Archive for drugs

Candyflip Memories

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2017 by ofherbsandaltars

I miss the crystal mayhem

The music like a velvet band

Like lace

Stretching with every movement

The writing on UV lights

It would change

A mobile phone like a puppy dog

The 20p on the bathroom floor

I still have it

Because I watched the walls vibrate

While playing Snake

On a Nokia 3210

 

Then the club burned down

And it burned my memories too

I got sick

And it’s all gone

I’ll never drop another Shuriken

Not even a shitty Mitzi

It’s all gone

 

But I remember the neon and beauty

I remember seeing the afterlife

Zinging purple and white

Souls without boundaries

Infinite

Infinite

It has to be the Glis remix – it brings me up every time

It’s better than wine

Not as good as a decent pill

 

Assemblage 23

They meant so much to me

Let Me Be Your Armour –

It spoke of everything

I still need armour

But my armour sucks

I suck

I lost everything

 

Neon Midnights

I still miss them

I just write about them now

Sing about them

But they’re gone

 

Just the dust of memory

The residue on scales

It’s gone.

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The Sticky Cat

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2015 by ofherbsandaltars

If there was one moment when you knew your life had gone to shit, Sam thought, this had to be it. Washing methadone out of an angry, sticky cat. Sam had sucked spilled methadone out of his carpet in the past, and for a few seconds he’d contemplated doing the same thing to the cat – 50ml of fucking methadone, and every drop of it was absorbed in the shaggy tabby fur of that ungrateful fucking cat. Which meant that he now faced a day of feeling unpleasantly twitchy, followed by a full night of climbing the walls, constantly yawning and nose blowing, and taking more shits than the average person managed in a week. And all because of this sticky green bastard of a cat. Sucking bitter methadone out of the cat’s fur had been deeply unappealing, and Sam’s attempt at wringing the cat out hadn’t gone down a storm either – it had merely yielded a few lumps of moist, sticky fur, and an even more furious feline.

This, he supposed, was why you weren’t supposed to get an animal while you were a junkie. Get a fucking pot plant, they said, that’s all you’re good for, even you can’t fuck up a pot plant, surely! Sam hadn’t fucked up the pot plant, well, not exactly – at least, he hadn’t meant to. It had just seemed so fucking judgemental, that pot plant, probably because it was a gift from Sam’s mum. She’d obviously read the same book about recovery, telling you that the first step was a fucking pot plant. So there it was. A great big flowery pink thing, sitting on the windowsill, and every time Sam shot up gear in the living room, happily nodding out to Depeche Mode with a cigarette burning holes in his jeans, he would suddenly notice that ghastly bloody pot plant sitting there, watching him. Judging him. One night when his dealer had been feeling generous, and gifted him with a ten-bag of crack, which Sam had duly dumped into the syringe along with the brown, he’d become deeply paranoid about that fucking pot plant. Was it more than just a pot plant? More than just a metaphor? For days he’d felt the thing watching him – what if it wasn’t just familial guilt that was prickling at him? What if his mother had actually bugged the fucking thing, and every time he shot up in front of that beastly pink plant, his mother was watching his every move, weeping into her gin and tonic and plotting to have him carted off to rehab, or even a lunatic asylum?! That was the night Sam tore the pot plant to shreds in search of a hidden camera, frantically apologising to his mother and making wild promises of sobriety as he clawed through handful after handful of mud and compost and roots.

So the pot plant wasn’t a success. It clearly wasn’t time to move onto anything bigger, like a hamster, or a relationship. But then, along came that fucking cat.

It was a great big shaggy bastard of a cat, hairy and tabby with a ripped up ear, and Sam had absolutely no idea how it got into the house, the first time, but when he came home it was sitting on the sofa like it owned the place. Since he had three newly-purchased bags of gear in his pocket, which would do significantly more than his three sweaters to warm up a shitty winter’s day, he ignored the cat completely, and got on with the task at hand. Before he knew it, he was sprawled out on the floor in the blissful embrace of the best batch since October, and the cat was curled up on his chest, purring. It was so fucking furry, so fucking soft and furry, and its deep rumbling purr-vibrations ebbed and flowed like the sea, as if the cat was sharing his high and loving every second of it, and at that moment, Sam became quite attached to the cat. The next day, he went to buy it some tins of fishy cat food, and the cat became a permanent resident.

That had been three months ago, and Sam and the cat had been getting along just fine, until today. He’d put the opened bottle of methadone down on the coffee table for five seconds, while he went to grab a cup of tea to chase it down with, and when he came back, that fucking cat was drenched in the stuff, blinking its big yellow eyes at him with an expression of smug amusement. The cat wasn’t quite so amused now though, since Sam had taken it upstairs and dumped it in the sink for a rudimentary washing. He might be a dysfunctional smackhead with an irrational phobia of pot-plants, but he was still aware that the Cat Situation needed to be rectified – if he ignored it, the stupid bloody thing would lick itself clean and get high off its furry little tits, and then probably drop dead.

Unfortunately, there was no explaining this to the cat. Maybe because the cat had wanted it all along, had wanted to be slurping up Sam’s methadone and getting fucked off its furry little face. Maybe the cat had planned the whole thing! That fucking cat was always watching, when Sam shot up gear, perhaps growing curious, growing envious, but cats didn’t have thumbs – there was sod all a cat could do with a needle. The methadone though, that was fair game, for a scheming, plotting, deviant feline…

By the time the cat was more or less cleaned of sticky green methadone, Sam’s wrists resembled those of a disenfranchised emo teenager, hashed with shallow, stinging scratches, and he got the strong feeling that his pleasant relationship with the cat might well be over for good. Finally, he gave it a bit of a rub with a towel, and the cat dealt him one final hissing, snarling gouge across the back of the hand, before it shot out of the room and vanished completely. Sam muttered a rude word, rinsing his torn-up arms under the tap, and plodding down the stairs to survey the remaining chaos. The carpet wasn’t too bad, so he ignored it, but the cat had done a thorough job – not a drop of methadone remained in the brown plastic pharmacy bottle. Sam frowned at it for several seconds, then he checked his watch. It was barely past one in the afternoon – that left a very, very long night ahead of him…

Well… said the insidious little voice in the back of his head, it doesn’t HAVE to be that way…

He felt the beginnings of a tantalising nervous-excitement tingle in his stomach, urging him into junkie autopilot – grab your phone, grab your wallet and your keys, dial the golden number and get down to business – what the fuck are you waiting for?! But then, with a heavy sense of crushing defeat, he remembered the precise reason that this Methadone Cat debacle had happened in the first place. The Dreaded Piss Test. Usually, his consumption of methadone was lazy at best – he generally just chucked it in the cupboard for a rainy day, and shot some smack instead. But not today. Not this week. He’d already fucked up the last one, and if his piss wasn’t as pure as the Virgin Mary this time around, his worker had informed him in no uncertain terms that There Would Be Consequences. Which meant that he’d spent the last four days so sober, so bored out of his skull, that he’d resorted to drinking every last drop of stashed methadone. It had been better than he’d expected, actually, but now he was double fucked – no stash, and still handcuffed to tomorrow’s piss test.

