acid tunnel

Tunnel of Roses

I shouldn’t have taken the acid. That was her first clear thought in a long time. How long it had been, she didn’t know.

They were calling to her, luring her in. Flowers – flowers everywhere. With their ever-rotating hypnotic petals and their ever-singing captivating voices. She tried to resist, had been trying to resist them for hours, but they were everywhere.

The busy summer city streets suddenly opened up into a lush oasis of green sprinkled with splashes of colour. But those splashes weren’t pretty, they were deadly. People just didn’t understand. They were out to get her. That’s what she got for moving to a city with a seemingly endless amount of parks of all shapes and sizes. Murderous flowers.

She heard their siren call and stumbled. She managed to catch herself, but veered to the left to do so. And that is how she set foot on the grass. They were everywhere now, surrounding her, their voices booming, bouncing back and forth between her ears.

She tripped again, and this time, she fell to her knees. That’s when it happened. She tried to get back on her feet, staggered forward, and landed right next to a flower bed. Her nose was practically touching the nearest specimen.

Of course, it was a rose. It had to be a rose. Nothing was more enchanting than a rose. They caught you right away, charmed you on the spot.

So she knelt there, staring at the blossom, getting ever more lost. The deeply red petals started to slowly open up, mesmerising her. As they did so, they started turning, expanding inwards, creating a tunnel. A tunnel that seem to stretch into infinity, pulling her in.

“No!” she screamed in her head. This can’t be happening. I won’t let you win. I can escape you. I have been doing so for the past three days. Is that how long it’s been? Three whole days? Maybe. Maybe it had only been three hours or even three minutes. Who would know. Time is wonky when you’re on LSD. And it could stay so for quite a while. But three days? Has it been three days already? Who knows. Not me.

As the strange woman stared at the rose, the various parents pulled their children away, the university students and office workers on their lunch breaks either smiled, shook their heads, hurried back to class or work, or did what most modern-day bystanders do. They took out their phones and filmed the crazy lady talking to a flower.

The two police officers approached her with care. Loons were the worst, they kept most cops on edge. You never knew what they would do next. Better get ready to use your Taser. She had clearly lost it. She was practically screaming at a rose she was holding, telling the flower that it wouldn’t win.

“Ma'am, are you okay? Would you please let go of the rose? Trying to suck you in? I can see no such thing. Ma'am, you are perfectly safe. Just let go of the flower. Thank you. Now, my colleague and I will take you to an even safer place. Just come with us. What? No, there will be no flowers there, I promise. No, I said there will be no flowers there. Please, remain calm, ma'am. I don’t want to hurt you, and neither does my colleague. What are you doing ma'am? Please, stay back. Don’t come any closer. No one’s trying to hurt you. Do we work for them? Do you mean the flowers? No, ma'am, we don’t. Our job is to protect people. That includes you. We’re here to help you. Stop that right now!”

—Submitted by Lone-Eyed