Meetings and Hallucinations

The Auxiliary was cramped and humid, although the room had seemed large upon entering. The air inside felt wet, as if compressed by the lungs of a leviathan. Watching his roommate, Rick became convinced that their breaths worked in symphony, struggling to heave off the damp of the giant’s body cavity.

“If you’re tweaking out you’d better tell me, so you can lose your shit back at the apartment.” Tom shoved a plastic cup of unidentifiable alcohol into Rick’s hand, which he swallowed gratefully.

“I’m not tripping, you asshole.” The Auxiliary was also alarmingly yellow, he thought; stained walls lined up like bad teeth, and the light was ochre with the haze of cigarettes.

“It’s like standing in a rotten jack-o-lantern,” said a pleasant voice. As Avarice turned, he heard Pauline’s laugh for the first time. It was hoarse from the smoke, and held a world of surprise, as if she hadn’t expected to speak at all.

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