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Seven Devils


The familiar smell of opium and tobacco woke me at dawn.
Someone was close against me, their face downturned, smoke from a pipe
between their lips unavoidably billowing into my face, deep up both nostrils.
His eyes connected to mine briefly.
His name was Steve and he was from Cincinnati.
I stifled a cough, my eyes hazy from the smoke but – as he moved away to pull
something out of a bag – focus was impossible and the forest was swirling. My first
thought was that his opium had affected me; when he forces me to hit the pipe, blowing
the smoke in my face, I’m positive it’s affected me.
‚Whazzzz,? but I couldn’t function enough to speak properly.
Sensing this reaction, Steve whispered, ‚It’s stronger than we expected.?
Is he talking about the opium in his pipe? What’s<happening, is it<my head, it hurts,
and it’s all, like, brain-groggy<eyes refuse to see anything clearly – everything was blurred
except<in the distance, there was a black smudge, but it was coming toward me,
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