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News & Features » February 2015 » “if you leave a twenty and a crackhead alone in your room, it’s your own damn fault!” by Eshu Bandele

“if you leave a twenty and a crackhead alone in your room, it’s your own damn fault!” by Eshu Bandele

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 marijuanacocainespeed, 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.)

This week, Eshu Bandale makes a huge mistake.

if you leave a twenty and a crackhead alone in your room, it’s your own damn fault!
by Eshu Bandele

Eshu BandaleI started by speed walking, then high-stepping, then flat-out mad dashing. I knew that my increasing anger was irrational.

Really, if you leave twenty bucks and a crackhead alone in your room, it’s your own damn fault!

I convinced myself that I could smell the coke cooking as I approached, and so I pounded on his door. When he appeared with a huge, welcoming grin spread across his Buddha face, I threw everything I had into his gut. Just that quick—kapow!—he shot back at me with a thick wad of pink and gooey and chunky vomit, which caused me to react as if I had actually been hit by a bullet. I dropped to the floor, flat on my ass, and felt about my face and neck as if searching for the wound. I pored over his nasty insides stuck in between my fingers and looked at him as if he were one of those disgusting creatures from the Men in Black movies or, better yet, maybe Star Wars’ Jabba the Hut.

After a few deep breaths to recover, he plopped down next to me on the floor.


Flicking goo off the tip of my nose, I turned and faced him and got mad again.

“You know why!”

“I do?”

He tried to think but quickly realized how pointless it was. He responded annoyed.


“My twenty?”

He suddenly grew excited.

“You got a twenty?”

“No, fool, you smoked it up, and that was my last twenty!”

“Oh, dat! I thought you left there for me?”

Coming back to my senses, relatively speaking, I figured debate was likewise pointless, and so I resolved just to clean myself up. After I got to my feet, I struggled to pull him up and intended to follow him into his room to hang out, but before I could take a step, I caught a reckless blow right across the jaw, which caused me to stumble a little. That motherfucker! He stood there huffin’ and puffin’ with a horrified look on his face, a punk-ass cat, a metrosexual who’d never hit a man before and was thus shocked by the reality of it. Moreover, he noticed a sticky chunk on his hand and shook it off frantically like it was a bug. Scared of a bug!

I went all crackhead on him: “Whatchudodatforman?”

“I told you to stop messin’ with her!”

He repeated himself, slobbering out his words. He fought back his tears. I wanted to crack up laughing. Even though I’d stopped messin’ with her, I didn’t wanna say that and seem like I was punkin’ out, perhaps embolden him more, lead him to take another shot. (And, c’mon, dude had hit me with everything he had, and myself, I was fighting back giggles!) To avoid any further drama, I gave it up to him.

“All right, man, I’ll stop messin’ with her.”

I turned and looked at my man, who had a comical look on his face. Seeing him looking all funny and fat and crackhead-y, I burst out laughing.

Dude gave me an odd look before stamping off.

The moment he turned the corner, my man swept me off my feet with an enormous bear hug, and then, switching from a cackling storybook witch to game show host, he opened door number one to present dude’s girl, passed out on his bed. Next to her lay his pipe, all black and shit.


ESHU BANDALE is currently an adjunct literature professor at the New School’s Eugene Lang College. He has two novels completed, and he is the author of three screenplays: World Enuf, Da Beast, and the Writer’s Digest award–winning Love is Sick. Excerpts from his first novel, The Ape Is Dead!, have appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of Crescendo City and in great weather for MEDIA’s Fall 2012 anthology, It’s Animal but Merciful.  An excerpt from his second novel Scott Free is currently featured in Moonshot Magazine’s Issue No. 5: Ritornello. He lives in New York City. His website address is eshubandele.com.


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 info@akashicbooks.com, 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 StahlLydia Lunch, etc.), and The Marijuana Chronicles (Joyce Carol Oates, Lee Child, Linda Yablonsky, etc.).

Posted: Feb 12, 2015

Category: Original Fiction, Thursdaze | Tags: , , , , , , , ,