“I got us something stronger for tonight.”, Frank said with an eager grin. “What do you mean stronger?”, I asked with hesitant curiosity. “Stronger than weed”, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a sandwich bag with what appeared to be 2 stamps inside. “What the hell is that?”, I asked. He laughed at my question as if I should’ve already known, “It’s acid man, my brother said it’s the best he’s ever had”. He handed me the tab and told me, “Put it under your tongue, it takes awhile to kick in. “Alright”, I mumbled trying to figure out what I was doing with my mouth.
Two cigarettes later, I wasn’t feeling any different. So I asked, “How long is it supposed to take?”. “I don’t know”, said Frank, ” Let’s smoke this joint and see if that helps.” We smoked that joint, then another. Frank just would not stop talking. He was talking so much and so fast that I couldn’t even understand what he was saying anymore. It looked like he was grinding his teeth too. How was he grinding his teeth and talking at the same time, I wondered. How and why are his lips moving so fast? His mouth began to spiral off his face and fill the whole room. Finally, I said, ” I think I’m starting to feel it”. As soon as I spoke his mouth returned to his face.
“Me too”, said Frank, “Let’s go for a walk, this apartment is really small.” I jumped to my feet, “Yea, yea that’s a good idea. I just have to feed my cat first.” Frank couldn’t wait. He wandered off. When I came back out of the kitchen, he was gone and the door was wide open. A wave of panic came over me. “Meow!?”, I called out fearing the cat had escaped. Desperately, I searched the apartment for what felt like an eternity until finally, the cat emerged from the kitchen.
When I finally made it out the door, Frank was sitting across the pool dipping his toes in the water. He looked so distant and so peaceful, it took me awhile to realize he was naked. “Frank, Nooo!”, I screamed as I ran towards him. The air was so thick it felt like I was running through jello. There’s no way he could hear me through that.
The sun was setting and the water looked so beautiful. Why was no one else at the pool tonight? It’s fantastic. I had to jump in. I stripped down to my boxers and dove in to a whole new world.
Floating in the water was like drifting through space. I saw how everything in the universe was connected and I suddenly understood it all. It was the single most beautiful experience I’ve ever had. I knew then what I was put on this earth to do. I wanted to share this experience with the world. I wanted everyone to see what I was seeing.
Acid quickly became my whole life after that. I was on a mission to turn the world on. I spent all my time either taking or making acid. It was great until the government got involved.
That’s when things started to get dark. It all happened so fast. They came out of nowhere and suddenly, they were everywhere. One minute I’m hanging out in our basement-lab, the next I’m sitting across the table from two feds having a conversation that would change the course of my life.
“Do you know why you’re here, son?”, asked the old man in the dark suit. His eyes lit up with fire as he stared into my soul. Petrified, I tried to compose an answer, “Because I was making acid”. My voice was shaky and my palms were sweating. They both laughed a roaring satanic laugh and his partner’s eyes turned black. Her response surprised me, ” You’re here because you make the BEST acid”.
They made me an offer; instead of spending the rest of my life in prison, I would work for them making acid and other drugs for government experiments. They had me against a wall. Men like me don’t do well in prison. So, I accepted.
The first experiment was such a mess. They wanted me to “Evaluate the affects of LSD on the endurance of soldiers on the battlefield”, which basically meant they wanted me to feed acid to soldiers and see how far they could walk.
Rickey and Mark were the first two “volunteers”. They dropped us out in the woods somewhere and gave me a map of the ground they wanted us to cover. I could see the moment it hit them. Mark ran off into the trees. “Wait here, I’ll go get him”, I said to Ricky hoping he understood. “Don’t worry about me, I’m fine.” he said as he measured a stick against his arm.
As I started to walk away he charged down the hill letting out a vicious battle cry. This pattern of wandering and chasing continued for another 10 hours. Though we were walking the whole time, we made it less than a quarter way through the course we were supposed to complete.
6 years later, this job is just an endless string of unethical experiments and I’m wondering if prison would have been better. I started making acid to expand minds, now I’m using it to program killers.
My partner Jerry walks into the lab, “Have you read the new file?”. “Not yet”, I said, “What’s the new assignment?”. He hesitated, then pulled out the file and tossed it on the table, “They want us to: remove traumatic memories in soldiers affected by PTSD”. I couldn’t believe what he was saying, “Are you serious? That’s insane! That’s not even how acid works. How are we supposed to do that?”. Jerry shook his head, “I don’t know but, we’re going to need to make something stronger than acid for this one”.
Over the next few weeks we worked together to create the unholy mixture. It wasn’t exactly acid, it was somewhere in between that and molly with an antidepressant twist. We nicknamed this creation “Lilith” as we weren’t sure if creating it made us demons or gods.
Regardless, it needed to be tested. So, I went out into the field to my usual spot and took my dose. I laid down staring at the clouds waiting for it to start. It was typical at first; shapes and faces in the clouds, until the face staring at me was my own. It was disgusting.
