear at her dress, at her flesh. Before he had time to react the woman had been torn apart, those closest to her were coated in her blood. They closed their eyes for a moment and seemed to sigh, the blood slowly faded from their skin and then it was all over. The crowd went back to their aimless wandering. Shaking, Greg stood, he couldn’t deal with this, it was too much, far far too much. He started walking quickly, head down and looking at the pavement. He didn’t want to see anything like that again.

Greg sat on his couch, arms wrapped around a cushion. He just wanted things to go back to normal, for this to end. Every so often he would stand and peek out the window to see if the crowd was still there, they were.

When the drugs had finally worn off and the people vanished he picked up his phone and rang Denise.
“What the hell?”
“You’ve smoked it then?”
“Yeah, I did, what the hell was that stuff? It was so weird.”
“You saw them too? The people?”
“Yeah and that was all I saw, there was nothing else, didn’t even feel giggly or anything. I saw them tear a woman apart out there. It was disgusting. What the hell was it?”
“I’m sorry. I needed to know that I wasn’t crazy, that it wasn’t a lie.”
“What are you talking about?”
“The people that you saw, what were they like?”
“I don’t know, they just kind of wandered, they’d blank faces and dead eyes.”
Denise sighed, “The guy who gave it to me told me it would allow me to see the dead, what was in store for us once we died.”
“Wait what?”
“I’m sorry. I had to know if those things were real. That they weren’t just a hallucination. Those people out there, they’re always there we just cant see them. That’s what is waiting for us on the other side.”
Denise hung up, Greg lowered his phone. He looked out the window, down at the empty street that hours ago had been filled to capacity and he felt a cold pit of dread from in his stomach.

Oracles. Short Story.

Happy St. Patrick day! Hope everyone has a good day!

I’m not up to much today, just going to have a relaxed one. I always find Paddy’s day can be a bit stressful, town is always packed and it’s a hassle trying to get in and finding somewhere to go. Really you just spend most of the day walking around looking for somewhere that isn’t packed so you can go drinking there and trying not to lose everyone on the way.

I’m also super aware that the above makes me sound old, but it’s not that, it really isn’t. I’m just really lazy and unsociable. Wait. That’s worse. Let’s just go with the getting old thing instead!
______________________________________________________________

“How are you this morning sweetheart?” Angela walked into the dark room, it stunk of sweat and fever, beneath it was a faintly sweet, spicy aroma. The girl lying on the bed groaned slightly, her skin was coated in a thin sheen of sweat, strands of dark hair clung to her face. Angela gently pulled back the curtains, allowing some light into the room, the girl groaned and rolled away from the light. Angela opened the window slightly and a cool breeze entered. Angela went to the small table, the girls morning tray was already there, carefully she picked up the glass and brought it over. “Here, drink this, it will help” Angela held the girls head up slightly while the girl took slow, careful sips. Even though she knew it was for the greater good it was sometimes hard for Angela to look at the oracles, with their gaunt faces and staring, black eyes. The girl finished the drink and sighed in relief. “Better?”
“Much. I can think again. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. When you’re ready let me know and we’ll go and get you cleaned up.”
“I think I’m ok to stand.” Angela helped the young girl from her bed and together they made their way to the cleaning rooms.

Already the rooms were full of men and women preparing for the day, most of them stood in sprays of water or rested in warm baths while their caretakers scurried around the room. Most caretakers had a few charges to look after, Angela was lucky in that she only had to care for Serena, after all she was the strongest of them all.

Once Serena had bathed she felt almost human, the shakes were mostly gone at this point, though the doses she had been given were just to level her off she was already craving more. That was the worst of it all, the constant need. Once she was dressed in a light cotton robe Serena was brought to her room. “Are there many today?”
“No, they wanted to give you a bit of a rest after last week.”
“Yes, that was a busy one.” Serena frowned, “I feel like I’m on the edge of something, some knowledge. I think maybe I should take the usual doses today, just in case.”
Angela smiled and shook her head, “I’m sorry, I can’t get any more. I will ask though, they may make an exception.”
“Thank you.”
They both knew there would be no exception, there never was. Angela donned the thick, heavy gloves and went to the small cubby, there she removed the small pot of God’s Eye and brought it to the table. Serena removed the lid and instantly the room was filled with the tantalizingly sweet fragrance, the scent of it alone made Angela feel a bit light headed. Serena picked up a good pinch and carefully put it into her mouth. She chewed for a moment, almost moaning as the flavours danced across her tongue, then she swallowed. Angela carefully closed up the pot and put it back into its cupboard which she locked. When Angela turned back Serena was slumped over the table, after a moment she sat up again with a dazed grin. “Oh Angela, it’s so beautiful, you’re surrounded by a golden light. Good things are coming.”
Angela gave her a small, tight smile, “Please don’t do that. I’ve asked you this before.”
Serena’s face dropped, “I’m so sorry, I forgot, it was just so overwhelming. I’m so sorry” tears started to well in her eyes, “Can you ever forgive me?”
Angela smile grew a little more, “of course I do. Always.”

A man entered the room, Angela didn’t look at him, nor did Serena, “I’ll be back to give you your next dose later. Ok? If you need anything, just let Christopher know.” Angela left the room, suppressing a shiver as she passed Christopher. She hated his presence, that dead look on his face. He was one of the blank slates, completely clear of destiny or fate, whose only job was to protect the oracles without distracting from their predictions.

