All’s Well that Ends Well

Submitted into Contest #40 in response to: Write a story about friends who wind up on a misadventure.... view prompt

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            Julian wandered outside of his hotel. The sound of the ocean was near, and the sea smell was wonderful in its tangy immediacy. It just felt good to be free Julian thought as he looked up at the stars. He could see the big dipper dangling askance in the sky and there was Orion off to the side, and the moon hung ominously over the ocean. Julian walked along the promenade breathing in the deep China Grove air and trying to figure out what he was going to do next.

            Carson was still in jail. They had gotten arrested the night before on some bullshit charges. Julian wasn’t sure but he thought the cops pulled them over because Carson’s left blinker wasn’t working right. These damn beach cops would look for any excuse to bust you, especially during Spring Break. 

            Once they were pulled over that was essentially a wrap. Carson had been drinking so he was gone immediately, and then after a quick search of the Jeep the cops found the QP the boys had brought with them to sell to help fund their Spring Break Adventures.

            The cops confiscated one of their QP’s, but Julian still had another. They had broken up their stash, smart when he thought back on it because not only did it cut down on the amount of weight the cops could find at any one time, it also provided them with a chance to still recoup at least some of their money in the event that something like this happened. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

            The two had been friends since homeroom Freshman Year. Carson was the first person who Julian ever smoked a “J” with, in the solarium at David Ortez’s house following sophomore finals. It was a great way to tickle the brain cells after an arduous Algebra II exam, and it was the first time Julian had been allowed to drive his car to school, only Juniors and seniors could get parking spaces, but during exam week anything went, and so not only did Julian get to drive to school for the first time, he also got to drive home high for the first time, but far from the last time.

            Carson and Julian were fast friends, bonding over everything from Smashing Pumpkins, to Beavis and Butthead, Wu-Tang to Pulp Fiction. The two saw the world through similar binoculars and when that happens, especially in high school when you’re the new kid in town like Julian was, it can mean the world. And so that’s how it started, hanging out after class, making each other die laughing. Because that Freshman Year they just happened to have a schedule that overlapped at least twice a day…there was homeroom of course, and then Senor Rodriguez’s Spanish Class, and then Mrs. Rayburn’s English Class, and then Mrs. Deberzniak’s Biology Class, you get the drift, that first year they were forced together a lot, almost as if it was kismet. As the years went by their classes became more and more spread out, but by then their friendship had evolved to more than just jokes and pranks. There were house parties and school skipping sessions, there were camp outs and beach trips, and when the two of them realized that they both had an appreciation for the good life, that neither Julian’s job as a stocker at Save- A-Center, or Carson’s Job pouring concrete for his uncle, could possibly provide for them…they decided to go into business together.

            It started with buying a quarter ounce of weed, Julian would break it down and Carson would roll it up while the two listened to Nas’s Illmaticor Jay-Z’s Reasonable Doubtand dreamed of making the big time, living large and buying cars not only for themselves but for their folks as well.

While they worked Julian would rhyme along, freestyling and making up his own lyrics, while Carson focused on the beats adlibbing here and there to make each song his own. Julian already was beginning to think of himself as a poet, and Carson had no illusions that his future lay in finance, but for now the two had to make their way the best they could, and for them in addition to working shitty minimum wage jobs, the best hustle was selling weed to their friends, and their friends’ friends. It wasn’t a bad life at all and there was an outlaw, Capone element to the whole enterprise. Both Julian and Carson knew that there was an element of risk, but based on the amount of herb they were dealing, and the fact that neither of them had any previous strikes on their records they figured they wouldn’t be in too much trouble if things actually did go south.

            Julian made his way down the dunes to the beach and started walking along the wet sand, when he noticed the glowing ember of a cigarette in the near distance. He altered his trajectory to make for the glow and before long found himself in the company of two lovely young blonde ladies who were enjoying the night air with a side of Camel Light. Julian bummed a smoke and when he took the young lady’s lighter he noticed the char and ash on the underside of the lighter, a tell-tale clue Carson had taught him to look for to know if strangers smoked more than just cigarettes, the charred bottom of the lighter appearing as the result of the smoker using their lighter to tamp down the bud in the bottom of a bowl to get a better hit…and so Julian had a feeling he was amongst like-minded friends.

“Thanks, do you two have any weed?” Julian asked non-chalantly.

“Yeah, you want a toke?” the first girl asked.


            Julian took a hit and stared at the stars, one thing led to another and before long the girls were taking Julian to their hotel room. Inside was the typical high school Spring Break party scene… a room filled with ten to twelve teenagers all smoking and drinking and listening to music way too loud.

            Julian’s objective was simple he needed to sell the second quarter pound to be able to spring Carson from jail, so they could at least have a few days of fun on the beach before heading back home and facing the music, and the possession charges. Julian didn’t like to think about that, but at the same time he also didn’t want to think about having too much fun while Carson was locked up in that cold stinky cell. Ugh, Julian shivered just thinking about it. Cold, dark, smelly beyond belief, although he had to admit the food wasn’t half bad, but the covers in the cell were less than great, thin and smelly from decades of use by scumbags with who knew what type of "dread gom boo”. Yeah he needed to get Carson out tonight if he could. 

