Good Day, Sunshine...

"How did you know about that?" said Lenore.

Milo gave her a puzzled look. "Huh?"

"The acid. You found my blotter?"

" No, I didn't. What are you talking about?"

Lenore rolled her eyes. "I don't know! It came with the van!" She left for a moment, and returned with a book and some men's pants. She handed the pants to Milo first. After he took the hint and put them onm she gave him the book, saying, "It really isn't much to look at."

Milo squinting myopically at a square, hand-made book, the cover of cardboard covered with cloth bearing a simple orange painting of the sun. Milo opened it and riffled the thick, stiff pages with his thumb. Each was identical, covered with tiny orange images of a Sun face.

He gave a low whistle. "You are so full of surprises." Lenore beamed at him appreciatively.

"How many are there?" Milo asked, flipping pages one by one.

"Nine hundred a sheet. There were a hundred sheets, but I cut a couple up and sold them in Mexico City."

"Well, who's in?" Milo asked.

Molina and Lenore declined. Milo tore a corner off one of the pages and popped a couple little orange suns in his mouth.

"Omigod, those are four-way hits!" Lenore was mortified.

"So?" Milo smirked.

"Oh Jesus." Lenore was holding her palms to her temples.

"Hey, don't worry about me. I can do this stuff on my head," Milo said calmly, believing his own lie.

For some reason Molina decided he didn't want to leave his scooter on the ground, so Milo helped him get it inside the van. But he had started to get off. So it took more than an hour to implement the project. Grunting, swearing and cajoling, Molina finally managed to get Milo pulling in the same direction as him and they muscled it in through the cargo door.

After that Molina had gone for a walk around the recently vacated camp, and a smoke . Lenore busied herself cleaning up Armand and trying to figure out clothes for him.

There wasn't anything for Milo to do really, so he just sat and looked around as time stretched. And stretched. And stretched.When it suddenly snapped, he was so stoned he could hardly see. That's when Furlonger and Callie sashayed up, arm in arm.

"Don't worry, futze, we've got things under control," Carl said reassuringly. What was left of his face melted like wax, and Callie pirouetted, somersaulted and cartwheeled, then hovered beside him, her tongue stuck out lewdly. They cakewalked on out of sight.

Then the hallucinatory shit really hit the fan.

The omnipresent chlorophyll colour had taken on a life of its own. Maybe if Milo had eaten yage, the theme would have been different. More South American or something. Or not. In any event, the foliage began to shimmer, morphing into different shapes at random intervals, or disappearing and reappearing. Shadows were alive. To keep them from winding around his ankles and crawling up his legs like creeper vines, Milo tried to pick up both feet at the same time .

Then he became painfully aware of every bug's footstep for a hundred miles. Even their little bug voices, calling out to one another. He could hear Capitán Jauregui and his men marching purposefully back toward Colombia. He could hear snakes' lubricated tongues darting in and out of their mouths, as they hung from trees like crepe party streamers and coiled under rocks in the undergrowth.

Each bird's call had its own color. So did every other sound. They all rippled together at precise intervals, blending, bouncing off of one another, echoing down Milo's ear canals and pounding on little anvils in his head. And there was music. Music like he'd never heard before, sweetly pouring itself through the trees, funneling itself straight into his heart, pumping through his veins and surging into every cell in his body.

It took Molina and Lenore forever to coax him out of the tree he climbed. They had to sit with him for three-odd hours after night fell, before Milo finally came down enough that they they could herd him, lolling and cosmically distracted, into the van. Hungry and cold, Lenore and Molina fell hard asleep moments after strapping Milo into the passenger seat with Armand's harness, and crawling tiredly onto the futon.