The Meth Chronicles Volume 2
In The Meth Chronicles Two, BLM, meth users Katie, Kyle, and Molly learn the hard way that the recreational drugs they use to enhance a weekend of gambling in Reno, have a source…and that source turns out to be more terrifying than they could have ever imagined.
Soon the trio learns just how fragile life can be, and how the simplest of mistakes can be magnified into a life-or-death struggle for those taking things for granted and letting drugs casually come into their lives.
The Meth Chronicles’ second volume is a journal of three gritty stories that go into the depraved nadirs of the meth lifestyle. BLM, Creep, and Neal all deliver and weave the reader into their web where there are no more conventions of society, no more rules of manner, and no more compassion, only meth—tribal, raw, and brutal.
Laura Picman sat and waited on the corner of Haight and Pierce Street in San Francisco, her skin crawling…she wanted to get high so fucking bad. She was waiting for her British boyfriend, Jay Pease, to return with their meth and it seemed like it was taking him forever.
He was in a house up on Pierce Street looking to score with their connection, Sammy. They had been trying to hook up for three days straight with no luck and now the walls were closing in. The one thing in the world she could not face was a world without meth— she would throw herself in front of a bus first.
She was out in the van waiting because Jay said Sammy was dealing with some bad people nowadays. He was getting from his group in the Fillmore, but last time Jay was there some sketchy biker dudes from Oakland showed up and dropped off. So, Sammy was getting from more than one source and Jay did not want her near that scene if it went wrong.
Which left her as the driver. It was a fucking nightmarish hell to drive their ’68 Dodge panel van around in the first place, let alone trying to find a place to park. So, Jay parked in the bus zone backed up against the last legal car and they switched seats so she could drive off immediately when the parking enforcement assholes showed up.
Sometimes she would get as much as thirty minutes sitting in place before some Nazi in an enforcement cart would roll up and make her move the van. The sluggish van had manual steering and with her only weighing in at just under a hundred pounds, it was not easy to muscle the thing around. Plus, they only had one throwaway phone, so it was hit-and-miss if some asshole civil servant displaced her, and Jay was walking around looking for her. Thus, they established their meeting points.
The day before they were at Hippy Hill getting high on OPW (other people’s weed) when someone said they had some good shit to sell them, not pot, but their kind of shit. Jay, being the craziest cowboy addict she had ever known, immediately bought it and they returned to the van poste haste to get at this “good shit.”
The dude’s “good shit” turned out to be bunk and they had to panhandle all fucking night up on Market to scratch up enough money for a gram. She always planted herself just west of a big hotel and men would give her money, but not if Jay were anywhere in sight. He would be across 4th Street, and she could hear his English accent telling people he was mugged of everything, even his passport. But even on his best day, he could not beat a pitiful and lonely girl in the collection department.
She was trying her hardest right now not to lose it, having gone too long without their shit, she desperately needed him back here with good news. She needed to get high in the back of the van immediately when he got back—no waiting until they were parked in their spot by the waterfront.
She started to daydream about the day she met Jay. He was certainly not appealing in the physical sense, that was for sure, what with his crooked teeth, stringy red hair, bulbous nose, and horrid acne pockmarks scattered about his face like the surface of the moon. But still, there was something about him.
As she sat in this modern city in his old and out of place red panel van, Laura often pondered where she would be without him. She did not feel better off, but she supposed she felt safer with a man to help to protect her now; and although Jay was as thin as a rail at just under six feet, he had a very psychotic side that one did not want to deal with, even big men.
The day they met she was in a pinch, for sure, because her vibrator had broken and the only roommate she trusted was out of town for the weekend and had locked her door, so she couldn’t even borrow one. She was living south of Market, so she ran to one of the many local twenty-four-hour porno houses to get a new one when she met Jay behind the counter.
She had chosen a cheap variety because she was broke most of the time, but when she left, in the bag was the store’s most expensive one and her money. Of course, Jay had been long fired from that gig for stealing, but back then she was impressed— especially with the vibrator—so they started talking.
Laura had been a hardcore meth addict for the last eight years and back then she mostly panhandled the tourists for enough money to share an apartment with an insane number of other people. Oftentimes there were strange people who came and went, leaving her wondering where they would go and sometimes even who they went to go murder that night.
