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Purple Haze

Two cannabis shop owners face inspection. What will they find?

By Skyler SaundersPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 10 min read
Purple Haze
Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

Every night at midnight, the purple clouds came out to dance with the blushing sky. In continuation with the end of the shifts for the co-CEOs of Ponfpifficate Bookstore and Dispensary, the coils of marijuana reached upward. Their purple hues curled up like little layers of vapor, beckoning to be touched and shaped.

The July day of the inspection would come to the owner, Gaiman Roderick. He was about forty, cherrywood brown, showed off his pecs anytime he could and displayed his chiseled black physique to whoever came in the doors. He wore bodysuits most of the time as if he was going to go surfing off the Bethany Beach shore in Delaware, the location of the store.

He gazed at the clouds that joined together in links and then disappeared like a magic trick. This tickled him. He passed the bong to the woman by his side. She was co-owner Paulina Haysman white as alabaster and twenty-four. Tanned skin spelled the idea that she frequented the beach as well. She drew in the vapors from the glass mechanism. She exhaled the purple smoke and signed her name in the clouds: PAULINA.

His name, RODERICK, collided with hers and the two titles became entangled in each other. The effects of the potent marijuana leaf entered their minds and bodies. Lethargy and the ability to see sounds coming from the wireless speakers on the roof of the shop prompted both of them to lean in for a kiss.

“Last night,” Paulina said.

“Last night,” Roderick said.

“So what are they going to do, charge us and tax us just for growing a product they could never imagine cultivating, nourishing, and selling?” she asked.

Roderick laughed. “Something like that. The bureaucrat is coming tomorrow for controls and regulations monsters. We can only sell a certain amount of product on certain days at certain hours. Our product has to be inspected and assured for ‘quality.’ Those busybodies in Washington or even this state will never understand the powers of our merchandise. Those little monsters may grow after this visit.”

Paulina drew from the device. The bubbles from the flame encouraged her to produce even more purple vapor.

“I think that it is up to us to say whether we have a quality product or not. We’ve put in years researching, defining, and tracking down all of the necessary components that go into this business. It ought to be about owning our own. We planted, we rooted up, we did all of the work and now they want to check on our license, again?”

“It’s been six months,” Roderick chimed.

“Six months too soon.” The purple clouds then formed a giant cumulonimbus and rained down THC over the shop. The two of them filled buckets of the compound and to return it to their crops.

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,” Roderick repeated. He passed the bong to Paulina who took one last hit of the potent vapor and returned it to her lover and business partner. He abstained after the THC thunderstorm.

“We should retire to the bed area. What do you say?” Roderick asked, hinting at the hutch near the shop where they lived.

“I say that’s a rather fine idea.”

In the morning, both of them prepared for the inspection. They had wiped down the glass cases, repotted plants, shelved books, and swept floors and vacuumed carpets. Roderick even wore a shirt and tie. Paulina wore a smart suit the color of blue-green.

When the bell pealed at nine o’clock sharp, they knew that the time had finally come for them to see if their business passed or failed.

The woman who walked in looked well-put together. Blond hair stretched into a ponytail and a navy blue suit and white blouse and gold earrings completed her ensemble. She was thirty.

Her chin canted slightly upward. She looked around and held out her hand.

“Castilla Gondry. You must be Gaiman Roderick and Paulina Cousins. Lovely to meet you both.”

“Our pleasure,” the co-owners and couple chimed in unison.

“Now, I want you to know I’m not from Washington.”

Roderick and Paulina looked at each other. “You’re not?” Roderick asked.

“No. I’m part of the Delaware Liberty in Business Association. You can pronounce it ‘Delba’.”

“So, you’re not here to inspect?” Paulina wondered.

“Oh, I’m here to inspect.”

“So, what will that entail?”

“Getting rid of monsters.”

“We collect cannabis items as you can see and we’re not high at the moment. What you want to do is inspect for controls and regulations monsters. Is that right?”

“Yes. Those monsters. I’m going to take all of your inventory and transfer it to a database which is separate and will forever silence those two imposters.”

“All of the ways that the State has tried to throttle our business, monsters lurked just below the surface.”

“Something exactly like that,” Castilla said.

“I-I knew there was something up with how evil the regulations were, I should have paid more attention to the monsters. They seemed like they were there to protect the guest,” Paulina admitted.

“Think of me as the monster buster. I investigate how many controls and regulations there exist in your business and seek to eliminate them. As a representative from a private organization, I have the power and the burden to make sure I get it done right. My job hangs on the line here. A bureaucrat can’t say the same.” Castilla pointed at the wall behind the counter where Roderick and Paulina stood.

“You see that little diploma issued by the State of Delaware? You know that license you carry with you and is plastered just underneath it...both monsters,” she explained.

Roderick laughed. It wasn’t his getting high laugh but a direct and sober chuckle, like a laugh of liberty seeping into his soul.

“I think I did, and this is not the product talking, see those little buggers come through the shop and demand that I fork over cash every year in service to the government for making up Draconian laws for people who just want to have a smoke and curl up with a good book.”

