The Nurse is mightily pleased to share parts twenty two and twenty three of her black comedy novel, The Life and Times of a Brighton Serial Killer. You can find out more about The Nurse and her revolting adventures as Britain’s most terrifying trepanner and serial killer here.
Part 22 – Everything Changes
A ginormous clue
When PC Giles, a savvy beat copper in Barnstaple, emails his boss, Chief Castle, the Inspector and Detective Crocker about something odd he’s noticed, the rusty machinery of the universe clanks into place like a cosmic bicycle chain finding its way back onto its dérailleur. A massive, glorious, dazzling clue – glistening and fully-formed – drops into their laps, a gift so welcome it should have announced itself by singing the fucking Hallelujah Chorus. Each of the men lights a large bifter to celebrate, then they get to work.
As it turns out, Facebook has fucked things up good and proper for The Nurse and her gang. The editor of the ‘Fucking Weird Devon Shit’ Facebook page has posted a video of a muntery, unusually tall blonde woman who has obviously had way too much cosmetic surgery throwing an eppy on the railway station platform, being helped by two middle-aged blokes before scuttling off. There’s something about the woman’s body language that’s all wrong for the circumstances. She looks like she’s totally shitting herself.
Facebook’s face recognition algorithm links the strange, ugly blonde with an altogether different lady using bone structure and all sorts of complex facial measurements. The other lady – the exact same one if Facebook is right – has a curious bouffed helmet of reddish hair, red lipstick, thin lips and a strong, definite face. She is wearing tweed. And in one photo, laughing against an industrial background with the wind blowing her hair off her face and the grey sea in the distance – maybe Seal Sands near Middlesbrough? – she is holding a pair of navy blue leather driving gloves.
PC Giles spots the connection instantly, and the rest, as they say, is history. His three senior colleagues in Brighton, Middlesbrough and Barnstaple are well chuffed. This is the woman from the loony bin, the one who escaped. The one the authorities had assumed was long dead, killed off in the Cockwomble riot, then eaten, maybe, or snapped into pieces and spread far and wide. Now they know exactly who to look for. They’re not grabbing fog any more, they’re on the killer’s trail. At long last.
The police search narrows fast. Trawling through many miles of CCTV footage taken in and around Middlesbrough, Brighton, Dunbar and Devon is a cunt of a task. But it delivers a startling amount of evidence. There’s no reason to merely suspect this woman any more. She is the one.
In Brighton they watch a pretty older lady leading a young man down a Kemptown twitten, observed then followed by a gangly red haired woman in tweed who’s grinning in a disturbing way. The same tweedy woman is caught on CCTV driving out of the city towards the South Downs, to and fro, time after time, taking several different routes. It looks innocent enough until you know she’s up to no good. Then it’s horribly clear.
The Nurse is spotted lingering on too many streets where the dead and disappeared were last seen for it to be a coincidence. Across the nation, wherever there’s a pin in a map in an incident room, they discover The Nurse on video. Hiding, peeping, sneaking, tiptoeing, lurking, watching. She’s discreet, economical in her movements, and no more interesting than wallpaper until you know the score.
The rozzers gradually build a list of people to talk to. In Brighton it’s those who frequent the Pedestrians Arms, the North Laine in general, plus those who live on, farm on, or hike across the Downs as far east as Newhaven, as far west as Shoreham. In the ‘Boro, it’s Linthorpe, the Empire Club, and the Cleveland Hills, with a laser-focus around Carlton Bank and a hot spot in Brambles farm. In East Lothian, it’s the old Barns Ness campsite, White Sands, the entire coastline between Dunbar and the lighthouse, plus the town itself.
Every sighting of the murderer on CCTV sends undercover rozzers to the location to ‘discreetly chat with the locals,’ AKA question them when they’re too arsehole-pissed to either fib or fully realise they’re being questioned. The net widens, bulges, flaps about for a bit, then starts to close in as the patterns the police spot get ever-clearer.
The Devon rozzers don’t want to shoot their metaphorical wad too early and risk losing a conviction. They bide their time and quietly kick off a low-key fact-finding campaign in and around the Bideford area. They’re pretty sure the target is still around here somewhere, so they focus their efforts locally.
