Hey everyone! I have a new story that I plan on using in my fiction writing class. It’s about ten pages, double spaced. I know it’s long, but I’d really like some feedback. It’s also a first draft, so there are definitely going to be grammar mistakes.
This is a work of fiction. Nothing in this story is true, except for my hatred of mayonnaise. Fuck mayonnaise.
“You got the stuff, man?”
“Yeah, it’s pretty strong, too. You haven’t done this before, right?”
“No, first time.”
“You should have someone with you; you know, in case something goes wrong.”
“Take them with me.”
“Alright, I’m not doin’ anything. Thanks.”
Phil and Alex were planning on doing shrooms. Phil has done them before, but Alex has not. Alex had everything planned out. He watched a video online of a guy who had a bad trip. The guy nearly got himself hit by a train. Alex didn’t want to get hit by any trains, so he was glad Phil reminded him he should have someone with him.
Phil and Alex have been friends for a long time. Almost fifteen years. They’ve done everything together. They were friends in elementary school, through high school, and even went to the same college. They don’t see each other all the time, but they keep in touch. Phil was into doing drugs, and so was Alex, but not as much as Phil. If someone passed a bong to Alex, he’d hit it, but nothing more.
Alex’s family put a lot of pressure on him to succeed in school. He tried his hardest to live up to their expectations, but he couldn’t—no one could. This gave Alex a lot of anxiety. The weed helped, but he was getting tired of weed. He wanted to try something different. Shrooms were ideal because they were easy to obtain. He also wanted to see if people really hallucinated on them. There was a video on Youtube of some girl who claimed she gained telekinetic powers on shrooms. That interested Alex.
“Do you have a bike?” Phil asked.
“We’re going on a bike ride. I know a spot on the bike path where no one will see us. There’s a lake too. It’s a good place to trip.”
“But we just ate the shrooms. What if they kick in before we get there? How far away is your spot?” Alex asked nervously.
“By the time we get there, they’ll just be starting to work their magic,” Phil said reassuringly.
Alex was reluctant at first, but agreed. The bike ride wasn’t a part of his plan. Alex wanted to take them at home, alone. His parents were on vacation all weekend. There was orange juice in the fridge, his laptop with Netflix was set up, and he had sandwiches and chips, ready to be eaten the second he felt hungry.
“Your house is on the way to the bike trail, right?” Phil asked.
“Do you have any food? We’ll need something to eat when we get to the spot.”
“Good, I love sandwiches. Run home and get them, and grab your bike. I’ll meet you at your house. I just have to lock up.”
Alex forgot that he didn’t eat anything for breakfast. It was a part of the plan. He wanted the shrooms to take effect as fast as possible. He was worried about running, thinking it would speed up his digestion and he didn’t want to walk because he was worried he wouldn’t make it to the spot before the shrooms kicked in. Alex picked the safer option, and walked.
It was only a ten minute walk from Phil’s house to Alex’s. Alex got home and grabbed the sandwiches and a water bottle. He locked the house up and went around back and grabbed his old mountain bike from the shed. Alex was surprised at the condition the bike was in. It still looked new, which was nice. The last thing he wanted was people to stare at him for riding a crappy looking bike.
Phil was waiting in the front yard, ready to go.
“What time is it?” Alex asked Phil, still worrying about the ride.
“We got time, but we gotta go now,” Phil stressed. “Let’s go.”
It was a beautiful, sunny day on Long Island. On people’s lawns, perennials were beginning to bloom. Phil pointed them out to Alex, but Alex was focused entirely on getting to Phil’s spot. He didn’t notice the flowers.
“Alex, you alright? You aren’t feelin’ it yet, are you?” Phil asked.
There was no response.
“Alex! What the fuck! We’re not even half way there,” Phil yelled.
Phil didn’t want to ruin the trip for Alex, so he stopped yelling. He took a deep breath and kept riding. He knew he had to get to the spot quickly.
What the fuck is going on? This isn’t what I imagined. Everything’s so dark. Where’d the sun go? Why is Phil riding so fast? And why is everything staring at me? Stop staring! You don’t know me! What did I do to you, tree? What about you, you fucking squirrel? Don’t look at me like that. You’re being a dick and you know it. What are you supposed to be? A cat? Stop chasing that rabbit, fucker! What did it do to you! You’re the reason everyone hates cats. No, get away! I was kidding—don’t hurt me, please! I’m sorry! Just get the fuck away!
“Phil! How much longer?”
“I don’t know. Ten minutes?” Phil responded. “Relax, we’re close.”
“You said that last time, asshole!”
Phil ignored him and kept peddling. The shrooms were starting to take effect on Phil now. He had done them before, so he knew what to expect. There was zero chance of Phil having a bad trip.
