It was sometime in 2012 that they died. One was naked, running through a field. Stripped of his clothes, the last thing he could control, trying to stop it stop it stop it. His own mind his worst enemy, flashing thoughts and images and together to became a new terrifying reality of death.

My cousin’s roommate tried to tell us once that you couldn’t overdose on hallucinogens, that the only effects were psychadelic. But what isn’t psychedelic? Our brains take the information it is given and translates it into what we see and feel and hear and understand. And if your brain is telling you you’re dead, surrounded by death and fear and horrors, then how could that not be true? My cousin told his roommate that he was wrong.

My cousin’s roommate was the one who sold them the drugs.

I imagine their hearts exploded, like in the end of Balto. Crossing the finish line, Balto pushed and gave everything he had, and then his heart just gave out. Except these two boys were pushing, giving everything they had, to escape their own minds. “This will never end,” they thought as the panic of the thought coursed through them.

It didn’t start that way though, I’m sure. I’m sure it started with a comfortable, warm sensation in their fingertips, running up through fingers into wrists and elbows and shoulders, into their jawbone, around their eyeballs and back down the spine into their toes. The walls would shift, like honey, slowly molding into droplets that turned to look at them and smile.

But then garish teeth emerged from the mouths on the walls, and it was all a little too much. A rasping, clanging, screaming, agony of sounds banged between their ears, and visions of skeletons and vomit and teeth gnashing flashed in their head. One boy would stand up, hoping the sudden increase in elevation would clear his head, and it would, for an agonizing second. Look in the mirror, get a hold of yourself. Terrified by what he saw, he sat back down and looked at his friend, now reduced to the trembling mass of a frightened monster.

I can only imagine the horror that pushed them to flee from their home, strip their clothes off, and die in a field aside I-29. The linen delivery driver told me he saw them on his route earlier that morning, running down University Avenue. Those poor souls, tortured to death by their own minds, their last moments only terror and agony.

I don’t know how to end this one.


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