“MegaBlast” by R.K. Solomon
Thursdaze (because the weekend won’t come fast enough) features original flash fiction modeled after our Drug Chronicles Series. Each story is an original one, and each encapsulates the author’s fictional experience with drugs. Our print series has anthologized authors writing about marijuana, cocaine, speed, and heroin, but contributors to the web series can focus on any drug, real or imagined, controlled or prescribed, illegal or soon-to-be legalized. Submissions to Thursdaze will be judged on an author’s ability to stylistically emulate his or her substance of choice. Submissions are also limited to 750 words, so try to focus. (They have a pill for that.)
by R.K. Solomon
HPG (Human Pineal Gland)
I’m not a complete monster. It pains me to hear her beg for her life. She says she’s got two kids. Little kids. A boy and a girl. Maybe she does. Maybe not. People will say anything in these situations. I wish she’d shut up. This is hard enough without the hysterics.
Using a man would make me feel less like a scumbag. But men are stronger. Harder to restrain. And I won’t do children. Sixteen’s my limit. I’d prefer a cancer-riddled senior citizen. Seems kinder. But old brains are no good. Not for human pineal gland extraction. The best HPG high comes from ones between twelve and forty-five. Leave the designated age parameters at your own risk. Though some of the more degenerate junkies might snatch a grandma or baby for a weak-ass thirty-second head rush.
I shut her mouth with a piece of duct tape. It helps a little. But she knows what’s coming. Her head whips about like it’s trying to break free from her neck. The suspended metal Vise-Grip takes care of that. Duct tape keeps her wrists, ankles, and torso secured to the wrought iron–chair. She’s naked from the waist down. A bucket underneath. Sometimes they have accidents. Thank God for my basement. Imagine trying to get off in some McDonald’s bathroom. Don’t laugh. It’s been done.
The drilling is always the worst part. Her muffled screams shoot down my spine, into my clenched asshole. I almost tell her to keep quiet. But that would be cruel. She can’t help it. If only I could give her pain meds, or kill her first. But that would weaken the dose. Full mental acuity. Finally I pry off a lemon-sized piece of skull. Digging into her brain will be easier. No real pain receptors there. Less suffering—for both of us.
My hands start to shake. Never wait this long between fixes. What a waste if I blow it now. Didn’t she say she had kids? And I’m too far gone for a second chance. Suicide will be my best option. It beats withdrawal.
Wish I was rich. Get my shit premade in some third world narco factory farm. Like those fucking fat cats. To them, it’s just pretty pink powder. They eat their porterhouse steak off fancy white china, while I butcher mine in a windowless concrete slaughterhouse. Makes a big difference when you don’t have to watch the blood- and shit-covered cow squeal in agony.
The stainless steel suction straw sinks right in. Steady, boy. Timing is everything. Got to get those neurotransmitter levels just right. I hold the straw in my right hand. With the left, I press the hunting knife’s stone-sharpened blade against her throat. One. Two. Cut. Now push the button. Almost over.
A solitary gray pea floats inside the straw’s clear plastic receptacle. Perfect. Undamaged. Pristine. The front of her shirt is soaked in blood. Her vacant eyes are wide open. No time for guilt trips.
Using bathroom tweezers, I gently place her pineal gland into the spoon. Then add a few drops of solution. It bubbles like fizzy soda pop. A tiny piece of balled-up Q-tip filters the pink juice into my thirsty syringe. My first attempt to hit the vein fails miserably. Hard to hold a needle once the pre-seizure symptoms set in. The second try sends it home.
My body’s gone—replaced by a gentle green wave that rolls over and over, like some Vedic cosmic wheel. And each time it crashes against the red gelatinous shoreline, I feel like I’m simultaneously coming inside Miss Universe and winning the Mega lottery jackpot. Eventually, the tide carries me out. I evaporate up into a cloud, where I float, weightless, in a turquoise blue sky.
Physically, I’m still in my basement, slumped next to a bled-out corpse. But that’s all right. Her brain chemicals have merged with mine. Combined, we’re greater than our individual selves. And if just one of her molecules has retained the slightest spark of awareness, I know it would agree that it was all worth it.
New York City resident R.K. SOLOMON primarily writes science fiction. He often uses evil aliens and dystopian societies as allegories for present day malevolent forces that oppress and obliterate. These forces include an out of control military industrial complex, multinational corporations that answer to no one, corrupt too big to fail financial institutions, and an increasingly tyrannical government. Solomon believes that if the law of cause and effect holds any validity, America is due for a Category 5 shitstorm. Like prophets in the wilderness, his stories warn of the coming apocalypse.
Past travels have taken him to Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Employment history contains the following: night custodian, truck driver, health care worker, small business owner. Writing is a relatively recent endeavor.
Contact: [email protected]
Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Thursdaze flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your submission should never have been published elsewhere.
—Your story should feature a drug, any drug, and your character’s experience with it. We’ll consider everything from caffeine to opium, and look forward to stories ranging from casual use to addiction to recovery. Stylistically, we’ll respond most favorable to stories that capture the mood and rhythm of your drug of choice.
—Include your drug of choice next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission to [email protected], and include THURSDAZE in the subject line. Please paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
About the Drug Chronicles Series: Inspired by the ongoing international success of the city-based Akashic Noir Series, Akashic created the Drug Chronicles Series. The anthologies in the series feature original short stories from acclaimed authors, each of whom focuses on their fictional experience with the title drug. Current releases in the series include The Speed Chronicles (Sherman Alexie, William T. Vollmann, Megan Abbott, James Franco, Beth Lisick, Tao Lin, etc.), The Cocaine Chronicles (Lee Child, Laura Lippman, etc.), The Heroin Chronicles (Eric Bogosian, Jerry Stahl, Lydia Lunch, etc.), and The Marijuana Chronicles (Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Linda Yablonsky, etc.).
Posted: Aug 15, 2013
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