This is really bad. The Nurse’s cosmetic surgery is not a disguise any more. It is a distinguishing feature. She’s intensely fucking ugly, and people have in fact noticed her. A lot. They’ve just been too polite to stare, or even look, except out of the corner of their eyes. All the rozzers need to do is ask and people will remember where and when they’ve seen that face.
Whoops. That’s the problem with having no empathy. There’s The Nurse, thinking she’s invisible thanks to her excruciating ugliness, when in reality she has simply been the subject of everyday kindness and discretion. Because it’s something she can’t comprehend, it never even occurred to her.
When a cunt-wagon of a police car purrs slowly down the lane outside the cottage and stops at the front gate, Phil and Mary absolutely shit themselves. Sweeping the gang’s plans off the table and shoving them under a cushion on the sofa, they pat themselves down and fiddle with their hair, doing their best to look innocent. A brace of rozzers knocks on the door, and Phil answers in a friendly fashion, asking what he can do for them.
Sitting with steaming cups of tea and generous joints of very strong skunk in front of them, the rozzers are not particularly forthcoming. Having been briefed to be discreet, they’re struggling to achieve a useful balance between asking important questions and appearing to have no agenda whatsoever.
It’s tricky, in a politically correct society, to ask witnesses straight out if they’ve seen someone so ugly it made them want to vomit. So they resort to “unusual” features, placing heavy invisible speech marks around the word to give it the right emphasis.
Asked if they’ve seen anyone “unusual” hanging around the area, Phil and Mary shake their heads in bemused innocence, fingers crossed behind their backs. Asked if they can think of anyone who has disappeared mysteriously in recent weeks, they say no.
The constables, who are not known for their acting skills, manage to alarm the gang with their substandard questioning and apparent lack of purpose. It just doesn’t feel right. The police are often shit, but they’re rarely this shit.
Mary and Phil can sense layer after layer of hidden questions seething under the crappy ones they’re being asked, and it unnerves the fuck out of them. When the rozzers leave, Mary leans against the front door and lets out a huge whoosh of a sigh. Phil, I think they’re on to us. Thank fuck The Nurse is out. They’d have recognised her instantly, and that would have been that.
When The Nurse gets home, laden with bags from Lidl, she’s dismayed to hear about the visit. But part of her is thrilled by the thought of the chase.
The thoroughly overstimulated gang of three has an animated discussion about what to do. Is there a risk? If so, how serious is it? Should they hang around here and keep their heads down? Should they scarper? If so, do they go now or wait until the dust settles? The thing is, not knowing what’s going on with the rozzers makes it hard to decide.
Taking a step back, they realise they need to know more. Interim Plan A involves Mary. She has a long bath, dresses in floaty, feminine clothes and drives into Barnstaple, then parks on the riverbank and walks to the police station. She’s on a fact-finding mission, tasked with discovering what the rozzers know and what they’re planning. And that means there’s seduction on the cards.
PC Giles does a double-take when he clatters down the stairs to Reception, where Mary is waiting, all fresh and scented and pretty. She lightens her voice so it’s good and girly, then rolls out her story, explaining how a good friend has recently disappeared out of the blue, how concerned she is, and have the police heard anything? She’s sure, she continues, that she isn’t the only one. A friend of a friend has also gone missing, and an acquaintance of another friend was found a few weeks ago on Exmoor with blood dripping down his face and fuck-all idea what happened to him.
PC Giles’s ears prick up with excitement. She’s lovely, he’s lonely, and he can’t resist letting the gorgeous creature in front of him know how clever he and his colleagues are. Tapping a chubby forefinger against the side of his nose in a gesture that suggests she keeps it to herself, he leans in and whispers something so fucking shocking that Mary forgets to breathe.
Apparently, the cops are searching for a terrifying female serial killer they think is in the local area. A blonde woman who has had far too much cosmetic surgery, who has maybe killed numerous people in another guise and left others horribly injured across the north east, south east, jockland and, more recently, here in Devon.
It takes Mary every ounce of control to gather her shattered thoughts, give a sweet, dimpled smile, fill in the Missing Persons form he’s given her and fuck off out of there. Willing herself not to run from the building as though her ass is on fire, she sashays casually out into the sunshine, scoots to the nearest waste bin and vomits neatly into it. Then she wipes her mouth, makes her wobbly way to the car, and drives home to the cottage.
