This year I hope to publish my latest novel, DEEP INTO THE WEEDS. Over the next few months I plan on posting several teasers. The protagonist Preston ‘Mac’ McPherson is a dairy farmer who with the encouragement of his brother-in-law, Fergus Becker converts his farm to growing marijuana. Below is a scene late one night following a break-in at the farm.
“I’m too tired to listen to this shit. And I could use a drink,” I say, throwing my head back against my headrest.
“I don’t have a bottle in the car, but I have this,” say Ferg, pulling a joint out of shirt pocket.”
“What the fuck is that?”
“What does it look like?”
“A marijuana cigarette.”
“Bingo!” says Ferg, pulling on an imaginary cord. “What’s with the weird look? You know it’s legal now?”
I grab the joint out of his hand. “Yeah, I know, so where did you get it?”
“We shut down an illegal dispensary in Simcoe last month and not all of the inventory made it to our evidence room,” he says with a wink.
“Then that stuff is illegal.”
“How can you tell? It all looks the same.”
“You can legally buy it, but you decide to steal some instead.” What a piece of work. Next, he’ll be offering me a big screen TV that happened to have fallen off some truck.
“I prefer not to have a record of my weed purchases, if you know what I mean.”
“Whatever,” I say, shaking my head. I hand the joint back to him. “Look, I don’t smoke the stuff.”
“It’s no different than drinking a beer, except less calories,” he says, grinning. “C’mon.”
“I don’t feel right about this.”
“Are you kidding me? You grow the stuff.”
“So what? Lots of farmers in the area used to grow tobacco, but they didn’t necessarily smoke cigarettes. It’s a crop. And I don’t have to eat broccoli just because I grow it.”
Ferg slides the entire joint into his mouth and slowly pulls it out. “Why did you do that?”
“I’m wetting it, so it doesn’t burn too fast.”
“Where did you learn that?” I ask with raised eyebrows.
“At Delhi District Secondary School.”
“Fergus Becker, are you telling me you did drugs in high school?” I ask, not even bothering to hide my surprise.
“That’s what I’m telling you,” he says while burning the end of the joint with a lighter. “Now are you going to join me? You know you want to try it.”
Ferg holds the end of the joint up to his lips with his thumb and index finger and inhales, holding it in his lungs. He stretches his hand with the joint out toward me and exhales.
“I don’t know.”
I take it from him and hold it up to my lips and draw in air. My lungs fill with smoke and I immediately break into a coughing fit.
“Don’t inhale so much smoke, and try to hold it in,” says Ferg, slapping my back.
After a minute, I stop coughing. My throat feels raw, but I try to inhale again. I draw in a little bit of smoke. My lungs hurt, and I’m forced to exhale in less than ten seconds. The coughing fit returns.
Ferg laughs. “You are pathetic.” He grabs the joint from me and takes a big, long draw.
While he’s holding it in, he hands it back and I try it again, this time with more success. After a couple of minutes, it’s burned down to a nub. Ferg lowers the window and tosses it out of the car.
“I don’t feel anything.”
“That must be what every rookie says. You will,” says Ferg as he shifts the cruiser into drive and hits the gas.
“Where are we going?”
“To the all-night diner for something to eat.”
“Wait. You can’t drive stoned.”
“Sure, I can.”
“This evening is going from bad to worse,” I say, pulling out my phone.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m calling Meryl.”
“Seriously? What are you going to tell her? You got high and now we’re driving around town?” asks Ferg. “Put that away.”