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Dean Whitbread 2013

Dean Whitbread 2020

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Written on April 27, 2007, and categorized as Secret and Invisible.
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Without opening his eyes, he sensed he was outside.

He lay with his nose pressed deeply down into soft ground, brackish leaves entering his nostrils, and he could smell blood from an old injury on his face above his eye. He could feel the entire front of his body cold, flat on a damp, uneven, slightly rotting surface of rank vegetation and domestic detritus.

This was not the kitchen.

He was conscious of something digging him painfully in the ribs half-way up the left of his chest, but he didn’t seem to be able to adjust his position, as if he was in a dream state willing himself to move, but trapped by the inertia of sleep.

His ears were buzzing and whistling, with a permanent fuzzy drone, as if someone had left a fridge on in the middle of his head, or perhaps one of the amps hadn’t been turned off at the end of the party. One of his feet was very cold – he had lost a shoe, he could feel his toes pushed a couple of centimetres into in the grit, stones, sticks, and wet rotting rubbish.

He could hear the excited noises of a big animal nearby, some heavy panting over to his left, and a part of him wondered perfectly lucidly if he was safe, or whether he was about to be attacked. He would not be eaten, he decided, and wondered whether the simultaneous contrasting perceptions of vulnerability with security were a common effect of the drug.

The drug he knew he had taken in a what-the-hell-it’s-a-party moment under the auspices of a real hippy who had warned him solemnly, with big serious eyes that said, this was not an ecstasy pill or an LSD trip. That this might really change his life. That this was a one-way journey. He had thought of Dyllis, his recent ex-girlfriend, the no-hope college career he was close to abandoning, his tight-arsed father and his college debt, and had necked the potion in one.

Now he found himself outside, partially clothed, in a place he didn’t recognise and without a clue how he had got there.

The animal whined and scraped at the fence, and began to bark. It was a dog. Somehow the noise made him feel able to stir, and he lifted his head up and opened his eyes. The cold air blurred his vision. He was in a very dark alley a few metres across, tall dark poplar trees up ahead silhouetted against stars, a high wooden fence down both sides. Moving made his head hurt, and he groaned involuntarily. Pushing himself up on his elbows, he fought to focus.

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