Phil and The Nurse are waiting for her, pale faces peering anxiously through the kitchen window. She climbs out of the vehicle, bone-weary with the stress of it all, and they can tell by her posture that the news isn’t good. Or is good, depending on the way they look at it.
The gang rationalises. They’ve hardly had time to get used to Devon. It isn’t home. It might never have felt like home. Who knows. It’s a shame to leave the cottage and the garden. They’ve worked so hard on the place. But they should make a killing on the sale, which means they’ll be well-funded for the next stage of their lives, whatever it might involve.
As for Pie of Shame, they decide to just leave it, just fucking run for their lives, their liberty, their sanity and their freedom. Fuck it. Better safe than sorry. Let’s just fucking go.
On the run
It’s easy enough to arrange for an estate agent to visit. The sale price is better than they’d imagined. While The Nurse stays safely hidden at home, Mary and Phil carefully pack everything up, give away the stuff they don’t want to take with them, and say ‘bye to the neighbours, who aren’t surprised to see them go.
Blow-ins like the gang are always moving to the countryside, imagining it’ll be idyllic, then moving back to town a few years later, fed up of being invaded by hunting hounds and their idiotic masters, sick of living in a place populated by sullen Conservative-voting animal-hating farmers and taciturn locals with faces like slapped arses.
Cramming themselves into the car, The Nurse and Phil wait for Mary as she checks the doors are locked, posting the keys back through the letterbox for the estate agent to pick up later. An online conveyancer means they can do the paperwork from wherever in the world they happen to be, anywhere there’s online access. Mary gets into the back seat, settles herself, puts her seatbelt on, and they drive off, not bothering to look back. It’s no use crying over spilt milk, and it’s actually pretty exciting being on the run. It’s like being Bonnie and Clyde. Anything could happen.
No amount of make-up is going to change The Nurse’s ghastly face, and the rozzers will probably be keeping a careful eye on the nation’s cosmetic surgery outlets just in case. The gang stops in Barnstaple, where Mary grabs a couple of packs of brown hair colourant and a huge pair of vintage-look shades. The Nurse dyes her blonde hair dull brown in the loos at a motorway cafe en route to Weymouth, and the transformation – such as it is – is complete.
Lesson learned, muses The Nurse. A munter is a munter, but because the world in general favours rare blondeness over ubiquitous brown hair, she doesn’t stand out from the crowd quite so much as she used to. Phew.
Stopping overnight with their old Weymouth friends Julie and Mark, cosy in Radipole, the gang heads north the next morning. Every time they pass a pig wagon, or one passes them, they cringe. But after a couple of hundred miles, they realise they don’t look suspicious, just like three ordinary people travelling in a perfectly normal way.
The Nurse passes mints around, and they suck thoughtfully as the countryside whizzes past. Mary wipes a circular hole in the condensation on the side window and peers out as they pass the junctions to Oxford, Nottingham, then Sheffield.
They haven’t formulated a plan as such. Not yet. But the gang feels safest heading ever-northwards. The farther they get from Devon, the better. By the time they hit North Yorkshire, The Nurse can sense the industrial bulk of Middlesbrough to the north east, brooding and dark, sooty yet welcoming. It seems like a good a place as any to stop for the night. They head for the glow, park the car, then tumble out, stiff and travel-weary, into their rooms at Jury’s Inn on Fry Street, and sleep like babies.
Part 23 – La Rosa
A few years ago, Mary spent a week at an extraordinary glamping site, a treasure of a place hidden in a secret valley near Goathland on the remote Yorkshire Moors. It was called La Rosa.
She tells The Nurse and Phil about it. There were two separate glamping fields linked by a narrow tea-candle-illuminated path through woodland. The top field contained six tiny 1950s caravans, each painted bottle green with a scarlet heart on the door and net curtains at the windows. The bottom field, nearer to the owners’ cottage, contained four or five larger caravans dating back to the 1970s. Every caravan was decorated in its own style: one like a bordello, one with a Bollywood theme, one inspired by Elvis, and so on.
As Mary waxes lyrical, Phil and The Nurse become more and more interested. Stopping for a bite to eat in Knaresborough, the gang decides La Rosa sounds like an excellent temporary destination, somewhere magical where they can chill, take stock of their situation in safety, and find inspiration.
