Meth, monsters, demigods, and hillbillies fill this tale of a man who has greatness thrust upon him. Will he have the power to rise up and meet it???
A Tweaker in the Woods
The opening chords to “Simple Man” cut through the quiet night air.
“Ah-Whoooo” howled Reggie, making the rock horn with his fingers; banging his head back and forth, approving of the song screaming out of his blown stereo speakers. He wandered about his clearing, wearing nothing but work boots and a pair of tattered boxers he surely hadn’t expected to unveil to an unsuspecting world. Thankfully for him there was no world before him that would have all too much cared.
He sauntered over to a make shift table he had created for himself years ago by rolling an enormous wooden spool used by the cable company in a desperate effort to make sure that the whole state was jumping face first into the 21st century and not just the more populated, wealthier edges. He hunched over the spool table and picked up the knife he had laid upon it, then turning his attention to the silver plate he had stolen from his mother and the mound of powder piled neatly upon it that was the whole reason for being out there in the first place!.
The plate still shimmered in the lamp light despite the tarnish brought about by its recent days among the elements, he thought to himself; his eyes fixating on the reflective glare that the small gas lantern he had also placed on the table was producing off of his mother’s silver plate.
Reggie had stolen it from her weeks ago, after he shattered his mirror out there during one of his increasingly often benders. He wasn’t sure where his mother had gotten such a fancy plate (or why she would have gotten such a gift in the first place), though it was no doubt a gift from one of her many previous suitors.
Reggie loved his mother. Why wouldn’t he? She had always been good to him... He never wanted for nothing, lived at her house with nary a care in the world.
But for all of her good traits- and she had many- Reggie’s mother had shit taste for men… and Reggie always held that against her.
Not that his father was any sort of a gem; an abusive drunk with just miserable luck. Thankfully, between the good people of the State of Florida deciding that he needed to spend twenty years behind bars for attempting to run crystal meth into Miami and the better folks at the Aryan Nation believing that for getting caught with said crystal meth and costing them a small fortune, Reggie’s father had earned a sharpened toothbrush to the throat, Reggie (nor his mother) never had to worry about seeing his father again.
He shook his head violently; shaking away the specter of that awful man. He had things to do, he thought to himself, turning again to the task at hand. He dragged the knife to the plate, moving the blade to a neatly arranged pile of off white crystalline dust. He quickly scrapped himself a think line of the power and snorted it up with a rolled up dollar.
He rubbed his nose, giving another deep snort making sure that not a flake of the powder had gotten sidetracked in a nose hair or in his scraggly goatee. He pounded his chest, taking deep measured breathes until he felt the drug kick in.
Reggie loved him some crystal meth.
His ears focused back to the music, his hands rubbing his bare chest- stopping occasionally to pick at some nonexistent scab. He nodded his head, as though agreeing with something. He focused back on the plate.
He wondered what his mother had to have done to have earned such a lovely plate. Roughly twelve inches in diameter, with ornate etchings along the edges and the surface polished to a mirror shine (or at least it had been before Reggie brought it out here to snort meth off of); the plate could not have been cheap.
Was it Principal Mathers who gave it to her? Reggie thought, reflecting to the short lived affair his mother had had with the high school principal. It had been quite the controversy, as the principal was married and- prior to enjoying Reggie’s mother- a man of good standing in the community. He always seemed like a man with taste to Reggie (or money, as it seemed more and more to Reggie that what his mother meant by “taste” was “rich”).
Or Jack, her one time soul mate? Reggie always liked Jack. Jack was a tall man with piercing black eyes and a jaw line out of old time Hollywood. Reggie’s mom dated jack years ago- while Reggie was younger. For whatever reason-and quite unlike any suitor Reggie’s mom would bring home prior or since- Jack seemed to like spending time with Reggie. He took him hunting, fishing- taught him to be a man, as it were. But it was short lived. While Reggie was off spending time with Jack, it seemed that Reggie’s mom was spending time getting to know the pleasures of pain killers (namely oxycodone, but in truth the woman never minded what she snorted). It wasn’t long before Jack decided he didn’t want to be involved with a junkie and found greener pastures, leaving Reggie and his mom to slowly descend to where they were today.
He scratched out another line off the dwindling pile. Noticing his party starting to draw to a close, he frantically patted down his pockets, ultimately discovering three more one gram baggies in his pockets. He breathes a sigh of relief, lowering his head to snort the line.
He lifted it, again making sure all stragglers were accounted for; bobbing his head to Van Halen’s “Dance the Night Away”.
He lit a cigarette, still swaying to the spoke-sung lyrics of Diamond Dave.
“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaance the niiiiiiiiiight awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa’…” he sung mumbled to himself, a barely lit Marlboro 100 dangling from his lip. He moved his arms to the music forgetting his mother, forgetting Jack, forgetting everything and everyone…
Just the music and his woods.
Reggie’s eyes perked up to the sound. How could he have heard a snapping of branches over his radio? he thought to himself as he adjusted the volume and seeing it had been turned up rather loudly.
He took a long, dramatic drag off his cigarette; exhaling as quickly as he took it in with a ferocious cough; his lungs not what they once were. He shrugged his shoulders, not hearing anything more and chalking up what he had heard to nothing more than the drugs doing their job. He smiled. He loved being high.
This time, Reggie was sure he heard something as the radio had not been up as loud and he was paying attention. He turned the radio off and moved his meth plate to the underside of the table. Would be a shame if some unsuspecting hiker came across Reggie’s little party and things got ugly, he thought to himself. He searched along the dark tree line for movement, his eyes used to the dark nothing of the woods. He listened to the night- the serenade of frogs and crickets were all he could hear. He felt his heart beating in his throat.
For a brief moment Reggie stepped outside of himself and observed the madness of it all...
There he was, alone and naked in the woods (he had stripped off his clothes hours ago, his body roasting due to the meth) listening for something he may or may not have heard (despite his “knowing” he had heard the second snap, there was still a very good possibility that the whole incident was nothing more than drug paranoia heightened by the uneasy feeling Men get wandering back into the forest at night) and felt instantly ridiculous over all of it.
He walked back over to the table and reached for the plate he had stashed and placed it back on the table. He then reached down again, this time bringing up a backpack. He opened it and took out a hand gun and a pill bottle housing several pre-rolled joints. He took out one of the joints and laid it next to the hand gun. He put the pill jar back into the backpack and returned it to its hiding spot under the table.
He picked up the joint and lit it. The skunky stink of marijuana lofted across his clearing; the smoke dancing around the branches of the trees that enveloped Reggie’s drug den.
The sound was closer now… Undeniably close and real.
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