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Week Four Featured Story: The Break by Brett Milam

The Break

Lines of coke, syringes of heroin, bottles of Oxycontin, Gavin had tried them all, but nothing compared to the break. When the break happened, it was like his mind was airlifted into another dimension where colors were unimaginably bright and they had a physical property to them.

It was as if the sky had violently torn apart and from this chasm manifest a shower of light that transported Gavin to that other dimension. Worldly things and concerns drifted away like sawdust off of a well-chiseled hunk of wood.

Even so, the second before the break, he still got swelling around his pelvis and feverish droplets of sweat underneath the curvature in his back. It fucking hurt, all the same.

The other night, he’d woken from an uneventful dream. Dreaming had turned mundane once you went through the break.

Almost immediately, he craved the break.

Gavin pulled the sleeve back on his black turtleneck — he’d become prone to wearing them after his ex, now dead from a methamphetamine overdose, said they looked “snug” on him — to expose his forearm.

Then he directed his pointer finger with the kind of blood-rushing, centralized power feel you get from a boner toward his forearm, hovering a centimeter from the delicate flesh. With a simple tap and eyes closed, he snapped the radius bone clean in two.

The bone broke through the skin and a torrent of blood gushed out. By then, his mind was gone. It was zip-lining through the cosmos, hopscotching around the stars and the asteroid belt. It was like the tail-end of his mind had a rocket attached with enough jet fuel to encircle the Milky Way.

A few minutes later, he returned to the confines of his limiting cranium, his arm lifeless at his side, blood no longer spilling out, but pooling near the foot of the bed, and he could see in the mirror across the room, which displayed his ashen face.

Another tap of the pointer finger to the snapped radius and it was healed instantly. The blood was gone, returned back to its normal functioning beneath the surface of the skin.

Somewhere in the copious opium binges, Gavin had developed this, whatever you call this. Even in his high state, magic didn’t seem the right word. Magic was beautiful, illuminating; this, this was something else.

Often times, Gavin thought maybe he was on a cold slab somewhere waiting to be disposed of by the county, having already overdosed and all of this was some post-death hallucination, lasting residual effects of all his drug abuse.

When he’d first discovered it, he started small, literally, with the stapes bone in the ear. It was like his first marijuana bong hit. Pleasant, but weak. Before long, as he was a fast learner, he’d snapped both femur bones.

But it was no longer enough. This, whatever this was, satisfied him no longer. So, he soon tapped his finger to his landlord’s frontal bone.

Gavin had found his new rush.

Check out Brett Milam’s blog and more of his stories at: http://milambc.wordpress.com/. Follow him on Twitter: @brett_milam