Angela changed the sheets in Serena’s room and opened both the window and the curtains wider to clear out some of the smell. The girl didn’t have much longer left, maybe a year if she was lucky, then the God’s Eye would finally destroy her mind. Addictive and destructive, seeing the future required a price to be paid and that price was life. People came from all over the world to talk to the oracles, where else could they find a direct line to the gods? When she had first started working at the House of Destiny she believed that it was all done for the greater good, but after ten years she saw what it really was, a machine that would chew up young boys and girls and spit out their corpses. Not everyone was blessed with the second sight, but the only way to truly access it was through the God’s Eye, without it predictions were vague and almost useless, but with it everything was clear.

Angela half walked, half carried Serena towards her room, Serena was giggling to herself as she stumbled down the hall. Angela carefully tucked her into her bed and smoothed some hair from her forehead. “You have a good nights sleep, rest and I’ll see you in the morning.” Serena’s hand shot out and grabbed Angela’s, “Stay with me until I fall asleep, please.” Angela sat on the edge of the bed and smiled down at her, “of course sweetheart, I won’t go anywhere if you don’t want me to.” As Angela watched Serena’s breathing slowed, her chest rising and falling softly, carefully Angela let go of her hand and snuck out of the room, gently closing the door behind herself.

To Another World.

“And you’re sure it’s safe?”
“Life is full of risks honey, there’s no guarantee. It does what it does.”
Josie looked at the small plastic baggie, it was filled with a brownish powder, excitement was bubbling up in her chest, “keep it moving.” Josie jumped and scurried away from the woman. It had cost her a lot of money, but if the rumours had any truth to them it was well worth it. Some new kind of psychotropic drug that would strip away everything layer by layer and show her who she truly was. The experience sounded intense, but she had found heard nothing but positives about it, both through friends and online.

Josie did a final sweep of her apartment, making sure everything was clean. She had left out some water and snacks for herself on the table, apparently some people got the munchies while waiting for everything to kick off. She had compiled a playlist of relaxing music to listen to and was ready to just relax and experience it. Standing in the kitchen she carefully poured the contents of the baggie into a small glass of water, apparently it tasted horrific and this was one of the easier ways to take it. Beside the glass of water was a glass of coke, ready to help wash the taste out of her mouth. Josie poured the brown powder into the water and gave it a quick stir, she took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, then picked up the glass and downed it. The taste was worse than she could have imagined, like ear wax and chemicals, harsh and bitter. Grimacing, she grabbed the coke and took a swig, it did nothing but add a layer of sweetness to the taste, her stomach clenched and the nausea hit, at least it had been expected. Josie took another sip of her coke and concentrated on her breathing, the nausea was supposed to pass in a few minutes.

Josie sat onto the couch, the nausea had gone, now she just had to wait. She picked up the bowl of fruit and grabbed a strawberry, she was starting to feel a bit hungry. She took a bite, but instead of sweetness, a bitter, acrid taste filled her mouth, Josie spit out the lump of strawberry, there was something off about it, wrong. She picked it up and looked at it closely, it looked like any other strawberry, though partially chewed. She reached into the bowl and grabbed a grape, she popped it into her mouth and bit down, the grape burst, flooding her mouth with juice. Instantly she spat it out, the taste of rot and dirt coated her tongue, she grabbed a glass of water and quickly took a drink. She was still hungry, but food seemed to be out, the powder must have done something to her taste buds. She hadn’t read about that, but it wasn’t too concerning, no doubt it was like brushing your teeth, after a while flavours would go back to normal.

Josie was feeling something, though she wasn’t quite sure what. It wasn’t intense, but it was subtle, a general lifting of her mood and things seemed to be swaying ever so slightly. Josie settled back into the couch and let herself by carried away.

Josie yawned, she rubbed at her eyes and with one had she wiped the drool from her mouth. The journey had been intense, more so than she had expected, she looked down at her hand and saw a bright red streak. They warned her about the blood. Josie stood and walked to the kitchen, her legs were shaky and unsteady, as she went she kept one hand on the wall for balance. In the kitchen she carefully poured a glass of water and sipped it, it was delicious, better than anything she had ever drank. Josie looked around the kitchen, it was full of food and drinks, she had never seen this much food in one place. Her stomach grumbled loudly and Josie went to make herself something to eat.

It wasn’t as disorientating as she expected, all the memories of the host body were intact, it would be easy enough to blend in, much easier than they had made it seem before. The mind of the host was mostly gone, stripped away layer by layer, inundated with pleasure until she was nothing but a drooling mass then reassembled when she took over the body. Josie stretched, enjoying the way her skin and muscles felt as they moved, it was a strange sensation, but oddly enjoyable too. For now she just had to keep Josie’s life running as it had been, talk to friends, family, tell people about the drug. Easy things, nothing that would arouse suspicion. Of course when phase two started it would be a little more difficult, the taste of the drug made it hard to slip into food, but she’d find a way to get people to take it, one way or another.

 

End of It All. Short Story.

Tony breathed deeply, the air is so pure and fresh after the rain. Today is the day, the day it was all going to happen. He smiled, his lips stretching as wide as they would go, a hint of laughter on his face. He knew if he started he probably wouldn’t be able to stop. A young mother sped up as she passed by, throwing one or two furtive glances back to make sure he wasn’t following her. She had no reason to fear, he was just sitting on the bench enjoying the sun and the gentle breeze. He had no plans to move on from the bench any time soon. The park was nice, it was sunny and it was safe.

After a few minutes of breathing Tony checked his watch then grabbed his bag, it wouldn’t be too long now. He took out everything he needed, rolling papers, tobacco and of course, the weed. It had been years since he smoked anything at all, but he was confident his fingers would still remember how to roll. He was going to die today, he knew that for certain, and he didn’t want to die sober.

The rolling was more difficult than he remembered, his fingers felt clumsy and a little useless, the wind kept picking up slightly, threatening to blow it all away. God. How had he managed to do it when he was younger? After a few minutes of fiddling he sealed the joint and placed it down onto the bench beside himself, then he packed everything else away.

