He turned around to see his friend, a translucent orange bottle rattling with pills.
He was at a party. Him and his friend. It was smoky and crowded, bodies pressing on bodies and music nearly deafening.
His friend had to shout to be heard over the music.
"Wanna try one?"
He shrugged, running his fingers through his hair.
"Okay." He replied.
His friend pressed a white pill into his open palm and washed it down with a cup of water.
He suddenly felt light, like floating. It was freaky, but somewhat enjoyable.
"Give me another one." He ordered crisply.
His friend gladly supplied it. He asked for another. And another. The more pills he took, the lighter he became.
It could have been five or five hundred pills later when his friend was looking frightened.
"I think that's enough-"
He glared at his friend, who was now beginning to appear double. "Give i-"
He couldn't finish. His vision went dark. The loud music and chatter of the party dimmed to indiscriminate murmurs of words he couldn't catch.
He woke up on hard ground. He winced, touching the side of his head. His mind felt scattered.
"You'd think there's a hole." He found himself muttering.
He stood up carefully. The pavement around him stretched and stretched, he couldn't see the end of it.
He noticed another strange thing. He was wearing a dress with pockets. For some reason he didn't question this.
The only visible exit was a large tunnel in front of him, vaguely resembling a drain.
He walked through a seemingly endless darkness. But in only a few seconds, a sudden brightness exploded into his vision.
Before him was a landscape, the strangest he'd ever seen. The grass was a bright, unnatural green. Gruesomely colored mushrooms sprouted on everything.
But the strangest thing was that there was money of every sort on the path in front of him; pounds, yen, dollars.
But just as he bent over to pick it up, a loud, raspy growl sounded behind him.
He whipped around. A mangy yellow dog, a jackal, lowered its flea ridden body close to the ground, baring sharp, yellow teeth.
He ran. The jackal chased after him.
Gasping for breath, he ran faster, slipping on the banknotes underneath his feet.
The jackal howled.
He shuddered. The sound almost froze him to the spot in horror.
He could almost hear his mother's shrill, scolding wail, not unlike a wild dog's, screaming at him.
You idle boy.
But he ran faster.
He came to a river. The water was deep blue, looking cool and inviting.
He jumped in. The jackal halted, snarling.
It only took a moment to realize that this river wasn't water.
It was full of sea snakes; writhing and slimy and twining around his neck and wrists and ankles.
He looked to the left. A snake, larger and more iridescent than the rest, sank its teeth into his arm. He cried out, but not because of the pain.
He cried out because of the image of himself taking pill after pill, his mother screaming at him, himself abusing his friend; the present.
He looked to the right. Another snake bit him, and he saw himself as a child; friendless and alone. His father leaving, his mother sobbing. His past. Then darkness. Utter darkness.
He felt himself begin to sink below the mass of scales.
Then he fought his way to the top. His nails dug into the dusty ground, desperately pulling himself into the solid ground.
But where the endlessness expanse was empty was now a city, and in the middle, a mass of bodies; live arms and legs and chests twining together. He recognized the faces of every person he had ever fantasized of touching turning dark blue, as if they were suffocating.
They grasped his legs and pulled him into the mass, passing and stroking, making him gasp and moan.
Then clarity burst into his mind. He had to get out of this, had to go! He struggled against the people grasping at him, whispering.
"You can't leave yet!"
He ignored them and ran.
Now he was faced by a tower of doors. A new weight in his pocket caused him to reach inside it.
In the dress pocket was an eight inch copper key.
It must go to one of these doors. He thought. That's the way to get out. In the pocket of my dress there's an eight inch copper key, I don't know the door it's goes to, but the fact is killing me.
The words became a chant as he climbed the stairs of the tower, trying door after door after door. None of them fit.
He found himself on the top of the tower, the key still clutched in his fist. He could see the whole city before him.
Crazytown was on fire. Everything was on fire; the asphyxiating bodies and the jackal and the buildings.
A loud crash. The tower exploded, taking him with it.
He screamed. He was being torn, torn apart-
Suddenly he was facing a mirror. Not a mirror.
Covered in gore and dust. Eyes wide and rolling in their sockets.
With a wicked smile, the thing that was not him landed a crushing blow to his face.
He woke up on a white bed, blinding white. The beep of hospital monitors ground into his brain.
Someone patted his arm. Someone, perhaps a nurse, told him he was going to be alright.
He shuddered, because he knew they were wrong.
He would visit Crazytown again. In his dreams and nightmares.
He would be back.
There was no doubt of that.