The Habit

ONE

Using his platinum Amex card, he mixed the Cocaine and cut four neat, white lines. He picked up the fifty-pound note, rolled it tightly and let it unravel very slightly. Grinning with anticipation he began snorting the white lines. Trembling as the blood vessels in his nostrils absorbed the drug, he finished the fourth line and sniffed heavily two or three times. He licked his finger and wiped up the remaining coke from the table and rubbed it round his gums. His eyes widened as the coke raced around his body. He breathed in deeply and fell back into his armchair, letting the waves of heightened pleasure and awareness wash over him. He had so quickly grown to love this feeling.
He jumped up out of the armchair and pulled out a CD from his collection on the pine bookcase. Switching on the stereo he whacked the volume up, skipping forward to his favourite heavy metal track, he began singing along. His voice was deep and gruff and he thought that he sounded just like the lead singer. He loved this feeling of being a little crazy and out of control. He rushed over to the coffee table and picked up the two white pills and swallowed them with a swig of beer. His cigarette had burnt into a long stick of ash and as he played the drums on the table it disintegrated into the ashtray.
He loved Ecstasy, it was only a couple of months since he had been introduced to the drug and it was becoming a very enjoyable habit. He always felt so horny when he took Cocaine and Es together. It was a tantalising cocktail of desire, love, excitement and adrenaline pumping passion. They had become a dangerous combination, which should have bothered him. It didnít. What he needed was the same thing he always did when he felt this crazy.
He picked up his Timberland jacket and let himself out of his Chelsea flat. The stereo was still blasting out as he called the lift. He danced around the hallway and sang along to the music escaping through his door. The lift arrived and he got in, hitting the basement car park button on the panel. As the doors closed he glanced in the mirror. He never recognised himself on these occasions. His blond hair was a mess and the two days of stubble made the beginnings of a pitiful beard. His eyes that were normally bright blue were dull, dilated and enclosed by wide, black rings. He felt great but looked terrible.
The car park was full of magnificent cars; he loved the 550 Maranello and the Bentley Azure. Everyday he passed these cars on the way to his sports car and each morning he asked himself why he had to get up so early to drive to work, when the owners of these dream machines were still sleeping in. He didnít mind really, his job was rewarding. After all, it did pay for his two parking spaces, each one a twenty thousand-pound extra and more importantly it paid for his new habit.
He passed his first car and stopped by the five year old Golf GTI, six bays along. He never took his normal car on these trips. At times like this he didnít want the unnecessary attention, besides, the Golf blended nicely into the background and served his purposes well. He unlocked the driverís door and climbed in. Reaching across he opened the glove box and pulled out a plastic bag. Smiling, he looked in and took out the cotton wool, the small bottle of ether and the latex gloves. It had been just over three weeks since the Golfís last outing and that had been a great success.
Old Faithful started first time and he reversed out and up onto the Kings Road. He shook his head in annoyance as he switched on the radio; the stereo in his other car came on automatically with the ignition. He headed down towards Worlds End and past the Esso petrol station on the New Kings Road and turned left into Waterford Road and then around the mini-roundabout into Pavilion Road. He stopped on the left in front of a row of garages and got out. It was a fairly quiet Saturday evening, helped by the fact Chelsea Football Club hadnít been playing at home. He got out a set of keys and unlocked the garage door. He nipped inside and disabled the alarm with another key. Inside was a black taxi. It was one of those new, bubble shaped cabs with grey/yellow trim, electric windows and a driver intercom system. He was very happy with his new toy and grinned as he drove it out of its shelter. He replaced it with his Golf and then set the alarm and locked the garage door.
His first fare of the evening was an elderly couple that asked to be taken to the Savoy Theatre. He drove from the theatre back towards Trafalgar Square, keeping his eyes peeled. He ignored the City yuppie who confidently tried waving him down. The radio was on and he started singing along smirking at himself in the rear view mirror, realising the Es were starting to take effect.
ĎThe eagle has landed!í he shouted out loud, noticing how big his pupils were.
The light on his cab was glowing yellow, advertising itís availability, but he was being very selective this calm, spring evening.
ĎTAXI!í yelled the pretty brunette.
Heíd been looking the other way and had nearly missed her. She was tall, slim and very elegant. She wore a pretty navy blue jacket and a suitably short, camel coloured skirt. Suspenders or tights? He wondered. It didnít matter; she was a babe, which is what counted. He took a couple of deep breaths as she approached the taxi.
ĎSouth Kensington please. Cranleigh Gardens.'
He nodded and started the meter as she got in and slammed the door. He didnít chat unnecessarily to his fares, too risky. Instead he just glanced at her in his rear view mirror from time to time. She is beautiful, what a result! He thought as he guided his cab through the evening traffic. On the last occasion he had picked up three fares and ignored six or seven others before succeeding. He felt very good about this evening.
As they approached Knightsbridge the traffic began building up, stopping and starting every few yards. Excellent! Just the excuse I need. At Harvey Nichols he turned left into Sloane Street and on to Sloane Square.
ĎIíll drive down here love, to avoid that lot.í He told her in his best cockney accent.
She nodded and smiled at him in the mirror. She wasnít concerned, why should she be? Iím just a harmless London cabby whoís off his face and feeling bad!! He drove around Sloane Square and turned left into Pavilion Road and then right into a little mews. He stopped opposite a car showroom and switched off the ignition.
ĎHope you donít mind, Iíve just got to pop a letter in here.í He pointed to the showroom. ĎWonít be a tick.í
Before she could complain, he was out of the cab and across the road. Once out of sight, he slowly began putting on the latex gloves. He waited in a doorway for a few seconds then sauntered casually back to the taxi. He smiled at his latest catch who, unaware of her impending fate, smiled back. He made for his door but instead, suddenly ripped open herís and dived into the back. In an instant he was upon her. He quickly pulled out the ether sodden cotton wool and slammed it into her attractive face and held his hand in place. She struggled, kicking at him and thrashing out with her arms, trying to twist her head away from the intoxicating rag that was firmly clamped around her mouth and nose.
Her mind and heart were racing; why was this monster doing this? Oh Fuck! Heís going to kill me! Get off me! Oh Shit! Please stop. Please donít hurt me. Stop! Please stop. Oh no! She thought as she uncontrollably wet herself. I canít breathe. PleaseÖÖ She lost consciousness. Her body slumped down in the seat and he kept his hand in place a moment longer. He released his grip and she slipped lower and onto the floor.
He stared down at her and lifted up her skirt. He noticed the fresh, dark stain spreading over the carpet where she lay. Excellent, nice and wet for me, and suspenders too! Good girl! Well that was pretty easy! He was very pleased with his work and began laughing hysterically.

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Copyright © 2002 Richard Armour