The first inhale was sharp and bitter, he started coughing immediately. He opened his bag again and pulled out a bottle of water, he took a few sips and waited until the coughing subsided, then he took another drag. This one was a little smoother. The burn was still there, harsh in his lungs, but he managed to hold in the cough.

He finished the joint, alternating coughing with sips of water and inhalations. After a few lungfuls he could feel it and by now he felt almost lighter, like he was about to start floating. Years ago this joint would have only gotten him a little high. Huh. How things have changed.

With the joint gone he focused on his breathing again, taking sips of the water when he needed them. His mouth was unreasonably dry, the water didn’t seem to be doing much to alleviate it. He looked at his watch, only ten minutes had gone by, it felt like much longer. He glanced around, the park was empty, the woman with her pram had long since disappeared from view. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Maybe it would have been better to go out at home, hell, he could have taken it into his own hands and killed himself. He could have picked up some heroin, he had wanted to try it when he was younger, but he feared the addiction. Now was the time to have tried it, inject just a little too much and ride the high right out of existence. It was too late to pick any up now. Besides, he was always squeamish with needles. A few pills might have been better. Drift off to sleep and just never wake up. He didn’t like this feeling, it was different from how he remembered, it wasn’t soothing or relaxing. There was a tenseness, bundled up around his chest making him feel full and like it was difficult to breathe. Like the air around him was all useless and there just wasn’t enough to get into his lungs.

Somewhere there was screaming. It was starting a little earlier than planned. There would be no getting home now. Now all he could do was wait.

The screams were louder on occasion, but none seemed to be approaching him. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though the noise wasn’t exactly pleasant. There was always the trees, he could go hide in them. Well, in theory he could, but his legs felt a little too heavy for walking. Besides, that would just prolong it all. He had no survival training, not enough food or water to last more than a day. He would have to survive for at least a week if he had any hope of surviving it until the end.

He would have liked to have said he had done it all for political reasons, because of some great ideological vision, but that would be a lie. He had done it for the money, plain and simple. It probably helped he had been planning to kill himself before they contact him anyway. If he had to suffer, well then everyone else could too. What would be the harm in that? Beth was dead, they had no children, no family, no friends. All they really had was each other. The money was nice, it helped numb the pain for a little while, but then it became a little pointless. Anything he bought or did, all he could think of was how much Beth would have enjoyed it too.

He knew why he didn’t kill himself, the real reason why. He was a coward. This way there was no backing out. He was weak, he knew he was weak. There was no way he could survive something like this. It would scour the earth, cleanse it of all who were unworthy. Tony knew he was unworthy. He would die and perhaps, if an afterlife was real, be reunited with Beth. He probably wouldn’t end up where she did though. She was a good woman. Though Tony could say he had never directly caused anyone to die. After all he was just a cog in a team. They had it all planned out for if they were caught. It was all experimental, theoretical. Even if they managed it, they would destroy the results. It wasn’t his fault that someone released it. Not his fault at all. Though he doubted anyone else would see it like that. Most of the others were safe. They were waiting it out in their bunkers. Tony knew he wouldn’t like that. Being in such a small space, concrete on every side. No fresh air. No open fields.

The screaming was getting louder. Perhaps he should try roll another joint. Maybe if he got high enough he wouldn’t feel it when it happened. He reached down for his bag, when he looked up he could see them coming. He dropped the bag. There wouldn’t be enough time. Tony leaned back and smiling, he closed his eyes.

A Trip. Short Story.

“It’s called x-ray.”
“That sounds really stupid.”
“Ok, well, it kind of does, but he said that it was called that cos it lets you see through all the bullshit. See what the world is really like.”
“So it’s like that pill from the matrix?”
“What?”
“You know, the red pill, blue pill thing?”
“I thought you didn’t see that movie.”
“I didn’t.”
“Then how do you know what you’re talking about?”
Dave rolled his eyes, “everyone knows the gist of it ok. So is it like those pills or not?”
“Not. It’s a high. It fades away. I don’t know exactly what it does but-”

“Wait, I thought you’ve taken this before.”
“No, I’ve seen people take if before. It looked like fun.”
“Ok. So you haven’t tried it and you’ve done no research.”
“Well, I tried, nothing came up online, just shit about actual x-rays and stuff. Look it’s been out for a while now. Loads of people have taken it, there’s been no real side effects. You’ll feel off for a day or two then you’re back to normal. People have described it like a spiritual experience. They see the world for how it is and their true place in the world.”

Dave looked at the pill sitting on the table. It looked like an aspirin pill. He had thought it would look different. Like a piece of paper or some kind of interesting shape on it at least. It looked, as it was, kind of boring.

“How long does it take to kick in?”
“About twenty minutes.”
“Ok, so do we take them now or?”
“No, no it’s better if you take them alone.”
“What?”
“Yeah. Makes for a cleaner experience or something I don’t know.”
“What if I hallucinate and jump out the window or something?”
“You won’t, just relax, it will be easy, smooth. How about this, you wait until I get home, then I’ll ring you, we’ll both take it and then when it’s over we ring each other again, ok?”
“Um. I guess. You could stay here and just do it in a different room, that way if we-”

“You’re supposed to take it somewhere familiar.”
“Here is familiar, you’re here all the time!”

“Ok. So I’ll go home, get myself ready and give you a call ok?”
Tom stood from the couch and started moving towards the door, Dave sighed, “Ok I guess.”
“Cool, I’ll talk to you in a bit. Relax man, it’ll be a blast.”
“Sure sure.”

