99 Word Flash fiction: A bad night

© irene waters 2015

© irene waters 2015

I’m a wowser these days. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke, anything. I do have vices, chocolate probably being the worst of them. I’m this way for a reason —  I know the effects first hand and never wish to revisit. Life with my ex-husband was traumatic due to psychiatric problems caused by his use of marijuana.

People think that one drug will lead to another. I don’t think this always happens and am thankful that it didn’t in our situation. The offers were there. LSD, Heroin. Ice wasn’t invented in those days. My ex-husband didn’t take any of these offers up. He knew he was already paranoid. Goodness knows what he would have been like had he tried them.

My advice to anyone is – don’t do it. The amount it takes to cause irreversible damage differs from person to person. Why take the risk. There is a risk with all vices. Smoking causes no end of diseases, alcohol is probably the biggest cost to the community with families suffering, cost of not being able to work, liver disease and the number of accidents and incidents that are a result. Even coffee needs to be consumed in moderation.

Living with someone paranoid as a result of marijuana abuse is like living under a storm cloud, knowing that at any moment the thunder and lightning will strike. You did what you had to in order that a negative reaction was not triggered. Most of all you attempted to prevent the simultaneous use of alcohol and the drug.

She lit another cigarette, trying to calm her nerves. It’d been bad tonight. She shouldn’t have tried to do the housework. She should have just sat. Perhaps she should’ve had that coffee she’d been invited to after work. She always said no. She had to get home before he started to drink as well as smoke dope. She had. But she shouldn’t have tried to do the housework. She should’ve done what she normally did. Join him. It made him happy when she did and dulled her senses so she didn’t care. But tonight the gun had come out.

This week Charli  has asked us to write about vice.

April 22, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a vice. It can be part of a character or a part of the story. The vice can be the focus or it can be subtle. Think of ways to use a vice (or multiples, if you are so daring) to create a compelling flash fiction.

Respond by April 28, 2015 to be included in the weekly compilation.Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

Finally a poem that although it is about heroin some of it could be about any drug.

Introducing Miss Heroin by G.B.Trudeau

So now little man you’ve grown tired of grass                                   Acid, cocaine and hash                                                                             And someone pretending that he is your friend                          Said “I’ll introduce you to Miss Heroin”                                     Well, honey, before you start fooling with me                               Just “let me ” inform you how it will be                                               for I will seduce you and make you my slave;                               I’ve sent men much stronger than you to their grave.                   You think you could never become a disgrace                                 And end up addicted to poppy seed waste                                           so you’ll start inhaling me one afternoon                                         And you’ll take me into your arms very soon.                                   Then once I have entered deep down in your veins                        The craving will drive you nearly insane                                     You’ll need lots of money as you have been told.                         For, darling I’m more expensive than gold.                                  You’ll swindle your mother, and just for a buck                      You’ll turn into something vile and corrupt.                                You’ll mug and you’ll steal for my narcotic charms                    And feel contentment only when I’m in your arms                        The day you realise the monster you’ve grown                            You’ll solemnly promise to leave me alone                                      But if you think you’ve got that mystical knack                           Then sweetie, just try getting me off your back.                              The vomit, the cramps, your gut tied in a knot,                              The jangling nerves screaming for just one more shot.               The hot chills, the cold sweat, the withdrawl pains                        Can only be saved by my little white grains.                            There’s no other way and there’s no need to look                           For deep down inside you, you know you are hooked.                   You’ll desperately run to the pusher and then                              You’ll welcome me back in your arms once again.                            So now you return (just as I foretold)                                                  I know you’ll give me your body and soul                                        You’ll give me your morals, your conscience, your heart                 And now you are mine until death us do part.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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36 Responses to 99 Word Flash fiction: A bad night

  1. This post is so true Irene. It destroys so many families and relationships, many become psychotic and will never admit that they are sick after years of abuse. So sad and waste of lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It costs lives and ruins many families. Help is for those who seek it, but many deny there is a problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Norah says:

    If your post, flash and attached poem are not sufficient caution, I don’t know what is. Great work all round, Irene. I’m not aware of Trudeau’s poems, but this is a good one. I’m pleased you were able to get out of your situation in a way other than that told in your flash.

    Liked by 2 people

    • WP does some strange things when publishing and the poem was supposed to display as normal poetry would. However when I looked at it I thought that it was enhanced by being fractured as it shows the broken life of the user. So I left it as is though possibly a little difficult to read. It is a great poem.
      Sadly I don’t think that anyone listens to cautionary tales. I believe the only way to decrease the problem is to change society so that these people on the edge are included and then perhaps the cycle wouldn;t begin.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. ..’.alcohol is probably the biggest cost to the community…’ I agree, but most people probably wouldn’t. They’d say it’s smoking, but they have no idea how much suffering alcohol causes

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree Helen. When you include all the social costs, accidents, illness, dementia caused from alcohol, liver disease, property destruction etc it has to be the biggest. It is certainly near the top of the WHO global risks and mortality and burden of disease lists.

