"Faster!" Jill screamed as she tumbled down the hill where the old well stood. She laughed hysterically at every rock and bump she encountered, giggling with glee at the shiny red splotches she painted the grass with. She crumpled in a heap at the bottom, chuckling softly. A shadow fell across her face as she panted toward the clouds, painted with the palette of the setting sun . She looked up, smiling at the unexpected visitor.

"Who are you talking to?" the shadowed figure asked.

"Why gravity, my dear brother Jack. Hehehehe..."




A brown glass bottle bounced down the trail Jill had just blazed through the glass, landing at Jack's feet. He bent down, picked it up, and sniffed gingerly at the mouth of the mouth of the bottle, recoiling from the rancid stench it exuded. He sighed and focused his sad green eyes onto his sister. "You've been at the Grog again, I see."

"Heh...It was only a little, Jack. Just to lighten the mood..."

"A little?!" He shook the empty bottle and tossed it violently into the bushes. "Since when is the whole bottle a little?!"

Grog was a highly addictive hallucinogen and mental stimulant originally developed by the military to more "humanely" extract information out of POWs. Somehow it had gotten distributed to the general public when Jill had been about thirteen. She had been one of the first to try it. For three years she'd been abusing Grog, slowly wasting away as the drug sped up her metabolism and caused iron and zinc to build up in her skin, giving her an ironically angelic glow. Jack had thought she'd successfully kicked the habit last Spring, but apparently he'd been very wrong. She was thin as a toothpick now. He couldn't guess how much longer she had left before the drug took her from him forever. He didn't want to know.

He leaned down and gently pulled her up to her feet, steadying her as she swayed. "Come on, Jill..." he whispered. "Let's go home..."