The F Cigarette

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Paul gives Harry a drag from the F-Cigarette, a newly designed E-Cigarette that completely inhibits inhibitions.

Submitted: June 03, 2019

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Submitted: June 03, 2019

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The F Cigarette
 
 
Paul took a puff and blew it into Harry's face.

"You've changed," Harry said.

Paul took another drag, and then slipped the metal pipe into his pocket.

"Where did you get it?"

"A prototype," Paul said.

"And it really does what it says on the tin?"

"I drove to the coast with Sally last weekend, the day I got it."

"So it doesn't work?"

"I drove her to the coast. And I dumped her there."

Harry eyed the pocket.

"Can I see it again?"

"Sure."

Paul took it back out and placed it in Harry's hand.

In the distance there was a high-pitched scream. A woman dressed in a jogging outfit sprinted between the pair, forcing Harry to step back and lose his balance from the curb. Seconds later a man in a business suit did the same, leaving behind him a trail of fruit-scented smoke.

Harry stepped off the road and back onto the pavement.

"There's been some weird stuff happening around here lately. It won't, turn me into a monster?" he said.

"Do you want to be a monster?" Paul replied.

"No, of course not, but sometimes, when I'm frustrated, I think I might be."

"How so?"

"The other day, Sarah shouted at me because I never took out the bins. We had made three grand at the shop and I fell and sprained my ankle while carrying a sofa. When I got home I went in the kitchen to put some ice on my foot and she came in and started having a go at me for sitting down."

Paul nodded.

"Sally was like that. What did you do?"

"I didn't do anything. I took the bins out and I watched television until I fell asleep on the sofa."

"So what's the problem?"

"It's not what I did. It's what I wanted to do. I wanted to throw her in the bin and take her to the roof and throw her off. If I do this, will I carry out these disturbing thoughts to completion?"

Paul noted that Harry already had his lips pursed around the shaft of the F-Cigarette.

He smiled. "Only if you want to."
 
The vaper went easily down when Harry breathed in. It tasted of Cherry B, and when he breathed out the cherry wine made a cloud that hovered a while over their heads and then expanded into the rest of the smog.
 
Harry passed the F-Cigarette back to his friend, who grabbed it back listlessly and had already begun to turn away.
 
"I don't feel any different."
 
"That's the point. You feel exactly how you should."
 
"I don't want to kill Sarah."
 
"That's nice. Thoughts are like specks of dust. They're always there, but it's only when we notice them that we feel dirty."
 
Paul crossed the road with a hop in his step back inside the factory where he worked.
 
Harry stood there a moment, confused. He thought hard about what he wanted to do now that all his inhibitions had been blown away with a puff of smoke, but he couldn't think of anything, and so he went home.
 
He stepped into the apartment to the sickening smell of synthetics. The fuschia hit him like a three-dimensional pop art.
 
"Honey, you've changed the wallpaper," he said.
 
Sarah, paint covering her grey supermarket uniform, walked in from the kitchen with a spatula in her hand.
 
"Don't you love it?"
 
Max bolted through her legs and tugged at his trousers, with more than usual animation.
 
"What was wrong with grey?" he asked.
 
"Grey is boring," she said, stroking her hands and arms against the wet walls until they were covered and then bending down and smearing the grey dog with the paint.
 
"What's for dinner?"
 
"Lasagne!"
 
He smiled, relieved with the answer, half expecting it to be a bowl of lipsticks.
 
"How's your ankle?" she asked.
 
"Better, thanks."
 
"You can help me serve then."
 
He walked into the small kitchen and everything was fuschia, the table and chairs, the sink, the clock, the kettle, everything except for the lasagne that sat on the stove.
 
He wanted to shout at her, maybe even hit her. He blamed himself for the thought while he got two fuschia plates from the fuschia cupboard and served up the lasagne, and then he blamed the F-Cigarette for not working. 
 
"Let's eat in the living room," he said, "We'll put on some television."
 
Harry sat down and ate his food in a silent rage.
 
"I bumped into Paul yesterday," Sarah said. "He's a lot happier, isn't he?"
 
"Since he got rid of his wife, yeah."
 
"What happened to her?"
 
"I heard she went on holiday and didn't come back."
 
"It's fascinating, isn't it? You partner up with someone thinking it will make you happy as can be, and you end up feeling like you're in a water tank that is filling and filling."
 
"Until you can't breathe because you're in your home and drowning in fuschia."
 
"But you don't drown. Paul said the F-Cigarette is like a pressure valve, it's freedom."
 
"You tried it too?"
 
"You know, it wouldn't hurt. Saying thank you once in a while for me cooking you dinner every day."
 
"What do you mean?"
 
Sarah put her plate on her lap. He had been so free feeling his rage and plotting to kill his wife and watching television that he hadn't noticed she hadn't swallowed so much as a mouthful.
 
He looked out the window and saw the factory where Paul worked explode.
 
"Enjoy your lasagne Sweetie."
 
 
 
 



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