Well… said the voice, there are always options…

Frowning, Sam picked up the empty methadone bottle, screwed on the lid, and experimentally shoved it into the pocket of his jeans. It fit well enough. Bit of a bulge, but nothing that wouldn’t be fixed by a baggy sweater. He stood motionless for several seconds, staring at the empty bottle, frozen in an agony of indecision. If they caught him, he would be absolutely, completely fucked…

Microwave, said the voice. Put it in the microwave, make it nice and hot…

Three seconds later, Sam lost the battle with temptation, and launched into frantic movement. In the kitchen, he yanked the top off the methadone bottle, gave it a perfunctory rinse-out, whipped out his dick, and filled the whole thing with Grade A dope-free piss. After screwing on the lid, he held it up to the light, feeling proud of his creation, as though he had personally brewed an exceptionally fine batch of vintage champagne. Four and a half hard-fought days of boring sobriety, distilled into this priceless golden solution. It seemed such an achievement, in fact, that he went delving in the cupboard, and when he found a small Tupperware box, he pissed into that too, and when he could piss no more, he put all of it away in the fridge. Hiding his precious fluids behind a jar of pickles, he suppressed a snigger, feeling like a deviant genius. This fridge-full of piss was more precious than gold – Sam didn’t see a bottle of lukewarm urine, he saw absolute freedom. Grinning, he shut the fridge, and went over to the sink to chug down three large glasses of water, before he shot into action, snatching up his wallet and keys, and dialling That Number as he hurried out of the door.

By the time he got back, forty minutes later, he had a pocketful of heroin, and a bladder ready to rupture, but he was armed and ready, a two-litre bottle of cheap lemonade purchased from the corner shop. He poured the fizzy contents down the sink, and gave it a thorough wash, before he grabbed an old jug, and stood proudly in the centre of his kitchen, unleashing the piss. Soon enough, he had enough piss in his fridge to sail through piss tests for months to come. The latest batch he was particularly proud of – it was so pale in colour that it barely resembled piss at all, and from previous urinary experiments, he knew that this was best. Watery piss would never begin to stink, no matter how long you kept it. If you presented your drug worker with a cupful of stale old piss that was orange as marmalade, thick with sediment and reeking like a blocked up sewer, your game was up. Sam gave his creation a proud nod, and continued into the living room with a smile on his face.

Sitting down on the rug, he started cooking up, but as soon as he dumped the gear into the spoon, he felt the unpleasant creepings of his conscience. Scoring was one thing – the chase, the mission, the uncertainty – it was so tense and all-consuming that there was no room for doubt. But now that he was here, in the safety of his living room, teetering on the brink of a Stupid Decision, the doubts flooded back. Though he was reasonably confident that he could get through the Dreaded Piss Test without being convicted of illicit piss-smuggling, there was the morality of the thing. Though it baffled Sam, some people were proud of their piss tests. You could even get a fucking print-out to take home and hang on the fridge – an official certification of your pristine, saint-like bladder. And although Sam had no desire to give his mum a Piss Certificate to hang on her wall, as a matter of personal pride, wasn’t it a bit shit? A bit of a wankerish cop-out, to find yourself incapable of surviving five miserable days without smack? It was the sort of thing that was supposed to kick you into recovery, that – looking around yourself at the feebleness of your willpower, and going Well Shit, I Guess I Have A Problem…

Despite his doubts, Sam’s fingers had been deftly running through the familiar and beloved ritual, and he found himself staring at a fresh syringe half filled with warm amber liquid. As always, it was the most beautiful sight on Earth. Fuck the Grand Canyon. Fuck California sunsets and lunar eclipses and Kim Kardashian’s juicy great greased-up ass – this was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen in his life.  The doubts continued their grumbling unabated – you useless, wankerish, pathetic little junkie – but as Sam surveyed his loaded syringe, he remembered the cat. That fucking cat, drenched in his methadone. None of this was Sam’s fault! His morality and will-power remained proud and unblemished, for he had had no choice. The fucking cat made him do it!

Spurred into action by this cast-iron excuse, and the glowing feeling of utter vindication it gave him, he snapped the belt around his bicep, and drove the needle into his favourite vein. When he’d forced the drugs into his bloodstream and dropped the syringe on the carpet, he stared into space, swaying slightly as the rush enveloped him, savouring every second of this lover’s reunion, after four long days of lonesome separation. The warmth, the golden tinge it gave the sunlight, the way his sense of smell seemed to cloud over with a subtle dusty scent as everything was turned down like a volume slider on the radio of existence, smoothly gliding from the too-bright, too-sharp ugliness of sober life, into the honeyed treacle bliss of his heroin reality.  The air in the room, the blood in his veins, it all became as thick and golden as warm molasses, the ticking clock of life slowing into stillness until all that remained was the languorous dance of dust in the afternoon sun, spilling through the gap in the curtains.

As he gazed across the room, he saw a movement in the doorway, and the cat came melting out of the shadows. Its pupils were the narrowest of slits, turning its eyes into vast, glassy golden lamps – he’d never seen a cat look so smug, or so wasted. Whatever methadone he’d left in its fur, that fucking cat had gladly devoured. Sam smiled at the cat. The cat smiled smugly back, beginning to vibrate with a low, rumbling purr. Drowsily, Sam wondered whether, just maybe, the cat wasn’t such an intolerably fiendish bastard after all – maybe it had had his best interests at heart all along. A cast-iron excuse to get high, with no guilt at all, and then a furry little friend to curl up and cuddle with afterwards. What an awesome cat. Those recovery books, he decided, sprawling out on the rug, were total bollocks. Fuck the pot plants – what every junkie needed was a plotting, scheming, dope-fiend of a cat…

The Forbidden Things (Dope Holiday)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 30, 2014 by ofherbsandaltars

There were those frequent moments when Adrian began to wish that he had never touched the Forbidden Things, because each one left its scar on his soul, burned in for all eternity. He often wondered what his soul looked like by now, whether it was lacerated and scarred all over, singed black and scabbed brown, not hardened by the flame of experience but corrupted by it forever, pierced eternally with wounds that would split open and gush fresh blood when it was least expected. The fruits of the poison garden, once tasted, could never be forgotten. A man who had eaten only bread would never hunger for steak, would never thirst for wine, would never crave the slow, crackling burn of heroin as it rolled in thick black trails across tin foil, the acrid spice on the tongue and the numb warmth that followed – he had never tasted those pleasures; he remained simple, remained pure.

