Publish Novellas 5 September 2021
EPISODE 8 – HERBAL CHILL
As children grow older, they discover creative uses for their medical talents, even if they do not always fall within the boundaries of the law.
Secret Delivery, December 2013
The night is cold and unforgiving. Snow envelops the streets, continuously falling until it is waist-high. A lone figure walks down a semi-busy street. Heavily bundled up in thick coats, scarf, hat, and gloves, the figure trudges on.
The figure appears to be carrying something in a bag slung over its shoulder. It walks, bends to one side and then the other, as though the weight of the bag is too much to bear.
After traveling quite a distance, it stops under an apartment building window. It picks up a mound of snow, rolls it into a ball, then assaults the window with it.
“Hey! I didn’t think you would come!” says the householder, Daniel.
“I promised,” replies the visitor.
“Did you bring it?” asks Daniel.
Climbing through the window, the visitor assures, “Yes, I brought everything. I have other deliveries on my way home so let’s make this quick.
“Let me see,” Daniel requests.
“You could offer me hot chocolate first though, seeing as I just walked over thirty minutes in the snow for you.”
“I’m sorry,” Daniel says.
“That's okay. If you don’t turn up the thermostat, I’ll die from the chill.”
“Now you are just being dramatic,” Daniel says to minimize the hyperbole.
“No, I am not. If I had gotten caught, I’d be more likely to go to jail than if you had gotten caught with it since I am black, and you are white.”
“Tanya… you’re just a drama queen!” he says as he walks out to get the hot chocolate.
“Daniel,” she calls after him.
“Yeah?” Daniel pauses at the door.
“Don’t ever say that to me again,” Tanya warns.
“Gee! Sorry,” he says as he steps out.
Tanya waits for him to get out of earshot before she bursts into laughter. “Oh my goodness, it works every time!” she gleefully exclaims to herself.
Opening the large bag that she had slung over her shoulder, she brings out a small package. Multiple other bundles peep out of the bag. Some of them with mandarin words inscribed on the packages. She opens one up and touches the contents.
Tanya looks around the room and notices how beautiful everything is. It is not a big expensive home. But she could see that Daniels’ family is well-to-do. The mere fact that he has his own bedroom suggests to her that they’re from different worlds.
‘I thought the Miss Chambers program was for underprivileged children. How come he is in this group with the rest of us?’ she thinks to herself while running a hand over the back of the package again. Just then, the door opens.
“Oh, my goodness don’t open that package in here! The door is unlocked and anybody could come in,” he says, as he makes her hide the bag.
“Your folks come into your room without knocking?” Tanya asks.
“Well sometimes… It’s bad enough that I have a girl in my room at this time of the night. They don’t need to see this too,” he says, as he casts multiple nervous glances at the door.
“Yeah whatever, just take the package and give me my hot chocolate, please.”
“Are you angry with me now?” asks Daniel.
Tanya turns away from him and sips from the hot chocolate cup.
Conspiracy to Prescribe
“So how do you think we’re supposed to administer this thing?” she asks while ignoring his question.
“I think it’s the same way as other herbs. We just put it in a pot and steep it,” Daniel suggests.
“Don’t make it too concentrated. I don’t want her to get high, you know?” Tanya nods in agreement and looks out the window wistfully.
“I know, so we’re not going to use too much of it, only a little.” Just then they hear some sounds coming up the stairs.
“Do I need to hide?” she asks.
“No, not yet. That is probably just my big brother.” Tanya makes a mental note as she looks around the room.
“Is there a way for you to get a kettle in here?” asks the bearer of gifts.
“Yes, I could just grab the one from the kitchen,” replies the host.
“We need to do this quickly. I don’t want my mom noticing that I’m gone,” Tanya urges.
“Oh my God, you didn’t tell anybody you were coming. Did you sneak out?” asks Daniel.
“Shut up and get the kettle,” is the response.
“Tanya? You’re getting bolder by the day. I’m really scared,” Daniel remarks.
“And I am really shocked that you have not changed from the person I knew four years ago,” she says.
Daniel opens his mouth to say something better left unsaid. So he turns around and walks out of the room. He soon comes back with the kettle and they scoop about one teaspoon into it. “I think we should add honey to the tea when it’s done to enhance the flavor for her…”
Tanya shrugs her nonchalance and continues to watch the water boil.
When it is done, Daniel hands her a cup and strains some into it. “Does it smell weird?” asks Daniel.
“Weird how?” is Tanya’s reply.
“You know… like boiled cannabis?” Daniel says plainly.
Tanya laughs and shakes her head at him. “It smells like weed, Bro. But don’t worry, many people don’t know what boiled weed smells like. Just give her a couple of teaspoons three hours apart. It should help.”
Daniel is most grateful. “Thank you… so much.”
“Just don’t mention it to Miss Chambers. She is too scared to take risks,” warns Tanya.
“With good reason,” he says with a smirk.
“And what’s that reason?” Tanya asks.
“You don’t want people running around using CBD with unrestricted access,” cautions Daniel.
“Oh, that totally makes sense. Like how you don’t have unrestricted access to it now that you need it for your sister,” Tanya sarcastically replies.
“Oh, come on, you know what I mean,” Daniel retorts.
“No, I do not know what you mean. Hemp is good for seizures. Your sister has seizures and hemp is going to help her. The fact that it also has properties that allow someone to get high doesn’t mean that it is not useful,” Tanya, the supplier, says assertively.
“I know, I know, I’m just saying…” says Daniel.
“You’re just saying you don’t want everyone to have access to it. I get you,” she says to him just as she picks up a bag and prepares to climb back out the window.
“The night has become so cold, Tanya. Would you consider staying and just letting your folks know you will be home later?” Daniel asks partly out of selfish concern.
“My folks don’t even know I’m outside the house. If they discover I’m gone, they’re probably calling the police,” she says with a big grin. “Besides, if I stay here, well…, what do you think will happen?”
That makes Daniel’s face flush with embarrassment and guilt. She gulps down her hot chocolate.
“It’s all right. I’ll be fine,” Tanya says as she climbs back out of the window.
“Hey…” Daniel calls from the window. She pauses impatiently.
“You still go to Chinatown a lot?” he asks.
“Yes.” She glances at the package on her shoulder.
“Okay… be careful out there,” he says.
She smiles and says. “Will do,” before launching into the night.
The snow continues to fall heavily as she makes her way down the fire escape. He stands there, looking down at her until she is well out of his sight.
He then takes a deep snowy breath and turns back into the house. While locking the window to keep the cold out, he hears sirens in the distance.