Tom closed the door behind himself and Dave looked at the pill again. Really it was supposed to be a good high, a few hallucinations. Dave took a deep breath and released it slowly. He had heard before that if you took something while nervous it could give you a bad trip. He just had to relax was all. Still, the nerves were there. It wasn’t a great shock to him though, so far his only experience with drugs had been a few drags off a joint or two at a concert and even then he wasn’t a huge fan of it. He just felt sleepy rather than anything else. Hell, he’d probably take the pill and pass out after ten minutes, waking up once the high was over.

His phone rang, Dave looked at it for a moment, did he really want to do this? Once he answered he couldn’t go back. He picked up the phone, finger hovering over the answer button. He pressed it.
“Hey, I’m at home, gotten myself comfortable and I’m ready to do it. You?”
“Uh yeah, I guess I’m ready.”
“Cool, on the count of three ok?”
“Ok.”
“One, two, three!”
Dave picked up the pill and swallowed it, grimacing at the bitter taste. He grabbed for a glass of water and took a gulp, then another mouthful to swish around.
“Oh fuck that tasted bad.”
“yeah. Right I’m off. Talk to you in a bit, ok?”
“Ok.”
Dave hung up and looked around the room. Everything still looked normal. Why wouldn’t it though? It took a little while to kick in. He had heard music in the background when he was on the phone to Tom. Maybe that was a good idea, something soft, light, relaxing. Dave stood from the couch and went to his CD player, he dug through the discs for a moment before selecting one and shoving it on. He set it at a low volume. Loud enough to be heard but low enough that it wasn’t distracting. He sat down on the couch again and tried to relax.

He didn’t know when it started happening, he only knew that something was happening. The couch felt different, softer all most. He also felt much more relaxed than he had before. This wasn’t so bad, if everything was like this he thought he was in for an awesome time. Occasionally he kept thinking he saw things out of the corner of his eyes, but they weren’t worrying, they were just there as they were supposed to be.

Something was different, something was changing. Dave didn’t feel all that relaxed anymore, if anything he was starting to feel normal again. He looked at the clock, it had only been about half an hour. It was a pleasant half an hour, but no way was it worth the twenty bucks he had to pay for that little pill. Surely that couldn’t be it. He looked to the people either side of him on the couch, “I don’t know. It didn’t seem like it was worth it to me.”
One shrugged, the other nodded slightly. His mouth felling a little dry Dave stood from the couch and weaved his way through the groups and clumps of people to get to the kitchen. There he got a glass and filled it with water. He watched as the glass filled with perfectly blue water. He took a sip, it was as cold as he expected. He took a few mouthfuls then put the glass down. He looked around the kitchen. Something was off about the room but he couldn’t tell exactly what. He put down his glass and left the kitchen. Back in the sitting room his seat had been taken, “I’m sorry I was sitting there.”
The girl shrugged at him, then turned away and started talking to the man on her left.
“Ugh. Fine. Jesus. This is my place, you know that right?” Dave shook his head and took a sip of his water. Finally the girl broke off her conversation and, rolling her eyes, stood from the couch. She walked off and Dave sat down, letting out a sigh of pleasure. It felt like he’d been standing for hours already. He looked around for his glass, he was thirsty, then he remembered he had left it in the kitchen. Damn. He didn’t want to lose his seat again.

“How are you enjoying it so far?”
“Huh?”
Dave turned to look at the man to his right, there was something off about the mans face, but Dave wasn’t sure what. It took him a moment to realise the man had no eyes, just smooth skin where his eyes should be. That was weird. Why did he need eyebrows if he had no eyes? After a second of not knowing where to look, Dave looked at him squarely in his eye skin.
“It’s ok. A little crowded I guess.”
“Yeah. It’s always like this. Well, not for you at least. You get by most of the time, only banging into someone occasionally. We however have to squeeze our way through everywhere. It gets annoying.”
“Uh huh.”

“You’re lucky though. You’re in a good place. Good vibes, nice people. Not everyone is so lucky.” The man leaned over, “Look, we’re not really supposed to do this, but ya know, I’ve been here so long now I feel like we’re kind of friends. After all I know pretty much everything about you. Just. Be careful if you do this again. Avoid everything between Westworth and Lexington and you should be ok. If you’re outside you’ll see most of the dangerous places, but that place has really good blending. You don’t notice until you’re half way through and by that point you’re pretty much screwed.”
“Um. Ok. I won’t then. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome Dave.”

“Hey, listen, you wouldn’t happen to know where I’d be able to get a drink do you? That tap wasn’t working earlier.”
“Yeah, sure, I’ll be right back, hang on.”
The man stood and disappeared into the crowd, Dave looked around trying to spot him again but he was gone. For now he just contented himself with people watching. Was that offensive? To call them people? Not all of them looked like people after all, though he was sure they were perfectly intelligent beings.

Someone was holding out a glass for him, filled with a light pink water. Dave took the glass from No-Eyes and took a sip. It was warm, but it would do.
“Thank you, much appreciated.”
“It’s the least I could do for you.”
Dave put the glass down on the table and went back to people watching, occasionally he would sip the glass. He and No-Eyes sat in companionable silence. Dave picked up his drink again and No-Eyes slapped it out of his hand, “You need to be more careful dude.” The glass was on its side, black fluid spreading out of it.
“Shit. That looks like it might stain.”
“It won’t. Be careful though, someone spiked your drink.”
“What?”
“Yeah. Some people think its hilarious. Don’t fall for it.” No-Eyes raised his voice. “Very funny asshole.”
Somewhere to their left someone let out a bark of laughter that was quickly covered by the noise of the crowd. They were getting quite loud. Dave hoped his neighbours wouldn’t complain.

