“Warn Others” A Short Story by Christopher Johnson.
The poly-methamphetalene coated lightbulb epidemic
For a brief time in the not to distant future, poly-methamphetalene will be discovered and found to be a great conductor of electricity and will be used in making a new type of lightbulb. These bulbs, poly-meth bulbs, are similar in function to flourescent bulbs and are coated on the inside of the glass with a layer of poly-methampetalene. They were designed to last longer than conventional light bulbs or even flourescent bulbs.
The introduction of these bulbs gave way to a new breed of drug addict though. The metal portion of the bulb could be broken off and a lighter could be used to burn the poly-methamphetalene off the interior of the bulbs resulting in a smoke which could be inhaled for a high that is not unlike the high experienced from smoking methamphetamines. Poly-meth-heads would often steal bulbs from anywhere they could find them, most often while in use. It was not too unusual to find outdoor bulbs missing. This resulted in cages being installed around lightbulbs which were outside, designed to deter theft of the more expensive bulbs.
One poly-meth-head, Childres, learned about the high from seeing a group of eighteen year olds smoking off stolen bulbs on the roof of an apartment building that was overlooked by his own apartment. He walked across the catwalk which joined the two buildings and met up with the poly-meth-heads. He introduced himself and alarmed them when he approached. They introduced him to his first bulb-blast which sent him flying. He was hooked.
It was a relatively cheap and convenient high. When Childres’ guardian, his aunt, found out that he was smoking the poly-meth from lightbulbs, she gave him and his new friends a talking to and a chance to clean up. Ten minutes after she grounded the seventeen year old to his room, he was out the window and had just found three bulbs to smoke. One bulb had enough poly-methamphetalene to give a user four or five good hits.
The day came when Childres had spent three days straight, smoking more than four dozen bulbs. He was so high that he decided his dreams could be reality and that the laws of physics could be bent through belief. They couldn’t and he fell fourteen stories to his death. He was so high that didn’t die on contact though. His aunt was just leaving to get groceries and more lightbulbs when she found him in front of the apartment building. The last thing he said to her was ‘warn others’.