The Beach House

All Anthony wanted was a better life, a change to his surroundings, he wanted to live a life of his choosing. April 17th would be the day that his wish tragically came true. My piece for the More Than This competition.


4. The Trip

Looking back it clearly wasn't the wisest move of all time, but having already done it and knowing the events that followed, I'm not sure if it was all that terrible. It was neither right nor wrong, not really. It was... an experience.

The capsule touched my tongue and slipped drown my throat with the help of cheap cider. At first I thought I had been duped, nothing much happened. He said to let it settle and to take my mind off of it. But that's like knowing there's a ticking time bomb under your seat and being told to sit quietly. You're gonna want to run for the hills. So we sat, the bunch of us just sitting, half talking half examining my speach or behaviour for the effects to show, whatever effects they would be, we had no idea, it could have been a stimulant, hallucinogenic or a sedative. Maybe a concoction of all three designed to melt my mind into mush. 

Then it happened. The signs were beginning to show. It started first and foremost with the sound of seagulls. They were distant at first, muffled, as though coming from beneath me, from the flat below. Then I blinked and everyone was gone. Scott, Abbey, Micky, the girls, Bez. Everyone had disappeared. It dawned on me that I had obviously taken an hallucinogenic, this was certain, but it was liked nothing that I had experienced before, or even known possible. No bright lights, no dancing patterns, but a sheer change of reality. I knew not to fight it but to go with the flow, if you fight a trip this intense, it can quickly change to an inescapable nightmare, lasting hours and possibly causing permanent brain damage.

I leaned back in my soft moldy chair and watched as the walls around me melted into a void of empty space. They collapsed and fell into themselves and dripped away. I sat in the darkness for a while, far longer than I would have liked. Then, over the horizon the sun rose, casting brilliant warming light over me, finally revealing my new surroundings. 

I was sitting on my chair, on a beach. The gulls overhead chirped away, a salty sea breeze entered my lungs and the sounds of crashing waves washed over me, and I felt refreshed, exhilarated. The sand felt so, real. I could have stared at the moving sea for an eternity, the calmness resonated something within me that I can't express. I felt, I felt like me, but whole. I felt fulfilled. 

"Anth!" I heard a familiar voice shout from behind me. There stood Scott, standing hand in hand with Abbey on top of a sand-dune, and in front of a large three story house, its wooden steps leading down onto the beach. 

I traversed the sand towards them, noticing my shoes had disappeared. I also became aware all my clothes had changed; my hat had gone and my shoulder length hair at the time was bouncing in the breeze, jeans had changed to beige khakis and my band T had morphed into a lose fitting white shirt. I made it to the house, Scott led me further inside and there were all of our friends. George, Becky, Matty, they all moved away not long after high school, never found out where. Even Harry was there, his blonde hair shinning in the rising sun. That grin, that fucking grin of his still pasted on his boyish face, despite everything he always could just smile. I remember him squealing and rushing towards me. I never got a chance to say goodbye, and at the beach house I never had to. 

And that was it, the world dissolved, Harry faded away before me, along with all the others, and was replaced by the flat, and reality, and Bez.

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