No-Eyes stuck out his hand, “It was nice to really meet you after all this time.”
“Thanks. You too, you’re a pretty nice-” Dave stopped mid sentence, he was shaking his hand in the air. “…guy…” Dave dropped his hand and felt his cheeks blush. Well, luckily no one was here to see that. He looked around his empty apartment, only three or four hours passed but it felt like days. Man that was intense. Though he was starting to forget bits and pieces, he knew that it had been a blast and he wanted to do it again. He had a brief feeling that something scary had happened at some point, but then he dismissed it. No, he had nothing but good feelings about it.

Secret Worship. Short Story.

Andrea stared at the tiny pill in her hand, so much power in such a small thing. It was black, almost impossibly so, to her it looked as though it absorbed the light around it. There were no markings on the pill, no etchings or pretty pictures, there was just the darkness. She could feel it reaching out through the palm of her hand, searching, yearning for the warm, sticky-smooth feel of her blood. Andrea took a deep breath, then with an almost casual flip of her hand she threw the pill into her mouth. It was harsh, bitter with a sour tang that almost burned, she brought the cup of water to her mouth and quickly took a gulp, washing it all down. The taste stayed in her mouth, she had been warned it would. She took a small bottle of mouthwash from her bag and quickly swished it around. She had about a half an hour before it hit. Plenty of time to get rid of the taste.

Andrea sat in her small room. The carpet was a pale blue, the walls a light cream that had been covered with pictures and posters. A desk took up one wall, her bed the other. A small flat screen TV hung on the wall opposite. She lay back on her bed, watching the cartoons as they moved across the screen. Andrea shifted, getting comfortable, moving the duvet this way and that. Her parents were away and wouldn’t return for another two days. She had plenty of time to come down and be back to normal. They’d never know. She wondered if her pupils were dilating yet. Her heart beat began to increase, was it responding to the chemicals or just her own fear? She took a sip of water, her mouth dry. Everyone liked taking it in clubs, she never understood why. Alcohol would dull the edge, the loud music would just infringe. No, she wanted to take it in solitude. It seemed right, almost holy, to do so. Soon she would feel it, ride the waves downwards into darkness.

 

She didn’t know when it hit. There was no falling away of the veil, one moment she was lying in bed, the next she wasn’t. A big, goofy grin appeared on her face as she stood from the grass. It was different for everyone apparently. The scent in the air was odd, but good. A mixture of apples and popcorn and candyfloss. She could smell them separately and together, the smells danced with one another, twisted and cavorted. She took a deep breath, aware that it shouldn’t smell good, but not caring that it did anyway. A sudden wind picked up, it washed over her, filling her up. There was no feeling to it, it was not hot or cold, it just was. Around her the trees swayed and giggled to each other in their own, whispery language. Elsewhere she could hear the steady beat of a stream, providing it’s own music, it’s own rhythm. She spun in a circle, the light intoxicating and warm on her skin. Somewhere there were birds and far off the sound of a party, horns and pipes and laughter. All of it making the sweetest sounds. Andrea stopped spinning and instead, she started to walk, her first destination was a tree, the oldest and strongest in the small clearing in which she had found itself. She felt its bark, running her hands along the rough edges, feeling it shiver beneath her touch, she leaned against it, listening to the dull, slow throb of life from inside. She laughed and stood back, then she stumbled from the clearing, she needed to find the stream. It was so important.

 

She found it, not a stream, but a river, glistening in the sun. She waded in, not worrying about currents or her clothes. It was a lazy river, a kind one. The water was just barely warm making it soothing and invigorating. She dived beneath the water, feeling it rush over her, coating her, marking her. She burst from it, then everything froze. Droplets of water hanging in the air like pure diamonds, glittering in the light, a rainbow to her left, impossibly bright, impossibly perfect. Then time resumed and she landed in the water again.

Andrea played until she had her fill, then she left the stream behind, emerging dry and warm onto the far bank. She could hear them all now, not just the birds, but the general murmur and talk of animals as they went through their days, singing to one another.

 

In the distance Andrea could still hear the party, though she knew she could never make it there, every time she tried she would stumble from place to place, finding things that were more and more beautiful than the last until she woke in a daze, in the drab, boring world she had been given to. Andrea danced and flitted from one clearing to the next, sampling ripe, juicy fruits in one and eating hunks of hot, succulent meat in another. She was pure, a reveller, a unit for the cosmos to express itself, it would be a sin for someone to come here and not enjoy themselves, it would be a crime, a transgression of the highest order.

 

And so, Andrea enjoyed herself sampling things here and there, dancing and laughing to her own music until she felt it. A small faint breeze, slightly chilled. The sun seemed to lose some of its shine, its vigour. She continued to celebrate, though it took on a frenzied, desperate tone, the end was coming, soon she would wake. Andrea scooped up an apple and bit into it’s flesh, firm and juicy, sweet with a welcome tang to it. She crunched the apples flesh between her teeth once, twice, then it was gone, her mouth empty, dry and cramping slightly in anticipation of an apple that would never come.

 

Andrea reached out blindly until she found her glass of water, then she tipped some into her mouth, thin rivulets of water flowing down either side of her mouth, chilling her chest as it soaked into her thin t-shirt. After a moment she opened her eyes, looking at her clock. Seven hours had past. She stood and stumbled to the bathroom on tired, shaky legs. Once there she sat on the toilet and peed, when she was done she stayed sitting, trying to summon the energy to stand. When she finally stood, she flicked on the light, wincing slightly, and stared at herself in the mirror. Her eyes had a wild, faraway look, her pupils blots of darkness in her eye, her skin looked pale, almost translucent. She turned from her reflection and stumbled back to her room. Her stomach grumbled in dismay, calling for food. She had no interest in eating just yet. Anything she ate would be disgusting now anyway. On the TV cartoons played on. She reached into her bag and looked at the small bag of pills she had left. There were six. She could go again in the morning, maybe even tomorrow night too. She put them away again, already tempted to have another.