“Do you hear me, asshole!” Alex yelled, breaking Phil’s concentration.
He laughed out loud and returned his attention to the woods all around him. The same woods that were causing Alex such turmoil were more like the Garden of Eden to Phil. The warm breeze, blowing through Phil’s hair brought with it positive energy, like the energy in those power bracelets at Target, except it was actually real. That same breeze blew the trees all at once, like the waves at the beach. Everything felt alive to Phil, and Phil felt he was also a part of everything around him. His purpose in life was to be with nature.
The scent of wild roses began to burst its way into Phil’s nose, signaling they were getting close.
“You smell that, Alex?” Phil yelled. “We’re getting close!”
Alex smelled the roses, but he only saw the thorns. He was always afraid of roses. He fell in a rose bush when he was little. Little thorns covered Alex’s entire body. The tiniest movement caused a significant amount of pain and Alex began to feel that pain again. He started yelling and Phil told him to shut up, so he did. He still felt anxious though. The roses couldn’t be trusted.
“We’re here, bro,” said Phil.
Alex sighed in relief. He felt as if the weight of the world was finally off his shoulders. He looked around and the paranoid thoughts disappeared. Like the morning after it rains, the sun was high in the sky, shining down warm, comforting light, hidden earlier from the trees in the woods. As the light touched his skin, he felt his body absorbing the energy of the sun’s rays. He was finally calm and Phil saw this.
“Feeling better, Alex?”
“Yeah, man. I feel free. They’re still staring at me, but not in a bad way.”
“No one’s here, bro. Who are you talking about?”
“The trees and flowers, man. They were upset with me before. I did something wrong, but I think they forgave me. Either that or they weren’t upset with me. Maybe they felt bad and they were trying to empathize with me. They knew I was scared and they were scared too, but they saved me, bro. They save me!”
Phil laughed and said, “Dude, I don’t know what the fuck you just said, but I’m hungry.”
“Me too!” said Alex.
“Give me one of your sandwiches. You remembered them, right?”
“Yeah bro,” said Alex, handing Phil a chicken cutlet sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayonnaise, on a soft, fresh deli roll. This was Alex’s favorite when he was growing up. His mother always made him this for lunch when he got home from school. Alex didn’t like the sandwiches at school. The bread was stale and sometimes moldy. They never put anything on them either. They were dry and impossible to eat. His mother’s were perfect. Alex savored every bite, knowing the minute he finished, his mother would be up his ass about his school work.
Alex really knows how to make a fuckin’ sandwich. This is mad good. It really can’t get better than this. It’s a beautiful day, my best friend is finally seeing the good in life, and this sandwich—this fuckin’ sandwich, man. What’s on this? Chicken. Lettuce. Tomato. Onion. What’s this? Is this mayo? Jesus fuck, no! What the fuck!
“Alex! Is there mayo on this sandwich!” yelled Phil.
“Yeah man, it’s good, no?”
“NO! I fucking hate mayo, you know that!
“No I didn’t! How am I supposed to know you hate mayo?” Alex asked genuinely.
“You’re my best friend!” Phil yelled, nearly in tears. “You should know stuff like this!”
“Just rub it off, man. What’s the big deal?”
It was a huge deal. Phil hated mayo with “the burning passion of ten thousand suns.”
“Why do you hate mayo so much? It doesn’t taste like anything. It just keeps everything together.”
Phil was only eight years old at the time. He didn’t know Alex yet. It was a hot summer day and he was playing with his older brother, Johnny. They were having a catch and Johnny threw the ball into their neighbor’s yard. The ball hit a tall oak tree and bounced off the wood fence dividing the properties, causing a loud bang that scared Phil.
“What’s wrong with you, you idiot! How did you throw it over the fence!” Phil yelled.
“You get it, I’m older.”
“Who cares how old you are! You threw it!”
“You know the Robertson’s are the meanest people on the block. They still hate me for throwing the snowball through their kitchen window. I can’t go back!”
Johnny always got himself into trouble. He was the type of kid that had these “brilliant” ideas where nothing could go wrong. What he didn’t realize was that they always went wrong. And he was always dragging someone down with him—Phil.
“I’m not ringing the bell,” Phil said. “If they hate you, then they hate me too.”
“I got an idea.”
“Go inside and grab the mayonnaise. The whole jar!”
“Just grab it.”
Phil went inside and grabbed the jar of mayonnaise from the fridge, worried about what Johnny was about to get him into.
“Alright, take your shoes and socks and shirt off, Phil.”
“Just hear me out. Do you remember the hole we dug under the fence last year?”
“Well the shovels are locked in the shed so we can’t make the hole bigger, but maybe if I cover you in mayo, you’ll be able to squeeze under the fence and get the ball. The hole’s behind the tree, so you won’t get caught.”
