82 comments

Nov 09, 2020

Fiction Contemporary Sad

She caught you one day, doing lines of coke on your kitchen table while your four-year-old slept two doors down. She had known about your addiction for months now. You had fought about it many times before. Your parents, your sisters, even your friends had tried in vain to intervene. But this time, it was different. This time was the first time that you had gotten high in the home that you shared with her. She had reached her limit. She couldn’t take it anymore. She got up in your face whispering angrily, desperate to try and make you see sense. You were lost to her though, in your own world of snow. The warm and earthy smell of bourbon hung heavily in the air. She shook you as she begged and pleaded with you. After half an hour of that, you finally couldn’t take it anymore. You got up and grabbed the whiskey bottle off the table. In one rough motion, you threw it. You watched it as it sailed through the air and hit the wall a few inches away from her head. She stared at you in horror. You watched as her expression went from anger to fear, as the realization of what you had done set in. But you stared at her blankly, not comprehending anything that had happened. 

You were too far gone.

She backed out of the room as tears rolled down her face. You watched her as if from a distance, adrift in your world full of short-term bliss. You had just thrown a whiskey bottle at the mother of your child. You had almost killed your own wife. Had almost murdered her, all for a few lines of snow and a few moments of false euphoria. And yet, you hadn’t even realized what you had just done.

You were too far gone.

You staggered over to the couch and passed out with your feet dangling over the edge. You didn’t wake up until the next night. An entire day had gone by. Your wife and son were already asleep by then. They knew better than to try and wake you. Even your son had understood that daddy wasn’t daddy anymore. He didn’t even know the reason for it. He didn’t know that his daddy, the person who, until a year ago, had been his best buddy in the entire world, now cared more about a few grams of coke than he did about him. He just knew that his daddy wasn’t the same daddy that he had been before. Your wife had told him that daddy just worked a lot and that’s why he didn’t have time for him. So your son, the same one whose birthday party you had slept through, blew the candles on the cake and wished with all his heart that his daddy would work a little less and have a little more time for him. But you didn’t know that.

You were too far gone. 

You stumbled over to the bathroom and stood in front of the floor-length mirror. Your wife appeared in the doorway behind you and your eyes met for the first time in what seemed like months. Take a good look at yourself, Brandon, and see what you’ve become, you heard her say. So you did. You noted the disheveled hair. The untucked, wrinkled, blue shirt. You hadn’t even bothered to shave in days. And then you looked into your own eyes. They were wrong somehow. Eyes that had always been a warm, honey brown, full of love and kindness were now dark, vacant and lost. You saw the blue purplish bags underneath them. You couldn’t even recognize yourself. These changes had not occurred overnight. They’d taken months to develop. And yet, you hadn’t noticed.  

You were too far gone.

With sheer terror and dread, you thought about what you had done the night before. Now that the high was over, you finally realized what you had done. You couldn’t even look at yourself anymore. You had done what you thought you were never capable of doing. An unforgivable crime. You had hurt the mother of your child. The love of your life. You had hit rock bottom. You threw your fist into mirror with an angry cry filled with raw pain and anguish, shattering it. Your wife. Your family. The family that you were supposed to cherish and love and protect. You had torn them apart, wreaked havoc upon them. And you hadn’t even realized that you had done it.

You were too far gone.

As you stood heaving in front of the broken mirror, you made a decision. The only decision left to make. A single tear rolled down your face as you headed back into your bedroom. She wasn’t there. So you walked over to your son’s room as quietly as you could. She was cuddled up with your child, both of them clinging on to each other as if they were one another’s lifelines. You stared at them from the doorway for a long time. You knew that you had to do better by them. You had to be the husband and father that they deserved. But to do that, you needed to betray them. You weren't sure if you could go through with it all the way. But you sure as hell would try. You needed to leave until you could get clean. So you shut the door softly and headed over to your closet. You packed a duffel bag with a few necessities. Along with that, you packed a little bit of motivation in the form of a picture of your family that had been taken during happier times. You knew that you needed to leave. You would head over to a hotel and get a room, preferably one without a minibar. And come morning, you would check yourself into the rehab that your family had been trying to convince you to go to. You knew that, at that very moment, you were not the husband and the father that your family deserved. But what you didn’t know was that your son had woken up when you were packing your bag. And the only thing that he had felt as he watched you leave was relief.