No.
She had to save them, ration them out. Make them last. These were the last ones, there was no more once they were gone. Well. That wasn’t true. These were the last safe ones. Sure she could go out and buy more if she wanted, but there was no guarantee there. They all had the extra ingredient. These were pure. The chance of dying wasn’t too bad, but dying wasn’t the only side effect, nor was it the worst.
She had to keep these safe. Wait to use them. She didn’t want to become an addict. She wouldn’t. Of course she wouldn’t, look at her. She was raised right. Went to a good school. She was a good girl. She wouldn’t become an addict. Her hand twitched slightly towards the bag. Andrea stood from the bed and marched downstairs. It wasn’t too late, the pizza place down the road was still open. She would have that. Hot and tasty. It would be as good as anything else she had eaten while she was on her trip. She grabbed the menu from the kitchen and read through the options, forcing herself to choose.

When it arrived, she managed to eat three slices and no more. She told herself she just wasn’t that hungry. That was all. She put the left over’s into the fridge, she could have it for breakfast. She crawled into bed, her body tired and heavy. She watched the cartoons on her TV as she drifted in and out of sleep. Just before her sleep became real and restive, she turned her head, barely aware she was doing it, and the last thing she saw was her bag.

Transformation. Short Story.

Hope everyone’s week is going well. I went to the doctors on Monday for my bi-yearly check up. Everything is fine, apparently. Well, my internal organs haven’t managed to kill me yet, so that counts as fine. I’m still kinda tired, though not nearly as tired as I was last week, which is a big, big plus. I was also in and out of the doctor’s office much faster than I expected, it only took an hour, normally it takes at least an hour and a half,  sometimes slightly longer. I got to do some reading though AND fill in a survey/study thingamabob. It was explained to me at the time, but like most things, I’ve forgotten most of what was said.

I don’t think I’ve been up to too much, mostly because I couldn’t really move very far without wanting to collapse into something soft and comfortable. There has been a weird craving for rolls lately. Dunno what the hell that’s about, but it is delicious, so I’m not too concerned.

On with the show!

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Transformation.

The drugs were kicking in, they had to be. Large balls of colour swirled about the room, dancing and mixing. She stared, transfixed by their bright, shiny movement. Her fingers reached out, trying to touch one, but they always deftly avoided her touch. She smiled, a child’s excited smile, and let her hand drop back to her lap. Whatever this was, it was good stuff, very, very good.

She had taken the pill an hour ago and was starting to resign herself to the fact that it just wasn’t working when it finally hit. Her best friends’, cousin’s boyfriend’s sister-in-law was the source, apparently, and through the passing of hands, someone forgot to mention exactly what the pill was and what it was supposed to do. Of course, rather than worrying her, it only tempted her further. It wasn’t anything dangerous, she knew that much, it was recreational and she had thought it would probably just end up being ecstasy, a drug she had dabbled with before, now through her haze she wondered if it was LSD, though she could still think, weren’t thoughts supposed to stop on LSD? That’s what she had always thought though it was one of those drugs she had never gotten around to researching.

 She had decided to try it by herself in her apartment, with some soft, classical music in the background. Soothing and relaxing surroundings would help ensure she had a good time and, if she freaked out, other people would only be a hindrance, at least that was always the case in the past. There was only a limited supply of whatever it was, but she’d have to get some more for her friends, they’d get a kick out of this too. The classical music that was playing stopped suddenly, replaced instead by a gentle humming, she wasn’t sure, but she thought she was making the sound herself. The orbs started to spin and bounce into each other, their state becoming more solid. She giggled as one knocked over a lamp and seemed to shake itself. They moved faster and faster, slamming against the walls, a framed picture fell, it’s glass front cracking, she stared at the photo in dismay for a moment before the colours distracted her again. When she returned her attention to them, she realised there were less now, but the ones that remained seemed to be larger, as she watched, two crashed together and melded, forming one ball. She stared transfixed as they continued to join, until finally, there was only one, spinning, bouncing ball. It froze in mid-air and started to spin faster. It moved slightly up and down, then stopped spinning. It appeared as though it was searching for something. She watched, fascinated. The ball stopped moving completely then it flew towards her, she squawked in panic and scrambled backwards, her back pressing against the couch she had been leaning against. The ball slammed into her chest, pain, so much pain, she opened her mouth to scream but no sound came out, her head slumped against her chest, just below her chin was a large hole.

She woke several hours later, feeling groggy and confused. That was one strange trip. Her hand shot to her chest, but everything was normal. She stood, muscles sore from being in one place for so long. It was fun enough until the end, even then the pain and fear had only lasted a few seconds, not that bad for a few hours of fun prior to it. Her hand slowly massaged her chest, as though trying to soothe the non-existent pain. She wouldn’t be trying it again but she might convince some of her friends to give it ago. Hell, it might be a bit of a laugh to film their reactions at the end. It must be the same for everyone else. She was fine, completely calm and happy until the end. There was nothing that changed her mood. She went to turn off the music, then noticed it wasn’t playing. Strange. The C.D. must have stopped. She grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and sat down on the couch, she was feeling quite thirsty, once she had drank half the bottle, she realised she was hungry too, not just hungry, but famished. Ah, the munchies. At least she recognised this feeling. Standing again she began to gather food. It wasn’t long before she had made herself some burgers and oven chips. She ate quickly and when that was gone, she went in search of more food. At least the fatigue had worn off, she wasn’t feeling lazy or anything. All in all it had been a pretty fun trip. Hell, she might even try it again if she could lay her hands on some more.

