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A poisonous crystalline alkaloid, C 17 H 23 NO 3, obtained from belladonna and other plants of the nightshade family, that prevents the response of various body structures to certain types of nerve stimulation: used chiefly to relieve spasms, to lessen secretions, and, topically, to dilate the pupil of the eye.
Not noted in the dictionary is this chemical's notoriety amongst self-considered 'drug enthusiasts' as one of the most dangerous psychoactive substances of all. It's found everywhere. Your backyard, over the counter medications, and the list goes on. Hell, I remember finding an old military emergency IV pen with '5 mg'(?) of atropine in an old medpack, and it was used to combat nerve gas, apparently. Moving on.
The most common way of acquiring this wretched stuff is the drug store. Benadryl (diphenhydramine), and Dramamine (dimenhydrinate). The first being used to combat allergies, or sleeping problems. The latter primarily used for antiemetic/antivertigo purposes (motion sickness). What they both share, is they're deliriants. As in, they make you delirious, crazy, or if you'd rather, nuttier than a fucking squirrel turd. At high doses, people report feeling physically drunk, and having INSANE hallucinations. People who aren't there, bugs...oh god I shudder thinking of all the bugs...And walking, or even standing up even, fucking forget about it. Like standing on a surfboard, is the most accurate comparison I've heard so far.
As for the hallucinations... They are NOTHING like the stereotypical idea of an acid trip, or a real acid trip for that matter. No bright colors or spiritual insight. Scooby Doo and Bugs Bunny won't be chasing each other around your house. No... When you ingest deliriants, it's hellishly surreal. The best example I can give you, is my first, and very last experience with delirium.
It happened nearly a decade ago. The summer before junior year. I was so naive, yet so full, and ahead of myself. I lived in a next to nothing town, just a small blip on the map. Full of a high school, a baseball field, and a country market. All of this within less than a mile apart. The many miles leftover were merely old gravel roads. Some more comparable to a damn washboard than a road. Luckily, my family wasn't far from the few miles worth dubbing a 'town'.
My first year of high school was over, and at this point in my life, I was fairly experienced with alcohol, cannabis, and recently I'd had the privilege of trying LSD. I spent a lot of free time reading up on erowid.org, as I had, and still have, an intense curiosity for psychoactive compounds, and their effect on the human mind. Specifically mine. When a good friend mentioned 'tripping' after eating a few too many Dramamine, I did my research online, and decided to pick up sleeve of the chalky, white pills shortly thereafter, saving them for a rainy day. Maybe I'd run out of the shitty reggie that seemed everywhere at the time.
Months went by before my stash, had indeed, run out. It was nearing sundown when the idea occurred to me to consume the sleeve of 8 50 mg Dramamine. Hesitant at first, I surfed erowid's vault on dimenhydrinate for the millionth time, and psyched myself into swallowing them down all at once. I proceeded to throw each back, accompanied by a mouthful of Gatorade. Ugh, the awful taste...
Shortly after, my cellphone went off, a good friend of mine was calling, Shaun. Unsure of whether or not I should answer, and take the impending trip elsewhere, or invite a witness to my soon to be stupid behavior. "Hello?" I'd answered, voice slightly shaking. "Hey man...You uh, you ok?" Shaun asked, sounding confused. "Yeah, I'm good to go. Whatsup?" And truth was, I was feeling pretty much normal, it had only been 15 minutes or so since ingestion. Shaun let out an awkward laugh and paused. "So, I found this haggard old railroad station while I was taking a roadie down the backroads. It's probably 40 minutes out of town, but I wanna get inside this place."
I laughed, couldn't help it. "Whatever, I mean I wanna see the inside. I just didn't want to break in during the day, and to be honest.." He trailed off. "What?" His mysteriousness bothered me. Shaun was the type to hype up the paranormal. He'd stay up and read these 'Creepypastas' 'til the crack of dawn. "I dunno Jay, something about this place seems off. Had a pretty strong musk to it. Place has to have been abandoned for at least a hundred years I'd guess." He wanted me to come and help him break into the place. To make an already long story short, I agreed. What else did I have to do?
