Sep. 10th, 2011

Agony. The moments of my consciousness stretched out into days, months, ages of pure pain and misery. I lay in a dank hole and writhed on the stone floor, incapable of trusting the input of my eyes and ears, terrified at every noise real and imagined.

I wanted drink. At first, I remembered, I had called out for it. I had requested, demanded and begged for rum, for vodka; then gin or whisky; and then I abased myself further. At my nadir I remember pleading in a cracked voice to be brought a non-alcoholic beer – yes, so low I fell. And then the madness took me.

I sweated and moaned, striking out all around me, clawing the stone floor and kicking over the food and water they delivered. I saw crazy things, impossible things. Eventually I saw the stones at the back of my cell ripple like the surface of the ocean. I laughed and pointed at them, my face a mask of perspiration.

The stones undulated again. Or, rather, one stone towards the bottom rippled. No, it pushed outwards, grinding in its joint an inch at a time until it could be pushed aside. A tiny monkey face peeked through.

I laughed again. "Sorry, Churchkey," I said, "there's no booze here. No work for you. Go find a beer, monkey."

Chattering, Churchkey scampered up on my chest. He had a small bottle around his neck. In my state, any bottle was an object of great interest, but my fingers lacked the skill to unscrew the top. Churchkey did it for me and poured the bottle's contents in my mouth. It smelled heavenly, of cherry juice and coconut and rum, and something else.

"Blue Hawaiian," I croaked, my tongue stained cobalt. "Blue, blue blue, blue like the waves." Somehow I found the presence to summon up the ancient techniques, and I was water, a blue wave, coursing down the tunnel in the stonework, splashing and lapping at the sides with chattering Churchkey wetting his feet in me. I poured out a hole and reformed into myself, lying panting on the ground in a storeroom with Churchkey on my shoulder, and Chuck Badd and Ululani staring, amazed.

"Rum," I croaked. "More rum."

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September 2012

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