Chase the Rainbow

Rehab had been rough, easier than prison but still a prison of sorts. The withdrawal had been the worst yet. My drug of choice, any available one, made it hard for the doctors to wean me off any in particular. I was clean now, 6 months sober or 184 day 9 hours and 20 minutes as my brain recorded it. I'm in no way cured, there is no such thing if you ask me. Just some control and mechanisms to help ease the ache, not that I was planning on using any one of them. The courts had rehabilitated me in their eyes, so I was released. No home, since I was evicted, no family or friends to lean on since this was not my first offense. Only a few hundred bucks in cash from my last B&E and my ID.

I was so close to my first bender, after slowly stealing camping equipment from various stores I had a good base camp. Behind the Wet Whistle bar and grill, about twenty yards into the woods I had cleared a few bushes and stacked them around for cover. Twenty yards is respectable stumbling distance but still secluded enough for a small tent and cooking gear to go unnoticed.

I can finally let go, scratch the itch behind eyes. Watching the rich dark fluid fill the bottom of a weighted glass sent goosebumps down my back. I swirled it nodding my thanks to the bartender. Its scent filled my nose as the smallest amount I could manage passed my lips. God that felt good, like putting on an old forgotten jacket that fits just right. 

The rest of the glass and bottle went much, much faster. The night gets fuzzy then, I remember the next half bottle. I remember getting kicked out of the bar, trudging through the mud and rain, and then that was it.

The creek was new, I didn't remember a creek nearby but I found one as I woke up face down in it. My mouth was full of watery sand. Elegantly getting to my feet I spat the course mixture out of my mouth, gasping for air I apparently had been deprived. It was early morning, dim light peeking through the trees. Dark clouds still lingered from the night’s storm. I was soaked, either by the storm or the creek, I’m not sure which. 

 Unable to find my bearings I wandered. I started following a small rainbow overhead, nothing impressive but the sight made me feel lucky. Maybe I'd find a pot of gold or better yet pot full of pot wouldn’t that be grand, take the edge right off this hangover. Trees grow thicker with each step losing track of my little leading rainbow.

 Just when I think I should turn back a small clearing opens. I blink several times tilting my head at what I'm seeing. The literal end of my little rainbow, striking the ground a few feet away. Grass and other foliage brighter beneath its light. No pot of gold but still amazing, the end of a freaking rainbow. Tentatively I move forward reaching for the light, expecting it the vanish at any moment. As my hand brushes it a jolt goes right through me, sending goosebumps down my spine. So I continued, I put my whole arm in, then the other, soon I'm laying fully beneath the light. Shock waves of pleasure coursing through my body. Better than any drug, better than any hallucination, better than well anything. I finally understood the true meaning of ecstasy. 


 I lost myself for hours or days or hell maybe months, living off this light, drifting in and out of sleep. At one with the world and completely awed by it.

 My eyes remain closed when I next awaken, the heat from the light had faded but I still feel the pleasure of it, fainter now but still coursing through me. The grass soft and comforting underneath me, cradling my head like a mother cradles a newborn. I open to see the rainbow is gone. No matter, I sit up taking in my surroundings. Everything seemed so large, stretched, and grown since I laid down. My heart lurches as I feel like I’m on the start of a bad trip, the world just looks wrong. Reaching for some sanity I look at my hands and legs but they are distorted, fuzzy, wrong. My mouth was dry, so dry. Fear of choking on my own tongue gets me up and rushing through the woods, not very well in my current state. Tripping and falling and frantically running again till I trip and fall again. 

 I next remember running out onto a road. A massive sedan swerving, their headlights eye to eye with me as if it was a lifted truck. I stand stock-still watching it narrowly miss me in slow motion. The driver jumps out a giant of a man. Yelling and screaming something I'm not able to understand. Before I can get my mouth to make any words, he picks me up by an arm hurling me into the back seat. Dizzy from the sudden motion I fall back into unconsciousness. 

 Water running brings me back, but the water sounds different than the creek. Not water rolling in a stream but water hitting metal. Realization someone is peeing near me. I lift quickly to find myself in a large cell a man relieving himself in the communal toilet. The fast motion sends bolts of pain back of my head to my eyes. The lights to bright, my stomach turning, I heaved once managing to hold it down. Shakes grip me next, like a sudden fever, vision blurred as sweat rolled down my forehead. No longer high, and the worse hangover I've ever experienced which is saying something. 

 A guard unlocks the cell door, the creaking and grinding of its gears sending fire behind my right eye. "Oh boy, the wee little lads awake." Laughing to himself as he opens the door. “Off you go lade, you slept it off now off ya go.” Forcing an Irish accent that he was not well equipped for.

Pissed as I'm nowhere near Irish or small in stature, I jump off the bed to confront him, only it takes longer than it should for my feet to find the ground. Landing awkwardly, I sprawl out. Others in the drunk tank laugh as they help me up. Looking back to say thanks I'm greeted by knees instead of faces. What the hell! I look at my hands, not recognizing them; short and stumpy, with thick hair around the knuckles. My legs just as twisted, feet sticking out of my tennis shoes as if they had grown too big. The world was not wrong I was.

I rush out the cell to the front door. Finding it hard to run with these stunted legs. Making it out front and down the huge stairs I find a particular shiny car bumper, getting a look at myself. My straight dark brown hair is red and curled. My eyes light green instead of their normal black. The hell happened; the headache returns demanding attention.

Instinct takes over, the best hangover cure is another beer, hair of the dog. I stumble my way downtown to the Wet Whistle. Ignoring the jokes as I order my beer. Draining it in a few seconds, the pain was relieved for a moment before returning. “Whiskey barman” I yell holding up two little fingers, the pain recedes for two minutes after the shots. “Aye barman leave me the bottle” throwing down the last of my cash. I drained it in a little under five minutes. The pain vanishing as the drunkenness takes over. Swimming in the release I savor the whiskey left on my tongue. Some time passed, not sure in my current state but the pain returned worse than before. “Barman!” I yell, “Oh no, you have had enough sir, please leave.” I pull for more cash to make a point of it, but my pockets are empty. 

 “No!” I scream as the pain worsens. I run out of the bar screaming as it continues to grow. Two old hillbillies’ out-front start laughing. “Hey Lucky Charms, your rainbow is over there.” Pointing in the sky over the woods. I snap to where they are point seeing the beautiful colors, goosebumps going down my spine.

The End.


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