Jennie pulled open the mirror and fumbled through the bottles of pills.
“Where are you… where are you…” she muttered, pulling bottle after bottle off of the shelves, looking at their labels, and dropping them in the sink.
“Where are my headache pills?” she whined.
She then looked in each of the drawers, sliding each one out and then slamming them shut.
No headache pills.
She turned out the light, went back to bed, and felt a lump under the pillow.
She shook one out of the bottle and dry-swallowed it.
Pain filled her skull.
“Not tonight, dear…”
What a goddamned mess. Janey’s yellow and throwing up blood. Her eyes want to roll out of their sockets.
“Dragon,” she croaks. “Pretty dragon.”
Shit. Dragon Ride’s the worst shit out there. Your mind takes a trip to Paradise, but your body might not be there when it gets back.
I fill the needle with Knight and stab it in Janey’s heart.
“Slay the fucker!” I yell.
I check the label: “M”
Bastard sold Janey a dragon when I warned him not to.
Marco’s gonna ride his car to the bottom of the river. Tied up in the trunk.
This one’s real, that’s for certain.
Usually, it’s a corn or wheat field near a high school or college that’s been trampled.
For the publicity. The “Hi Mom” factor.
Complexity means fraud, since I know they like to keep things simple.
Besides, why would students or farmers draw attention to a huge marijuana patch like this?
The Feds want to burn it, but not before I get a few photos and… ahem.. samples.
Now now now… they’re for purely academic reasons.
But I have to admit, some of these flasks make radical bongs.
What the heck – pass the burner.
I suppose if Martians had invaded Cincinnati, the public would have turned to Les Nessman for coverage.
After all, Les doesn’t just live and breathe news, but he practically oozes it.
By licking Les Nessman, you might experience a news hallucination, much like thrill-seekers lick certain species of toads for the vision-inducing properties.
No wonder why Johnny Fever was totally out of it. In his off-hours, he licked Les Nessman.
Did he imagine he was licking Loni Anderson instead?
Of course not. That would induce something entirely different. Something which I’ll refrain from repeating here openly, if you don’t mind.
“Justice League isn’t answering, Mayor Bloomberg,” said the assistant.
“Have you tried paging?” said Bloomberg.
“Twice,” said the assistant. “Most are old numbers. One was a pizza delivery guy, and another was someone offering me a dimebag.”
“Have you tried calling that Mustard Man?” said the mayor.
“Um, all he has is mustard,” said the assistant. “No super powers.”
“Just mustard?” said Bloomberg. “Then why is he a superhero?”
“He isn’t,” said the assistant.
The mayor leaned back in his chair and sighed. “What’s the number of the guy selling weed?”
“Yeah,” said Bloomberg. “And a pizza, too.”
On the first day of school, the most important thing to do is to identify who’s dealing what drugs this year. Sometimes, your connection ends up getting transferred to another school or sent to juvie, and you need to get your fix through someone else.
One thing’s for sure: the prices always go up. The stuff they sell might change from grade to grade, even though you can always find the classics if you look hard enough, but you’ll always shell out more for that same high.
And people think the three months off is why I teach.
I have no memory of Venice.
I’ve been told that I’ve been there. Twice. But aside from this pair of scars on my temple and two receipts from Lethe Incorporated, I really can’t tell you anything about it.
However, every time I see the Rialto or St. Marks in a movie or in an article I’m looking up, I get that odd sense of familiarity. As familiar as my own breathing.
And I want to go back. For the first time. Again.
You know, there’s that hotel in Vegas that looks like Venice.
I should go there instead.
Patty? Yeah, I knew her. She was always a bit dyke-y.
Her parents were so in denial. They were always joking about her being a tomboy.
She’d grow out of the sandals and flannel shirts some day. Despite always running him down, that Chuck kid would make a good boyfriend, perhaps?
Instead, she turned to me. And heroin.
God, she was fun, but I swear I tried to get her to go clean. I really did.
I was the one who found her body, the needle still hanging out of her arm.
I wonder what Velma’s doing tonight.
Dear Loyal Fans,
Mustard Man would like to thank all of you who have written him in the past three months.
This has all been one huge misunderstanding. What I thought was a sampler pack for a condiment manufacturer’s convention in Istanbul turned out to be 10 kilos of high-grade heroin.
This was not my heroin. Mustard Man is strictly a coke and pot kind of guy. Needles are disgusting, messy things.
I’m sure that this will all work itself out. My lawyer assures me.
Once again, I thank you for your support.
Mustard Man (aka “Prisoner 0175236”)
Bob dropped his bong and looked up at the swirling green skies.
“Radical,” he whispered. “This needs Floyd.”
He went back inside, humming “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” while hunting for his iPod.
He found it, went back outside, and scanned his playlist.
“Damn,” he shouted. No Pink Floyd. Must have cleared it out.
He went back in to search for the files.
He then dug through his CDs, but they were too scratched to rip.
Ten bucks and two hours download later, he synced up and went back outside.
The lights were gone, and so was his buzz.