When they warned the children away from those fruits, they told them all the wrong things. Those adults who spoke against the poison fruits had never tasted their sweetness – they knew not of what they spoke, and all they could pass on were dry, moral lectures, facts and statistics and nonsense, which would only kindle the curiosity of those innocent bright-eyed children. The poison fruits, they were told, would kill you dead in a single bite, would drive a man to madness and ruin, yet within each group of children was one a little wiser, one with a brother or sister some years older, who had sampled those dark delicacies and lived to tell the tale. It was a tale of ecstasy and decadence, of swaying moonlight and swirling neon, and it rang far louder in the hearts of the children than all those dusty lies, those tepid warnings.

The truth of the poison fruit was not death, for death would be too easy. The truth of the poison fruit was that they lived on for an eternity, burrowed into the souls of their victims and nested there like writhing parasites. The first bite could be harmless, but to feast on the poison fruit, to come to know it as intimately as any lover…those who strayed this far into the garden would never truly be free. For the rest of their lives the honeyed poison of those fruits would wind its black blood through their veins, would burn searing scars into their hearts and minds, for the poison fruit could never be forgotten. The simple life of innocent children, of men dining solely on bread, this life would lose its colour – the bread would have no taste. The world would forever be dull and stale, a stagnant puddle of boredom and ugliness, never able to rival those neon swirls, the moonlight and ecstasy and velvet oblivion that dwelt in the garden of the poison fruit.

The afflicted would suffer a thousand hungers, would starve for lost sensations, every moment of every day until they died. If they sought to cure the ache in their soul, the burning thirst of paradise lost, with a desperate return to the garden, they would find themselves a prisoner there, for there was no such word as enough. The fruit could be stacked high enough to block out the sun, to cast the world into everlasting darkness, but the stack would always dwindle. Some chose this path regardless, dedicated themselves to the garden until it sent them mad, until the poison fruit thickened their blood with its toxins, until their organs failed and their corpses rotted in the shade of those fruit trees. Others turned away, lived forever in devout starvation, suffered the gnawing of the scars on their souls, the hungry mouths of ancient wounds, which hungered forever for the poisoned blood of a thousand poison fruits.

 

 

Adrian liked to torture himself with memories, liked to spend whole nights lying awake, ripping open the scabs on his soul, until they gushed toxic blood that burned through his veins and made his brain throb with longing. All those endless neon nights, those reeling blacklit 4am moments when the music had seeped into his bloodstream and tingled through every vein, when he had fallen out of the doors of clubs into the cool night air and stared for hours at the leaves of autumnal trees, the graceful arc of their silver branches framing the sparkling eternity of the midnight sky. Those moments when the daylight world, the world of tasteless bread and tasteless sanity, had slept in its bed and he alone had possessed the night, had felt the darkness and moonlight coursing through him in a sizzling torrent of endless possibility – the moments when he felt alive, not merely existing. He remembered those glorious Sundays, still flying high on the drugs of the night before, when he would hoover up a cold white line of speed, and drive across the city just for the hell of it. The sky would be a perfect sunlit blue, and he would soar through its bright expanse on wings of chemical fire, the windows open and the wind in his hair, music turned up until every drumbeat shivered through the marrows of his bones, pounded in time with the unstoppable rhythm of his heart. The singer’s raw, primal screams would shred through his brain, supercharging the chemical soup of his blood, sending his skin shivering into euphoric goosebumps – swigging Redbull and snorting speed and powering down those endless blue sky highways, caught between the summer sun and the open road, his heartbeat roaring like a V8 engine.

Sometimes he taunted himself with those memories, other times he chose the opposite side of the coin, seeking not life itself but the peace and warmth of life-in-death. The elegance of the slim syringe, the hot amber syrup it contained, the sudden rush of blood into the barrel, snaking through the golden solution like a blooming ruby flower, before the tide turned and his hungry vein devoured it all. Then the count of a single heartbeat, two, three…before the rush of velvet and cobwebs and blissful nothingness enfolded him in a lover’s embrace. He saw again the image of that innocent white envelope, folded with illicit origami, its contents a thick snowdrift of soft brown powder – while the envelope was full, Adrian had been invincible, untouchable – whatever happened in the cruel and meaningless world outside, it could be fended off, ignored, destroyed, with the delicate sting of a fresh syringe.

He would torture himself with holidays from the past, not those filled with childish laughter and wholesome fun, but the ones spent locked away in a dilapidated hut in some godforsaken German wilderness, crouched over the glow of a single lantern. He remembered the old-fashioned patterning on those dirty piles of overlapping rugs, the monstrous spiders that scuttled about their secret purpose on the edge of the pool of lamplight. It had been a hut intended for avid hikers, or yogic vegan hippies, with their clean blood and pure minds, but Adrian had found his own dark solace in its simplistic isolation. He had arrived with a suitcase full of syringes, sterile spoons, cigarette filters and all the other flotsam and jetsam of addiction, but most importantly of all, that strangely folded envelope, fat and heavy with its bottomless bounty of heroin. Inside the flimsy walls of that dilapidated hut, in the golden pool of lamplight, Adrian had immersed himself in the idyllic fantasy of his addiction. There were no unreliable dealers, no waiting around in the cold and the rain, scanning the horizon for a familiar grey car. There were no patrolling policemen, no empty wallets, no meddlesome friends knocking on his door. Outside the small, grimy window of his hut, moonlight bathed the countryside, wind whispered through the pine trees, and on those dirty rugs, Adrian found his own utopia, let his sleeping mind dance through the gardens of the poison fruit, in pure, blissful abandonment.

He remembered his time in Paris, in an apartment high above a busy courtyard, when as the sun set he would open the windows and let the jaunty French music drift in, on warm summer air scented with the mingling perfumes of baking bread and roasting meat. Adrian would sit by the window, high above the rabble of diners in that city of romance, cooking up his shot with as much care and finesse as the Parisian chefs below, sucking it up in a fine syringe, delivering the precious load into his bloodstream, then closing his eyes and drifting away on the music, on the sunset, on the warm summer air. Eventually he would stumble to his feet, stand at the window with a slow burning cigarette, watching the crowds come and go, watching them laugh and sip their wine, feeling as though he were an angel looking down from heaven. Sometimes he would drag on his leather jacket and go down to walk amongst them, to reel through the city streets, warm and weightless in the velvet cocoon of opium’s golden lovechild.

