The Shame Pill


I sit by the window smoking my first cigarette of the day. It tastes like the sidewalk outside the English department of my university; seven years and seven-thousand miles ago.

Someone is calling out something through a megaphone outside. N comes into my room, he walks over to the wardrobe and reaches up to where he stashes his emergency cigarettes.

“What the hell is that noise?” he asks, coming over and sitting on the window sill. He listens a moment then grumbles.

“Damn post-modernists.”

I frown. “What is he saying?”

“God is alive, he remains alive, we have brought him back.” N makes a noise like someone being reunited with spoiled shrimp.

I close the window. There is a noise from the hall.

“Is someone here?” I ask N.

He nods. “My friend C, in from Moscow, came and passed out last night.”

“C?” he calls. A young man with blue hair and nose piercing stumbles into my room, holding his head. He makes it to the couch, fumbling for a cigarette. He has a half drunk bottle of whiskey which he drops onto the table.

“I sniffed a girl’s neck!” he moans. His eyes are swollen.

I look at him, then at N. “What?”

“I sniffed it! for, like, no reason! What is wrong with me?” he shakes his head. “No–no, it’s the pills! I know it’s not a big deal. But, why would I sniff it? I was just standing there, then I just leaned and sniffed it. I didn’t even drink that much!”

I frown at N, he shakes his head and shrugs.

“What pills?” he asks

C pulls an empty box from his pocket and hands it to N. N studies it.

“What are they?” I ask.

N frowns at the box. “Shame pills,” he turns it over, “make every drunken misstep feel like defecating at the alter?”

C nods.

“What the hell does that mean?” I ask.

“It says here that they exaggerate feelings of shame after drinking.”

C groans, nodding.

“So?” N says, placing the box down, “I’m guessing they worked?”

C’s eyes go wide. “Have you ever sniffed someone’s neck!? For no reason?”

He looks panicked.

“Uh, no,” N says.

“Exactly! Idiot!” He hits himself with both hands, close-fisted. He shakes his head, over and over.

“I’m never drinking again,” he moans. He begins to weep. His cigarette sags, slowly burning a hole in the end of his shirt. Finally he stands up and lumbers out of the room. N picks the package of pills up. He raises an eyebrow, holding them out to me.

I think, only for a moment.

“Not there yet,” I decide. N nods in agreement, tossing the pills aside and snatching up the abandoned bottle of whiskey.



Author: Flash-365

Author Benjamin Davis and artist Nikita Klimov created one story and one picture each day for one year. In May 2018 they published their first book, The King of FU

29 thoughts

  1. Whoa, inflicting mental cruelty on yourself to stop an addiction. I suppose that’s one way people go about it. What I personally find that’s ‘negative’, yet motivating, is insecurity. But that’s because it’s arguable that striving for greatness is actually running away from the fear of inadequacy.

    I liked your story. Would you do me the honor of reading my short story and commenting your thoughts on it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks richardjalba, for your comment.
      Your view of this story is very sensitive and reasoned. It shows me once again how badly I can interpret. Or, how badly I can look at situations neutrally. My interpretation is superficial and not very emotional. This is probably because I always look forward to the stories of flash, because I like the humor of the tales so much. The stories have everything a good story should have. The tales are unique. The people in history are authentic and compelling. It is never boring, because it is reasoned in every sentence. Compressed and minimized. Only the essentials are told, so there is still room for own thoughts. (There was a very interesting article “Write Along with Me”)
      I love this blog, because I can switch off mentally. I love this blog, because I can laugh. It’s a bit like laughing about myself. It is relief. Of course, I know that the people in the story have problems and suffer and I should dig deeper. I have probably neglected this in the enthusiasm for history. Thank you also for your short history.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. This is exactly what I strive for with my stories and why I focus on flash fiction and it means a lot that you find all of these aspects of my stories when you read them. It makes me feel like I am on the right track.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I really like what you said there at the end. It is so true. I am grateful for this analysis. I don’t always see some things in my stories until someone comes and points them out. And then I learn from their analysis. And yes, I’ll check that story out.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha yeah. It was actually comments on the Drunk Collar story that gave me the idea for this story. I wrote two versions of this story actually, but I like this one better. I’ll try to think of some new invention next. Not sure where else I could go with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bravvvoooo … Flash, ha, I would not have expected this! Hihi, wonderfully funny, as always! Favorite phrases:
    “It’s like the sidewalk outside the English department of my university, seven years and seven-thousand miles ago.” … continue to write somthing like this, and you manage me to quit smoking …;:)
    “Someone called something” … the typical, resigned equivalency of the two gentlemen …:)
    “I sniffed a girl’s neck!” He moans … hahaha … without reason? No, there must be a reason, because the pill exaggerates only the feelings of the shame, … nothing would be strengthened.
    Ha, and the end: Now it’s clear! The two men are not only always in a bad mood, they also want to have a bad mood! Who would wish, in their mood, a reinforcement of feelings of shame? Well, alternative whiskey bottle is surely a good possibility to have a similar effect. Especially since the pills box already was already empty ….; ) You could have also quietly lit a cigarrette. I am thrilled, flash and big fan!

    P.S.:I didn’t understand this: “feel like defecating at the age?”
    P.P.S.: Great scaring illustration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I’m glad you like how it all came out. I was hoping you would. This is the second draft actually. The first one just didn’t work right. I love reading your reaction and analysis to things. It is something I look forward to each day. As to “defecating at the altar.” More crudely put it means: crapping in your pants as you are getting married. Essentially the most embarrassing and shame-inducing thing I could imagine that still retained some humor.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. hahaha…well I did not really understand the adages, but first of all, they sound funny. Second I hope, that I do not embarrassed you. Sometimes I´m too fast in telling things, without thinking. I have to improve this…hahaha…my mother used to say, when I was a child: You think first, and then you can talk…funny that I remember this, right now.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha…almost. I have been cutting back though! I think these stories have been my version of coping with taking a bit of a break from alcohol. But now I’ve become addicted to canned iced teas! it’s absurd. I can’t do bottle or glass. I need to find only stores that sell very cold cans of iced tea. If I can’t find them, I grab a beer. Haha. It really is a start for me. Someday.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. well, I won´t say anything to your beer consum, because I do not want, to come out as an alcoholic….
        But! I have to say something about “cans”! “Cans” should be forbitten. This is such a bad invention for the environment! And hop, Flash! This could be a good new invention for you. Something that people hurt, when they buy bad things…and I do not mean money, because that does not work!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. haha….no, I think with “The Drunk Collar” and “The Shame Pill” you have a good couple…invention for the environment would not really fit to your contexts…I just wanted to say…better buy bottles…; )

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to the Dailyst0rmer? It’s a website about having InterCourse with children, listening to Necr0Ped0Sad0Mas0 music and giving instructions on how to commit hate crimes. I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee; we are simply trying to add more terrorist content for our community and I enjoyed reading your work. If “OK” please let me know via email pzm. Aaron Goldberg, Necr0Ped0Sad0Mas0 producer, member of the Jews Against Fascism Committee, email:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s