After a period, through attrition, she was able to secure what was once a storage closet, now converted into a room large enough for a twin bed, a dresser, and a TV. She had a hasp-lock on the door for the outside and bolt on the inside. It was the closest thing to having a real address that she had ever acquired as an adult. Currently they were living in the van, so she was not so sure she was better off. There was little choice, however, as that apartment got raided big time and everyone went to jail. Jail was a place she could not go; she could not get high in jail. In that regard, Jay saved her, and she was in a better place after having met him.
She was small, only 5’2. She had golden brown hair and cute green eyes that had a demure look to them, so people often felt sorry for her without knowing why—a perfect look for a panhandler. Throw in some retro clothes and she was quite successful up near the Wharf where she fit the tourists’ idea of what a hippy should look like. She also hung out near 4th and Market where there was a high-end business hotel, and the businesspeople were happy to give her money.
At the moment, she was sitting in Jay’s van dressed in a plaid mini-skirt, white blouse, with a leather vest that said, “Fuck off” on the back of it. She had on torn black-mesh leggings and black boots that were just above the ankles and had thick rubber soles that Jay called waffle stompers. She was no longer just a hippy girl begging for hours on end, often earning up to two hundred dollars a day. Instead, she also had become a larcenist, a forger, and a thief. At this point, she would basically take the candy from a baby or the social security check from an old person.
She was a predator on society. A bus thundered by, then sharply turned into the bus stop. It did not have to turn so exaggeratedly, but she was sticking the nose of the van onto its sacred ground, so a protest was its right. She did not know about other cities, but in San Francisco, one did not mess with bus zones, meters, or block anyone’s driveway. This place did not play around and one’s car would be in the wrong hands as fast as a San Francisco tow truck could sneak it off.
She fidgeted around in her seat, the demand for the drug so overwhelming that she was feeling more anguish than her mind could handle . . . and then she saw the parking enforcement vehicle coming. She rumbled the van to life, placed her foot on the brake, and used both hands to engage the sturdy shifter into gear.
The van immediately wanted to lurch forward as the thing would do twenty miles per hour by letting her foot off the brake, but she held it back and looked for a break in traffic. After no break, she just placed her blinker on and pulled out, looking like she was captaining a ship in a storm. It was amazing how expensive cars seemed to find the room when she did this. She would head north up Haight and double back. At this point her need to get high was non-abating and she wondered if she ever really tried to stop, would the need ever leave. She doubted it would, as she turned right onto Steiner Street.
Neal Dahl was impressed with himself and that was hard to do, as he was a perfectionist. He had just finished a marathon tattoo session, a repair job. The girl had been distraught, and he could see why. After a big night of drinking in Mexico, she got the regretful tattoo on her thigh. It was supposed to be a butterfly, but what she got was a nightmare akin to a rainbow more than a butterfly.
To Neal it looked like the tattoo artist had had a few tequilas as well, but the worst part was that it matched no part of her body theme. Her theme was part comedy, part incredible sexy. The reason he was proud of himself was he was able to make an awesome tattoo out of the disaster on her left buttocks, but also because this was no ordinary girl and the tat had made her happy. On a scale of one to ten, this girl, Nikki, was an eleven. She was twenty-five and red-haired.
Neal felt like her tits had helium, he noticed this as she stripped completely naked to show all her body art. She had a lot of nicely done tats, some very comical, some sexy as hell, like the white panties with the dual pistols. Not only that, but she brought her brunette girlfriend that was also out of this world and looked like a page off a magazine displaying a girl from nineteen sixty-nine. He was not pretending that he did not want them both, as they were that incredibly sexy.
It was nine in the morning, and he did not partake in the drugs they had, so this all-night restoration was done on his end with the help of coffee. He wanted to do this after hours and alone with these two and why not? He was single and Nikki had already rocked his world more than once. He did not care she was a methhead, shit, half the people he dealt with were, he just adored beauty, and hers was unsurpassed. She looked approvingly at the death’s-head emblem now fashioned on her backside and gave him a very approving look, “You’re a fucking lifesaver.”
He looked at her like she was stating the obvious, “Well, yeah, I am. That’s why you’re here.” She was standing in front of him, and her fist came in unexpectedly, for she was a wild one and she loved to show affection that way. Neal was a muscled and sturdy man, so he easily caught it coming in, grabbed the back of her neck and pulled her in, “That will be two-thousand dollars and I don’t take barter.”
She worked her leg around the backside of him and said, “Are you sure?” Truthfully, he would have bartered, but her little girlfriend put the money on the counter. Neal knew what was under that flowing skirt of hers, as he had given her buttocks a tattoo a few months before and he was not abashed to admit he was smitten with both of them. He had to ask, “Do you two want to hang out tonight?” Nikki smiled and turned to her friend Molly, “You see, he asked both of us. I told you he did not want just me.”
