Drowned in Brown

Early snippet from my new book, currently a work in progress. Darker than the first (available here for a frankly bargain price) but, I hope, funnier too. There won’t be cartoons this time, just words. Lots of them.

“Bang it on the foil then,” Martin is saying. “Make sure you don’t fry it this time.”

I can’t co-ordinate the flame and the tooter, however. Whisps of thick, oily smoke escape.

“Don’t fucking waste it!” he hisses. “Here, I’ll do the flame. Just follow the smoke.”

Dave, having had a head start, is already on the nod, eyes half-closed in satisfied stupor. “Fuck,” he croaks. “It’s good stuff.”

Martin chuckles. “Can’t beat a bit of bobby,” he says.

The powder dissolves into black tar that is surprisingly liquid when it heats up. It rolls down the fold in the foil and pools, bubbling slightly. I breathe deep the sickly sweet smoke, hold it in as long as I can, exhale.

“Back the other way now.” He tilts the foil with expert care and I follow, sucking up every last molecule.

As it takes effect, I feel a maddening itching or burning and then I am throwing up white froth in the toilet, heaving until it is just dry retches. Curiously, this feels not unpleasant.

And then the gouch has overcome me. I lie on the floor and give myself up to heroin’s battering dissolve, eyes shut although I will not sleep tonight. Instead I am in the arms of Morpheus whose visions are both deeply personal and universal.

He has secrets, he whispers. Look: here, the lost knowledge is written down in this big old book which you could read if only the letters weren’t sliding down and off the page.

Over here: Morpheus beckons to me from a field of gently swaying poppies along the banks of a slow and oozing green river. The sun is shining. My friends have gouched out to here, where they happily laugh at such tranquility. Contentedly they stroll through the fields of poppies under azure, opiate skies.

I call out to them, wanting them to slow down so I can join them but they do not hear as they pass on into the distance.

Morpheus is glaring nastily at me. He shuts and bars the iron gates to his sweet meadow. They clang to and I am in endless piss-stained concrete.

“You-” he says, in a deep and treacherous voice. “I don’t want your sort coming here. You’re too strong. I’ll have your mates, but you can fuck off!”

With that the vision fades and I am back in my grotty flat.

I turn my head to see Dave smiling sweetly in his reverie, Martin too- slumped against the wall, tooter still in hand.

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