For the second (third? well, more than one) time, T.L Tyson @TL_Tyson has shown us all what it means to be a writer. And a fantastic one she is too. It’s not only here on 5MinuteFiction that she trounces other writers regularly. Oh no, she’s a regular writer trouncer. 😉

Thanks T, for sharing your talents with us.Congratulations.

Here’s her winning entry. Enjoy.

You wouldn’t believe how much concentration it takes to get the needle in the vein now. You wouldn’t understand the dedication it takes to find a vein that will take the needle. They’re like rubber. They are like a clogged sink. My skin is scabby and unusable. Can I buy new skin? New arms? New veins?

How did it come to this? Aren’t I an artist? Where are my paints? Where are my accomplishments? When did I become so shaky? So sweaty? Where along the way did my dreams break and my determination to live take a backseat?

Who is riding beside me in this rusted out vehicle? Where’s my soul? The devil’s pullin’ my hair, it hurts, and feels so good.

They say you chase that first high? But these days, I’m chasing the second and third. It’s never as good as those first couple times. Probably because the shit isn’t as pure, or because I’m so edgy and wired that when it finally filters through my system, I just crash. I close my eyes and curl up in this junk and bile and piss.

It stopped being fun when Suzy died.

It stopped making sense when the smell of blood, urine, and vomit followed me around, like a gut-wrenching cologne.

And as I wanted the dark and desolate streets of my life, I can’t help but wonder when I signed up for this.

‘Fucking junkie,” they say. They whisper it as I pass. And I scream back, I ain’t no fucking junkie. Then I realize I’m not wearing shoes. Why can’t I feel my feet? Whose that staring at me in the shop window? He’s got weird eyes that bore into mine and dark circles like he’s been punched. He’s all jittery.

Now, he’s the fucking junkie.

Yesterday, I saw my mother outside the big new fancy grocery store of Hastings. She had paper bags in her hands. She had this weird poncho draped over her shoulders. When I walked up to her, she said, “I don’t have any change.”

She didn’t recognize me.

She didn’t realize what I’d become.

“Please, mom, I’m a starving artist.”

And the mom, hit home with her.

Her mouth formed a terrified circle of truth. She ran. I wish I could run.

I crouch in the ally, trying to find a vein, trying to erase my mother’s realization, trying to run away. Fucking veins don’t work anymore. Not the ones in my toes, or my arms. The shaking is too much. I can’t undo the buttons on my jeans to even search for a blue thread on my thighs to stab.

Why is my face wet? What the fuck are these? Tears.

My name used to be Thomas.

You can call me Junkie.