The memories he tortured himself with drove him slowly mad. There were nights when he didn’t sleep at all, when he threw back the tangled sheets and paced around his room, smoked endless cigarettes and stared out of the window at the empty darkened street. The moon was a flat dull orb that held no silver secrets. The stars didn’t shimmer, the trees were brown and dead. The night held no magic, and Adrian was not an angel looking down. He walked with feet of clay, sucked into the same stagnant mire as the rest of the muddy world, never soaring in exultation, never basking in opiate bliss. Every second that passed was as dusty and slow as a torturous ticking clock, which counted down the rattling breaths of a putrid, sluggish eternity. The poison fruit, once tasted, could never be forgotten. Adrian had gorged himself on every fruit in that garden, had touched every one of the Forbidden Things, and they had polluted his soul for all time. He tortured himself with memories, because even the pain of his bleeding soul, of the ravenous mouths of hungers unfed, were better than the emptiness of the daylight world, the sane world; that yawning eternity of saltless bread, and stale sober life…

Biohazard (I Hate You, Dr Penaranda)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 17, 2014 by ofherbsandaltars

John was used to the scorn of doctors, was used to being treated like a second class citizen, but Dr Penaranda took the fucking piss. John had been going to drug treatment agencies for five years now, pissing in cups and watching as dishevelled ex-junkie counsellors scrutinised his urinary offering, dipping tester sticks into it which would then decide his fate. He was used to being rejected from blood drives for the dual crimes of drug abuse and fucking other men, and he was used to the bi-yearly blood tests from fat snooty women in latex gloves, sucking out vials of his blood, which was deemed toxic before it was even tested. He had spiked his veins with shared syringes, taken it up the ass bareback on numerous occasions, had even stuck dirty needles directly into his dick a few particularly unpleasant times, when all his other veins had gone into hiding, and between the choice of his dick or his toes, John had chosen his dick – there was something far more wince-inducing about toe-veins, somehow. But after all of these dances with death, all of these sordid encounters, a dick up the ass or a needle in the arm, John had escaped unscathed. It had been a year since he last shot heroin, almost as long since he let anyone fuck him without a condom, and his blood was still as pure as Mother Theresa. But to Dr Penaranda, he was nothing more than the scum of the Earth.

Though John had emerged from over a decade of drug abuse without HIV or hepatitis, there were other, stranger and more subtle side effects. Before he got into heroin, he had enjoyed a long and euphoric, but ultimately exhausting fling with intravenous speed and cocaine. Sometime after he knocked that on the head and transferred his affections to the more sympathetic embrace of smack, his body had developed a profound hatred for all stimulants. Coffee morphed over the course of a year from a friendly, legal, Morning Drug into a sinister black nightmare which would induce near-death heart palpitations, sweating, and the strong desire to vomit. John’s friends found it hilarious, that they’d witnessed him shooting gear directly into his dick but he couldn’t stomach even half a cup of coffee without getting the shakes and vomiting into the nearest bin. These insidious symptoms grew over time, and before long nicotine caused the same disastrous effects, much to John’s dismay, after a wonderful lifetime of daily smoking. His much-abused body was fighting back with a vengeance, by taking away from him all those minor vices that he held most dear. Soon afterwards, heroin with all its sinister cutting agents was firmly removed from the menu too, and John found himself forced into the ghastly world of sobriety and healthy living. He very quickly found that he hated it, but that didn’t stop his vengeful body from complaining.

By the time John had been clean for a year, his spiteful fuck of a body had banned items from his diet as diverse and peculiar as Weetabix, tea, skimmed milk and supposedly-healthy vegetarian sausages. If he wanted to survive the day without attacks of shaking, heart palpitations and that exact same feeling of terrible, nauseating dread that came after a long night of injecting cocaine, John was forced to subsist on rice and vegetables and potatoes, in an endless ribbon of sickening monotony. When he took these woes to the doctors, he was eventually prescribed valium, which muted the symptoms enough to make suicide less tempting, because suicide was sometimes very tempting, for a man who had been violently stripped of all the loves of his life within the space of a single year, cigarettes replaced with celery, junk swapped for fucking potatoes – John was hanging onto his sanity by the merest thread.

But then, along came Dr Penaranda. She was Indian, with a polite manner that thinly veiled an ill-educated, junkie-hating cunt, as John quickly came to realise. His valium prescription was stripped down to a mediocre 28 pills, never to be refilled again, and the stupid bitch sent him off to see a counsellor, as if he could talk away his heart palpitations and visualise those vomited meals right back into his stomach, and by the time John left the doctor’s office, he was burning with existential fury. He strode into the nearest off-license, bought a packet of cigarettes and a lighter, and then lit five in a row, purely for the purpose of stubbing them out on the scarred flesh of his left arm – a small and bitter act of vengeance against his arsehole of a body.

When he had finished with this pointless ritual of rather expensive self-mutilation, his head felt slightly clearer. He began to realise that although his body was a traitorous cunt of the highest order, the real enemy here was Dr Penaranda. She viewed him as a drug-seeking scumbag, never to be trusted with pills again, never to be treated like a human being, let alone shown the most basic compassion, and for this, she had to pay. John spent the better part of a day turning over in his mind all the ways that a doctor could be harmed – professionally, emotionally, physically. It was three days before he had concocted a scheme that would hit at the heart of all three. His body was failing him – that much was undeniable. Did he really want to live for another forty years in this arsehole of a body, on a drug-free diet of celery and potatoes? Not fucking likely! And that knowledge – it gave him power. The man with nothing to lose, has everything to gain. His failing body would become his ultimate weapon, a walking nuke aimed directly at that snooty, moronic bitch of a doctor. John had work to do.

It took him longer than he expected to track down a local participant in the bug chasing scene – a small subset of the gay population who sought to contract HIV. He had read about it years ago, had found it fascinatingly self destructive and insane, and had noted for future reference always to check sexual partners for a biohazard tattoo – in this world, it wasn’t just a cool design, it signified a ‘gift giver’, an infected man wishing to pass on his sickness. It was two weeks before John managed to arrange a meeting with one of these elusive creatures, during which time he had spent three days shivering and vomiting as his treacherous body added white chocolate to the ‘never eat again’ list.

He met his Gift Giver at a nondescript apartment in the city. The guy looked healthy enough, attractive and muscular, a biohazard tattoo proudly emblazoned across the rippling, shaved expanse of his chest. The entire experience took John back to his youthful days of speed and meaningless sex – a stranger’s apartment, minimal conversation before the fun began. During the foreplay, his partner was rough, and when John protested at the stinging pain in his asshole, the guy explained that it was good to rip it up with your fingernails a little – helped the bacteria to get in there, raised your chances of contracting the bug. John nodded, frowning slightly, and crawled onto the bed to await that greased, toxic cock.

