“Scared?” Justin asked, while passing the spliff to his companion. He exhaled a lungful of the pungent smoke; a smile forming on his face, showing between his long hair and five day old beard.
“Should I be, man?” Dave replied. “A trip is a trip, is a trip.” He said, before drawing deeply on the joint. He looked behind them, shaking his hair out of his eyes; they were now high up in the Sierra Madres, following the rough map supplied to them by Pedro De Pacas the night before. They were both sweating with the climb, despite the fact that the sun had only just risen.
“I knew you were high man, when you agreed to this.” Chuckled Justin. “Didn’t you hear Pedro going on about the dangers and stuff?”
“Man, Pedro is one cool dude and he distils some crazy Tequila but he hurts my ears after a while. All I heard was this was that up here was some grade A shit that we are gonna find.”
“This Mente Bombe is like nothing else. I’ve heard it spoken of before, when I was studying at the UCLA.”
“Justin,” Dave said passing back the spliff, “You were at the UCLA for how long exactly? A few months? I don’t reckon you could call your time there as studying, man.”
“Long enough!” Justin laughed. “You may be right, bro’. But hey, I spoke to some dudes and I read about previous luminaries who have studied these things.”
Dave scoffed. “Yeah I’ve read Castaneda and of Don Juan and his Yaqui way of knowledge too. He went to UCLA didn’t he?”
“That’s right,” Justin said as he pulled on the spliff and exhaled though his nose, “But there were pamphlets written by old dudes who knew him and attempted experiments of their own.”
“Man, those were the 60’s and 70’s,” Dave replied, “What with Ginsberg and Leary, they really thought they could change the world through psychedelics. They were wrong man, they were just fucked up acid casualties.”
“Have you never experienced something spiritual when you trip?” Justin asked in disbelief as he turned to continue climbing the trail.
“Well I thought I was an eagle when we did Peyote last year, does that count? I thought I was pissing into deep space when I took a leak on shrooms once.”
“You’re just a hit freak man, a fucking Philistine.” Justin said shaking his head.
“Ok, ok, tell me about these... dangers,” Dave said, using his fingers to make quotation marks, “That Pedro spoke of… and pass me that joint back, while you’re at it!”
Justin laughed. “You see man? Just a fucking hit freak!”
They both doubled up in laughter at that, as Justin passed the spliff to his friend as requested.
“Well the trip is meant to be amazing, completely muthafucking mind blowing, hence the name Mente Bombe I guess, although it’s also called Diosa de Hambre, for some reason…” Justin’s speech trailed off as the marijuana and altitude made him suddenly realise how stoned he was.
“I know that man, it’s meant to be like a whole body orgasm; why do you think I’ve followed you down into Mexico? The Hungry Goddess? Why call a fungus that? Fucking Mexicans! What are these dangers that Pedro was on about?”
“I was getting there dude…” Justin said gathering his thoughts. “Pedro said that it was easy to lose yourself forever, it was so nice. Shit man I was stoned when he was talking; why is it always me who has to listen? Hey look I reckon this is the valley just up here.”
“Lose yourself!” Dave snorted. “Who does that Mexican tool think he’s talking to? We are true travellers of the inner spaceways of the mind my friend; there’s no one who gets wasted like us bro’.”
“It’s just what he said man…Wow!”
Dave followed Justin and saw what had caused his companion’s jaw to drop. Up ahead was a beautiful narrow green valley, the entrance was flanked by two age worn pillars of neatly dressed stones, covered in intricate carvings of Jaguars and Condors, draped in ferns and mosses.
Justin ran his fingers over one of the pillars. “Man, this place should be crawling with archaeologists and yet it’s a secret, only known of by a few heads.”
“You think these are amazing, then look ahead bro’.” Dave said.
Justin peered through the valley; the whole place alive with lush green foliage and flowers of every colour imaginable. In the centre of the valley was a small Mayan stepped pyramid. “Beautiful man, just beautiful!” he said.
“Just think what this place must look like when we’re on the Mente Bombe!” Dave quickly replied, urging his friend into the valley. “What does this shit look like anyhow?”
“Little electric blue mushrooms are how they were described.”
“Like these?” Dave said, stopping before a low plinth, like a church font. Like the pillars its sides were covered in Mayan carvings, but from the top sprouted hundreds of brilliantly blue mushrooms. Dave grabbed a handful and stuffed them into his mouth, chewing vigorously.
“Hey man, this is a holy place. Shouldn’t we perform some kind of ritual?”
“Fuck that man,” Dave replied, “Let’s get high. Oh man, I’m coming up already, this is … wow man, this is…” Dave shivered and sighed in pleasure as the drug coursed through him.
“Oh fuck it.” Justin said grabbing a handful himself but carefully chewing them one at a time. He turned and saw Dave stumbling towards the pyramid, leaving a trail of his clothes as he threw them off.
“Dave man, what are you doing?” Justin giggled looking down at his feet. Through the earth he could see huge roots led from the plinth to the pyramid pulsing with rainbows of light leading the way.
“She’s singing to me. This is… this is…” Dave mumbled, now completely naked and hurrying towards the pyramid.
“Oh man, have you got a hard on? “ Justin laughed as he saw his naked friend's arousal. Justin's ears were full of a rushing noise and his body throbbed and pulsed delightfully. As they approached the pyramid they saw lots of small plinths completely covered in ferns and mosses, like huddled people in prayer before the temple. The colours of the flowers and the heady scents were intoxicating as the pulsing roots led them on.
“She’s singing to me. This is… This is…” Dave murmured again, dropping to his knees, gasping in ecstasy, panting as if in the throes of love making.
“Dave, are you? Oh man, what the fuck are you doing?” As Justin asked he heard a wet sucking noise and went forward. “Hey man can’t you do that in private, if you’re gonna start to rub one out?”
“She’s here. This is… This is…”
Justin looked at his friend; tendrils had grown from the ground, oozing and sliming. They reached towards Dave’s face. Justin wanted to scream a warning but he just mumbled something unintelligable to even his own ears.
“This is… mind blowing!” Dave said smiling. His eyeballs popped as the tendrils pushed into his eye sockets, worming into his brain. The roots around him were pulsing blood red and all the time there was a dreadful sucking sound.
“Oh fuck! Oh fuck!” Justin yelled, finding his voice at last. He looked up, all around were the fern covered plinths, but they weren’t made of stone at all, they were hunched skeletons, the dried husks of what once were people.
He tried to walk away but the colours were so beautiful that his head swam and he lurched from side to side. It was then,amid the rushing in his ears, that he heard her song. The sound touched his soul, dispelling all fear as his body yielded to the wonderful pulsing. He followed the voice and then he saw her; not a woman but a goddess of exquisite beauty. Her blue naked skin glistened wet and her hair shone an electric azur. She beckoned to him. He yearned for her, to worship her. He tore at his clothes, joining her in nakedness…
Pedro De Pacas walked out of his house; a bottle of Tequila in his hand. He took a long swig and looked up at the mountains towards the hidden valley of Dios de Hambre. They would be up at the temple by now. Stupid gringos! He would need to destroy all trace of them, no one would ever know they had been here; but who would miss two gringo hippies, anyway? He raised his bottle in salute; eat well my hungry goddess!