Tyler’s phone buzzed as he drove home from school. It was Ryan. “Are we still on for tonight? Celia’s parents are out of town…Remember?” the message read. Tyler forgot it was Friday. Once home, Tyler changed clothes, grabbed a snack, and left to meet up with Ryan.
Tyler pulled into Ryan’s driveway behind his mom’s red Mercedes. Ryan emerged from his house and exclaimed, “You’ll never guess what I got!” he pulled a baggy out of his pocket and tossed it on the hood of Tyler’s car. Inside the baggy, Tyler could see a tiny black crystal the size of a rice grain.
“What is it?” Tyler asked.
“It’s like being asleep and awake at the same time,” Ryan explained.
“How long does it last?” asked Tyler.
“I’m not sure… a minute or two I think.” said Ryan.
Tyler snatched the baggy and stuck it in his pocket.
“Hey man, what are you doing?” asked Ryan.
“I don’t want your parents seeing it,” said Tyler as he glanced at the house.
“Dude, they’ve been fighting all day. Their oblivious,” said Ryan. They decided to walk to the party as Celia lived two blocks away. It’d easier to bail if the party got busted.
During the walk to Celia’s, Tyler wondered about the experience the crystal would induce. He wasn’t a connoisseur of altered states, but had recently started drinking and smoked weed on a few occasions. The unknown piqued his interest.
At the party Tyler spent time mingling with friends, unable to get the crystal off his mind. Spotting Ryan in the crowd he motioned to the back door. The backyard was neatly kept and the smell of grass clippings was enough to override a puddle of vomit near the door.
Electronic music thumping in the background, Ryan fished a single crystal from the baggy and handed it to Tyler. “You go first, I’ll spot you and make sure you don’t do anything stupid.” Ryan said.
Tyler took the crystal in the palm of his shaky hand, looked at it intently, unsure what to expect, and stuck it on his tongue. As it dissolved, he felt a sensation taking hold of his mouth. Beginning at the tip of his tongue, it surged to the back of his mouth and down his throat. His salivary glands gushed as he laid back in the grass and the lights went out.
Oblivious to his senses, this void state lasted seconds until he saw figures in the distance. Not sure if his eyes were open or closed he gazed outward. Horizontal figures. Stacked all around in sets of ones and two’s. As he focused, the figures became more defined. These were people. He saw people performing tasks as if they were floating. Auras of people lying in bed, sitting on the couch, walking upstairs, normal evening rituals of common everyday humans. He could see the signature of a large figure, holding another off the ground by what looked like its throat. The large figure was larger and wider than the other. “It must be a man and a woman,” he thought. Suddenly, the victim went limp. The large figure tossed the victim to the side. As the victim collapsed, Tyler panicked. His adrenal glands fired. His heart pounded. Then it went dark.
Again, experiencing the transitional void, Tyler felt waves of energy. He felt a rhythm flowing through his being. The feeling strengthened and his vision returned. The energy became a song as Tyler regained his senses. He looked at Ryan with sheer terror. “What was it like?” Ryan asked. Tyler contemplated telling Ryan, but didn’t want him to try the crystal.
“It was a nightmare. I don’t feel so good. Can we leave?” Tyler said. Ryan insisted that he crash at his house.
Tyler awoke early the next morning as a chilling breeze swept over the floor of Ryan’s bedroom. As Tyler walked downstairs he noticed the windows were open, which was odd as it was a cold February morning. As he walked downstairs, the house was silent and empty. Stepping into the kitchen he saw a note on the counter. The note read, “Ryan, I left to run some errands, be back later. Dad.”
As Tyler walked down the steps from the house, he was taken aback by the pungent scent of grass clippings. Images from the night before invaded his thoughts. Forcing the thoughts from his mind, Tyler took a deep breath and let out a chuckle, realizing he ingested a questionable substance.
As he walked towards his car he realized he was still parked behind the red Mercedes.
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