Psychedelic: Episode 1

by Awais Aftab

Episode 1: The Shadow

“What’ll it be, Tom?” the waitress asks, knowing a cup of coffee is all I ever buy, drinking it slowly so the man at the counter can’t kick me out.

What would the waitress be called?

“Just coffee, Martha.” I reply, my reluctant gaze wandering over to meet a glare from afar. “And hold the cream.” I add as an afterthought. I look at her as she nods. Age ravages faces, once beautiful, but hers had never known beauty, only age.

I shake my head to clear the fog surrounding my senses. Every morning it is like this. I am losing touch of the world. Touch of reality.

Reality, really?

I have to do something about the voices in my head. I sigh. Martha slides the coffee in front of me. I let the warmth permeate into my hand, as I take a gulp and wait for the caffeine to kick in. I hear that song again in the background, the one they play so much. Ah, I love the lyrics. I begin to hum the words along with it. "Got my psycho-delic feet, in my psycho-delic shoes, I believe lordy mama got the psycho-delic blues, tell me how long do I have to wait, or can I get you now, or must I hesitay-ay-ay-ate." Martha bores at me as if I am crazy.

I glance sideways. I feel those penetrating eyes in the corner. It’s the same girl, same table. She’s always there in the shop when I come. And she is always reading that book. Why is she staring at me?

She can hear you.

No! How could she?

“Who’s that girl in the left corner?” I whisper as Martha passes by. She looks up at her. “She works in the library down the street. Lives alone.”

And suddenly I notice the glasses around her eyes, as if they have popped out of non-existence. And I discern her ruffled hair. And that she is tall for a woman; 6 feet, I guess. Casual, unkempt clothes. Her eyes lift up at me again and again. Sometimes a scowl. Sometimes a smirk. Sometimes thoughtful anthropological observation. She makes me uncomfortable.

She’s with them!

She takes a lipstick out of her purse, looks into my eyes, scribbles something on a tissue paper, glares at me again, picks up her things and walks out of the shop, the piece of tissue paper abandoned behind, tempting my curiosity.

Slowly, trying not to draw much attention to myself, I walk to her corner and pick it up.

“You and me, we don’t have a shadow.”

For a moment the world turns into a swish of blurred colors, in which I search desperately for my shadow, but then the world churns back to normal and I see it.

It’s a fake shadow.

Reality, really?

No, how could she!

[To be continued]


Awais said…
The song referenced can be heard here:
karachi khatmal said…
is this an original piece?
misspecs said…
Looking forward to the next part.

Very engrossing piece!

"And suddenly I notice the glasses around her eyes, as if they have popped out of non-existence."<- *thumbs up*!
Awais said…
Yes, it's an original piece. An experiment. Let's see how it goes :)
karachi khatmal said…
looking forward to it :)
Sami Mughal said…
loving this awais... awesome :D
hsa said…
Excellent dear!!
Mayhem said…
'Age ravages faces, once beautiful, but hers had never known beauty, only age.'

I loved it!! <3