Once she had finished eating she felt quite content in life. Better than she had felt in a few weeks really. Her outlook on life had always been positive but now it seemed to have been kicked into overdrive. Everything would work out, not because it had to, or because it was deserved, but because it simply would. She knew this with certainty, everything that happened was for the best, no matter what it was. She could see that so clearly, it was obvious really. She had been in an odd mood recently, not happy or sad, just kind of average and now that was gone. Obviously whatever she took had changed her disposition for the better. Really, it was awesome stuff. Ok, there had been the whole pain at the end thing, but even that wasn’t that bad, not really. It was only like getting a swift pinch. Over before you really knew what was happening. She’d definitely have to get more. She’d find a way, if it was scarce now it wouldn’t be in a few weeks. She would get a few of them, then herself and her friends could have a little party. They’d see what a benefit it had on her and they’d be eager to try it, of course they would. They would have no reason to avoid it, after all she wasn’t going to tell them about the end. It might not happen to everyone either. It might have just been her. Maybe she had some panic or stress she hadn’t known about and it had just come to the surface.

As soon as she was under the covers she was asleep, she didn’t have enough time to marvel at how tired she was. Normally she would lie awake for at least an hour before her brain would finally shut down and allow her to rest. The night passed mostly in peace, until around two A.M. when she started to shift and turn, then cough. She coughed for a few moments, still asleep, until a small white pill flew from her mouth and landed on the floor with a faint noise. It rolled underneath her small bedside locker and in the morning, she never knew it was there.

It didn’t take her too long to locate some more of the pills, same source, and she was surprised at not only the speed she had acquired them, but also the price. Usually when something was classed as rare it was so the price could be driven up, but not these, these were twelve pills for a fiver. Definitely worth it. She had been guaranteed it was the same thing, she didn’t need twelve, but hey, it didn’t hurt to have a few extra’s lying around.

Her friends were gathered in the small room, joking and laughing while they waited for the pills to kick in, she had warned them of the long wait time. She herself had taken one after a moment of deliberation. Just as the hour mark passed, she felt something strange in her stomach, a weird twisting sensation that, while unpleasant, was not exactly painful. It grew and quickly began to move up her throat, almost as fast the sensation grew painful. Her eyes rolled in her head, she couldn’t breathe, she felt like she was about to vomit. Her hands clawed at her bulging throat, but none of her friends noticed, they were too busy watching the floating balls. Her jaw cracked as it dislocated and broke, from her gaping mouth three balls emerged and joined the others in the room. Her body shuddered and convulsed for a second before lying still. Her mouth moved back into place slowly, the bones and skin repairing itself. She coughed and opened her eyes, they were a light green and seemed to shine lightly. She watched the idiots giggle and laugh at the balls, at her brothers and sisters. Soon they would have bodies again. Soon they would control the entire world. She smiled and left the room, she wanted to get started already. It would take a few days of incubation for them to hatch, while she waited she could make a few more of the pills and distribute them around the campus. As she worked she hummed to herself, a soft gentle hum. In the living room something banged against the wall and soon, screams followed.

Shadow Crawlers. Part 2

Hope everyone’s week went well!

So here it is, the continuation of the short story The Break In. I shall link part one below, but here is a short synopsis of what happened,

Grady and Tom  break into a home, while waiting for Tom, Grady hears Tom scream for her to run. She does. While climbing the wall the surrounds the house, she pauses to see if Tom is coming or if she can help, instead she see’s him get attacked. She doesn’t know what has attacked him, but splattered with blood and assuming he’s dead or dying, she runs to the get away car which takes off.

I hope you enjoy this series, I’m quite looking forward to it myself.

On with the show!

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Part 1.

They drove in silence for a while before Grady reached out and turned on the radio, she didn’t like the silence. Brett glanced at her but didn’t say anything. He took the long route back, making sure they weren’t being followed. Grady doubted it, there were no police and whoever attacked Tom didn’t have time to get to a car. Not unless they planned it. She shivered and turned up the heating before looking out the window. Brett saw she wasn’t looking and quickly turned the heating down, the car was too hot as it was. The street lights flashed by, Grady looked into the shadows at first, as they shifted and changed, before she allowed them to blur into nothing. She didn’t notice when he turned the corner, she saw the house and felt her chest loosen, she was safe, she was home. Brett drove into the driveway and waited until the garage door opened, once there was enough room, he eased the car inside. Once the car stopped, Grady got out and dumped her bag onto the table, the door was already closing, no one would see in. She brushed past Amy and went through the connecting door. Amy had seen Grady’s face, but she hadn’t said anything. She knew better. Brett would provide some information, Grady would provide the rest, when she was ready.

