The Cram Session

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Estimated reading time — 4 minutes

“It’s called Tetrapranzamine,” Ron, my dealer of choice, told me. “Just 100 mgs is guaranteed to not only have you up all night studying but it will improve your concentration and your retention in the morning. It also has no hangover. It’s a true wonder drug, man! My distribution guy swears by it!”

I know, I know, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Ron had never let me down before, though, and I was desperate. I’d already cut half of my philosophy lectures and cramming for this test the next day was the only way I could preserve my C. True, Ron admitted that neither he nor his guy had ever used Tetrapranzamine themselves, but I couldn’t imagine a single low dose of stimulant doing that much damage to me. Worst-case scenario, I planned to go to the hospital and lie about mixing coffee and Adderall again or something.


Oddly, I began to feel something within seconds of taking the pill. The colors in my dorm room started to become incredibly vivid. Everything looked like it had a thick black outline drawn with a marker.

What’s more, I started to remember things from my past that I’d forgotten for years. I remembered nearly dying of the measles at age 3. People I met for a few minutes at a party once suddenly felt as though I’d known them all my life.

“This is amazing! Ron was right about the improvement to concentration and memory,” I thought. I got right to work on the textbook even though the colors were beginning to give me a headache. I was elated and convinced this was going to be an easy test for me. Maybe if I’d gone to the hospital right then they could have done something for me.

I was half way through speed-reading Berkeley’s Three Dialogues when I first blacked out. I must have still been aware at some level because the moment I woke I knew that I’d been out for exactly 2.4403 hours. I was concerned but convinced myself that I only fell asleep. “Ok. Maybe the drugs don’t work that well,” I joked to myself.

I was reading my second assigned journal article on Empiricism, and just past my third blackout, when I began to see them. They were like tiny cracks at the edge of my vision. It was as if the windows of my eyes were beginning to fracture. I tried to ignore them and get back to my reading, but the cracks began to grow. My field of vision began to split into segments until there were so many cracks that I could barely see. I stumbled into the bathroom to try and wash my eyes out.


Then it hit me. It was like some kind of otherworldly surgeon cut my head open and reached inside to implant an electrode on my brain. My entire body began to shake violently as I fell to the floor. My mind’s eye flooded with memories.

Somehow, I remembered being in the womb. I heard everything the doctors and my parents said despite the fact that nobody filmed my birth. I even somehow remembered my conception.


Then I remembered what came before. I saw a vision of myself, Ron, my friends, some cousins, and at least thirty people I’d never seen before standing nude in a flat grassy field under an overcast sky. We all swayed and nodded as though we were half asleep, occasionally murmuring to each other in a language I had never heard in my life. Then a horn bellowed.

A gargantuan black creature rose out of the ground. It had nine heads like the Greek Hydra but each of them was a like the head of a skinned bear covered with teeth and horns jutting in random directions. It had random numbers of eyes that were either compound like an insect or human but glazed over with blood red cataracts. It’s body was like some sort of ape but its hands and feet were these twisted, disgusting masses of burnt, oozing flesh that it should not have been able to walk on.

We all fled from it as it gave chase with an almost irreverent silence. It moved so quickly it was like it was everywhere on the field at the same time. The people I had never seen before were each snatched up in turn and devoured in hideous crunches. I and the people I knew only made it out by jumping into shafts in the ground that randomly opened and closed. At first we screamed in fear on the way down but soon we began to regress into fetuses and take our places in the wombs of our mothers.

Somehow I know this was not a mere hallucination. The Tetrapranzamine had cracked my mind open and given me a vision of what we all knew before birth but were mercifully allowed to forget.

I also know that that thing is waiting for the ones that got away. We can’t hide out in this shallow pocket reality forever and the creature knows this. It’s waiting. It knows it will get us all eventually.


I’ve missed the test but there’s no point in asking for a redo. I’m nearly blind, now. I’ve had six more blackouts since the vision, each one exactly 9.5842 minutes longer than the last. The blackouts are getting more regular, too. It won’t be long till I don’t wake up.

I’d kill myself, but I think my time would be better served on the phone with Ron. I’ll try to tell him not to ever take Tetrapranzamine or sell it to anyone else. I doubt he’d believe me, though. I know I wouldn’t. He’ll probably just have to find out the truth for himself like everybody but me does.

Credit To – Cosmo Fish

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