• Michelle Halliwell

Soul Destruction Story

Frank opens the door of his dorm, letting me in. I set my heavy stack of theology books on the cluttered table, with the Confessions of Saint Augustine on top.

“Want a drink?” Frank asks.

“Oh yeah. That final kicked my ass,” I say.

“Becoming a priest ain’t easy,” Frank says, handing me a can of Natural Ice.

Taking it, I drink deeply. I exhale alcohol fumes and burp from the foam.

“You okay dude?” Frank asks.

“Another semester of studying God finished. Couldn’t be closer to heaven,” I say.

“Right. Right. But you don’t look good man,” he says.

“Just found out my parents are getting a divorce,” I say, chugging the entire can of beer.

“I’m so sorry. Want to talk about it?” Frank asks, putting his hand on my shoulder.

“I feel like the world of my childhood has come crashing down. I mean, never even saw it coming. They seemed happy. It’s as if everything was a lie.”

“I’d feel the same way,” Frank says.

“Do you have any more of those pills?” I ask.

Frank sighs, shaking his head. He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a tiny baggie of white powder. He looks like a seraphim as he waves it back and forth in front of his face, long blonde eyebrows raised over sky blue eyes.

“Can’t. Too addictive,” I say.

“Beer is addictive if you drink enough of it,” he says handing me another beer.

“Yeah but.”

“I understand, but if you only do a little bit, it’s not even addictive,” he says.

He spills a little out on a mirror. “If you snort this, it’ll be exactly like one of the pills you bought last week.”

The longer I sit there letting the beer disconnect me from my body, the more I want to try it. As if being moved by an invisible hand, I lean forward, taking the little straw, snorting the powder. Leaning back on the couch in orgasmic bliss, I am a child’s tongue covered in powdered sugar.

“Can I have some more?” I ask.

Frank is already putting the flame of his lighter to the bottom of a burned spoon. Twenty seconds later, he approaches with a syringe. Heaven rushes through me.

“You have a new God now,” he says.


©2019 by Michelle Halliwell