      Like

  5. Sherri says:

    Oh Irene, you know how close to home your post is to me, your flash especially (which is powerful and profoundly moving, gives me shivers actually…), as it feeds into a large part of my memoir and also speaks loudly of the ‘bad’ of life with an alcoholic father. I didn’t know you went through all of this with your first husband until I read your comment over at Charli’s and now reading here, I am just so sorry, but also so glad you are well out of it. As for the Trudeau’s poem, it knocked me sideways and back. Thank you for sharing your story, wonderful, brave lady that you are ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes I know this was close to home for you Sherri. Things I can’t deal with I repress and once I start talking about them I know that I have healed. At least part way. I had never spoken of this with anyone. Those around me knew something was wrong but I became antisocial and cut off everyone. When it finished I just kept quiet. Even my husband knows little if anything about those days. The first I spoke of anything was in a post I did on Trog and other pets and I have to say it was like a weight was lifted. Still a long way to go and I wouldn’t have said anything now except that I feel very strongly about the dangers associated with drugs that many just aren’t aware of. I know you are and feel the same way. Sadly we have both lived it but on the other side it has made us who we are today and we have survived. That makes me feel like Pollyanna. Glad glad glad. The poem is fantastic. <3:)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        So true about being able to talk about things when we are ready. I too don’t talk much about ‘those days’ either but then again, I’m writing a book about it and of course, in this case, the story goes off on another path. I am so glad that you writing your first post about it helped lift some of the burden you have carried for so long and I know just what you mean about coming to that point of needing to tell your story when you feel so strongly about something. But again, I wish you hadn’t had to have gone through that awful time and feeling so cut off from everyone like that 😦 Yes, we definitely do feel very much the same way, I detest drugs and pot and everything that goes along with it. Pollyanna…love it 😀 And here we are my friend, walking and talking and sharing our stories of survival in our New Day. Time to get those boots on, I’m heading over for a nice, long walk 🙂 ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t come this way Sherri — you’d need your galoshes and rain coat. It is pelting down. We’ve had over 200 mls overnight and I’m dreading the morning walk with the dogs as it is also a trifle chilly. I’ll come to you instead as it is high time we took a walk.
        Hope life is such that you can get back to your book writing this week. ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Oh no!! That’s settled then…you come over to mine. It’s sunny but colder now that our ‘summer’ temps have disappeared, but it’s dry at least. Hope you don’t get more flooding, that sounds like a lot of rain…
        I have managed to get some book writing done this week Irene, so that makes me feel better and things are getting back on track once more, thanks so much for asking.
        I’ll be disappearing from blogland from tomorrow for a few days, going to London with Eldest Son and girlfriend to see a show about The Kinks as the West End. A belated birthday pressie since last September! Good timing for a break. I’ll be horribly behind here once more but needs must! I’ll catch up with you when I get back. Until then, I hope you have a lovely weekend my friend…and that the rain stops and not quite so chilly for you or your dogs. Brrrr…warm hugs for you… ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely coming to you (even with you to London which sounds like great fun). We have been told to batten down the hatches and be prepared for huge wind and rain later this morning. Glad you’ve done some writing this week. Wish I could say the same.
        Have a wonderful trip. Look forward to hearing about it on your return. ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Oh I would have loved to have you come along to London with me Irene! I’ve posted about it, Lord knows I should be getting ready for my trip with my mother, but you know what it’s like!! I hope your deluge has gone by, but I think we’ve got it now! My poor garden is being buffetted and blown by gale force winds as I type…
        I’ve accepted that I won’t be able to do any writing now until next week as there is no way. But that’s the price to be paid for doing other things. And The Kinks show was fantastic, I already want to go again! I hope you had a lovely weekend too my friend. I’ll be back to catch up with you very shortly… ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have walked around London with you and loved it. Enjoy your trip with your Mum. My brother has shown me some photos of the flooded rivers from the rain (must be the same that you are getting) in Switzerland. Stay dry. We are back to perfect weather. Yeah! ❤ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sherri says:

        Thanks Irene! So long since I replied that I’ve been and gone, ha! Thankfully the heavy rain and gales have gone too and back to warm, spring days again. So glad you too are back to perfect weather…at least, I hope so, since this is almost a week later, and the same for Switzerland too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Still good though a chill wind today

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Annecdotist says:

