31 Short Stories in 31 Days 2016: 1

FARMaceuticals: Part 1

Sam grew lettuce, tomatoes, celery, garlic, onions, carrots, peppers, zucchini, strawberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon. It didn’t matter what he planted though as Sam would come to find out that he only grew psychotropic fruits and vegetables. This was not a purposeful act, Sam truly had a love of the outdoors and toiling in the earth, and had resolved to “never pay for a salad again,” only to discover that he could not eat anything that came out of his garden without tripping his face off.

This came as quite a shock to Sam, who waited patiently and pined as he tilled the soil, and impregnated it with nutrients, carefully weeded the earth, watered the garden diligently, collected and killed the rotating pests that came to invade his work, and tenderly trimmed the plants to develop their growth. Sam had a knack for the gardening and the leaves bloomed big and lush, the flowers opened and closed all nearly in unison, a symphony of colors blooming cascades of dropping petals. Bees bumbled lazily and obtusely about the garden, feeling the effects of his hallucinogenic plants well before Sam ever did. The grubs and the aphids, the spider mites, and the beetles that Sam killed were aware of their places in their universe, having had their minds expanded by indulging in his plants.

They were affected this way not because the genes of the plants themselves were fundamentally changed, but because they were covered in a microscopic hallucinogenic fungus that was transferred from Sam himself and only incubated when exposed to plant life. Sam transferred these fungi in every handshake, with every sneeze, and on any surface he touched, but this fungus was not active until it co-mingled with the plants that Sam cared for. No one was in danger of the hallucinogenic effects, except if they ate any of his vegetables or fruits.

Sam first ate a cherry tomato that had ripened a week ahead of its peers. Other plants had flowered – the zucchini, the strawberries, the melons, but it was the tomatoes that had flowered and fallen, their bulbous fruits turning to fruit first. Sam picked the fruit off the vine and popped it into his mouth, smiling, enjoying the literal fruits of his labor, thinking nothing of it except that it tasted wonderful. He went about his weekend day only to find the hallucinogenic effects taking hold. Having experimented with the stuff before, in acid and mushrooms, and even DMT, he knew what was happening but figured it was some sort of potent flashback. He did not suspect that his vegetable garden was a potent cornucopia of psychedelic experiences.

The first picking was seemingly portent to the vegetables, which exploded on their vines, all at once, begging to be picked. Sam, that very next weekend), picked amongst the vines and branches and collected for himself a salad. He washed everything diligently and cobbled together a garden salad, his mouth watering all the while. Lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, even some strawberries, these were all thrown together, tossed, and set before himself. With delight and zeal, Sam tucked into his meal, content that he had grown everything that he was consuming, except, of course, for the dressing, which was store-bought, Sam having an affinity for blue cheese.

It was only an hour or so after Sam finished his meal that the effects of his salad began to kick in. Colors began to swim in front of his face and he knew that he was headed for a intense psychotropic experience. He was inside his home, washing dishes when the effects began, and suddenly, he felt claustrophobic. The sun was shining outside, and seemed so bright and kaleidoscopic, but he was drawn to the outdoors. Sam found himself in his garden, pulled by the calling of his plants, and he could see their auras and hear their words to him. They told him they were psychotropic, and as he looked at the fruits he had left on the plants, he could sense the fungus that had made them so.

Sam knew how preposterous the whole thing seemed, and yet was compelled to try and share this with someone. He called his former roommate, Sarah, the one who introduced him to psychedelics in the first place, and told her that he needed her to come over. There was something important he needed to talk to her about, and no, he couldn’t talk about it over the phone. Sarah showed up a few hours later, right when Sam was peaking.

“Whoa, you look high as fuck,” Sarah said as a greeting when Sam answered her knocking and let her into the house. Sam had sought the indoors to escape the brightness but set up a little strobe show in his living room, blinds down, with music blaring from the streaming music service on his TV. Sarah closed the door behind her and followed him into his tripping hidey-hole.

“I am. I am totally tripping right now.” Sam said, wrapping himself in a fuzzy blanket, even though the AC was blaring.

“Sweet,” Sarah replied, “What is it? Mushrooms? Acid? Ecstasy?”

In response, Sam held out a zucchini from under his fuzzy blanket. Sarah looked at it incredulously. “What am I supposed to do with this? Fuck myself?”

“Eat it.” Sam said, “I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but everything in my garden is hallucinogenic. I thought it was just the tomatoes at first, but now I’m pretty sure it’s everything. I ate a salad a few hours ago, and that…well, that was a lot.” Sam had become distracted slightly by album cover art plastered on the TV. “Are…are those leaves dancing?”

Sarah stared at the art a moment and cocked her head. They were decidedly stationary. “No,” she said, and followed that with a, “you are truly and seriously fucked up.” Sarah considered the zucchini in Sam’s hand. “How is it? the high?”

“It’s unlike anything I ever experienced before,” Sam replied, “It’s potent and clean, very earthy, like mushrooms but way more powerful. Like I imagine ayahuasca is like, except I haven’t puked or seen any spirit creature things . Maybe it’s the amount – I mean, I ate a whole salad. I had a microdose on a cherry tomato, so the zucchini might be enough to get you really going.”

Sarah listened to the words, and they made a sort of sense, but she realized how ridiculous the whole thing actually sounded. “Did you dose these veggies with LSD? Isn’t blotter sufficient? It’s much easier to carry around, and you don’t have to declare it when you travel into California.”

“I didn’t dose anything,” Sam declared, “I swear, my garden is just naturally psychotropic. Please, just eat the zucchini and see.”

Sarah did reluctantly, rolling her eyes as she did, unpersuaded but sure that she could use more vegetables in her diet, and within the hour she was having the most powerful hallucinogenic experience she had ever had in her life. Her mind raced with the possibilities of it – any of these vegetables could be juiced down, frozen, dried (though she didn’t know what kind of effects that would have) – they were going to create a whole new industry of hallucinogenics for the health-conscious. Sarah and Sam were going to create FARMaceuticals.





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