Grady went straight to the bathroom, ignoring everything, once inside she locked the door and began to strip, getting the clothes off her. She turned on the shower and stepped in immediately. The water was cold, shocking her awake, before it started to warm. She didn’t care, she just wanted to be clean. She grabbed the soap and started to wash herself, using a cloth for her face. She was careful not to get any into her eyes, she wouldn’t close them. She couldn’t. She stayed in the shower until the hot water was gone, then stayed a little longer. Grady turned the water off and dried herself, she carefully wrapped herself in a towel, then picked up her clothes and went to her room. She dressed warmly and, after a few moments of looking at her clothes, she put them into the wash basket. She couldn’t afford to waste money on new clothes, besides that it would make her seem weak. She took a deep breath, then opened her door. Amy was waiting for her. “Dom wants to talk to you.” “I figured.” “Yeah, well, he wanted you to know.” “Thanks.” Amy put her hand on Grady’s shoulder as she passed. “Good luck.” Grady walked downstairs and into the office. Dom was sitting behind the desk, big surprise there. He wanted to play the bad guy, the authority figure. He wanted her to be afraid so she’d hold nothing back. Grady closed the door gently behind her, as soon as they realised she was in here, everyone would be pressed against the door, trying to hear. Grady didn’t hold it against them, hell she had done the same in the past. They wanted to know what had happened, so did she. “So. Tell me.” Dom’s voice was deep, despite the thinness of its owner, the contrast always threw her for a moment. “Everything was fine until the end. I was waiting for Tom, he was late, he called out to me to run so I did. I stopped at the top of the wall to check on him, see if he was coming, something attacked him, I don’t know what. Might have been a dog but I didn’t hear any barking. I got his blood on me. I jumped from the wall, ran to the car and we bailed.” “Why’d you leave him?” “Tom was dead anyway. I saw him drop. Whatever got him wouldn’t have stopped, or if it did, it would’ve come after me.” Dom nodded. “Good call.” “Yeah.” “Anything you could have done?” “No. He shouldn’t have been late. If he hadn’t, he might have gotten out of there.” Dom nodded, “Yeah, I expected this for a while. He was gonna get caught eventually.” “So why’d you send him out with me?” “If he got caught on his own, he wouldn’t spill his guts, kick him out and he’d bitch about it for years to anyone who’d listen. It was better this way. No loose ends. Besides, you’re a smart girl. I knew you’d get away and I was right.” Grady nodded. “Can I go?” Dom looked down for a moment, “tell me about it again.”

He made her repeat her story three times, asking for more details at different points before he was satisfied that she was telling him everything and once he was happy, he let her go. When she left the room her stomach rumbled. She didn’t think she’d ever be hungry again. She went to the kitchen, looking for food. Amy and the others were sitting at the table, “there’s some left overs in the oven, take as much as you want, Brett already had his grilling when you were showering, he’s already eaten.” “Thanks.” Grady opened the oven, inside was a bowl of spaghetti Bolognese and a plate with some garlic bread. She took brought it all to the table, not bothering to heat it. As she ate, everyone chatted amongst themselves, she listened to the dull murmur of their voices, feeling herself relax. She was home, really and truly home. Amy put a large glass of water in front of Grady, ice tinkled gently against the glass, “you’re probably dehydrated.” Grady took a large gulp, then continued eating. When she was done, the conversation stuttered for a moment, as though everyone was waiting for her to speak, but once they realised she wasn’t going to say anything the conversation picked up again. Grady knew she’d be in for a grilling in the morning, but at least they’d wait until then. Whatever they had been able to overhear from Dom’s interview was enough to tide them over. Brett probably told them a few things himself, though he hadn’t seen anything but her blood covered face. Grady stood from the table, “g’night.” A chorus of “night” echoed around the room for a few seconds and followed her down the hall as she went, the longest, and loudest was from Jay. Grady smiled as she climbed the stairs. They’d do something for Tom, once they knew what happened to him. Grady wasn’t sure what it was yet, it was different with each person and it depended on what happened to them. She’d never been around when someone had been lost.

Grady closed the door behind her and locked it out of habit, then she stripped out of her clothes and crawled into bed, leaving the small light on her bedside table on. She picked up her book and started to read. She reread the same sentence five times before she put the book down. She was in no fit state to read at the moment. She sighed and turned over, scrunching her eyes closed. There it was, Tom’s face. Grady tried to push it away, to let go of it, but he just stayed there, staring at her. She jumped as someone knocked on her door. Grady got out of bed and opened it, Amy was standing there with a glass of water and a pill resting on her outstretched palm. “Now I know you don’t like taking stuff but-” Grady snatched the pill from Amy’s hand and swallowed it, then she drained the glass. “It’ll help you sleep. You won’t have any dreams either. A good night’s rest will do you well. Trust me.” “Thanks Amy.” “No bother, if you can’t sleep tomorrow, come see me.” Grady nodded, Amy would make sure she didn’t take too much of anything and make sure she didn’t get addicted. Amy was their resident pharmacist. Able to get anything they needed. Grady closed the door again and fell into bed, already feeling drowsy. Amy got good stuff, Grady had heard about it, but she never realised just how good the stuff really-darkness.

Tom, eyes wide, face pale, grinning up at her, blood drooling from his mouth. “You coulda helped me. Coulda stopped it.” A warm mist settled on her face, she knew it was his blood. “You left me. You left me alone to face it.” “You told me to run, I just-” “We don’t leave anyone behind. We stay and fight. You abandoned me. You killed me.” His hand started to reach for her, his skin was pitted and rotten, a thick stench was rolling from it, she couldn’t breathe, he started to laugh, maggots flying from his mouth, “I’ll get you you little bitch. One way or another.” She was drowning, drowning in a sea of blood, she couldn’t breathe she- Toms eyes widened, his eyeballs dribbling from their sockets, his flesh melting and sliding from his skull. Tom shrieked, then vanished. She took a deep breath, pure, clean air. Darkness surrounded her in a protective cloth.

When Grady woke the next morning she felt drowsy, but it wore off quickly. She scowled, she’d have to have a word with Amy, her dreamless sleeping pills didn’t do as advertised. She knew that it was just her head messing with her. Tom would never say anything like that to her. It wasn’t her fault and she knew it. Besides that tom would never, ever say that no one got left behind, his motto was “if you’re too slow, you deserve it.” Or when he was feeling less eloquent, “go fuck yourself.” He wouldn’t blame her for what happened. She slid out of bed and went down to the kitchen, it was empty. While she made herself breakfast, a bowl of cereal, she wondered what the agenda was for the next few days. There would be a meeting no doubt, there was supposed to be one last night, no doubt Dom held off so she could sleep. She ate quickly, then went in search of everyone, intending to speak with Amy the first chance she got.

Part 3