Arris lays above me, subsuming my eye line like burnt caramel spooled into the red sea. ‘if I stick out my tongue,’ she says, ‘I can taste the electricity between your atoms. It’s like irradiated snowflakes.’ As I shiver and shake, something deep beneath the lizard brain wakes, extending tendrils through neuron and nerve ending, subdermal first but rending tissue so quickly, burning through me, yearning to be free. I submit and let its rough light permeate my pores and core, a bodily blitzkrieg that finds me fuller, occupied rather than conquered, activating cellular citizenry now primed with purpose.
The streetlights and stars swap their places like cards on a con-man’s table while the bitumen trickles up as hourglass sand back to black the sky. I turn to Damian, now no longer in existence, and say, Hey, did we really take that stuff or was it fake too? Damian nods slowly, the skin on his face sliding down with each bob, dropping the dermis into flaccid folds so that he looks like one of those gourmet wrinkle dogs. He barks through the flaps in his face. That’s what I thought, I say, and watch the world dissolve.