My Wife Took a New Designer Drug Called Nocturnalia, Things Became Weird

“Don’t do drugs, kid, unless you want to have some fun.”

That’s the first thing my wife Janet ever said me, giving me a wink. She promptly swallowed a little pill, and without another word, held one out for me. I made a dismissive gesture and off she went, back to the dance floor.

It was at one of those hidden little back alley scene club, the type frequented by the weirder or more alternative parts of the population. You know the type: free spirits, esoterics, soul searchers, musicians, artists.

I could tell right away that the other patrons comprised a group of tightly knit regulars.

Somehow, though, I’d caught Janet’s attention and after only half an hour, she was back by my side.

We ended up talking for hours that night.

I guess it’s because of how different we were and how I clearly didn’t belong in her world. I’m a mathematician, a number cruncher so to speak, and work in controlling. Janet, on the other hand, was a free spirit, a painter, and always willing to explore new and interesting things, including substances.

Somehow, though, we hit it off and somehow we made it work. We got married six months later.

Our relationship was amazing. It felt as if all of our differences only brought us closer to one another. Sure, we had our problems, everyone does, and sure, I wasn’t the biggest fan of her little habit, but I had my own vices. Namely, costly bourbon.

Yet, we made it work, and I often took part in Janet’s ‘special little evenings.’ Janet would get high on acid or other psychedelics while painting, and I’d be with her getting drunk. Say what you want, but things never got out of hand; it was all recreational and nothing more than a bit of fun.

All that changed when Joseph came around.

Janet had her little clique of friends, a group of regulars she’d met over the years at her favorite hidden little clubs and bars. It comprised artists as weird as herself and who shared her interests. I never clicked with any of them, given how different I was, but they were all nice enough.

Joseph was different.

One of Janet’s friends had met him at a club and he’d quickly become a part of their little group. He was a suave guy who seemed to care more about appearances than anything else. I first met him when Janet held one of her group’s meetings in our living room.

I knew right away I’d never get along with that guy.

He had this grating, over-pronounced voice, and called himself a poet in prose, a writer who only bothered with topics of the highest elegance. Thus, his works would never catch on with mainstream audiences, and could only be enjoyed by a few select connoisseurs.

When I heard this type of pretentious bullshit, I almost couldn’t help but groan, and after giving the rest of the group a quick hello, I left them to their own devices.

That evening, I busied myself at the computer while hanging out with my good friend, Mr. Bourbon. Yet, a few times, driven by some strange sense of curiosity, I cracked open the door and listened in on their conversations. It was the usual artists’ talk, the stuff that went right over my head.

Occasionally, however, I caught on to Joseph’s grating voice as he disclosed the topics his art concerned. He’d talk about dreams and what was hidden behind them, things outside our universe, and what lay beyond our conventional, mundane reality. It was nothing but esoteric bullshit, most likely fueled by whatever drug he was on.

Janet and her friends, however, seemed entranced by the guy, and he soon become the center of their little group. This also meant that whenever they’d meet at our place, I’d have to tolerate the guy’s presence.

When I talked to Janet about it, she merely shrugged.

“He’s just an eccentric artist, you know. You’re married to one yourself.”

I laughed and accepted it. At least at first.

The more often I met him, however, the more I couldn’t deny something was wrong with this guy. He had this sort of… aura around him, one I couldn’t put anywhere and that I couldn’t help but be unsettled by.

I wish I’d done something by then, I truly wish, but I guess it was already too late by that point.

It was no other than Joseph who, unbeknownst to me, introduced her to this fancy new designer drug, this Nocturnalia.

I only found out about her using it by chance. One evening, I found Janet painting, while taking a hit from some strange, glistening powder. When I asked her about it, she told me it was nothing but another psychedelic.

I knew Janet was smart, I knew she was a responsible user, and I knew she always did her research.

Yet, I soon noticed the changes.

Janet’s paintings were beautiful, but also of a peculiar kind. Her works were more about colors and emotions than motifs. Yet, they all had one thing in common: they were bright and vibrant.

After she started taking Nocturnalia, her works became different. At first it were slight changes. Nothing but the minutest change in the color scheme.

Before long, however, they were nothing like her earlier paintings.

They became dark, weird, and much more surreal than anything she’d painted before. When I asked her about it, she’d laugh, and told me she was expanding her ‘artistic horizon,’ trying out new things and bringing her art to the ‘next level.’

Somehow, though, I could tell something else was going on.

In many of her new works, I could almost see the strange twisted figures hidden behind the dark swirls and spirals she painted. It seemed as if she’d been taken by Joseph’s words and her work had become nothing but an expression of the things he talked about. What had once been vibrant colors had been transformed into strange dreamscapes and dark space nebulas hiding terrible horrors.

