There are 27 on the list of the Crescent Moon Party.
The same 27 are invited each month, halfway between each Full Moon Party. Only locals are invited, transients are barred. Crescent Moon Parties are for hard-core trippers only, backpackers are only interested in experience stories to tell the folks back home. Us? This is not just what we do, this who we are.
The location changes each month to avoid detection by authorities. Mostly they turn a blind eye to our “activities” but parties can get out of control, the less they know the better.
All 27 know to remain tight-lipped about the location, they are notified by text, which is then promptly deleted.
Spence and Sadie started the parties. Spence has a contact on the island, whose identity no one else knows. He can get trips others aren’t game to try.
Spence and I run the bar. Sadie lures in pale-skinned tourists with full wallets and creased brows looking for escape. Sadie is hard to resist, but she’s Spence’s girl – off-limits.
I see Spence do the deal out the back, behind the bar, with a delivery guy on a scooter. A simple handshake and the deal is done, cash and a small bag slips between them. The guy on the scooter nods and rides away.
There were 11 pills in the bag. Spence has already taken two. I take two and slip them under my tongue, then pass the bag to Sadie.
She takes two and gives the bag back to Spence. He wanders off, towards the glistening water. I see his hand dive into the bag more than once.
I stay with Sadie. She’s cutting streamers with scissors and stringing them through the palm trees as a party sign. I pass the streamers up to her and wait for bliss – for oblivion.
The crescent moon is high in the sky. There’s a fire on the beach. Someone is playing bongo drums and others are dancing. Sadie has slipped away and waits for me up behind the palm trees where no one can see.
Bliss, oblivion. Sadie’s hands on my bare back. My hands on her bare breasts.
A sharp pain slices my back. Followed by another and another. Spence’s full weight is on top of me, crushing me, crushing Sadie, the scissors are in his hand, his eyes are wild.
“You stabbed me in the back, now it’s your turn,” he spits.
Sadie’s scream pierces the humid night air.
Sadie squirms free. I roll onto my back but I can’t move, caught in the web of lies I spun, blood stains the sand.
Spence runs. He drops the bag. Sadie picks it up. There are just three pills left. She cradles my head in her lap, opens my mouth and places two under my tongue and one under her own – for bliss. Oblivion.
I look to the crescent moon. Sadie holds me until there are only two, when once there were three.