Bradley Linus directed Lysergic Oldham to a pharmaucitical store around the corner. He told her to park her scooter just inside the store’s entranceway.

“Go on through,” he said, lowering the shotgun and motioning towards the back of the store.

“Uh, Mister,” Lysergic nervously replied, “I don’t want no funny business!”

“Oh, I assure you, I won’t touch you,” Bradley smiled.

“Oh, I assure you, you won’t either!” Lysergic smiled back, sending a subtle chill down Linus’s spine.

“Bradley!! You back already?! What was all the yelling out in the alley about?!” a female voice called out from the back of the store.

“I’ve brought home a breakfast guest!” Bradley answered.

Through the back door walked an attractive woman, looking years younger than her apparent age.

“Ms. Lysergic,” Bradley said, “this is my wife, Annie! Annie, this is Lysergic. Lysergic was outside in the ally. She looked lost and hungry, so I took the liberty and invited her home for breakfast! If that’s okay with you?”

The attractive older woman smiled.

“Of course,” she addressed Lysergic, “my husband has a tendency to bring home strays...Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t intend to compare you to a dog!”

“I like dogs!” Lysergic replied.

“Then, you’re welcome here!” Annie said, “you can wash up down the hall to the right. We’re having bacon, eggs, and toast, with orange juice! That okay with you, Lysergic?!”

Lysergic nodded approvingly, as she went to wash up. She had to keep swallowing to keep from drooling over the smell of the breakfast being prepared.

Lysergic soon was scarfing down two helpings of bacon and eggs, and chugging a large glass of juice.

“You definitely have an appetite,” Annie remarked, “when’s the last time you ate?”

“Well, its been awhile since I’ve had a meal like this," Lysergic replied, "but I did have a couple of slices of pizza early this morning.”

Annie nodded. “You a runaway?”

“I was once,” Lysergic answered, “but I’m all grown up now. Out on my own!”

“You don’t have a home or a family?” Bradley wondered.

“Not anymore,” Lysergic answered, “I lost my family awhile back.”

“Sorry to hear that,” Annie said.

“Oh, they ain’t dead!” Lysergic replied, “least as far as I know. I just thought it was time I moved on!”

Lysergic glanced around the Linus’s living quarters.

“So, you guys live in the back of a drug store, huh?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Bradley answered, “I’m a Pharmacist. Been one for over twenty years!”

“That’s cool! I once thought of becoming a Pharmacist!” Lysergic said, “my grandfather was a Chemist and I’ve read up a lot about drugs and stuff!”

“So you know something about Pharmaceuticals?” Bradley asked.

“A bit!” Lysergic grinned to herself, “but its all been self study and self-experimentation! I’ve been around drugs, in one way or another, all my life!”

“Lysergic …now that’s an interesting name!” Annie noted.

“My Mom named me Lysergic Diethylamide,” she replied, “cause she took acid while giving birth to me!”*

“Well, that is interesting, isn’t it Bradley?” Annie asked, incredulously.

“Yeah, very interesting,” Bradley answered, “so what are your plans? You in town for a reason?”

“Bradley!” Annie sternly said, “Lysergic is our guest! Its none of our business!”

Bradley nodded, “My wife’s right. I have the tendency to get nosy. I apologize!”

“That’s okay,” Lysergic replied, “I don’t have any plans. I’m a wanderer. I kinda like it that way!”

“Would you excuse us for a moment?” Annie asked.

Lysergic nodded, as Bradley and his wife went up to the front of the store. A few minutes later, they were back.

“I was out in the ally this morning because I heard someone talking loudly,” Bradley began, “this neighborhood used to be good, but over the years its deteriorated. Punks now trying to take over. There’s still a lot of good people around, that’s why we stay open in order to provide services to them. Filling prescriptions, other necessities and such.

But because of the many ‘undesirables’, I always have a shotgun nearby. Anyway, I heard someone speaking threateningly, so I took the gun and investigated. That’s when I came across you.

Now, I don’t know what transpired between you and that “person” I saw in the box. I suspect he wasn’t a welcome visitor and frankly, I don’t care! One less punk to worry about. But the streets and back alleys are no place for a young lady. Annie and I talked it over and we’d like to offer you a place to stay. We have a spare room upstairs. You’re welcome to it until you figure out what you want to do!”

“I ain’t got no money to pay for any rent!” Lysergic replied.

“You’ll work for your rent,” Annie answered.

“Doing what?!” Lysergic suspiciously asked.

“We could use some help around the store,” Bradley answered, “you know, shelving items, cleaning up. That scooter of yours runs, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, why?” Lysergic curiously replied.

“You could make deliveries to some of our shut in customers!” Annie answered.

“Uh, I don’t exactly deal with people in a positive way,” Lysergic noted.

“Nonsense,” Bradley replied, “you’ll do just fine and I think you can take care of yourself, based on what I saw back in that box. You said you already knew a bit about pharmaceuticals and maybe, if you’d like, we could teach you more.”

“So, what about it, Lysergic?!” Annie asked.

Lysergic thought it over. Although, she didn’t fully trust these people, she did get a comfortable “vibe” off of them. Of course, she knew that “positive vibe” could due to her feeling somewhat “giddy” after that big, delicious breakfast, but the prospect of spending another night out on the streets, scrounging for food and shelter, didn’t appeal to her either.

“Okay,” Lysergic finally answered, “you’ve got yourself a delivery girl!”

Next: Chap. Five “A Loving and Caring Family”

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