I’d always enjoyed watching her paint, but now I could almost feel Joseph’s ghastly influences emanating from her work. Her paintings had this otherworldly aura to them, one I could feel growing stronger the longer I stared at them.

We had our first big fight when I confronted her about it and when I learned who’d actually gotten her this strange new drug.

“I told you, I’m just trying a new style. It’s not like I’m going full emo or something,” she said, laughing.

“I know, but isn’t it because of Joseph? I mean, I heard some of his talk and those paintings, they are all, I don’t know…”

“You mean because of the Nocturnalia?”


“Yeah, Joseph brought it along, but I told you already it’s-“

“Wait, he’s the one who got you hooked on that shit? How can you just take some random drug this guy brings along? Wasn’t it your first rule to always do your research, to make sure it was safe? Or are you so taken by this guy and his stupid talk you can’t even think straight anymore?”

For a moment, she was taken aback by my outburst, but then she stared me down.

“Oh, I’m taken by him? Is that what you think? You know, maybe if you wouldn’t be drinking so much, and maybe if you’d join our meetings for once in your life, you’d know what’s actually going on! Instead, you just hide in your stupid little office and play your stupid little video games!”

“What’s actually going on? What are you-?”

“Just stop it, Stephen, all right!?”

With that, she stormed out of the room.

We made up eventually, but not a thing changed. She kept working on her weird paintings, kept hanging out with her little group, and kept doing the strange Nocturnalia Joseph had brought along.

A week ago, they met at our place again. I wish I’d have kicked the fucker out then and there, screamed at him to leave my wife alone and bring none of that shit near her ever again.

But, I didn’t. Somehow, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Looking back, I can’t help but wonder if I’d been afraid of him even back then.

When he entered, he was as suave and charming as always, all smiles, all words and talking in his usual mixture of half-riddles and thesaurus words. While the rest of the group swooned all over him, I had to keep my balled fists in my pockets.

This time, I didn’t even bother with greetings. Instead, I stormed to my office, hit the bottle, and settled in for a night of shitty video games and early sleep. All the while, I knew my wife and her friends were most likely getting high on Joseph’s little wonder drug.

Even with the volume turned up, and even while I was getting progressively drunker, I could hear their laughter, and their high-pitched, excited voices. Most of all, Janet’s.

I know what you’re thinking. This dude’s gotten my wife hooked on some new designer drug, or he’s fucking her. But no, that wasn’t it. I wish it would’ve all been so simple, but it wasn’t.

The first thing I remembered was waking up at my desk. It was long past midnight, and I was clearly very drunk. The almost empty bottle of bourbon stood right in front of me like some accusatory monolith.

Then I felt it. I can’t describe what it was, but something had changed in the house, in the air, and for a second goosebumps came all over my body.

Something was wrong here, very wrong.

I pushed myself off my chair and stumbled towards the door, bottle of bourbon in hand.

When I pulled it open, it hit me right away. It was a sensation… an otherworldliness that seemed to have spread through the entire house. It made me feel like I didn’t belong, that this wasn’t my home anymore.

As I stumbled through the house, I could hear the sounds; strange wet sounds. It sounded like splashing and squeezing, as if flesh, no bodies, were pushing together and coming apart again. Below it all, I heard moaning, and quiet, echoing giggles.

Those sounds. Don’t tell me…

The first thing that came to my mind was sex, an orgy. Some crazed drug induced fuckfest was happening right in the center of my living room.

The next thing that hit me was the smell. It wafted through the house, a strangely sweet aroma, yet slightly spicy; a smell unlike anything I’d ever smelled before.

For a moment, my body felt strange, and I almost turned around. Then the image of Janet came to my mind, my wife Janet, being down there, being part of whatever was going on, being fucked by that asshole.

My grip around the bottle tightened. Fueled by anger and rage, I was prepared, more than prepared, to beat his stupid head in.

As I made my way through the hallway, the sounds grew louder, echoed through the house.

When I finally saw the living room door, strange lights erupted from it. It was an ocean of intermingling colors, dancing and washing in and out of one another, like some crazed kaleidoscopic rendition of the aurora borealis.

“Janet?” I called out. “What’s going on?”

Instead of an answer, all I heard were more giggles and awed voices.

I cursed, called out for other members of her small group, but no one answered.

I fought myself on, step by step, but suddenly I felt drowsy, and slowly, ever so slowly, the rage went away. It was pushed aside by a feeling of apprehension. No, not apprehension, I realized. It was instinct, some part of my lizard brain telling me to leave this alone. Whatever was happening here was not for me.

I stopped, shook my head, took a breath and then a deep sip of bourbon, pushed it all aside and half-stumbled, half-dashed into the living room.

The moment I stepped through the doorway, I froze. The bottle of bourbon slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor right between my feet. It shattered, drenching the floor and covering my feet in sharp pieces of glass.

Yet, I didn’t give it any attention, I didn’t even feel it. I just couldn’t.

