The vibration of noise and music rattled the walls and knocked his glass off the nightstand, crashing onto the floor. He reached for the largest shard of glass and flung it across the room.

“I hate this damn town.” He collapsed onto the bed, inebriated and maudlin.

His mind was a sloppy mess of irrationality. He felt himself slipping, slipping.

He drifted above his comatose form and weightlessly circled the room. He was free again.

The door burst open and several men entered his room. He zipped right though them as he set himself to soar through the clouds and into the stratosphere. The freedom was exhilarating.

Once he’d ascended above the blue haze of the atmosphere, he noticed the moon off to his right and set his soul in motion, faster than the speed of thought. He dipped beneath the lunar ridges and floated above the surface for two, three, four orbits.

He then turned his attention toward Venus, the bright green jewel of his eye. But just as he set course, he felt himself ratcheted back into his body.

“Welcome back! You gave us quite a scare!”

Hooked up to monitors and drips, he squinted and stared straight into the eyes of a burly paramedic. He couldn’t move his mouth to speak, and his muscles all felt numb. He drifted back off to sleep.

“Barry! Barry!”

He opened his eyes and saw a radiant blur standing over him. “How long was I out?”

“Five days.”

He tried to sit up, but her hand held him in place.

“You’re too groggy right now. Give it a moment.”

He could feel the IV strapped to his wrist, and could vaguely make out the sights and sounds of a hospital room.

“You’re still in recovery.”

He clamped his free hand over his eyes. “Christ. Recovery from what?”

“Well, for starters, you downed a bottle of alprazolam with a bottle of tonic.”

The words festered in his mind for a moment before they began to register. He’d wanted to die. Or get so high he’d leave his body forever. “It was the only way.”

“Only way for what?”

“To leave this town.”

The lady moved in closer to his face and looked him dead in the eyes. “So, how bad do you really want to leave?”

He groaned. “Anything. I don’t ever want to wake again.”

The nurse quietly and deliberately closed the door, locked it shut, and began drawing up a syringe. “Are you sure, Barry? Do you really want to leave forever?”

With all his strength, he let out a resounding, “YESSSS!!!”

She softly drifted over to his side, injected the syringe into his IV line, and held his hand. “Shhhh. It’s going to hurt for one brief moment, and then it will all be over.”

His body began to buck wildly and seize up, and then flopped down, lifelessly.

The code alarm blared and blasted throughout the halls as his soul lifted up and out of the room.

This time, he was definitely going to Venus!

About Quackzalcoatl

Phoneticist, Palindrologist, and freelance Sharknadologist. Inventor. Ruler of 2-acre lakes and small streams.


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