How Harry Got His Fix
A Short Story by Ian Galbraith
That one Friday we all did heroin old Harry didn’t make it out alive. We were all hooked on the stuff except Harry because Harry had only done it a few times and the rest of us were just tossed on it. I did it everyday. My dealer Tommy did it every hour. His buddy Calvin never stopped doing. Throwing Harry into that mess was a bad idea. Someone should have thought better. I guess if there was a god he would have done something about it right?
So we were there at Calvin’s and just shooting up and smoking cigarettes. I felt great, fully loaded and floating down memory lane with Tommy. He was saying it had been like forever that we knew each other and we were reminiscing on it all. Really I’d only known that kook for a year but you know how it goes with dope, time just flies. Harry was in the corner with Calvin tying a knot round his arm and getting ready to spike up a vein. Then out came the needle and it went right on in there and Harry did not feel no pain. He sank back on the floor and mumbled something about being the next Lou Reed before he started convulsing.
Harry rolled around on the carpet yelling and screaming like an animal. I was too stoned and loaded to do anything at first. We all were. We just sat there with our mouths open. Finally somebody said something. Calvin turned around,
“Guys I didn’t do it wrong or nothing. Man I fucking swear—“
Calvin was starting to get pale and sweat began to drip down his face. He began to fidget with his collar.
“Holy shit!” I said.
“He’s dead.” Tommy said.
None of us spoke. We just looked at him.
Harry was on the ground. A needle was sticking out of his arm, a thin trickle of blood coming from where it entered his arm. His skin was turning white, his eyes were rolled back into his head and his tongue protruded from blue lips. Harry was dead.
“What do we do?”
“I dunno.” Tommy said.
“We have to pick up the body and move it.” Calvin said.
“Yeah.” Tommy said.
“The cops?” I asked.
“The cops can’t find it Tommy.”
“Your right Cal.”
“You know what will happen if they do— right Tommy?”
Calvin walked over and took Harry’s wallet out.
“We’ll split this.”
“Keep it.” Tommy said.
“Yeah man its your house.”
“Your not going to tell anyone are you Ivan?” Calvin asked.
“No.” I said, “No man. Never.”
“Get his feet Tommy. Ivan, get the door.”
“What about the blood man?”
“We’ll get that later Tommy.”
I opened the door.
“Toss me the keys, I’ll open the suburban.”
We hustled Harry’s body into the car and I felt numb. I’d know Harry for eight years. It felt like a while. Time flies when you’re on dope. I felt like he’d been my friend for an eternity. We did the high school circuit together. Kept in touch through college. Shit. I was the one he first used with. Some of this was my fault. Maybe all of it. I kept my mouth shut though.
I thought of how Harry had been asking how he was going to get his fix today, like was it a shot or a pill or was he going to have to smoke some tar. I told him we’d figure it out when we got to Calvin’s.
Well he got his fix all right. A straight death trip through the eye of the needle. Fucking hell. What were we going to do now?
“Alright lets take him out to the desert.”
“No dude that’s going to cost so much. And what if we get stopped?”
“Fuck off Tommy- I’ll pay for the gas then!”
“Ivan get some tarp from the garage. The blue shit. We need to wrap him in it.”
“Dude go- go get it yourself.”
“What’s with you assholes?”
“My friend’s dead Calvin.”
“Lay off him Cal, I’ll get it.”
We closed the trunk and Tommy went to get the tarp. Calvin lit a cig and scrutinized me from behind his tired, sunken eyes. Finally he spoke,
“What’s your deal? You think I killed Harry tonight?”
“You know I didn’t.”
Tommy was coming back now, Calvin turned to face him.
“You know I didn’t— Tommy— Ivan— we all killed him.”
I couldn’t say anything. I was numb. My tongue didn’t move in my mouth. My gums were dry. Felt like they were bleeding. I could feel my heart beating in my chest wild and erratic.
We killed Harry. He had a girlfriend and a kid. We killed Harry. No one can ever find out.
“Fine,” I said, “We killed him. But your finger was on the trigger Cal.”
Tommy covered him in the tarp. Harry looked like a bunch of camping supplies. He didn’t look anything like a dead junkie.
“It’s gonna be like this, were taking him out to the desert, we’re digging a hole, and we’re going to burn the body.”
“I’m sorry Ivan. It’s the only way.”
And that’s all there was too it.