by T.C. Harrow
The effects of taking drugs you don't know too much about.
“Trifluerozine pentalitherol. Crystallized form of psilocybin and ptyrenol-opium extract. I laced it with nine and three-quarter micrograms of LSD for the tiniest bit of the sugar-shock. Potent, if you take more ‘n one at a time, as with any other drug. Should give you a helluva spin, but not too much, if you can dig it.”
“Should I call it by that name? Trifluero-something?”
“Shouldn’t have to call it by any name, especially if you’re in with the wrong people. But just between you and I, this kicker is known around my place as ‘Texas Pete’”.
Dorliss slid the small plastic Ziploc bag over the coffee table discreetly, disguised under a thin napkin with a salt-shaker placed on the top. The gesture, if seen by a wandering eye, would appear as if this man in a brown overcoat and fedora had slipped his partner, a washed-up fellow with tousled hair and a haggard expression, some salt for the bowl of soup placed before him.
Sly. Garnered from more than a few years of living on the streets.
Before he could take the salt-shaker off of the napkin, Dorliss stopped him--
“Uh-huh…” Couldn’t tear his eyes away from what lay beneath the napkin…he really needed it.
“Just try to take care of yourself a little bit better. This here will give you an eight-hour boost, but no less and absolutely no more. After all of this is gone, and you’ve had your fair share of Pete, no more. You’re going to have to pick yourself up out of this muck, my man. I mean it.”
Chris had the strength to look up. Dorliss did mean it. He could see it in the way his eyes held that soft but stern expression. He felt sympathy. Something he hadn’t really felt in a while.
“Okay. I got you. Just this once.”
Dorliss nodded, nearly imperceptibly, leaned back casually in the chair, removing a Newport from his jacket pocket, puckering it into the left side of his mouth, a form of habit. He would wait until the meal was finished and he stepped outside to smoke.
Chris exhaled slowly, running his fingers nervously through his hair, as if unsure about this sudden change of mood, and whether he was wrong to make such a move. Too late now, he thought. Much too late now.
The deal was done.
Dorliss paid for their breakfast, thirty dollars cash, smiling at the waitress congenially and telling her to keep the change as tips. She left smiling to herself at this bit of fortune.
By two o’clock that same day, Chris had left, too, making his way steadily down the interstate freeway, back into Florida, en route to his home away from home.
Every so often he’d glance at the small Ziploc bag sitting placidly in the passenger seat next to him, not-withholding a genuine smile.