Half an hour later, John was on the train home. Three stops into the journey, he visited the bathroom to shit out the rancid ooze of his partner’s semen, having given it a good fifteen minutes to work its magic. He emerged from the bathroom with a wide grin on his face, and sat back down, feeling elated. Take that, he thought smugly, You cantankerous, vengeful SHIT! Think you can take away my smack, my cigarettes and my coffee, do you, you rotten-hearted little fuck? Well, I hope you like what’s coming! Enjoy the AIDs, you son of a bitch…

John was well aware that this vengeance plan was to be a slow one. He had to endure three months of potatoes and boredom before he got his blood tested, but he put these months to good use. Wearing a wig, a cap, and a pair of sunglasses, he spent every waking moment stalking that bitch of a doctor, observing her habits, getting to know her routines, finding the perfect opportunities to strike, whilst growing a spectacular beard to hide his identity. Finally, in mid August, John’s blood was tested, and he found that he had hit the germ jackpot – John was now HIV Positive, in all senses of the word. He walked home beaming sunnily at everyone he passed, feeling all-powerful, godlike – he had become a walking biological weapon, an avenging angel with poison for blood – John the almighty Bringer of Death, never to be underestimated again.

From his studies of Dr Penaranda, he knew that she went shopping after work, almost every Friday afternoon. She would always park in the same corner of the car park, before browsing the shelves of Primark and River Island, and then moving on to Sainsburys. This was where John would strike. At 11am on Friday, he borrowed a car from a friend, a nondescript blue Ford which would attract no attention. At noon he visited his familiar old needle exchange, and picked up a bag of 1ml syringes, with their orange caps, their slim barrels, their needles so fine you barely felt the sting. By 1pm he was at home, poking around in his arm for the ruins of a vein, from which he extracted half a syringeful of dark, toxic blood. Once this weapon was prepared, he donned his wig, his sunglasses and cap, his smartest suit and cleanest shoes. Then, he got into the car, and drove out to the car park, to lie in wait.

Dr Penaranda arrived at 2.47pm, in her familiar maroon Mercedes. John slouched in his seat, and waited for her to enter the mall, before he got out of the car, and hurried along behind. He endured almost fifteen minutes of browsing in Primark, by which time the queue at the checkout was building up. Finally, Dr Penaranda emerged from the changing rooms, and joined the end of the queue. John straightened his sunglasses, pushed down his hat, and removed the cap from the syringe. As he walked across the room, carrying a pair of blue jeans, he assessed his target. The doctor was wearing her typically boring attire, a smart-ish suit with black trousers. He zeroed in on one of her meaty thighs, and slowed his pace to a casual stroll, fighting to control his elated grin. As he reached the back of the queue he tripped over his own foot, tossed the jeans onto the floor, and bent down to retrieve them. As he stood back up he stumbled again, bumped lightly into the doctor’s right thigh, a quick stick of the needle, thumping down the plunger with his thumb. She jumped slightly, turning to frown at him, and John mumbled a drunken-sounding apology, wandering hastily away across the shop.

He dumped the jeans on the nearest table, and exited Primark, glancing casually down his sleeve to confirm that the syringe in his hand now contained barely one unit of blood. Beaming, he recapped that toxic vessel, and made his way back to the carpark. This day had been a glorious win for junkie science, for the hair-fine tip of that slim syringe, loaded with its cargo of poison blood. Who’s the scum of the Earth now, Mrs Fucking Doctor, he thought, as he drove towards home. Let’s see how long you can keep your job, keep lording it over us peasants, now you’ve caught the junkie fag disease. Let’s see how YOU like being treated like an untrustworthy retard riddled with plague, you stuck up snot-nosed shit-eating cunt… These thoughts were making him cross again, so he turned on the radio, and sang along loudly and cheerfully with Huey Lewis, whilst imaging his filthy blood, thick with pearly dollops of infected semen, writhing blackly through the puritanical veins of that supercilious bitch. By the time he got home, he felt on top of the world.

Over the next few months, John kept an eye on Dr Penaranda. He witnessed the frequent colds, the absences from work, then finally the hospital appointment that ended with her sobbing pathetically in her Mercedes. That night, he ate his potato with more enjoyment than he had been able to muster in months. Within another week, she was no longer working at the surgery, and John had a brand new doctor, who was sympathetic to his plight. It seemed quite natural that a dying man should be anxious, and as such, John was given his valium prescription again, so that he could live out his final years in peace and tranquillity. It certainly wasn’t smack, but it made all those endless potatoes a lot easier to face…

The Placenta of Dorian Grey

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2014 by ofherbsandaltars

By the time he was 29, Dorian’s name was synonymous with decadence and corruption. Almost every night of the week, music could be heard blaring from his sprawling villa, the pool area strewn with half-naked youths – a temple of debauchery and fornication. Inside the house, on a gleaming glass table, lay a rich cornucopia of illicit wares, spread out like a buffet of intoxication. Dorian with his angel’s face and his scandalous reputation had an uncanny ability to find and collect recreational substances, and though his disciples had never even heard of some of them, they were nonetheless keen to indulge. Most of the drugs came from a mysterious dealer known only by the alias ‘Lord Henry’, and Dorian delighted in sharing every substance, revelling in each new sensation. There were chunks of crumbly black opium, whole dishes of heroin laid out like spices at the market. Shimmering rocks of Colombian cocaine sat proudly on gilt edged mirrors, and a rainbow of rich velvet pouches lay scattered across the table, each concealing a treasure trove of neat plastic capsules, filled with tiny pinches of the latest synthetic chemicals.

Frequently youths would be found dead in the morning, floating facedown in the sunlit water of Dorian’s pool, or crumpled in a corner with a mouthful of curdled vomit, but these hopeless corpses were never enough to end the party. Anyone entering Dorian’s house did so with willingness – willingness to gamble away their life in pursuit of the ultimate high, and all were well aware that the price of a single night of boundless ecstasy could be higher than any mortal could pay. But despite his life of constant excess, Dorian burned with an unquenchable flame. No one had ever known him to suffer a hangover – no one had ever seen him vomit with drunkenness, run screaming into the hills on a terrifying acid trip, or express any morning regrets. Even after days without sleep he remained ethereally beautiful, and his lust for debauchery never waned. To the drug-addled youths of Hollywood, Dorian was an icon, a deity of perpetual excess. It was said that Dorian was 29, or even into his thirties, but no one knew for sure. He didn’t look a day over eighteen, but his legendary parties had been running for the better part of a decade.

