Under the Influence

by T.J. McIntyre

"It's cold here" were the last words spoken through her chattering teeth before gulping in a breath of air and then exhaling her soul. I saw it leave her body, a pink trail of iridescence floating upwards like a smoke ring widening and dispersing to nothingness above my head. I put my face in my hands and wept for her safe passage to that other realm we glimpse when wearing open minds but most often hide from behind a veil of rationality. I stood, looked at the twisted metal wreckage, heard the police sirens as if for the first time, and felt the strong hands of a paramedic lead me to an ambulance. The police read me my rights and informed me that I would be taken to the hospital for observation before they returned me to prison. I knew I shouldn't have gotten behind the wheel after that last hit; I was still on probation from last time, after all.

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T.J. McIntyre, author of The Endless Night, is an author of speculative and literary fiction from Alabaster, Alabama. An insurance agent by day, he spends his free time trying to capture imaginary worlds and daydreams in nets of words. His work has appeared recently or is forthcoming in such publications as The Swallow's Tail, 55 Words, and Escape Velocity. In addition to being a being a published author, Mr. McIntyre is currently collecting stories and editing a print anthology, Southern Fried Weirdness 2007: An Annual Anthology of Southern Speculative Fiction, and the e-zine, Southern Fried Weirdness Online.