“Hello, I’m Madeleine Halsey. I’m here to pick up my prescription.” 

The pharmacy is ancient, chipped formica,  glass partition with green tinges at the edges. The only nod to this century are the too bright aquarium LEDs someone had installed, poorly.


A puppy sniffs and licks at your nose. 

The smell of puppy breath lasts for just a millisecond as your eyes open. 

“I need to see your ID”

The smirk on your face evaporates as you hand it across to him. 

“Something funny,” he asks.


A field of stars spreads out above you, and somewhere someone squeezes your hand.

Your hand flex ever so slightly as the effusive fingers evaporate from your grasp. 

“No, no. Just need my meds. ” 

He peers closely at the card, and then up at you. 

The old pharmacist ambles back to whatever happens in the back of a pharmacy. You dig in your pocket for the little bottle of eye drops. The good ones, the thick ones that coat your eyes and stop the burning from being open too long. Where the hell are they?

He holds up the sealed envelope and the pills inside rattle. 

“This is a very powerful anti-psychotic. I’m hesitant to give it to someone so… young.”

Who could blame him? I mean, look at you. You’re bone skinny, you don’t look like you’ve had a shower in recent memory, and your eyes are sunken and too red. Red like you haven’t slept, like they have sand in them. If only, right? 

“Listen sir, I really need those. My doctor knows I need those. Hence the scrip. It’s not something I’m all that comfortable talking about. Especially in public.”

He regards you for a minute, “Young lady. I have a responsibility that the drugs like these, that have a mind altering effect, which these most definitely do, don’t end up in some poor kids system.”


The smell of formaldehyde hits you full in the face. The cadaver is split from chin to pubis. The bonesaw in your hand is coated with gore

The formaldehyde lingers for a moment as you clear your throat and then clench your jaw, trying to clear that vision.

“Sir, I promise you I need those pills. I have no intention to sell them,” you said as your lips disappear in a thin, bloodless line.  You scramble in your pocket and grab the eye drops.  

The pharmacist is unimpressed, his expression moving from doubt to the flat stare of one about to say something nasty but necessary, “Young Lady, to give these drugs to a minor without a parent is a violation of Federal and local laws.”

 “Mr. Condon,” you say as you level those eyes on him. Those eyes that have seen more shit than a person could see in an entire lifetime, those eyes that have seen the worst humanity has to offer eyes, eyes that make your mom skitter from your room, that make any boy that might ever talk to you keep walking, eyes that give you a glimpse of somewhere else every time they close. Some place else, some other person’s reality, twenty thousand times a day, and it jars you every time. You’re too old for you eyes, meet with his small, flat gray eyes behind those coke bottle glasses. 

And he flinches,  god help me he actually flinches.

 “Three things are going to happen right now. One, I am going to put my co-pay of twenty three dollars and sixty seven cents on the counter, two, you are going to hand me my prescription, and three I am going to walk out that door.”

You put the money on the counter, and turn your hand up to him. 

The fat old pharmacist with flat grey eyes in his old fish bowl with chipped formica swallows, and his skin seems a little mottled somehow. He never breaks eye contact as he lays the envelope on the counter next to your hand.

“Thank you Mr. Condon,” you say as you pick up the envelope and turn to go. 

There’s that old story about feeling people looking at you, like some pressure on you. It’s total bullshit clearly, but you see something through other people’s eyes every time you blink, so who knows if that’s really bullshit or not; but you tried to ignore the feeling of his eyes on you as hurried out of the shitty little pharmacy. Your eyes weeping openly and burning as you hit the door.  You tear the envelope and dry mouth the pill. 


The smell of powdery overly floral perfume. The hand in yours is tiny and the skin feels like paper. You hear her tell you she loves you.

You jam eye drops in and shove them back in your pocket down past the lint, and you head home to wait for the meds to kick in. 


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