ClocksThe clocks, always the clocks, ticking endlessly, a melancholic symphony rattling in my brain. Do this, don’t do that, obey your betters, bow downs in the dirt and scuff your knees. Kneel. I hate it, despise it, resent and object to every inch of this conformist society, our minds being eaten and rotted by technology. The media force feeding us via copper cables and glowing glass.
Light patters fall upon the floorboards and channel my gaze downwards to see a small mouse, his soft white fur matted and darkened by soot and grime, residue of death. I reach my hand forward, beckoning him forwards, lulling him into a sense of security. Slowly, he make his ways towards me, sniffing at the air and slowly building confidence. He rests a paw on my hand for a second before climbing up. In this moment I realise how much power I possess. This creature trusts me, enough to put his life in my hands. I could end him if I wanted too. Tighten my grip like a vice and crush the life out of his body, spilling the iron of the soul.
I snap out of my thoughts, shocked with myself. The small creature carefully steps back out of my palm and scurries away into the darkness. Smart. He doesn’t bow down and conform to others just because they are larger than He. He is still his own.
It’s late, I’m hungry. I decide to go out to find food, leaving my newfound friend to his own ends.
As I exit my home a cold biter wind bites me, wrapping itself around my skin and constricting me. I shake it off and shrug a worn leather duster over my shoulders to stop it from binding itself too me once more. It’s been raining and the moonlight is dully reflected by murky puddles. The large neon sign of a nearby factory dominates the skyscape, its colours glowing and melting into the nearby buildings.
My feet fall softly and swiftly, carrying me in a natural rhythm down backstreets as I search for a bite to eat. It isn’t long till I come to the local bakery, ready to discard their days leftovers, such waste! I manage to convince the weary baker to give some of the food to me rather than tip.
I walk further through the city streets, thick smog trying to suffocate me as I gnaw on a semi stale stick of bread. My thoughts are pulled back to the days when I was younger, before I was forced to leave the comfort of my father’s home. We lived in a small country town where everybody new everybody and help was always around the corner. The skies at night were clear and you could see trillions of stars shimmering like little specs of farie dust. I look up at my current version of the sky. It is dark. Tainted. The moon herself struggles to exhibit beauty.
I cannot see beauty anywhere.
My hand instinctively reaches into my pocket, looking for my old friend Molly. She can help me see beauty anywhere, even in this godforsaken wasteland. Much to my demise she is nowhere to be found. Maybe somebody can help me find her…I turn on my heel and begin off in the opposite direction of what I’d previously been heading.
It’s not long before I’m on an all too familiar street staring intently at an all too familiar door. I knock once. Then twice. Then three times. Just as my hand falls upon the wood for a final time I hear a click and a scraping sound as the door is unbolted. A weary face greets me, black bags hanging heavy under his eyes and his long hair matted and greasy. “Alexander?” He croaks out. I nod in confirmation and he steps aside gesturing for me to come into his abode. I get straight to the point, too desperate for small talk.
“I’m put of ecstasy, you got any?” He shakes his head but pulls something else out of his pocket. A piece of paper. Or at least that’s what it looks like. Upon further examination I realise it a sheet of LSD tabs. I cock my head in interest and Dan smiles at me, a crazy glint in his eye. I slowly take the sheet and break one off.
“How much will this cost me?” Dan contemplates for a bit before resting his hand on my shoulder and winking.
“You look like you’ve had a long one, this can be on the house.” I smile at that and place the tab on my tongue.
Around 20 minutes pass before I start to notice any change, a barrage of thoughts as my perception of reality slowly begins to tip, a similar feeling to when I hooked up with Molly. I lay down on Dans couch, steadying my breathing as I’d been instructed, it’s not long before reality seems to completely break down and I am lost to the drug.
“Lay down for a bit mate, it’ll take a while for you to get used to this, don’t want you throwing up or anything now do we?” Alexander nods slowly, distracted by the fact that the green vines were starting to turn an odd shade of blue. “W-why are the vines blue now?” he looks up at his friend with concern.
“Ah it’s fine mate, they’re magical vines, sometimes they’re green, sometimes they’re blue, sometimes they’re another colour entirely, don’t worry about it.” Alexander once more nods, continuing to take in his surroundings.
3 hours passed, Alex absorbing the stimuli like a sponge, letting go of his worries and troubles one by one, completely succumbing to the drug until it began to feel like reality. This was real, this was where he was meant to be and it was where he would stay. As he got up and went to examine the large Oaktree that had sprouted from the centre of Dans loungeroom he realised he had sprouted a tail, the fur was long and fluffy, a dusty blonde to match his hair.
It’s nearing the 9 hour mark when I finally come down, I feel sick and anxious as my reality crumbles around me, revealing the horrors of existence. I ran to Dans front door and burst it open, emptying the contents of my stomach onto the pavement as white collars in fancy suits looked on in disgust, their journeys to work being interrupted by yet another homeless drug addict. Making my way back inside, I wipe the corner of my mouth with my sleeve. Dan raises his eyebrows at me as if to ask if I’m okay and I nod. “I want to go back.” He smiles “slow down there cowboy, if you overdo it, it won’t be as good, also there’s always the chance of a bad trip.” Bad trips. Everybody in the drug scene knew of people that had gone to the extent of offing themselves because of bad trips, sometimes taking others with them. A shiver ran down my back at the mere idea. I throw the thought from my mind, it wouldn’t happen to me, it couldn’t. Not in a million years.
The floorboards of my musky abode creaked underneath me and a stale breeze snaked through the corridors. I dumped my overcoat without grace in the doorway and bolted the door shut, trying to block the busy goings on of the outside world, peak hour at its zenith. Oh how I detested them. They were slaves to the clock, products of our corrupted overlords.
I pull out the small strip of tabs that I’d been able to haggle off of Dan, they were painted like the night sky, an enveloping black and dazzling white stars, a singular square held a full moon, glowing in sweet, sickly iridescence. Carefully, I pried a floorboard from it’s resting spot and slipped the tab into a small tin, gently placing the floorboard back down and dragging a rug over it.
It wasn’t long before I found myself scrambling back to my dealer, I was a slave to the Golden Dragon. He had wrapped his magnificent talons around me and flown me to a wonderful place, a place where the sickly stone jungle had never been born, a place of pure beauty and magic, where the water was crystalline and the stress were lush. When it stormed tall canopies offered me cover and when the cold wind began to bite too hard a cave would always be there to offer protection. All of that was amazing but do you know what the best thing was? The clocks. They stopped ticking. The Golden Dragon flew me to a world that wasn’t enslaved by social constructs.