Death is the Crescendo
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Chapter One
My name is Lori, I'm 28 years old and I'm a heroin addict.

Right now I don't know what the fuck is going on. Sometimes I feel like I'm awake and sometimes I feel like I'm dreaming. I know I'm not dreaming, though, because I can usually wake myself up. Right now I can't. The last thing I remembered before all of this started was partying with my friends in a forest.

Chapter Two
I'm in a forest. It's getting dark, I should probably start heading home. My friends disappeared and it's just me. I don't know where they went, they must have left. They forgot me? How could they forget me? How am I going to get home...? Am I going to spend the night in a forest? Should I find a house or something out here? What if I'm lost? What if I have to catch food and start a fire? I don't know how to do any of that.

I see a presence in the trees. I feel like it's telling me not to worry I won't have to do any of that. Despite his reassuring words I feel terrified of this person. He's wearing all black and his hood is over his face.

Chapter Three
I'm in my childhood house talking with my father. He tells me "Every opportunity I've ever given you, you've spit on. You could have been great, you could have been amazing, as a child you were nothing short of amazing, but you've chosen a wretched life, the life of a no good addict. You've disgraced yourself, you've disgraced us." "I'm sorry..." As I start crying. I say "You don't know what it's like. You haven't lost like I've lost." "Don't pull that shit. You were an addict before you lost your boyfriend." "I wasn't! I used, but I didn't become an addict until later!" "You used... Words people say when they're in denial."

I say "Wait, but... You're dead. Am I dreaming?" "I am dead, and at this rate you will be with me soon." "You're just my subconscious..." "Not this time." "Daddy..." "Look where this addiction got you." "Where am I?" "Oh Lori you don't even know."

Chapter Four
I'm hearing voices but I can't see anybody. I think I've heard these voices before but I don't know who they are. They're talking about me but they can't hear me talk back. "Another overdose. What's happening to this community?" "Would it be so awful if she never woke up? She'll just be back in a few months." "You took an oath. We will care for her like she's any other patient. Her addiction is none of our business." "She's breaking the law, I can't believe we bother with these people." "I'll pretend I didn't hear that."

Chapter Five
The hooded figure comes back. I realize now it isn't a hooded sweatshirt it's just robes. "Are you... Death?" "I am death. I don't really look like this I just pulled it out of humanity's collective unconscious." "Well it's horrifying." "I know."

There's a beautiful naked lady watching us in the background.

"Nightmare. Wake up. Wake up wake up wake up. I can't wake up."

Chapter Six
"And who are you?" "I am opiates." "...Thank you." "How beautiful is a life without pain? I taught you nothing matters. Not your physical pain, not your emotional pain, it's all a big nothing. Nothing has ever mattered and nothing ever will matter. As long as you have opium."

She says "...Would you like to fuck before you go?" "Well, I, I've never done it with a woman before." "My form is female but I assure you I don't have a gender." And we fuck.

"...I overdosed in that forest. I was dreaming I was alone because in a way I was. And I was scared. But now I am not scared. I feel like I have been imparted ancient wisdom that so many have forgotten."

Chapter Seven
She says "You can choose death and have eternal relief from your physical and emotional pain, or you can stay alive and take a desperate grab at enlightenment every time you use and be miserable the rest of the time. Death is but opium's crescendo. Will you listen?"

I think about my friends and family and say "Kill me."