The ground disappeared from under me and I was swept under the tide. Suddenly underwater, I gasped and struggled against the waves but, they were too strong. I found myself washed ashore an unfamiliar river bank deep in the woods.
As soon as I could stand, I headed for the trees. I had the distinct feeling someone was following me. The deeper into the woods I ran, the closer it got. I could hear his footsteps and the rattling of the trees. I had no idea where I was going and it finally caught up with me.
It stopped me in my tracks when I saw it, standing there right in front of me. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It terrified me. I could feel every hair I had stand straight up on it’s end and turn white. I was so afraid my whole body went numb. I was too petrified to scream. The thing I had been running from this whole time, the terrible creature chasing after me, it was me and he looked me dead in the eyes.
When I woke up in my apartment, I didn’t know how I got there but, I thanked all the gods I was alive. I went to the bathroom to wash my face. As I watched the water run down the drain I noticed a trail of blood running through it. I looked down at my hands and they were covered. I scrubbed and scrubbed but they wouldn’t come clean.
I dropped down to the floor crying, covered my face with my hands and, closed my eyes. “What have I done?”, I screamed. Shaking with fear I looked at my hands again and they were clean, the blood was gone. “It was just a bad trip”, I told myself.
I rushed out the door and headed to the lab. I was still in shock when I arrived. I ran in and grabbed Jerry by the shoulders, “Listen to me! We can’t use this shit Jerry! It’s evil we can’t give it to anyone!”. The look on his face was a hard to describe mixture of terror, confusion and, concern. When he caught his breath he asked, “Where have you been? What happened to you?”. In a frustrated frenzy I tried to explain, ” I just had the worst trip of my life. That batch we were testing last night, it’s bad Jerry, very, very bad. Do you understand?”.
“That was four days ago, where have you been this whole time?”, he asked with genuine concern in his eyes. “Four days!? Man, we really fucked up this time. We can’t let anyone else take this shit” I muttered as I backed myself against the wall and slid down. “I’m going to get medical to come look at you, stay here”, Jerry said as he left the room.
As the door closed behind him the lights started to flicker and I heard a menacing laugh from the dark corner across the room. As it crept closer, I realized my greatest fear. It was me again. “You think you can stop this? You think you can get away?”, he said, “You’ve already given them everything they need.”
I ran out of the room in terror. I could hear him laughing, following me down the hall. I ran through the first open door I saw and slammed it shut behind me. The lights flickered and the door disappeared into the wall. There was no way out. The laughing grew louder and louder. “You’ll never get out”, he just kept laughing. I curled up in the corner and covered my face with my hands. “It’s just a bad trip. This isn’t real”, I told myself over and over praying for it to stop.
The door opened and the lights came on. “What are you doing in here?”, asked a man in a white coat. I opened my eyes and looked around, realizing that I was in someone else’s lab. I quickly stood up and tired to collect myself. “Sorry, I don’t know”, I mumbled as I ran out the door. I continued down the hall and ran into Jerry who was on his way back to the lab with a nurse to examine me.
“What are you doing? You need to let the nurse look at you man. I’m really worried”, he said. In my hysteria I yelled, “there’s no time for that Jerry! Don’t you realize what’s going on here? We have to shut this down!”. He tried to grab hold of my wrists but I broke away, “This place is evil Jerry! They turn people into weapons. There is blood on our hands!”, I screamed as I ran away.
I ran out into the field. I could hear his footsteps behind me. I could hear him closing in. I fell to my knees. “What do you want from me?”, I screamed. He stood above me looking down, “You know what I want”. He bent down to look me in the eyes again, “This only ends one way, you know what you have to do”.
The sky turned dark, the wind was blowing wild and dirt was flying in my face. “Noooo!”, I cried. Another me came out from the left, “There’s blood on your hands”, then from the right, ” You know what they’re doing”, another from behind, “You know what you’ve done”. They just kept coming until I was surrounded by myself. “Make it stop!” I screamed with my head in my hands. Then they all faded into one and said, “Only you can make it stop”.
The wind stopped, the sun came back, and I opened my eyes. He was gone and I knew what I had to do. I knew there was only one way this could end.
I walked back into the building and straight to the lab. Jerry hopped up when he saw me, “Where did you go? Are you alright?”. Without a word I walked to the supply cabinet and unlocked the door. I grabbed two bottles of lysergic acid and walked over to the file cabinet. I unlocked one drawer at a time dumping the contents on to the floor until it was all in one big pile.
This was my life’s work here piled up on the floor; years of research, the records of everything we developed and, the terrible things they made us do. I soaked it all in acid. Then, I took the second bottle, dumped it on my head and, lit a match.
Now, no one will ever know what we did here, or suffer from the evil we created. No one will ever even know my name.
Credit : Kat Stover
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