The alarm screeched, jolting me awake. "Who set that damn thing?" I roared, as I smashed the snooze button in. "I never set an alarm."

I heard a voice. "You did," it replied.

"Now why in the hell would I do something like that?" This was extremely out of character for me. A second glance at the clock told me it was already afternoon. The voice I'd heard had come from Kool, my trusted cohort.

"Get up," he almost ordered. "I made breakfast."

It was then I noticed that he had laid out our breakfast for us on the coffee table. Allotted for each of us: One tablet of ibuprofen, a shot of rum, a can of cola, and a handful of cigarettes. All of this was lined up neatly, and in between both rows laid a freshly rolled spliff.

Breakfast was served.

"Why did you set an alarm?" Kool asked. He was right. It was entirely unlike my normal self.

"I have to be somewhere!" I shouted. I did have to be somewhere. That much was certain. I grabbed my coat and made for the door.

          *                     *                     *

I returned to the room to find Kool enjoying a smoke and engaging in some sort of game. "How'd it go?" he asked. "I know The Russian was looking out for you."

"It went well," I countered. "I ended up not even needing The Russian's help. The Professor and I understand each other. We've reached an odd agreement of sorts."

"What do you mean?" Kool asked, looking at me with his head tilted to one side. "I thought you had an exam."

"Not today, my friend." A long pause. "The Professor knew from the attention I have given in the past that this exam would have been a mere formality, for he and I are to do great things in the future."

"You think so?" Kool asked curiously.

"Without a doubt. Have we heard from our Japanese friend?"

"Not since he left. I think he's still all right, though."

"Excellent," I said. "Now let's see about that game."

But before I could even start, Kool had to feed me dinner, which was something of his own concoction. A few hours later, I was sure psilocybin had been an ingredient. At any rate, I knew I wouldn't be setting an alarm again for awhile.

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