Roughly an hour after ingestion, he'd pulled into my driveway, and just as quickly, pulled out. Following me hopping in, of course. I was in the passenger seat, Shaun in the driver's, and in back between us, was my friend Wally. I greeted Shaun as I hopped in, and he nodded with a grin, and a wave. I nodded to Wally. "How's it going Wal-Mart?" I asked him, nonchalantly. (Stupid nickname, looking back on it..) He just stared at me, and I looked to Shaun, who was also staring at me, confused. I looked back, and Wally was gone.
"Are you feeling okay, buddy?" Shaun asked, worriedly. I laughed and explained the situation to him, and the worry ran from his face. He knew what I was into, and didn't mind. "Sure is going to make this whole adventure a little more...interesting?" Shaun inquired rhetorically, and proceeded to follow backroads for what seemed like hours. In reality it only took us half an hour to get there, but damn, atropine is a hell of a drug.
As we neared the dead end of one of those washboards I mentioned earlier, the right side was met with a bare field, with only a series of clustered buildings far off in the distance. The 'road' that led to it was overgrown with weeds and small trees, making it pretty much impossible to drive on. So, naturally we hoofed it. The only item Shaun prepared for this 'adventure' was a crowbar. "You never know" he told me. "There could be homeless people, plus I gotta break this rusted lock I found earlier." He laughed and slammed his trunk, bar in hand.
Nearing two hours after consumption, I was starting to feel pretty peculiar. Shaun was looking at me worriedly, as I remember I had been chain-smoking for what seemed like the whole 15 minute walk to the station. "What are you looking at, Holmes?" I asked him jokingly, and threw the cigarette to the ground as we approached the padlocked entrance. He informed me to his delight, that I hadn't been smoking anything. I looked underneath my boot, and sure enough, nothing. Not a butt in sight.
In my search for a cigarette butt, my view fixated on the building immediately in front of me. The bricks had faded to an odd color of rusty brown, every window either boarded with plywood, or solid metal bars held antique windows in place. The door Shaun was struggling to break open was some rotted wood, with metal 'bolts' decorated in two rows of four, top and bottom. Not only was it rustic, and almost beautiful in an archaic, Americana fashion, but it was seemingly thick, made of some sort of heavy wood, and just seemed different than other doors...Maybe it was the drugs.
A loud snap was heard, with a following thud, and a shout of relief from Shaun ended it. The door swung open as we pulled it free. It was heavy, that was mutually agreed upon. I had to catch my breath, as the deliriant swam through my veins, I had reached another level of high, and I watched dozens of spiders march around the ground surrounding me. I had bearing enough to distinguish them as fake, watching them dissipate as my feet went through them. I followed Shaun inside, and watched the arachnid army vaporize behind us.
"It smells fucking AWFUL in here!" I exclaimed, throwing my shirt over my nose. Shaun laughed and nodded knowingly. "Yeah, like I said, this place definitely has a musk" he joked, and gazed at the sight around us. It was huge, and poorly lit, due to the majority of the windows being layered with plywood. Old equipment hung from the ceiling, what I assumed was a lift to the second story. Broken glass littered the floor along with various trash. It ranged from the expected broken crackpipes, junk food wrappers, broken bottles, just a bunch of trash.
"Why are we here?" I asked, annoyed, and frankly not entertained. Shadows were darting back forth in my peripheral vision, making me also a slight bit paranoid. He shrugged, continued scanning, until a section of the room that still somewhat resembled a building caught his attention, and he motioned me to follow. Under the main stairs was a corridor of about 3 or 4 rooms. As we walked through the dark, with a cell phone as a flashlight, I heard a baby cry in the distance, almost right outside the door we came in.
