chapter 1Josh's life was not at all straight forward. The son of a rich celebrity, he never had to worry about money and he'd enjoyed at bit of fame himself.
However, his history was not the best. He'd dabbled in the rave scene when he was still in school and had a criminal record because of it.
He had dabbled in the modelling world, but had left after he developed a cocaine addiction and had a spell in rehab.
His father inherited and old schoolhouse in the West Country. Josh had been given the job of refurbishing it and dividing it up into about twelve luxury apartments.
He created his own apartment first, from one of the old schoolrooms. He even had a mezzanine floor for his bedroom.
While the council dragged their feet over the planning for the rest of the building, Josh decided to go back to college in an attempt to get the results he should have got at school, but he'd been prevented from getting them because he'd been excluded at that time.
He befriended lots of the students. Some of which struggled to find accommodation. So he allowed them to stay in some of his unused bedrooms, of which there were several. He did not charge them rent and even bought a minibus so that they could all travel in to college together down the lanes, where public transport was just about none existent.
Near Christmas, he decided that the house was the ideal place to hold a party. The old school hall was ideal for a disco and dance floor. There was room for a bar up on the balcony. He hired a dj, and a barman, bought plenty booze, hired a caterer who could work out of the old school kitchen. He could collected people from a meeting point in his minibus. There was plenty room for people to stay the night as long as they didn't mind sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag.
The party was such a success that he decided to hold more of them. First, once a month, then it became once a week, but eventually, they were held every night!
Josh was really enjoying himself. He got drunk every night. He had sex with anyone who wanted it.
The parties attracted more unsavoury characters, who moved in.
Josh's bank account was draining quickly, but he didn't care. He didn't need the money. He got raided several times by the police following complaints from the neighbours, but he had made sure he exploited loopholes in the law regarding alcohol and performance licenses though not charging any money for people to come. His night club was still classed as a simple domestic party.
The neighbours complained about the noise, but the council came and checked. The thick Victorian walls and the distance from the other properties made the loud music impossible to hear.
Josh dropped out of college. He was having far too much fun to do any actual work.
As an ex-addict he should have been more cautious, but one of the petty entrepreneurs who moved in, realised they were onto a good thing. If they kept Josh incapacitated, they could take over the running of the place and run an illegal empire from there. And make a lot of money. At first they sold a few fake goods, smuggled cigarettes, fake Rolex watches, that kind of thing.
Some of his rooms turned into venues for sex orgies, some turned into mini-brothels.
Some of his rooms were taken over by the druggies. There was the dope room, where marijuana was openly smoked and traded. There was a room that was for the acid heads and another room for the trading and injection of harder drugs such as heroin.
One of the entrepreneurial druggies befriended Josh. Kept him drunk for days and then when once he had drank himself unconscious gave him hit first heroin hit.
After that they made sure he got a hit at least once a day until he was hooked. Now, he needed to drink just to stop the shakes in the morning. Now he needed to inject to prevent withdrawal. He injected more, chasing the elusive high that got further from his grasp.
Within a few short months, Josh was a total mess. He had lost weight. He simply didn't think about food any more. He turned into a bag of bones with hollow cheeks and dark circles around his eyes.
The party went on all day every day.
Police raids became a regular event. Josh would be arrested and released, dealers would escape and never come back or arrested and charged.
Then a big player from the criminal underworld took over. He threw out the petty criminals. He threw out the pimps. He saw a way to make this club pay for itself and it had nothing to do with students. His henchmen saw to their removal.
Josh was the lynchpin of the operation. They needed him, but they did not want him off his head to much that he could barely string two words together.
They tidied the place up, redecorated to suit their needs.
Josh was sat in a chair in a room on his own and tied up.
The room was out of the way, in the attic.
The top man called himself Fanta. He strode in, with one of his muscular henchmen at the door and told Josh what was going to happen. He was going to comply. He would do exactly as he was told. They needed him sober.
Josh already did not like the idea. He was already feeling chilled, yet sweaty. He could do with a fix. He appealed to the big tall muscular man, but Fanta was not listening.
"I will untie you in good time" he said. "This drink over here will make your cold turkey easier." He put a large glass filled with a strange orange liquid on the mantelpiece. "Make sure you drink it. It contains something for the pain, something for the cramps, some vitamins."
With that he walked out. One of the henchmen untied him and locked the door. Josh did not move. He was in a bad way. His hair was soaking wet with sweat, his entire body ached, even his teeth hurt.
He struggled to get to his feet. His legs felt shakey, like he was going to collapse at any minute.
He grabbed the drink and stared at it suspiciously. He was not to know that it contained nothing more than an effervescent multivitamin, effervescent paracetamol, crushed ibuprofen and an antispasmodic given to people suffering from chrones disease.
He drank the fizzy mixture, but did not feel any better.
Days passed. Josh was given the mixture several times a day, but he wasn't sure if it helped. He spent hours rolled up into a ball on the floor as his addictions caught up with him. The innocent chair grew large in his head turning into a giant hammer. Memories from school got mixed up with the most vivid of dreams. The light through the window hurt his eyes. At one stage, he was not sure if he was still alive or whether he had ascended to heaven... or was he in hell.
After a week, Fanta paid him another visit. He sneered at Josh's unwashed body, at the faeces smeared on the wall. This time he said nothing, but his henchmen grabbed him and dragged him into the shower. They cleaned all the crap off him and put him into clean clothes.
He was put into another room. One that was clean, tidy and had at least a comfortable bed in the corner of the room.
He was given the familiar glass of vitamins. But this time it tasted different. This time it had nothing else added. It was purely a vitamin drink. The orange flavour was artificial, but zingy. The bubbles burst enjoyably on his tongue.
He was feeling considerably better. The hallucinations were dissipating. The full horror of going cold turkey was over.
He even felt hungry. He hadn't had that feeling for quite some time.
Fanta paid him another visit. "It's good to see you looking better, but you need to do as I tell you. If you don't, Tiny here will see to it that you comply." Tiny was anything but small. He had an imposing body builder's inverted triangle shape to his body that his double breasted suit did nothing to hide.
"You will drink this", he placed a jug full of a thick cream coloured liquid next to a glass on the mantelpiece. "All of it! By sundown. You need some protein in you!"
Josh stood up and looked at it. He suspected it was laced with something. He dipped a finger in it. It was thick, creamy. He licked his finger tentatively. It tasted all right. Vanilla favoured. Mmm, yes, not bad at all! He poured out a glass and took a small sip. It tasted just like a vanilla milk shake from McDonald's. It was very rich, but delicious!
The first glass went down without any problems.
Josh had no idea when sundown was. He had no watch, there was no clock on the wall, no tv to mark the passage of time. He did not want to get into trouble with Tiny. He was not to be messed about with. He poured himself another glass of the shake and drank it more slowly. His third glass was a struggle. He felt so engorged. He'd only ever been this full at Christmas, several years ago, years before his modelling days. His appetite had never returned properly since then.
At last it was all gone! He felt a sense of accomplishment.
That first shake was completely drug free. It was a simple protein shake, made with skimmed milk rather than water. It was just the start.
5 chapters, created 5 years , updated 4 years
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