Neal smiled and said, “Oh, you can count on that.” She beamed and said, “We’ll call you later.” It took Neal ten minutes to lock up and get ready to leave. He felt great about his work, but even better being a heterosexual man in this day and age in such a great city as San Francisco. He had worked extremely hard to make “Idle Hands” the best tattoo parlor in the city, right in the heart of the Lower Haight. Neal had seen a lot of changes come to the Haight.
He had been here ten years now and felt he was at one with the place. He could see and feel it was on the rise again. He locked up and no sooner had he turned to walk away than a panhandler was on him. The guy was a disheveled mess and Neal gave him a twenty and told him to get some food. Homelessness was one thing in this world that broke his heart and unfortunately, San Francisco had a huge homeless problem— one that constantly tugged on his humanity. Whenever and wherever he could, he helped out society, including volunteering some time to help victims of crimes cover up their scars.
He started that program when a patron walked in, and he and his staff heard this guy’s story of being shot for no reason just walking down the street. He said every time he looked into the mirror, the horror of seeing the scar brought it all back. Neal constructed a creeping vine that ran up his left stomach to his chest. The bullet had entered in between there, and the doctors cut him ten inches to get done what they had to do to save him. He also crafted the same vine to have seemingly grown right through the man and out the back, so the exit hole was part of the whole concept.
The man he now knew as Bob Herbart loved that tattoo and Bob’s reaction was so over the top that he realized he could do more than hand money to transients. Soon after he started spreading the word that he would do this on the last Sunday of the month. The only stipulation was people had to be in need and legitimate.
That was the one thing he was sure of, that if people started taking advantage, he was out. Little did he know the kind of impact he would soon have on so many people. People that now touched his life as well, and some that titillated. He had met Molly at a party, and she was shy to get a tattoo where she wanted it—on her butt. Soon though, he had talked her into it, and he fell immediately for this girl before he learned she was gay. Although somewhere in her vibe he could swear he felt that she was possibly bi if the circumstances were right.
After today he was sure of it. And then he thought about Nikki—wow, what a mesmerizing girl. He wanted to meet the artist that placed the hillbillies in a musket battle around her breasts, because that person had talent. He had a desire to do an amazing piece on her mid-back, one of the only perfect places left on that canvas. Strange that he did not mind her doing speed and giving some to Molly to stay awake all Saturday night.
Normally that was a big turnoff, but she seemed so in control of it—and damn was she sexy. His parlor was on Fillmore, just south of Haight Street. Most days he took alternate transportation rather than drive, but he had met the girls at nine, right as they were closing for the night, so he drove and miraculously found parking nearby.
He turned the alarm off his grey Nissan and threw his black cloth briefcase into the passenger seat. He went around to the driver’s door and got in. It was July and the weather was nice. It was still early in the morning, so the sun was just breaking the eastern horizon. He yawned and checked his phone before he started his car. When he was working, he did not check his phone and now he was seeing what his crowd had been doing last night.
Apparently, he missed a fight that happened at their hangout in North Beach. Neal hung out with a lot of bikers/weekend warriors, but they were not the drug-dealing, gun-toting type. They were just people like him who got mistaken for a lot of things they were not and sometimes idiots picked fights with them thinking they were stepping up against the Hell’s Angels themselves.
People were generally idiots. He went to push the ignition button and got a super strong feeling of exhaustion. He had to admit, he did not stay up all night very often anymore and he was getting older now at thirty-five. The coffee had definitely worn off. The soft morning sun was casting on him, so he rolled down the window and felt the temperate air had no chill. His eyes sagged a bit and as he was reading the next text, he closed his eyes for just a second. It felt good so he closed them again.
Before Neal knew it, he had fallen asleep in his car, the cathartic sounds of his city bustling around him, ensuring he was in a safe place. Laura had driven around the block three times and was now going to try to back into the space she had left before, only backing their pile of red shit up was something she was not especially good at. She approached Pierce Street and was thrilled to see Jay near the right corner standing at the bus stop.
She was not happy to see the look on his face though. She knew that look and she could not handle it right now. She pulled into the bus stop, and he got in. She pulled back into traffic with much difficulty, as the people in this city did not drive nicely. Her only advantage was they all had nice cars and once she got pissed, she just went. So far, no rich assholes had scratched the van with the front of their car, although she was sure no modern car could dent this tank.