“I hear you, Mr. Roderick. That’s precisely why I am here. I am interested only in maximizing profits and freedom. They should go hand in hand. Now, what did these little monsters look like? Were they orange and green with little red spots and beady eyes?”

“Yes! I mean I only caught a glimpse of them but those were the colors that flashed by my retina.”

Paulina folded her arms. “Can you get rid of these controls and regulations, these monstrous attacks on freedom and enterprise?” she asked.

Castilla sighed. “I’ve got the perfect antidote for that.” Castilla withdrew a knife. It was stainless steel and glimmered in the lights overhead.

“What I’m going to do is slash these little buggers until their infestation is no more.” And she did. Roderick and Paulina watched as Castilla looked like a swashbuckler, slashing away at the various regulations that existed in the shop. The sound of the dying monsters pushed the couple to smile at the fact that there would no longer be any constraints on how they conducted their business. One monster got away but was limping. Its orange side had been struck but it hid under the counter. From where the three of them stood, they could hear its ugly groan diminish slightly.

Castilla withdrew her blade and sliced the monster’s throat. She produced a cloth and sheath and cleaned and replaced the blade, respectively.

“Wow!” Paulina’s eyes became saucers. Roderick applauded and stopped. “What about the federal government? Will there be monsters still around to inhibit business?”

Castilla shook her head. “The feds can’t come in here, now. Once the state controls have vanished, Washington’s monsters cannot withstand the onslaught of officials like me.”

A collective sigh washed over Roderick and Paulina. Then, an orange and green monster walked over behind a bookshelf. Paulina stepped forward with her blade and plunged it in the monster’s neck. It spurted bluish-black blood that nearly touched Castilla’s suit. She didn’t get a drop on her in all of this slaying.

“Almost missed one,” Castilla observed. “I’m going to say that the best way to keep the feds off your back is to continue to do your due diligence. Look after your product and continue to provide great service for the people who want to sample your goods. The feds won't be able to touch you.”

“Are you interested in ingesting? I mean not now, after work?” Paulina’s smile curled around her mouth.

“No, I’m actually against the production, manufacture, sale, and ingestion of narcotic drugs. I respect those who do. It’s not for me. I don’t want anything mucking up my mind. But if an adult over the age of seventeen wishes to partake, that is what private industry is here for: it is for freedom. You should be able to smoke, inject, eat, dissolve, snort, or whatever you wish to do to introduce substances into your body.”

“So that joint I just rolled won’t be for you….” Roderick floated.

Castilla shook her head and grinned. “Not for me. But I had a pleasurable experience knocking out those monsters.”

“It was a delight watching you in action,” Paulina mentioned.

The store opened in about ten minutes. The three of them looked at each other and at the tiny spills of controls and regulations blood splattered all over the store.

“Maybe you should alter your hours for today given the amount of cleanup which I am willing to do by myself.” Castilla took out hand wipes and a towel and commenced to wiping up the bits of blood and bits of flesh.

“We thank you for that. You’re quite the professional,” Paulina pointed out.

“I’ve been where you are. It was a restaurant, but we were hounded all the time with licenses for liquor, mandatory insurance, and controls and regulations monsters, all of that. Then I studied for the exam to become part of the Private Inspectors for Enterprises or (PIE).”

“You could suggest they change the last part to Extermination,” Roderick suggested.

Castilla smiled. “That’s what I do. I am a friend to the businessman and woman and will not stop until every monster, federal, state, and city is obliterated. It’s great I get to start in the First State. I can branch off and head to other states also.”

“If ever you change your mind on ingesting, the offer’s always open,” Paulina offered.

“Spoken like a true saleswoman. But now, I’ve got to stick to my first mind and say that none of this,” she waved her hands over the room, “is for me. Maybe the books but not the ganja.”

All of them laughed. Again, they were sober, true, and hearty laughs from their bellies.

“I’ll be seeing you hopefully on the news as you establish your stores across the country and not for those little critters either,” Castilla said.

“That would be a definite boost in our sales and our ability to market around the nation and possibly the globe,” Roderick replied.

Paulina then looked sullen. Her face darkened and her brows furrowed. It seemed as if she had had a bad trip or something. She didn’t speak for a good fifteen seconds.

“What is it? Why do you look so upset?” Roderick queried.

Castilla looked at the store owner with a concerned look. At last she spoke. “Taxes.”

Castilla brought her head down and then up again. “Yes.”

“What can you do about taxes? We have no sales tax in Delaware of course but income taxes are killing us. The opposite should be true, at least.”

“They’re totally different monsters but I’ll be willing to inspect and eliminate those as well.”

Paulina’s eyes became diamonds. Her face drew up into a smile.

“You can?”

“They’re a bit more sneaky and pernicious than the regulation and control monsters but I can say that forced governmental payments will cease in time. I’ll be here later tonight for your THC shower.”

“You know about that?”

“I do.” Castilla smiled and departed from the shop. The door pealed and a group of students entered. Paulina and Roderick breathed and then attended to their guests.

virtuososliteraturehealthfact or fictionculture

About the Creator

Skyler Saunders

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