|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Nine
04 - Powers of Being an Adult - Coyote
Author's Note: I would like to give partial credit for this story to my good friend Lauren, who writes with the same dark passion as myself. We're on the same sick, twisted paths, girlie.
Sighing in content, they allowed their heads to fall to the cool linoleum. A tightly rolled dollar bill fluttered from the younger one's limp grasp, slowly settling on the floor.
They didn't know where he found it, but at the moment, that was the least of their cares. At least he found it, the precious white powder that washed all their problems away. All the stress they experienced; all the problems too mature for kids their age, they didn't matter after they inhaled that powder into their bloodstreams. For a short, but extraordinary, time, they cared for nothing but the beautiful, swirling colors around them.
Isaac lifted his head, feeling the drip in the back of his throat. A faint smile played on his lips as his bloodshot brown eyes fluttered open in ecstasy. He sighed happily and chuckled as he spotted his younger brother Taylor beginning to convulse in giddy laughter.
"No more for Taylor today," he murmured, grinning as he reached over Taylor's rapidly moving outstretched legs to retrieve the dollar bill laying inches from his brother's jittering fingers.
Just as he felt the green paper in his grasp, Isaac felt Taylor grip his wrist with sweaty fingers. "No, Ike, don't take it," he whimpered through uncontrollable spurts of laughter. "It's the only one we've got left."
Isaac smiled happily at his brother, seeing his through glazed eyes. "No, no, Tay-Tay," he said, giggling as if he were half his eighteen years. He pointed to his leather jacket lying in a heap next to Taylor, who reached in the pocket and clamped his fingers around a crisp, new Visa card.
Taylor held up the card and giggled, dropping it into his lap and concentrating fully on his hand. He wiggled his outstretched fingers, marveling in how his numerous veins showed through the skin, the swirling colors so beautiful...
"The powers of being an adult," he murmured with a last giggle as he fell into a black unconsciousness, his twitching fingers wrapping comfortingly around the credit card.
Isaac looked over once at his unconscious brother, smiling. Taylor had it so simple. All the screaming fans, swooning over his deep, rusty voice, his silky blonde hair, and muscular build. His biggest problem was sewing the torn seam in his favorite shirt after an overzealous fan grabbed at him in glee. He had no idea.
Isaac sighed a last time that night as he inhaled the last thin coating on the table, like a light dusting of early winter snow.
He crumpled to the floor in fleeting ecstasy, his last worried thoughts swimming in his black unconscious.
He didn't notice the tall figure leaning against the doorframe, shaking his head, and chuckling to himself. They would never give up. They thought it was the cure to all their problems. They thought it was what they needed when they found themselves hunched over the toilet at three a.m., covered in vomit.
Oh well, it was how he got paid.
The tall figure placed two tiny caps on the table, where Isaac's limp hand still laid. He plucked the dollar bill from his fingers and re-rolled it tightly, placing in between the two new drugs, and a note.
"You'll thank me in the morning," it read. "This one's on the house."
"Oh fuck me, my head -" Taylor moaned, his head lolling to one side, covering his dirty face with his greasy, disheveled blonde hair. "Oh God, I think I'm dying..."
Isaac didn't even hear his brother. His eyes shot open, bloodshot beyond recognition. "I'm gonna retch," he announced loudly.
"If you throw up on me, Ike," Taylor spat, pointing a dirty finger at Isaac, "I will rip your head off and allow you to puke down your own severed neck."
But Isaac didn't hear him, for he was gaping at the gifts left for them during their unconsciousness.
"Tay, look," he breathed, pointing dazedly at the tabletop.
Taylor gasped, jumping to his wobbly feet and peering into the seductive-looking caps. "What the hell is it?" he inquired, baffled by the color.
The drug was, at first sight, of normal white-based consistency. But if one looked closer, as Taylor was confusedly doing, the powder showed an eerie purplish sheen to it, almost as if the color were being reflected off of it. Taylor looked around, but the dim, dingy attic room showed no possible source of a purple glow.
"I don't think we should take it," Isaac commented, bringing himself up next to Taylor, who was practically at the point of licking his lips and rubbing his palms together in anticipation. "We don't know where it came from."
"I don't give a flying fu--"
"Taylor!" Ike gripped his brother's trembling fingers that reached desperately for the drugs ahead. "You don't even need it right now!"