You were that far gone. 

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82 comments

Jennalee Love
10:13 Nov 19, 2020

Having delt with addiction myself and overcoming it that first line hit me hard. Then the rest of the story hit me even harder because my father still struggles with addiction and I remember saying to myself he was too far gone. Thank you so much for writing this. It made my eyes water and maybe if I can get him to read it he'll wake up and see the destruction he's caused. This story deserves the win.

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Malz Castell
16:07 Nov 20, 2020

I'm really sorry to hear that. Its amazing that you have overcome your addiction. I hope that your father is able to overcome his addiction like you have. Thank you so much for reading this story and commenting on it. :)

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Grace Larson
14:49 Nov 13, 2020

The lyrical quality of this incredibly touching story grabbed me from the very start-this totally deserves a win!

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Malz Castell
14:53 Nov 13, 2020

Thank you so much. :)

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Molly Leasure
09:07 Nov 13, 2020

What a unique interpretation of the prompt! I loved the 2nd POV, telling the story as though you're a friend of ours or something. It made it personal; it made it powerful. And I love that the ending moral is getting help, and not just disappearing from their lives. But I agree with others, that last bit is a doozy! It really tears at the heartstrings and the anxiety everyone (even those without addiction) feels. I enjoyed this one, wonderful work :).

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Malz Castell
09:17 Nov 13, 2020

Thank you so much. I'm so happy you liked it. :)

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Aveena Bordeaux
21:33 Nov 11, 2020

Beautiful. I loved the way you showed how drugs tore their family apart and the 2nd pov really formed a sort of intimate connection with the story. Woah. And that last line gave me goosebumps. Hope the Reedsy team reads this and decides that it deserves to win :) This was great!

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Malz Castell
05:38 Nov 12, 2020

Thank you so much. I'm really happy you liked it, :)

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Howard H
13:07 Nov 18, 2020

A powerful story, Malz. I loved the pacing, the reveal and the slow descent to the son’s perception of his father. I thought the pulsing motif line worked really well and created a mesmerising meter. I look forward to reading your next piece.

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Malz Castell
13:14 Nov 18, 2020

Thank you so much. : D

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Malz Castell
15:27 Dec 26, 2020

I just finished writing Part 2 of this story "Breaking Free From A World Of Snow". I'd love for you to read it and give me some feedback on it.

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Patrick H
15:28 Nov 12, 2020

I have never dealt with addiction per se, yet there are elements in this story that are all too familiar. Nice job!

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Malz Castell
17:01 Nov 12, 2020

Thanks so much. :)

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Francis Lavoie
16:40 Nov 11, 2020

Great story! The second point of view really gives it another interesting feeling as if I were the protagonist. Also, I loved how you associated coke with snow: Clever. And, of course, the ending. I enjoyed how it is bittersweet and open at the same time, letting us imagine a better future... or maybe not.

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Malz Castell
18:42 Nov 11, 2020

Thank you so much. I'm happy you enjoyed it. :)

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Malz Castell
15:27 Dec 26, 2020

I just finished writing Part 2 of this story "Breaking Free From A World Of Snow". I'd love for you to read it and give me some feedback on it.

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⋆ timber ⋆
19:55 Feb 18, 2021

*wipes runaway tear from wet face* this is beautifully told and a bunch of people at my school are dealing with addiction~ great work, Malz!

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Malz Castell
08:58 Feb 19, 2021

Thank you so much.

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⋆ timber ⋆
13:23 Feb 19, 2021

You're very welcome!!!