What I saw in front of me was madness; a surreal fever dream that had somehow become reality.

Joseph was still on the couch, or a being I knew had once been the suave man I’d seen so many times before. He’d become bigger, had grown in size, and was now an entirely different entity.

His eyes, no, his entire face, had turned into a mad, rotating galaxy that brought forth the dazzling lights I’d seen. Every other part of his body had turned into a shapeless void. Every other part but his arms and hands. His arms seemed to have grown longer, were spread out like two long, spidery tendrils encompassing the entire room. All the while, his hands were wide open. His fingers were spread out, moving frantically like those of a puppeteer right above the other members of the group.

A group that was… not a group anymore, but something else. What had once been almost a dozen people had now become an amalgamation of bodies, and limbs, of heads, hands and feet, a single, twisted entity.

Yet, there was no terror, only awe and giggling as their bodies were being warped, spread out and pushed together by the mad movements of the once-Joseph’s hands.

And then, his body folded open, and the darkness gave way to a vision, a display. The awe and giggling went wilder, and turned into a mad cacophony. For a moment, I saw a dazzling city made of non-shapes, of organic structures growing from the sky, of other, similarly twisted beings, all surrounded by a mad, swirling galaxy.

Then everything went dark.

When I awoke, I was lying on the living room couch. All was quiet and normal.

No hint of the strange sensations, of the smells or colors, remained. I was suffering from a splitting headache and for a moment, I groaned and closed my eyes again.

Then I remembered what I’d seen and jerked upright.

“Janet? Where are you?”

This time, I got an answer, but not from her. Instead, it was from a grating, over-pronounced voice.

“She’s not here anymore.”

I turned around to find Joseph sitting in a recliner and watching me from the other end of the room, still all smiles.

“What the hell are you doing here? Where’s my wife? What the fuck did you do to her?”

As I rambled on, I fought myself to my feet. I wanted nothing more than to throw myself at this asshole and beat that damned smile off his face.

“She’s in a different place now, one you can’t reach.”

As he said this, his smile never wavered, but his eyes changed. Once more, I knew there was something wrong with this guy. And now, I realized he was terrifying me, terrifying me on a level I’d never known or felt before.

“W-what do you mean?” I asked in a trembling whisper.

“She traveled on, but where she went, you can’t go.”

“The hell does that mean?”

“You never joined our meetings, but even then, you wouldn’t have understood. There are places hidden below dreams, places only reachable by those who strive for them, who want to transcend. These places, they lay outside this mundane reality.”

I opened my mouth again, to call him out on his bullshit, but with the slightest wave of his hand, Joseph shut me up instantly.

“She was searching for them. Deep inside, she’s always been searching for them. She wanted this, always had. There are certain people who strive for more, for ways to transcend, to improve in ways that just aren’t possible… at least not here. What they want to feel, to create, to know, is something different that can only be achieved there…”

“This makes no fucking sense!”

“No, it doesn’t, not for you.”

“But where is she? How can I reach her?”

When I said this, when I screamed those words at him, Joseph slowly got to his feet. With only a handful of steps, he crossed the distance between us and put his hand on my shoulder.

“You can’t,” he said with the slightest shake of his head.

At this moment, last night’s anger, last night’s rage at this esoteric asshole returned to me. In an instant, I pushed him back.

“Don’t you give me any of that shit! I’ve had enough!”

As I did this, Joseph’s body changed. I watched as he contorted, folded open, and twisted himself into a dazzling mad galaxy right in front of me.

I screamed in mortal terror, cringed back, stumbled over my feet, and hit the floor. As I scrambled away from his dazzling life, I clawed at the floorboards for dear life, and pulled my body onward. Away, I had to get away, this was not really, it was all just-

“You understand now?” I heard a calm, grating voice from behind me.

When I jerked around, there was only Joseph, the suave, human Joseph.

“It’s not for you. Only for those who accept it, who want it. And you, you don’t. You never will.”

“But… My wife… Just give her back, just give Janet back,” I brought out with tears in my eyes.

“I’m sorry. I can’t. She made her choice, made it long ago. And I was only here to help her, to give her that last, final push.”

And with that, Joseph simply turned around, walked from the room, the house and my life, leaving me a sobbing mess on the living room floor.

It’s been a week since then. I told myself repeatedly that none of it happened, that what I thought I saw was nothing but a delirious, drunk dream, but Janet’s still gone…

For the past days, I’ve looked into every single member of Janet’s little group. I tried to contact each one of them, went to the clubs and bars they all frequent. Yet, no one’s seen them or heard from them. For all I know, they really are gone.

Sometimes, however, on rare occasions, in these dark joints, frequented by the weirder or more alternative parts of the population, I notice a certain figure. A suave one, sometimes a woman, sometimes a man, but they’d always be sharing a strange, glistening substance amongst the patrons.

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