09/16/2020 Snippet, THE THING IN MY HIP FLASK.



Considering that I am — or at least was — the owner-operator of an illegal distillery, I am not all that fond of parties. Particularly ones involving over-consumption of distilled liquor, which this clearly and spectacularly had been. Most of the participants were still conscious, but curiously sluggish — and they reeked. Reeked in a way that suggested skipping over showers and going right to using a garden hose, then a shower.

Perceptive readers of this will probably guess that I recognized the smell, and I did; it was like that of the goo, only less awful — no, it was still awful. But also more exotic, perhaps? Or even almost, well, not really attractive. But it was a smell with a bit of fascination to it. It’s hard to describe, even though I can even now remember that smell perfectly. And still find it strangely appealing.

The smell of the goo seemed to be coming from several cheap plastic punch bowls, each half-full of a blue-gray liquid that was probably high enough proof to run in my car. Amazingly, some people were still drinking it; it took a few minutes, but I was able to find somebody functional enough to point up to where my workers presumably were.

As I climbed the stairs, I started to wish that I wasn’t. I do not scare easily, but the air in that fraternity house grew ever more fetid and cloying as I ascended. I did not like the look of those on the second floor, either; they seemed more sluggish, more sluggish, than the partiers below, but I fancied I saw sparkles of malice poking through the sloth on their faces. Was it directed towards me? Perhaps. Or perhaps they were maliciously amused about me. I might go ask them, if I was free of this place; but that particular fraternity has had a remarkable number of members dropping out of school since that day. I do not know if any of them are even still in town to be questioned.

Yes. Even still in town. That is what I mean.

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