+++This last in a trilogy was written in its entirety and set in my native country, Australia. It took me two months to write the first draft, and I experienced for the first time some of the adventures we have in Australia. I depicted them into the fiction story to add more excitement and information about Australia and the Outback. I took two tragedies that happened here in Florida and played them out in Australia to protect the real people in the polo community with fiction characters.

To Hell and Back

+++SHE APPEARED FROM NOWHERE, Mike was tired and felt exhausted. The withdrawal was setting in. He was anxious to get a fix—he recognized the short, auburn haired girl strutting along the beach. Her bulky, black, high top, laced up boots looked out of place, as did the black crinkled cotton skirt held up by big, studded metal, leather belt. Mike managed a smile as he watched her. She hadn’t seen him yet. The young woman carried an indignant look on her face. Her head held high with defiance oozing from the intentional demeanor she portrayed. Everyone stared at her; she was totally out of place.

+++Her beautiful white teeth, even and straight, had the middle two formed like the shape of hearts, when she smiled the corners of her mouth turned up exposing to deep beautiful dimples on either side of her cheeks. Her image was in direct contrast to who she was. Mike had seen her before in town; he knew she had been mixed up with a motorcycle gang as “the contact” for getting stuff that would give the ultimate high, like meth or heroine and that’s what he was after. Mike hurriedly caught up to her—could be that easy for his chance to get heroin?

+++“Hey, wait on,” Mike called out.
+++“Wad dah ya want?” she defiantly asked. Trying to reach the stairs to the pavilion the sand increasingly bogged her down.
+++“Hey, here, take my hand,” Mike cried out, “What are you doing walking in deep sand with those friggin’ biker boots?”
+++“What’s it to ya?” she asked turning away while screwing up her nose.
+++“Your name is Casey, right?”
+++Suddenly she tripped, but Mike was there to catch her just before she went face down in the sand.
+++“Damn!” she cussed, “thanks for the help, yes my name is Casey, how da you know?” she asked brushing the sand off her black, cotton skirt.
+++By this time they reached the stairs. Mike steadied her by placing his hand on her elbow for support. Finally, on the wooden verandah of the pavilion, she pushed his hand aside wanting to act independently.
+++“How do you know me?” she asked a little more ladylike. Smiling, exposing once again her heart shaped front teeth and deep-set dimples.
+++“Ah-h-h, now don’t get pissed off, I know you because I bought some dope from you once . . . And you know how to get the big stuff,” Mike added quickly. I want Heroin, the powder form!
+++“Humph!” she snorted. “Listen, it’s expensive, you got the money? I gotta’ go, if you want it meet me at The Happy Brew House, tonight.” she quickly told him trying to get away from him.
+++“Yeah, yeah!”
+++“Meet me on the beach, just outside the joint,” she called back, +++“I’ll sell you some of the stash I have for The Lone Legion Brotherhood. It’ll cost ya’ two grans!”
+++“You deal with that low life?” Mike questioned cautiously. The sound of their name made him nervous. He was aware of the notorious group. “I’ll have the money. You be there at ten.”
+++“Gotta’ make a living don’t I? See ya!” Casey hurriedly crossed the road, Mike stood and watched her get into a dark blue, Ford Explorer and drove off in the opposite direction.

+++After meeting Casey that night and paying her the money, Mike drove home immediately, the heroin she sold him was like a brown tar; she didn’t have the powder, he didn’t care; he’d sniff or smoke. All he wanted to do was to get home and take a hit. Mike arrived back at the cottage; swung open the door and proceeded to get the aluminum foil, cigarette lighter, and quickly made a “tooter,” a little tube of tin foil. He placed the brown tar on a six-inch square of foil and immediately lit a flame underneath it. The heroin began heating up and started to smoke. Mike inhaled the smoke through the “tooter”. The druggies call what Mike was doing Chasing the Dragon because the smoke represents the tail of a dragon, you chase the tail trying to inhale. Mike hadn’t done this for some time but soon mastered the art. The first hit was high; he had forgotten the funny taste it gave. He took another hit and this time held the smoke in and slowly released it from his lungs—this was the perfect high as the feeling ran through every pore and cell of his body. Mike had spent $5,000 on this stash.

+++This should do me for a few weeks, yeah . . . I figure three if I stay with the plan. .He thought

+++Mike got high every day for weeks. He was running low, afraid that he would run out and began his daily search on foot up the beach or tried calling her regularly. He left her message that he had the money, but Casey has disappeared. Mike tried to contact his other dealers, but everyone was playing it safe. He learned that last week the cops raided the place and a few of the dealers got thrown in jail. Mike began to panic for he knew heroin had massive addictive qualities and how the body builds a physical dependency and he had experienced the sickness before coming doen. He didn’t want to face that again . . .