To be allowed entrance to Dorian’s house was a badge of honour in itself. Only the beautiful, the young and the debauched were allowed past the gates, for Dorian considered ugliness to be the ultimate sin. No one with imperfect features was allowed to enter his presence, and any revellers who overindulged in the tawdrier delights of life and became offputtingly fat, they would be cast out forever. Dorian sought pleasure in all its forms, and to look on the faces of the beautiful, to make love to the exquisite, this was his ultimate right, and to be chosen as Dorian’s lover was the highest honour imaginable. Within the gates of his villa was a reeling drunken world, a world of neon and ecstasy, belonging to Dorian alone, and ugliness in any form had no place inside it.

Tonight, Dorian’s chosen disciples were a thin boy with tangled purple hair, and a topless girl with gleaming ebony skin, perfect breasts and full red lips. He led them into his bedroom, sprawling out across satin sheets and plucking the waiting syringe from his nightstand, its barrel already filled with rich, amber liquid. He lay back amongst a scattering of bejewelled pillows, and the boy crawled onto the bed, tugging down Dorian’s jeans, his innocent young face dominated by eyes as wide and black as the night sky, his pupils dilating until the corruption of his pure soul could be witnessed through those gleaming, vacant orbs. The girl was dancing at the foot of the bed, running her hands over her glistening, oiled skin, and the boy closed his lips around the head of Dorian’s pierced cock. Dorian smiled an angel’s smile, slipping a belt around his left bicep and snapping it tight. The needle pierced through his flawless skin, gliding easily into a vein, and Dorian allowed the honeyed narcotic to slip into his bloodstream, sprawling out amongst the glittering pillows with a soft sigh of bliss. The empty syringe slipped from his delicate fingers, and the warm rush of the heroin enveloped him as he came into the hot wet mouth of his lover, his ice-blue eyes blissfully glazed.

 

 

Daniel was awoken by searing nausea, and he fell out of bed, his head throbbing, stumbling desperately into the bathroom. He barely made it to the toilet before he threw up a rancid cocktail of whiskey and bile, shot through with pearly trails of semen, their origins unknown. As he crumpled into a shuddering heap on the bathroom floor, he winced at the pain in his rectum, and with a groan of despair he yanked down his boxers and examined himself. His cock was now sporting a small genital wart, and his stinging asshole was slightly torn and bloody. Dorian had really outdone himself this time.

As he rinsed the rancid taste from his mouth, Daniel fearfully examined his reflection in the mirror, and was appalled to find, amongst the blonde tangle of his hair, another cluster of grey. His ice-blue eyes were bloodshot, his pale skin tinged with nauseous green, his cheekbones becoming ever more gaunt from the constant vomiting. Although he hadn’t seen Dorian in almost a decade, Daniel knew only too well that they were far from identical, these days. He looked almost twenty years older than his twin, a fact that was rubbed in his face every year on his birthday, when a rose-scented envelope would await him in the porch, and inside it he would find nothing but a photo of Dorian. Every year, a new photo, and every year, Dorian’s face remained utterly unchanged. Even when he had hacked off his hair, dyed it black and styled it into a mohican, his face remained smooth and flawless, a mirage of innocent youth, but for the evil that burned behind his ice-blue eyes.

For five years Daniel had tried to track his brother down, had buried himself in occult studies, constantly seeking the answer to this curse. He had tried rituals beneath the full moon, voodoo dolls and blood sacrifice, but nothing had made the slightest difference. Whatever obscene, debauched activities Dorian partook of, Daniel was the one to suffer the consequences – every hangover and every STD, every grey hair and wrinkle, endless mornings retching up the semen of strangers. And lately, he just seemed to be getting sicker and sicker, and he no longer had the energy to scour the Earth for his demonic twin. He stared bleakly into the mirror, watching the blood drain from his face, before he dropped to his knees in front of the toilet, and retched up another torrent of semen and stomach acid.

 

 

Dorian’s biggest secret was his twin brother Daniel, his shadow self, the source of his limitless power. Though the youths of Hollywood were forever entranced by Dorian’s British accent, it was well known that he would never speak of his origins, and this fact only increased his air of mystery. Some said that he was the bastard child of British royalty, cast out for his sins, his villa paid for with the coin of the realm, but Dorian would never tell. For the whole of his childhood he had lived in Daniel’s shadow, had been nothing more than a pale, jealous caricature of his successful, popular, witty brother, and for eighteen years the resentment had festered within him. Daniel had been given a scholarship to Oxford University, and Dorian had been left behind, his pitiful A Levels granting him access only to the local university, a school for fuckups and imbeciles, and at every single lecture he was haunted by the image of his doppelganger, walking regal corridors, treading in the footsteps of the richest men in England.

Dorian’s only friends at his new university were a pair of drug-added wasters, and it was they who supplied him with the wares that would forever change the course of his life. A bar of unlabelled chocolate, shipped direct from Amsterdam, packed with a hefty dose of dried magic mushrooms and supposedly blessed by a powerful shaman. Dorian had eaten half of it while his mother was out of town, sitting alone in his living room, dully flicking channels. When the drugs kicked in, he found his gaze drifting from the TV screen, to the photo that stood above it. His mother was at the centre, Dorian on the left, Daniel on the right. Though their faces were identical, delicate features and golden hair, Daniel’s smile radiated confidence, while Dorian’s was a forced grimace, tension and fury in every line of his tight posture.

As Dorian scowled at the photograph, the drugs building in intensity, he realised to his horror that he could feel the connection between himself and his brother, no matter how far apart they might be. It was a shimmering golden umbilical chord, stretching between them, and he could feel it pulling at him, could feel Daniel draining him of vitality, taking away from him everything that should rightfully be his – his face, his family, his place in the world, leaving him nothing but a dried out husk, a pale imitation eternally in Daniel’s shadow.

In a rage, Dorian snatched the photo and broke open the frame, tearing the image into tiny fragments, but it made no difference. He stormed through the house, a rising sense of panic overwhelming him, until he found himself drawn towards the attic as though by a pulsing siren song. He climbed the steep steps, and in a trance began riffling through a dusty suitcase of his mother’s paperwork. Beneath stacks of faded photographs, showing her and his father with their long hippie hair and obscene bellbottom flares, Dorian found the certificates of his and Daniel’s birth. Alongside them lay a small plastic baggie, containing a shrivelled brown lump. His mother’s childish script labelled it a piece of her placenta, the thing that had nourished them equally in the warm embrace of her womb, a bizarre, desiccated hippie keepsake.

As Dorian held the bag in his hands, he was filled with a strange, dark compulsion. The dried chunk of ancient meat seemed to thrum with unearthly power, as though it had been awaiting him for all those long years, as though he was standing at the crossroads of his own destiny. The attic was so still and silent that he could almost hear the beating of his own heart, a single rhythm, where in the womb it had always been doubled. For the first time in his life, Dorian stood alone, his own person, a whole individual. He opened the bag, and shook the lump of shrivelled flesh into the palm of his hand.

