Addiction manifests in many ways and has been an ongoing theme in my life. I've watched friends ruin themselves with it and I've had my own struggles as well.
This is a story I wrote as a teenager somewhere around the end of the 90s and found it one day while trawling through my backups and decided to produce it into an audio story in 2017. Producing audio stories was really fun, and I'd like to do more of it.
You lock the door, reflexively on your way past to bed and stop to reflect on the futility of it:
The monsters are already in here. If anything, you've trapped yourself.
Pause to consider this, and try not to panic. It will not be waiting for you under the bed, you know... you locked it safe inside that Box, with all the others - and then hid it in a place that nobody would want to go. Covered in sticky layers of academia.
Ugly little things. That's where they deserve to be.
Why don't they just go away?
Still, you can hear them, scratching to be free and every now and then you catch a glimpse of one, in the form of a flash of sweat at the sight of white powder or maybe the quick dark movement of your shoulder of awareness as in mirrors and shadows... drifting like smoke in the peripheral awareness.
After all these years one might have hoped for them to have died off by now, but, they have not.
And one knows why, of course. Knew all along, but did it anyways.
It was always informed consent and plausible deniability be damned.
That was the deal.
They are well fed. They were supposed to stay in that box but when nobody is looking you let them out and nourish them while you rehearse your lines, the lines you will inevitably recite when the moment arrives.. again and again.
It's not as bad as it seems - and that's not a lie!
It is much worse.
Brazenly, like a foolish child feeding the family dog in secret under the table right in front of everybody so she has room for desert.
You wait with your lines.