Taylor sighed, his chin sinking against his chest in disappointment as he dropped his arm. "Fine."
The boys left the attic room in search of some breakfast.
Not even an hour later they found themselves back upstairs, the powder snuffed up their noses before the door even fully slammed shut.
Isaac was disappointed with himself. It was pathetic, not being able to go a mere hour without another fix. He let himself sink slowly against the wall, willing the new drug to take over.
"It's not doing anything," he moaned in agony, slamming his open palm against the wooden floor. "God damn it -"
Taylor's blue eyes fluttered open, glazed, and brightly sparkling. "It works, Ike," he rasped, too happy to speak. "My God - just close your eyes."
Isaac obliged, suddenly swimming in the millions of colors that swirled in the supernova beneath his eyelids. For a few seconds - days, weeks, and months - he was lost in a Crayola crayon's dream, locked in his multicolored
whirlwind of ecstasy.
But then it all vanished. It vanished to form the looming figure of...
Isaac gasped. He knew who it was, and he knew what was going to happen. When you don't pay the dues, you gotta pay the price.
What dues?! What price?! What?!
The figure raised their arm, and Isaac wanted to break down and sob, but he felt as if he would throw up every drug he had ever consumed since he first smoked a joint two years ago.
That was when he fainted.
Isaac came to hours later to the sight of Taylor's face drenched with perspiration. Before Isaac could muster the panic-stricken news of the vision to his brother, Taylor grasped his heaving shoulders.
"We've got to get more."
For days and days, the two drug-addicted brothers would wait for their "shipments," begging with notes reading "we'll pay you later" and "we'll get cash soon."
Every day there were new caps waiting for them, filled to the brim with the glorious white powder, with its purple dusting as breathtaking as the cloudy haze stretching to the farthest extents of Heaven's wide horizons.
The caps were always received with a note demanding payment, each one becoming more and more
threatening. The boys, however, refused to notice, for all they cared about was coming to the end of the traumatizing visions that moved forward and gained more plot by the day.
They felt the frightening conclusion of their malevolent visions was near in the future on the day Isaac reached for the most recent note and froze.
"Tay, he says he's gonna kill us," he whispered, holding the note between his thumb and forefinger. "He wants to be paid."
"Tell him he can eat me," Taylor said simply, as he snuffed the drugs up his nose. "We'll get...money...soon -" Taylor stopped speaking as soon as he rested on the floor face down, closing his pretty blue eyes and smiling.
Isaac soon followed his brother's actions, and when he awoke from his dream state, the words were ringing in his head.
"The powers of being an adult -"
No longer groggy, he sat up quickly, only to feel the cold metal tip of a .32 handgun shoved against his forehead.
He blinked, bringing his eyes up slowly.
The credit card hit him against the chin, the weight of its cool lamination sending it falling to the floor.
"I don't take plastic."
"Wha...?" Isaac looked up again, looked up at the voice, the holder of the gun. "How did you...?"
"Taylor tried to give it to me," the voice continued, changing his loose grip on the gun to gesture at Taylor with it.
Isaac knew his brother was shot dead before he even glanced over. He looked away in disgust, feeling the sour bile rise in his throat at the sight of his brother, his brother's dead body. Chunks of his head lay scattered across the room, and Isaac had to scoot himself away from the rivulets of blood that seeped from Taylor's shattered skull.
"He told me to take it, take all the money in the account, but please don't kill meee..." the voice cackled, mimicking Taylor's last plead. "I told him no way, 'cause you know, it's not even his Visa." The figure made a loud shooting gesture with the gun in Taylor's direction then returned it to Isaac's head. "It's yours."
Isaac gaped at him in shock.
"Eh, I don't even take plastic anyhow," he laughed. "But gosh, Ike, a credit card? I bet you've got checks too!"
Isaac attempted a weak smile for his own defense. "You take those?"
"Nope. Sorry. Cash only."
Isaac was beaten. His mind flashed back to his last vision, the one that caused all the déjà vu he was experiencing at this very moment. "The powers of being an adult -" he mumbled to himself.
"That's funny," his attacker said, cocking the gun half-heartedly. "That's the same thing Tay said about the credit card. But of course, what I said was -"
Zac pulled the trigger, watching Isaac's body wrench backward, his head exploding with numerous horrible cracking sounds. He dropped the gun at his feet.
"I wouldn't know."