As soon as the placenta touched his skin, Dorian knew what was required of him. He lifted his hand to his lips, and took the placenta in his mouth as though it were the holy sacrament. At first it was tough and tasteless as ancient leather, but as his saliva soaked into the dried out meat it softened, like jerky, tasting of iron-tinged blood and musky fluids. It slipped down Dorian’s throat, and he was immediately filled with a sense of boundless freedom. Although he could still feel the connection to his brother, the shimmering golden chord had withered, turned black as tar, a one-way street. No longer could Daniel leech Dorian’s power, no longer did they share their identity – Dorian had been strengthened, purified, and Daniel became nothing more than a garbage receptacle for every putrid ounce of Dorian’s darkness.

Ever since that night, Dorian had not suffered a single illness or hangover, had not aged by a day. When he was spotted on the streets of London by a modelling agency, and moved to America to begin his nights of wild partying, it was Daniel who became sick, Daniel who was forced to drop out of Oxford, while Dorian shone on like an indestructible star. Some nights, when his brain was reeling with whiskey and cocaine, he would take a razorblade and etch angry words into the flesh of his forearm, knowing that by morning, his skin would be flawless once more, and Daniel alone would bear the scars of his wrath.

 

 

When Daniel walked into the doctor’s office, he could tell that it was bad news. Dr Patel looked even more world-weary and resigned than ever before, and as Daniel sat down he let out an exasperated sigh and asked in his thick Indian accent,

“Have you been trying to make yourself sick? Are you one of these people, these ‘Bug Chasers’?

“No!” Daniel protested. “I don’t want any of these diseases, it’s just…very… complicated…”

“I do not know what more I can tell you! I have offered you counselling on a hundred occasions, and always you say no, I give you free condoms, whole bags full of condoms, and still you come back here with yet more Chlamydia! I do not know what more words I can use with you!”

Daniel ran his hands through his hair in exasperation, knowing full well that if he tried to explain that it was Dorian having unprotected sex every single night, Dorian’s germs and Dorian’s genital warts, he would be thrown into the asylum for the rest of his life. Dr Patel’s eyes drifted down to Daniel’s exposed wrist, and he demanded,

“You have been cutting yourself again too? This one, it says ‘twat’ – why? Why are you carving the word ‘twat’ into your own skin?”

“I don’t know,” Daniel muttered, yanking down his sleeve. “I don’t remember.”

The doctor let out another defeated sigh, and asked,

“Will you not accept counselling this time? It is clear to me that you are a very sick man, with all of this drinking and this sex, and I cannot keep handing you out antibiotics like they are sweeties! And for you this time, I have very bad news…”

Daniel stared at him in bleak silence, and even before Dr Patel opened his mouth, he knew that it would be the one he had been dreading for years.

 

 

When Daniel got back home, he had an entire bag full of pills, several information sheets, and the doctor’s reassurances that HIV wasn’t a death sentence anymore, that he could still live a full and active life. But Daniel knew the truth. For years he had been researching, in a constant state of apprehension, as he battled bout after bout of Chlamydia and gonorrhoea, knowing that it was only a matter of time before Dorian hooked the biggest, baddest fish of all. He knew all too well what would happen to him, that it wouldn’t be AIDs, that he wouldn’t waste away to nothing and die in a hospital bed, looking like a prisoner fresh out of Auschwitz. It would be more insidious than that – the drugs he took to save his life would sap his strength, poison his liver and kidneys, put a strain on his heart until it gave out with no warning.

But in a way, Daniel felt as though he had been waiting for this news all along. Because now, he had nothing left to lose.

It was time to find Dorian.

 

 

Beneath the eternal rays of the Californian sun, Dorian was spreadeagled on his hands and knees, a thick black cock thrusting deliciously into his backside while the purple-haired boy lay beneath him, Dorian’s cock sliding in and out of his warm wet mouth. Between waves of all encompassing pleasure, Dorian leaned down to snort a line of coke off the shaved groin of his lover, sniffing it up hard so that some of the cool white powder hit the back of his throat, numbing the membranes. He took the boy’s cock in his mouth, and let it glide all the way down his numbed throat, the three of them writhing in perfect rhythm. The ebony-skinned girl with her perfect breasts floated around the pool on an inflatable phallus, watching them as she pleasured herself with an exact rubber replica of Dorian’s cock.

 

 

It only took an hour and a half of Googling before Daniel came across the whispers of Dorian’s location. Photographs were strewn across the internet, of beautiful young men and women in obvious states of intoxication, and in the depths of one such album, he found a picture of Dorian himself, sprawled out topless across an Oriental rug, an antique silver opium pipe in his hand and a dazed, glassy smile on his flawless face. After a further ten minutes, Daniel traced these parties to the Hollywood hills, and thirty minutes after that, he had bought himself a plane ticket to LAX.

 

 

Los Angeles airport was the most obscene creation Daniel had ever borne witness to, miles of sprawling concrete and deranged pillars of neon, towering into the glittering California sky. Something about the warmth of the night air, the constant buzz of life in this vast, lurid city, told him that he had come to the right place. It seethed with manic energy and seedy corruption, an insomniac city that lured you in with its glittering lights, and swallowed the souls of all it touched. As the taxi drove him to his cheap hotel, he saw Hollywood’s zombies stumbling the midnight streets, all those who had arrived full of high hopes and sparkling dreams, all those with stars in their eyes, who now traipsed the boardwalk on five dollar heels, hookers and pornstars and vacant eyed hobos. It had to be Dorian’s city, this glittering wasteland with cocaine and poison pumping through its veins – Dorian would feed off this city like a fat black leech.

In the morning, Daniel vomited up a litre of whiskey and semen, took his pills, and wandered out onto the streets. After talking to three hobos and a hooker, he got the approximate address of Dorian’s villa, and with a little more persuasion, the number of a local dope dealer. Daniel was nervous about meeting him, as he loitered in the sweltering sunshine, the asphalt of the hotel carpark shimmering in the heat. When the car pulled up he climbed nervously into its air-conditioned interior, but none of his pre-rehearsed lies were necessary. The guy flicked casually through Daniel’s five hundred dollars, and passed him a battered blue rucksack – the gun was inside, fully loaded.

Daniel clambered back out into the sweltering heat, and let himself into the hotel, shivers of nausea in the pit of his stomach.