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Lucas Zhou
06:54 Dec 02, 2020

wow... the use of repeating the clause "you were too far gone" is amazing in the way that you put it in!! congrats🎉🎉🎉✨

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Malz Castell
18:32 Dec 02, 2020

Thank you so much. :D

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Lucas Zhou
22:40 Dec 02, 2020

it deserved it

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Elisia Meehan
16:12 Nov 20, 2020

I understand the message. However when writing something like this to repeat the words "You" in almost every other sentence. Try to change it up a bit like You yourself or just yourself. Try to find more creative ways in writing. I liked the short story keep it up.

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Malz Castell
16:17 Nov 20, 2020

Thank you so much for the feedback. I'll definitely keep that in mind. :D

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Elisia Meehan
16:19 Nov 20, 2020

I look forward to your work.

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Malz Castell
18:45 Nov 20, 2020

Thanks so much. :)

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Too good for an amateur! I am amazed. The emotions are beautifully written!

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Malz Castell
19:34 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you so much. :)

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The Girl
12:49 Nov 19, 2020

I have always been skeptical about the usage of 'you' in stories. Your story made me understand why people use this kind of storytelling. Strangely I was placing myself in your story.

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Malz Castell
19:34 Nov 19, 2020

Thanks so much. :)

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Neha N.
18:07 Nov 18, 2020

An entrancing story, Malz. It has a really high potential to draw the reader in emotionally, and actually feel the pain, grief, anger, etc. of the MC. The repeated taunting of "you were too far gone" and the concluding, "you were that far gone" struck really hard, and has left me awestruck. I loved reading this!! Looking forward to more of your works!!

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Malz Castell
19:46 Nov 18, 2020

Thank you so much. I'm really happy you liked it, Neha. :D

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Malz Castell
15:32 Dec 26, 2020

I just posted Part 2 of this story "Breaking Free From A World Of Snow". I'd love for you to read it and let me know what you think.

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Neha N.
18:07 Dec 26, 2020

Sure! Headed there now :)

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Malz Castell
07:56 Dec 27, 2020

Thank you. :D

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Thea Nereus
21:44 Nov 17, 2020

Amazing ❤

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Malz Castell
02:35 Nov 18, 2020

Thank you so much. :)

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12:25 Nov 17, 2020

That was amazing! The repetition of the line "you were too far gone" really enhanced the story along with the fact that you wrote it in 2nd pov. I think it's sad that the son was relieved at the father leaving at the end, but at the same time I understand where he was coming from and for their sake (even tho their fictional ikik) I wish it hadn't ended that way. I would be curious to see what happened if you were to write a continuation about the protagonist's journey in rehab and coming home.. that would be an interesting story. I came o...

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Malz Castell
13:00 Nov 17, 2020

Thank you so much. :) Glad you enjoyed it.

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Malz Castell
15:29 Dec 26, 2020

I just finished writing Part 2 of this story "Breaking Free From A World Of Snow". I'd really appreciate it if you could read it and let me know what you think.

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21:14 Dec 26, 2020

Of course! I'll read it some time later today. :)

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Var .
10:54 Nov 17, 2020

Quite deep at the end. Thank you for dropping a like on my story. :)

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Malz Castell
11:57 Nov 17, 2020

Thank you. And no worries. It was really good. :D

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Greta Faignant
02:12 Nov 17, 2020

This was very moving. Good job!

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Malz Castell
16:07 Nov 20, 2020

Thank you so much. :)

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Princess Eno
23:08 Nov 16, 2020

I totally loved the flow of this story. I fell in love with every line 💝💝

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Malz Castell
16:08 Nov 20, 2020

Thanks so much. :)

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Madhuleka Iyer
21:15 Nov 16, 2020

This story has such a nice flow to it. The story kept me hooked till the end. Great job!

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Malz Castell
16:09 Nov 20, 2020

Thanks so much. :)

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Kylie Rudolf
19:43 Nov 16, 2020

Wow, this is so deep. Unfortunately, there are parents like this. Stories like these raise awareness and make people realize the horror of this. Praying that this was not based off experience.

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Malz Castell
20:58 Nov 16, 2020

No no, fortunately for me, this wasn't. But for many others, this is reality. I wanted to highlight this issue, bring some awareness to it and, maybe, just maybe, help someone going through it.

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