“That’s such a stupid idea, Johnny! How can you be so stupid? You’re the older brother!”
“Do you want the ball back?”
“Then do what I say, or I’ll tell mom you were the one that knocked the TV over, and not our stupid cat.”
“You promised you wouldn’t tell!” Phil yelled.
Phil tried thinking about everything that could go wrong. There wasn’t much. It seemed like Johnny finally thought of something smart. Disgusting, but smart. He finally agreed and took off his shoes and shirt. Johnny covered his entire body in mayonnaise. The hole looked very small, but they had to give it a shot. They were having a catch with the foul ball Phil caught at the Met game last week. It was his favorite ball.
“Alright, Phil, you’re gonna go head first. If your goofy head can fit through that hole, the rest of your body will.”
“My head’s not goofy! Your head’s bigger than Mom’s butt!”
Johnny smacked him in the back of the head. The mayo he rubbed in Phil’s hair was all over his hand.
“Are you ready?” Johnny asked.
Phil went down on his hands and knees and fit his head through the hole. He was half way through when he heard a loud buzzing noise. He looked over by the ball and he saw what looked like a broken piñata lying on the ground. They didn’t have a party. What’s that noise coming from? The piñata was actually a yellow jacket nest. The yellow jackets smelled the mayo on Phil’s body and flew towards him to investigate. Phil hated yellow jackets because they always stung him. He started panicking and swatted one of the wasps. It stung him and he screamed.
“What’s wrong, Phil!” Johnny yelled from the other side of the fence.
“Wasp nest!” Phil cried. “Get me out! Get me out!”
After the first sting, the other wasps came over, stinging Phil over and over again. Phil wasn’t allergic, but the amount of stings he received caused his face to swell almost instantly. Johnny grabbed Phil’s legs, but Phil was stuck real good. The hole was a lot smaller than they thought. The mayo didn’t help either. All it did was coat Phil in a layer of dirt and rocks, and wasps.
“Johnny, what are you waiting for! Pull me out!” Phil cried as the relentless yellow jackets pounded away at his arms and face.
“I’m trying, Phil! I’m gonna pull you hard, but it’s gonna hurt, Phil!”
“I don’t care! Do it!”
Johnny pulled Phil as hard as he could and Phil screamed as loud as he could. The neighbors couldn’t see what was going on, so they assumed Phil and Johnny were fighting like usual. Their parents weren’t home either, so the ear piercing screams went entirely unnoticed. Johnny gave Phil one last tug and freed him, but the yellow jackets weren’t done. They came into the yard through the hole in the ground and continued their attack.
“Get to the pool!” Johnny yelled.
He grabbed his brother and ran to the pool. They dove head first under the water. Johnny signaled to Phil under the water to hold his breath for as long as possible. They needed to be sure the yellow jackets were gone before surfacing.
Johnny stuck his head above the water and was instantly greeted with at least five stings to the top of his head. He was forced back under water. He looked over at Phil and told him to swim to the other side of the pool and take a quick breath. Phil listened and managed to get a breath unnoticed. Johnny tried to surface again, but the wasps were relentless. Its’ been at least a minute without taking a breath. He didn’t want to go to the other side of the pool either because he didn’t want to bring the wasps to his brother. He tried again, and failed to get a breath. Johnny ended up swallowing some of the water, which caused him to panic.
Phil watched in horror from the other side of the pool. He thought about getting out and running inside while the yellow jackets focused on his brother, but he didn’t want to leave him. He also didn’t want to get stung anymore. Phil watched his brother desperately struggle for a lifesaving breath, and fail. He screamed and cried under the water when he saw his brother’s lifeless body float to the surface.
“They’re in my hair! Get them out of my hair, Johnny! Hurry up and pull me out!”
“Phil, stop, it’s Alex! Who’s Johnny! Just calm down. Nothing’s in your hair, man.”
“They want the mayo, Johnny!”
“What’s in your hair?”
“The wasps, you idiot! Get the wasps out of my hair!”
Alex had no idea what was going on. He was starting to get really scared. He had no idea what went wrong. Everything seemed fine not even ten minutes ago. Alex looked in his bag and found an unopened bottle of Ibuprofen.
“Dude, take this. Maybe it’ll help,” Alex said, handing Phil the bottle. He closed his eyes and focused on his breath, hoping the bad energy wouldn’t penetrate his soul again.
Phil ripped the plastic off and downed the entire bottle. He then ran down towards the pond and tripped on the rocks behind the wild flowers, and fell face first in the knee deep water. He was still conscious, but he had no control over his limbs. The Tylenol had already kicked in.
Two hours later, Alex woke up from his meditation to flashing blue and red lights, and to the sounds of sirens and Phil’s mother, screaming as they pulled the body out of the water.