The Evils of Drink

-Humor – 2 Pages –

Josh had sat contently near the roaring campfire, examining the dancing flickering flames and the crackling of the firewood and considered the day’s events. Chester his college room mate had urged him to go on this trip. “A few days roughing it in the Canadian woods would do you good” he had energetically cajoled, until Josh finally, as he often did, gave in.

One of the highlights of the trip as Chester had so enthusiastically explained was the proximity of the small award winning micro-brewery, which despite being miles of the beacon track still managed to attract swarms of beer drinkers each and every day, all in search of the perfect pint. Josh could never understand this quest, as he had always considered beer to be an insipid gassy liquid. Yet, despite this, after quickly setting up camp this morning with Chester still enthusiastically harping on they had both trekked the mile and visited the brewery.

As they approached Josh noted that it was nothing more than an old shack, with several large barrels in back. Yet despite its appearance, as he had been informed, dozens Josh of seemingly educated rationale folks had also made the trudge through forests and were jubilantly sitting on dirty old benches and tables are drinking large glasses of the stuff. Josh reluctantly accompanied Chester inside and ordered two of the samplers. Within a few minutes two old cork trays each carrying six small glasses in various hues of brown were presented to them. They returned outside and found an empty table and Josh had and watched on amazed as Chester keenly drank and spurted phrases like. “Well hopped, beautifully balanced, and malty.” Josh attempted to do the same, but found the task unbearable. All of a sudden a lofty man dressed in faded overalls and sporting a grey beard and a balding head took a seat next to them. He had seemed contented at Chester’s consumption, but looked a little dismayed at Chester’s six still nearly full glasses.

“My name is Wilkins” he had informed them. “I am the brewer here…I see that you don’t like our regular offerings.” He eyed once more the full glasses and seemed a little disheartened. Then a broad grin transformed his wrinkled face as he placed down on the table two large glass jugs. “Then please accept these here gifts…Our special brew…I like everyone who comes here to be satisfied.” With that he got up, slapped Josh heartedly on his back and walked off whistling to himself.

Chester had quickly begun drinking his prize almost immediately upon completing the mile trudge back to the campsite. Within a couple of hours his jug was empty and was in a jovial drunken stupor in the tent, obnoxiously snoring. As nightfall began to silently creep in Josh sat there determined to understand the attraction this local brew held over people, and as the new moon lit up the cold night sky he examined the glass gallon jug. “Witches brew 6.9 APV” was the dubious name that was hand written upon it. “It looks innocent enough” he thought…”perhaps I should give the stuff a second chance.” With that he unplugged the rubber cork and lifted the jug to his lips. “What’s the worse that could happen” he reasoned as he took a long gulp. “Yuk” he thought, but his mind was set and he continued to drink. When the jug was a quarter gone his opinion began to shift. Songs form his childhood started coming from his normal quiet mouth, and he felt himself being washed over with a strange sort of unfamiliar sanguinity and cheeriness. As he continued to drink the feelings only intensified further, the sweet songs of his childhood became replaced with bawdy Irish drinking songs that he was surprised he even knew. It was then he spies it in the dark forest, a camp fire in the distance. Glancing in the tent at his sleeping room mate he decided to set off into the darkness to explore.” What’s the worst that could happen?” he thought as he set off into the night, his now half emptied jug firmly in his hand.

As he trekked into the night, the campfire acting as a beacon for him he continued to drink…

Twenty minutes later with the beer jug now empty he slowly came upon the mysterious camp. His congenial manner was now being overtaken by nervousness; he was having a hard time focusing his eyes and was having difficulty maintaining his balance. He sees several men about the fire, and as he lowers himself into the safety of some bushes, he falls and land awkwardly. A sharp pain shoots up from his left ankle. “Shit” he whispers into the night as he lies there, and examines the scene in front of him. He holds his breath in horror at the site that meets his eyes. Three men, including the friendly brew master he had met that afternoon were carefully attending to their task at hand. Over the fire a large wooden frame had been constructed, and tied by rope to it hung a man’s limp body. He appeared to be already dead, and had been stripped bare and hung upside down. The brewers using what appeared to be razor blades were cutting slits in the dead man’s wrists. It reminded Josh of how maple is drawn from the tree, slowly and delicately dripping… Despite his horror he felt an urge to take a closer look…The blood was dripping into a cauldron over the fire….He began to scream uncontrollably as he read the words hand written on the front of the cauldron. “Witches brew 6.9APV”.

Suddenly the men paused from their meticulous task, and started running furiously towards Josh, who was now screaming hysterically…He attempts to get up and run…Yet, the pain in his ankle and the dizziness in his head makes him fall once more….

Josh was never to be seen again. Chester went back several times in search of him, and as he sat there in the brewery explaining his friends disappearance, once more the head brewer came over and offered him a free jug of beer.

“I think you will this batch particularly tasty”.

More Humor Stories…

P.S. Gifford

P.S. Gifford is a published horror author of great talent. He started submitting stories around 2005. His short stories are by far some of the best and most entertaining that I have read. Around that time he was invited to write columns which are titled "Paperback Writer."

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