            The other QP was at their hotel room a little ways down the strip where their other friend Mickey was holding down the fort. Mickey was a good guy, not as bright as Julian or Carson, but a good guy to have around, especially if you needed someone to bail you out in a pinch. Carson and Julian had decided that Julian should be the one sprung first because he was better with people, being blessed with the gift of gab…and therefore more likely to be able to quickly sell off the second stash, also Julian's bail was cheaper because he don’t have to deal with the DUI charges that Carson was facing in addition to possession... so here he was…in a stranger's hotel room surrounded by a crew he didn’t know with one mission in mind; sell the QP and get Carson out of jail, they could figure out everything else from there. 

            The girls introduced Julian to the first girl, Amber’s brother. A big country boy with a shamrock tattooed on his arm, a goatee on his broad chin and a fish hook on the brim of his trucker hat.

            “You guys interested in getting a little more herb?  Amber gave me a taste of what she had, and its good shit, but if you all want something that will really make your hair curl, I might be able to help.”

Amber’s brother, Steve, said “We just might be in the market, what’s your name?”


            “Ah, ok Julian, how much you got?

            “How much you want?”

            "We could probably take an ounce or two…what kind of prices we looking at?"

Julian did the math in his head with a quickness, he needed $500 more to get Carson out, and if he sold them two ounces at $250 each that would do it.

            “We could probably do an ounce for $300.”



            “Shit we’ll take three then if you got em.”

            “Yeah man I got’em, not on me, I got to head to my room, you want to meet me down on the beach in an hour? We can meet right in front of your hotel and then head into the dunes to close the deal, sound good?”

            “Let’s do this. See you in an hour Julian. Hell yeah, we bout to get blazed boiiiiiii!"

Julian left the room with a smile on his face, this was the answer to his prayers. All he had to do was head back to their room, check in with Mickey, grab three O’s and be back here to seal the deal with Steve. EZ Peezy, Lemon Squeezy.

Except nothing ever works out that simply does it?

            When Julian got back to his floor, he could hear the music as soon as he stepped off the elevator. And not only could he hear the party, he could smell the party from five doors down. Anger. Fear and Anger.

            What the fuck was Mickey doing?

            When Julian reached their room, he could see clear enough what had happened, Mickey was tied to the bed with a big goofy grin on his face while a whole team of what looked like third string strippers danced around the room, twerking and smoking weed like it was free, there were joints and blunts, a gravity bong and three bowls, the whole place reeked and with the noise and the smell it was only a matter of time before the cops showed up. This was a fucking disaster. 


            “Julian…heyyy maaaan. Where you been? Have you met Sally and her friends? They are all super cool and so chill, they’re all down to smoke.”

            “Yeah Mickey I can see that. Where’s our stash?”


            “The QP Mick. I found a buyer and I need to meet him in 15 minutes, where’s our bud Mickey?

            Mick nodded his head towards the coffee table where a freezer-bag full of weed sat wide open, as one of the girls grabbed handfuls of bud, broke some up into her blunt and stuffed the rest into her purse.

            Julian jumped across the room and snatched the bag of Buddha from the girl, eyeing her hard. He darted into the bathroom, slammed the door and took out his dinky little hand scale, "Just over two ounces. They wouldn’t have any left to puff on when they got Carson out, he wouldn’t be too thrilled about that, but shit man, first things first, he’d be glad to just be free." He thought as he sealed the bag.

            Julian walked out of the room with a briskness that let all them hos know he wasn’t fucking around, so they cleared the way as he walked up to where Mickey was still drawn and quartered to the bed.

            “I’ll be back Mick, and I’ll deal with you tomorrow.”

            “Hey Julian, what do you mean man, I brought the party back here for you and Carson, we got a home coming party ready for you guys, Carson’s gonna love it, these girls are just his type.”

            While Mickey wasn’t wrong about that last part Julian was still super pissed at Mickey for using their weed as bait to bring ugly girls back to their hotel room and then causing a scene, loud and stinky enough to get anyone busted. And as far as homecoming parties went Julian was pretty sure that once these chicken heads realized the weed bag was gone, they would soon find reason enough to relocate as well.

            “Yeah, you’re right. Thanks Mick. I owe you one.” Julian said as he walked quickly out of the room and down the back stairs eager to get out of there and make this deal before the 

"Po-Po" showed up.

            Julian ran down the back stairs, the air sticky with the late spring humidity, and the smell of the ocean reminding him that he was just one deal away from springing his best friend from the clink and having at least a semblance of a vacation left.

He let himself relax a little and even crack a smile. Despite the shitty way this trip had started things might actually be salvageable, or at least that’s what Julian was thinking as he rounded the corner, weed bag under his arm like a courier’s satchel, and ran right into a Pitbull of a Police Officer.

May 09, 2020 03:58

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1 comment

Emma Levin
21:29 May 13, 2020

Hi Jonathan, I was brought to your story through the new "Critique Circle" initiative. Your story was hilarious and really enjoyable to read. It really started to pick up about 1/4 of the way through, starting at "Julian made his way down to the dunes..." I think you could have started the story there to pick up the pace. I also wanted to see more of the relationship between Julian and Carson happen during the action of the story. Maybe Carson's arrest happens at the end? Also, Mickey was a very funny character, but it was hard to care about...


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