Life, the Shadow of Death
Life, the Shadow of Death
Shiro watched eagerly as Nathaniel placed the cotton in the small glass bottle of amber liquid. He gave a small shudder - he could feel himself trembling with anticipation. It had been so long... I promised myself that I was going to stop. Frowning slightly, Shiro tried to brush away the guilt. It's just one more time, and I can stop whenever I want.
Digging in his bag, Shiro produced a syringe and then a rubber tourniquet which he applied to his upper arm. Taking the syringe, he inserted the needle into the cotton and watched as the barrel filled with melted gold. Holding the instrument skyward, he flicked it once. As he was about to lower it, he stopped and quickly grabbed Nathaniel's arm.
"What?!" Nathaniel asked irritably, "I'm trying to tie off here!"
"Not a word of this to Max, alright?" Shiro looked Nathaniel in the eyes. "I'm fucking serious."
"You know I wouldn't. Come on man, let's hit the needle already. Remember to burn the mainline."
"Yeah yeah. I don't need wings." Shiro sat back against the wall, extended his arm, and slipped the needle into the vein, letting out a small sigh of pleasure as he felt the tiny prick and then the liquid entering his bloodstream. Tearing off the tourniquet, he waited in anticipation for the rush.
Fifteen seconds... thirty seconds... a whole minute... No rush. Strange. He'd never had to take more than this before. Meanwhile, Nathaniel had gotten to his feet, bracing himself against the wall. His eyes danced and his breath came in quick gasps from the rush's intensity.
"Fuck," Shiro muttered, reaching for the tourniquet once more, "Must've blown a fix."
This time the rush came, and with a strength like never before. He felt the delicious warmth as it started in his stomach and then spread throughout his entire body. It was as if a hundred orgasms had spontaneously hit each and every part of him. Shiro slumped against the wall, moaning softly as he basked in the sensation. He had been craving this for so long. It was unique – a feeling of total euphoria comparable to nothing else, and he was going to savour every glorious second of it.
All too soon, Shiro felt the ecstasy of the rush fading. He glanced at Nathaniel, stretched out full length on the couch. Nathaniel flashed him a roguish grin.
"This is some quality junk, huh?"
"Yeah, shit." Presently, Shiro began to feel tired, and after a while he got up and started to make for the other couch, but his stomach gave a sudden, agonizing lurch that dropped him to his knees. He grimaced as he felt the nausea rising and tried to swallow it down, but he abruptly vomited on the floor. Groaning, he staggered to the couch and collapsed, clutching his stomach. Shiro shut his eyes tightly in an attempt to make the world stop swimming. His head felt stranger by the moment – kind of thick and fuzzy – and he was struggling to breathe. It had never been like this before.
"'Nath? Nathaniel?!" Shiro gasped out, feeling himself losing consciousness, "Something... Something's wro-" Nathaniel, fast asleep, mumbled something, rolled over, and was still.
Nathaniel awoke with someone hammering on the door. He jumped up and began frenziedly gathering the things on the floor, but before he could finish, the door flew inwards, banging against the wall.
"'Nath!" Max looked panicky, "Where's Shiro?! I haven't seen him in hours and I found a dart on his bed. I'm worried he's been shooting up again..." Max's voice trailed off as he caught sight of Shiro lying on the couch. His eyes were closed and there was vomit on his shirt. "Oh God... SHIRO!" Sprinting to Shiro's side with Nathaniel close behind, Max gathered Shiro up. "Shiro! Wake up, you gotta wake up!"
Shiro's eyes opened slightly and he coughed. "It...hurts, Max," Shiro fought for breath, "...So much. Can't take it. Going to... sleep now."
"NO SHIRO, NO! Open your eyes! Nathaniel, call a fucking ambulance! Shiro! SHIRO! NO!" Max collapsed, sobbing, as Shiro gasped for breath, and then shuddered violently as his life was snuffed out as suddenly as the rush had begun.