Friday, April 5, 2013



Tony flicked the cigarette lighter to life and held it under the spoon. The drug soon began to boil, beginning its new life as an escape pod from reality. He felt his heart racing, begging for the fix, wanting more than anything to feel the drug course through his veins, wanting more than anything to disappear. Sometimes, in the moment right before he jabbed the needle into his arm, he thought about death; maybe a self-imposed sentence of destruction by lethal dose, maybe just drive off a cliff. Something told him he was headed down the right path. He didn’t care.

He cinched the belt around his arm, pulling at the loose end with his teeth. The leather reminded him of the belt his father used, the one for removing the demons from his body, the ones still chasing him. It tasted like something old, like his mother’s bible cover, the one indented with an impression of his forehead. No matter how many times she hit him, God’s words stayed in the book. Tony found himself wishing they had found a home in his head, maybe in his heart. He thought a lot about the words written in red. What did they mean?

His heart felt empty. Drugs filter the blood, leaching out anything that is good, leaving only a dirty, rotting stench of rage, disgust, and self-loathing. Nothing could wash it away. He knew nothing could cleanse his soul. It was too late for that. Wasn’t it? The drug bubbling in his trembling fingers held the only truth he knew, the power to go somewhere else, to escape from here.

The drug had him now, the belt loose and forgotten, reality nothing but a hazy fog in the back of his brain. He saw his father working at the mill, his mother preparing a dinner of fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. He could smell them in the oven even with his eyes closed, the fresh butter sitting on the table, tea brewing on the stove. The drug allowed him to forget about the stench of his own urine pooling in his lap, of the decay of dirty dishes in the sink. He ignored the snores of last night’s whore lying in the bed. Her name was Destiny. Destiny covered half the bed, face decorated like that of a circus clown. He doesn’t remember her, or last night, or last week.

He only remembers wanting.

Wanting the drug.

Wanting to escape.



Sandy said...

WOW...that's very powerful. I found myself getting cold chills as I read it.


Anonymous said...

Strong stuff. I've never been big on drugs, but you had me feeling for the character. Also I agree completely with your "About Me" section. I don't want to be famous either, but I've been working on getting published for over a year now.

Thanks for the comment and the good work from Tennessee.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Yikes! What a story, James. You're always so good at this rough stuff.

Man O' Clay said...

I especially like the contrast between the memories flooding and the rancid smells surrounding him.