    Important post, Irene, so difficult living with someone who’s paranoid – whatever the cause – that you begin to doubt yourself. I love how you portrayed this in the flash – so easy to go along with someone’s craziness as a way of avoiding arguments, especially for women, I think. Interesting, particularly in combination with Norah’s post and the comments there, that the mellowness he might have wanted from the marijuana ended up with him wielding a gun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is important Anne otherwise I wouldn’t have shared this. Many I think don’t realise the possible consequences. Mind you those of a mind to take it probably wouldn’t listen to cautionary tales anyway.
      Once you are in that situation it is very hard to extricate yourself from. I was successful in my career and didn’t have a childhood background of abusive or drug dependent parents so you would have thought I could just leave. Not so. There were so many threats both to me and to him that I didn’t dare. It wasn’t til things were so bad I was looking forward to death and the words of a psych nurse that I would not be guilty if he did kill himself as I wasn’t the one who was pulling the trigger. You can only be guilty for that which you knowingly do that I had the courage to leave. Until you reach that point it is far easier just to take the easiest route.
      I haven’t as yet read Norah’s but will get there today.

      Like

  7. I kind of knew where you were going with your flash and I still got a jolt at the last sentence there. So good. So well done. Excellent except for the fact that (as we have gone back and forth about) real life creeps into our fiction.

    I have never seen that poem and I don’t know how I missed it. Thanks for sharing it. Powerful. This whole post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Sarah. Real life does impinge but perhaps it is what gives it an edge. I saw this when I started psychology as a mature age student. The difference between the 18 year olds and the oldies was the life inbetween.
      It is a great poem. I came across it at the time in my life I was living it and it is in my handwritten illustrated book of verse that includes stuff I wrote at the time (scary) and others that I came across that touched me. This was one.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Ula says:

    What a powerful post. Your introduction, flash, and Trudeau’s poem work so well together. First of all, how brave of you to share all this. I admire it. I know what it’s like “living under a storm cloud, knowing that at any moment the thunder and lightning will strike.” Although in my case it was an alcoholic grandfather who lived in the same building. He became violent physically and verbally when drunk, so I remember a childhood of tiptoeing around. You’re right about the alcohol. My grandfather lived very long, reached almost 90 and his liver somehow managed it. He died of prostate cancer. I was so glad when he was finally gone.
    Great and powerful flash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ula. Thank you for sharing your past. You well know how alcohol touches not only their own lives but those around them. The tip toeing is the hard part and so difficult for a child to have to do. 90 is a long time for anyone to live let alone when they are alcoholic. Hope you survived it well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ula says:

        I escaped as soon as I could, so I only had to bear it for 10 years. I’ve spent my entire adult life (since 19) living a life I want, without fear of others that I live with. Experiences like that definitely make you appreciate peace and quiet. My only residue from that experience is that I have low tolerance for people who drink.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Glad to hear you are living the life you want — particularly without fear of others. That is a great place to be. I can understand your intolerance – it would be strange if that were not the case.

        Like

  9. Great story. Unfortunately too real.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. lucciagray says:

    This is a tough topic if taken seriously as you have. I agree that illegal drugs offer many negative aspects and nothing positive. Your flash is sad. Living with Someone with such a problem must be he’ll on earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sad for all parties but as you say not fun to live with. All societies find a drug of choice – here it is alcohol, New Guinea betel nut, Iran hashish, Vanuatu Kava and the list probably goes on and on. Most users probably remain functional whilst there will always be some that it has a huge adverse effect. The problem is you never know who will be the one that can’t tolerate it. I can’t think of any positives for any of them. Interesting that in ancient societies it is only the men that partake. Says something that women probably keep the show together and remain functional.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Charli Mills says:

    Thank you for sharing your harrowing experience and creating a powerful post from it, your flash and the poem (which I like the unintended fractured look of it). There’s a horrifically graphic but well-executed movie that serves as a cautionary tale — “Requiem for a Dream.” It will make most people squirm, but I think teens. should watch it. Mine did and they were “scared straight.” They also watched a friend’s sister succumb to meth and that stuff creates the walking dead out of people. You are right, that we need to reach those most vulnerable on the edges. Another disturbing movie “Kill the Messenger” reveals how the American CIA actually dumped crack into its own cities to fund wars against communism in South America. In that case it took advantage of those living on the fringe of society — the poor and discontent. The whole taint of drugs corrupts high and low. Your flash makes my heart ache for those who have suffered from the demise of loved ones to drugs nasty grip.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad the movie removed any thoughts your kids may have had however I’d say they probably didn’t have the desire anyway. Hard to rock climb when you are off your face.
      CIA (and other countries secret services) have done some pretty horrendous things. Anything that isn’t open to scrutiny is open to abuse.
      Great prompt to get us all talking.

      Like

  12. Pingback: Pot-Smoking & Other Tales of Vice « Carrot Ranch Communications

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