Jay was livid and his red and bulbous nose was competing with Rudolph’s currently. He spat, “Sat there for fucking thirty minutes waiting. Then they got a call; seems their man is too spun out to drive. He was halfway there but he needed to fucking park and sleep for a while. Can you fucking believe our luck?” Laura sadly shook her head while rocking back and forth violently, over grasping the steering wheel.
They were at a red light turning onto Fillmore from Haight, “Fuck us, I don’t think I can do this, Jay, we have to score.” Jay said, “I told the dude we will come to him, but he fell asleep talking to us on the phone. Sammy says he does this shit sometimes, but he’s reliable, he’ll wake up and come over.” Then it was Jay’s turn to yell “Fuck!”
Laura was fairly sure that the entire Lower Haight heard him. She turned the beast onto Fillmore, they were going to head to the park. Being a Sunday, they had hopes of finding some shit or the dude who ripped them off two days ago. No sooner had she turned and started to go down the block, than Jay yelled, “Holy fucking shit, my dear, we just passed their man sleeping in his car. I shit you not. Take a right on Waller and come back around. He was parked just after Laussat Street in a grey car.”
Laura did as she was instructed and as she passed Laussat Street, Jay instructed her to double park one car short of the guy. She did and turned the van off while turning on her emergency flashers.
Jay reached into his thin black leather jacket and brought out a small pistol. It was a revolver. “Here, take this and hide it. Don’t need that on me while I do this.” She looked incredulous, “Where the hell did you get this, you limey fuck?” He loved when she talked that way to him and encouraged it at all times, “Some tweaker at Sammy’s sold it to me for twenty bucks, but it’s for protection, my dear. Do not forget, he who robs with gun in hand, gets ten to twenty in the can.”
She loved his cheekiness. Fucking Englishmen and their cheeky nature, he would always say. She asked, “What’s the plan?” Jay said, as he was getting quietly out, “Pretty simple. The dude is zonked. I just need to grab his shit and run.” They both got super excited at the prospect of how much shit they were about to get. It was like Let’s Make a Deal, and they were about to find out what was behind door number two. Jay first walked up to the driver’s window.
The man was now hunched over the steering wheel snoring away, his tattooed backside and arm telling Jay he had the right man. He looked in and saw what he wanted. It was a cloth briefcase that must have contained their much-needed meth. He was looking over the scene very carefully and then realized the passenger door was unlocked.
Walking carefully around to that side, he ever so carefully opened the door. He reached in and grabbed the man’s briefcase, just as his extraordinarily strong and tattooed arm shot out and grabbed Jay by the forearm. Before Jay knew what was happening, he was drug into the man’s car and being pummeled. The man was so strong and very heavy blows were raining down on him until her heard Laura screaming for him to stop.
Laura kept screaming and screaming until he heard the gunshot. Then everything went black.
"I honestly didn’t know what to expect with this series. I read Rock, the first book in The Meth Chronicles, and I was so excited by the path this series could take, but had no clue what the author had in mind. Little did I know that Reynolds would turn this into a series of impactful shorts that are all connected back to Rock in some fashion or another. I found these stories to be a fast-paced blend of thrillers and dramas, always with a social message stinger. It is clear that Reynolds is not glorifying the drug---he is simply stating the naked truth. Not for the faint of heart, The Meth Chronicles 2 is a winner for me."
– Dana Gaitani
"Ever wonder what goes through someone’s head when they do drugs? I read the news and I see the stories on TV, but I still don’t get the draw. What lures these people in, and how do they get hooked so bad they ruin their lives? I went in cold reading this and what I came out with was a greater understanding of just what it is that makes people so dependent that they would walk away from everything, even their humanity, to serve this drug. Timothy Jon Reynolds did an amazing job of helping me understand the pull this drug has on people, and what he taught me terrifies me to my core. The Meth Chronicles goes for the jugular and doesn’t spare anyone—user, dealer or maker."
– Pete Angel
"I just read this book and based on the cover I figured it was a montage of short stories. I don’t mean to choose favorites, but BLM was my choice for best. What with the civil rights movement, I forgot BLM meant the Bureau of Land Management . . . a vast and desolate place in the Nevada desert. I love the psychological aspect to Reynolds’ writing, but he shows me in BLM that he can get down and dirty with the best of them. I now have to go back and read Rock before I can move forward and I’m really looking forward to it, as this author has a knack for giving me what I want. I would highly recommend Reynolds as a writer who has some original stuff worth the read."
– Luis M. Medrano
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