I froze in fear. "Did you hear that?" He looked back, annoyed, shaking his head. "You're just fucked up man, chill. You're freaking me out." I nodded. I was fucked up by then. Who knew how long it had been since I ate those little portals to insanity? I didn't.
I noticed the insect population had multiplied tenfold, and there was a variety of little monsters now, too. Scorpions, snakes, spiders, Oh my! They covered the walls, and the floors. As we ended the corridor, we noticed the smell had gone from awful to putrid. I gagged as we neared the last door. Whatever it was, it was in there. "Shaun, don't open that door, for the love of god, SOMETHING IS DEAD IN THERE!" I yelled, panicked. The shadows in my peripheral vision had started to grow in detail, as I could almost make out dark, silhouette-veiled faces by that point.
He looked to me and laughed, as he tugged at the door, twisting the knob, steadily. He muttered something about how I was fucked up and such, when the door finally slid open. The smell intensified, but not wanting to seem like a sissy, I covered my face, and followed him in.
It was a segmented office, with a dividing wall leading to another office. At least that's what those rooms had been, once. "See Jay? No Slendermen in here. Just a dead rat somewhere..or something." But his boasting was cut short when I let out a horrified scream. Poking out from underneath what I'd assumed to be an old desk, behind Shaun, was a petrified corpse. It was what looked to be a railroad worker. The eyes were shrunken in, and it looked like a mummy, or something you'd see in a shitty horror movie. Like a leather-wrapped skeleton.
Shaun jumped, screaming obscenities and ran towards me. I backed into the wall and he landed next to me. "WHAT?!" He screamed in my ear. I looked up, and it was there still, so I pointed, looking down. "What..What?!" He grew aggravated and shot up, obviously annoyed by my hallucinations. I stood up as he ranted on, and apologized. "Shit got the best of me." I said with a nervous laugh. He just stared for a minute, unsure of what to say. "It's okay man, I just freaked out, because you freaked out and.."
He went on. I noticed, the doorway behind him was without a door, and we hadn't set foot in there yet. "Let's just head out, and come back in the morning. We'll actually have light and.." In the doorway, I barely made out something poking itself back and forth, on the edge of the doorway. Revealing a glimpse of itself repeatedly, almost to a beat. I lightly shoved him aside, and walked the ten feet needed to discover the source of what I assumed to be another hallucination. One I didn't want to bother, or frighten Shaun with.
I stopped dead in my tracks, and before my eyes limply swung what appeared to be a homeless man. This was the most realistic hallucination yet, so I reached out to swat at it, to watch it vaporize like many of its arachnid brethren. But my attempt to regain sanity was met with a cold, wet "slap".
My chest tightened, and I fell to the ground, nearly fainting. Shaun rushed to my aid, but let me fall when he saw what I'd seen. My tunnel vision dimmed down, and I looked from the bum swinging by the light fixture, to Shaun, who stood, dazed. I grabbed him by the shoulder and with no words exchanged, we ran as fast as we could back to the outside world. Back to his car, and away from that place forever.
The next afternoon, I awoke in my closet, (like it's been said...hell of a drug) and immediately called Shaun, just to check in with him, see if he decided to call the cops, and admit we'd broken into private property. We had been hoping that finding a possible missing person would likely free us of possible charges. We'd discussed this on the ride home the night before...right? I couldn't recall mostly any of the ride back, so when Shaun answered the phone, my first question was "Did you call the police?" My anxiety was in full effect.
"....What?" He asked, puzzled. "You know, to tell them about last night? I mean we don't have to I was just..." "Last night?" He interrupted. "The hell are you talking about Jay?" I was dumbfounded. He went on, "Why would I call the cops? Because you called me at one in the morning, rambling about some railroad tracks or some shit?" Shaun laughed. I hung up the phone, and melted into my bed for the next 12 hours, confused, and amazed at everything I'd experienced...right here in my room.