 

 

As the sun set over the Hollywood hills, Dorian was sprawled out on a sun lounger, watching the flaming pink sky fade into twilight. Five minutes ago he had inserted two highly potent ecstasy pills into his rectum, before inviting his chosen disciple to fuck him all the way to euphoria. He watched lazily as his partner’s muscles rippled beneath ebony skin, each thrust of his thick cock grinding the drugs into the delicate membranes of Dorian’s colon, until perpetual waves of electric energy were flowing through him, the sunset sky beginning to shimmer and sparkle.

Once his lover’s semen was warmly dissolving the crushed remnants of Dorian’s drugs, he stumbled into the house, his vision vibrating with chemical surges of pleasure, his cock throbbing with lust. In the spacious living room he found the purple haired boy awaiting him on his knees, offering up a loaded syringe. Dorian sprawled out across a red velvet couch, sliding the needle into his vein as the boy wrapped his welcoming lips around Dorian’s cock. Throughout the house, revellers were awakening, snorting their first lines of coke, wiping off the smudged traces of last night’s makeup and soaking their semen-stained underwear in the warm water of the pool. At the gates of the villa, fresh new faces were eagerly waiting, ready to enter the temple of Sodom, to lay their lives at the feet of the sainted Dorian.

 

 

Daniel waited until 1am, when he hoped that the party would be in full swing, before he got a taxi to Dorian’s villa. The driver knew immediately where to go, and after several miles of winding roads and starlit darkness, he pulled up outside a pair of vast, golden gates, a muscular bouncer standing guard. Daniel paid the driver, and climbed out of the cab, the warm night air throbbing with pounding dance music and raucous laughter. The cold weight of the gun was tucked into his belt, hidden beneath a leather jacket that was making him sweat. As he approached the bouncer, the guy watched him with a curious frown, commenting,

“You’ve got eyes just like Dorian. You related or something?”

“I’m his cousin,” Daniel replied, trying to sound calmer than he felt. “I’ve come all the way from London – I’ve got a present for him.”

“Hang on,” the bouncer said, pulling a phone out of his pocket. “Let me check with the boss…”

“Don’t do that!” Daniel blurted out. “I want to surprise him – you’ll ruin it!”

The bouncer ignored him completely, holding the phone to his ear, but after several seconds he hung up with a resigned sigh, stating,

“Dorian’s busy. Since you’re family, I’ll let you in.”

He yanked the bolt out of the gates, and swung them wide.

Daniel passed a poolside, heaving with drunken children, the waters of the guitar-shaped pool lit from beneath, phasing slowly through rainbow hues. Dorian was nowhere to be seen, so he continued into the vast, sprawling house. Three couples were having noisy sex around a table strewn with drugs, a young girl sprawled out on her back on the floor, staring vaguely up at the ceiling with a blissful smile. Daniel asked her if she’d seen Dorian, and she pointed into the house, mumbling,

“Second door on the right…”

Daniel thanked her, and continued on his way. Outside Dorian’s door he took a deep, shaky breath, and shoved it open. A vast bed stood against the wall, covered in glittering cushions, and at its heart Dorian was expansively sprawled, a girl with tangled blonde hair sucking his dick. Dorian’s eyes locked with Daniel’s, and for a split second he looked shocked, but he quickly controlled it, tangling his fingers into the girl’s hair and forcing her into a faster rhythm. Dorian stared fixedly at Daniel, his ice-blue eyes narrowed with bliss, a sly smile on his lips, until he let out a shuddering moan of pleasure, and the girl sat up, laughing. Daniel loitered awkwardly in the doorway, but Dorian stated,

“My brother is here to bore me – leave us alone.”

The girl nodded, and slithered off the bed, casting Daniel a curious glance as she hurried out of the door. Daniel closed it behind her, slid the bolt across.

“You look terrible,” Dorian commented, picking up a black cigarette from his nightstand and lighting it. “What do you want?”

“You know what I want!” Daniel snapped, scowling at Dorian’s lithe, nude form, his flawless, unscarred skin. “I’ve put up with your crap for ten years and I won’t do it anymore – take this fucking spell off me!”

“Can’t be done,” Dorian replied carelessly, exhaling a plume of opium-tinged smoke as he lay sprawled out amongst the pillows, his cock still halfway hard. “And even if I could do it, why on Earth would I bother?”

Daniel snatched the gun out of his belt, flicking off the safety and aiming it at Dorian’s heart, but Dorian just laughed.

“Take the spell off,” Daniel repeated, “Or you die right here. You’ve given me HIV, you fucking cunt, I’ve got nothing left to lose!”

“Pity,” Dorian sighed. “I always did hate condoms…”

“Take the fucking spell off!” Daniel repeated desperately, the gun shaking in his hand. “Right now!”

Dorian burst out laughing, and Daniel’s fingers tightened convulsively around the gun. It jerked in his hand, the gunshot so loud it hurt his ears, and the centre of Dorian’s flawless chest erupted into a gaping, gory hole.

 

 

Dorian felt the bullet tear through his chest, a white-hot agony so intense it blinded him, but as quickly as it arrived, it was gone. Daniel was swaying at the foot of the bed, the gun slipping from his fingers before he crumpled to the ground, blood saturating his shirt. Dorian ran his hands over his smooth bare chest, but there was nothing there, and he crawled out of bed in curiosity, crouching down next to his brother. Blood was spreading across the carpet in a dark, sticky pool, Daniel’s haggard face utterly lifeless. Dorian smiled an angel’s smile, and left the corpse where it was, wandering towards the door.

The mirror caught his eye, and he paused a moment to marvel at the youthful perfection of his own face, so very different now from that of his twin. He smiled at his reflection, until he noticed the cluster of grey hairs, and he gasped in horror, leaning closer to the mirror. As he watched, lines began to creep into his skin, beneath his eyes, across his forehead, around his mouth, his cheeks sagging as bloodshot veins marred the beauty of his eyes. Within seconds he was barely recognisable, had aged by thirty years. Someone was pounding on the door, shouting his name, a panicked crowd drawn by the gunshot, and before he could reply the door burst open, and a cluster of youths stumbled in, dropping to their knees beside the body.

“He’s dead!” a girl wailed. “Dorian is dead!”

“You’ve killed him!” the purple haired boy howled, hurling himself at Dorian. “Why did you kill him?”

Dorian stared in horror as one of girls produced a phone, started calling the police, and he protested,

“But I’m Dorian! That’s just my stupid brother, he doesn’t matter!”

The purple haired boy was hitting him impotently as tears shimmered in his dilated eyes, but Dorian shoved him roughly out of the way, dropping to his knees beside Daniel’s body, and a wave of horror flooded over him. He ran his hands in fear over the wrinkled wreckage of his own face, the alien sensations of exhaustion and nausea overwhelming him. The corpse on the floor had the face of an angel, flawless skin and clear blue eyes, not a day over eighteen years old.