It is one heck of a tricky place to find, mind you, and they only discover the site after an hour driving to and fro’, getting crosser and crosser. Mary has sharp eyes, eventually spotting a faded painted rose on a gatepost marking a rocky track. Along it they crawl, very slowly, so they don’t knacker the suspension, past a stand of trees, down an incredibly steep pebbly bit and past a pretty stone cottage.
Bumping along the final section of track and arriving at the bottom caravan field, they park the car and stagger out onto the lush grass, groaning and stretching as the sun dips below the hills… only to find that while the caravans are there, the people are not.
The Nurse spots a white square in the dim dusk and marches towards it to find a laminated A4 sheet stapled to a fence post. With deep regret, the owners have decided not to carry on with the camping site. They are off to do something ‘new and exciting.’
Mary is crushed. She loved this place. But on the other hand, they can choose a caravan each, the bedding is still intact – if a bit whiffy with damp and mould – and no fucker has the faintest clue they’re here. Things could be a lot worse.
The next morning, the three emerge from their caravans stretching and yawning, delighted with the green grass covered in jewels of pure dew, the birds yelling their heads off, and the whoo-whoo of the vintage ‘Harry Potter’ steam train’s whistle as it belts, belching smoke, along the track in the valley bottom far below. This feels like the start of something rather fantastic. What’s next, they wonder.
As it turns out, Mary has an announcement to make. There are many reasons for leaving the gang. She’ll feel safer on her own. She doesn’t want to slow The Nurse and Phil down, or let them down, but there’s somewhere she has always wanted to be, and this is the perfect time in her life to say ‘fuck it’ and just bloody well go there.
Mary is off to Dingle, on the west coast of Eire, where she’s going to marry a rugged, navy blue jumper-wearing fisherman and swim with the local dolphin. Assuming she can find a willing, suitably rugged fisherman with the right kind of jumper, and assuming the dolphin is still there, still happy to interact with humans. Mary pictures a small whitewashed cottage on a headland, wind roaring around it and frothy, scudding waves in the near distance, close enough to spatter the windows with a rime of salt. A dreamy look crosses her face, and The Nurse and Phil grin at one another.
They’re cool with Mary’s decision. She’s too pretty for her own good, therefore too conspicuous. And she has never been quite as mad and bad as the rest of the gang. It makes them feel a bit guilty sometimes, and how they hate that. They much prefer the clean, cold, definite waves of evil that emanate powerfully from one other, something Mary never achieved. While she’s fairly nasty, and has proved incredibly useful at times, she has never been quite horrid enough.
Once they’ve waved Mary off in the car, which she’s going to dump somewhere remote near Swansea before getting the ferry to Cork, The Nurse and Phil each go back to their own caravan for a snooze.
That afternoon, they discover an old train line, now a footpath, which leads them to Goathland, with its errant sheep wandering the verges. The pair gape at the asshats getting off coaches, poking around the pubs in search of a fictional Claude Fucking Greengrass. Oh dear, this is where TV’s ‘Heartbeat’ was filmed. It’s cool, mind you. The place is stuffed with tourist goons, packed with fucking Gammons. Once The Nurse and Phil have bought a cagoule each and pinched each other’s cheeks hard until they’re bright red, they fit right in.
Picking up basic supplies on the way back to La Rosa, which already feels like home, they start a small fire in the abandoned teepee and cook a simple meal. Wiping the baked bean juice off her tin plate in rhythmic circular motions with a wedge of bread, The Nurse sighs with satisfaction. She’s really enjoying this. Yes, the rozzers are probably on their tail by now. But it’s so much safer here, so much better than being sitting fucking ducks down in Devon.
Phil agrees. After their evening meal they sit on the step in front of the tepee, looking at the view. Phil rolls a fat one, then hands it to her to light. Skinning up for Jesus again, he quips. It tickles The Nurse every time. She guffaws, winks at him, and takes an almighty toke.
A surprising number of the human race’s best ideas are hatched when the humans involved are wankered. The Nurse and Phil are off their fucking heads on the finest Purple Kush, which in their experience is remarkably fine ‘creative weed,’ and the inspiration soon starts to flow.
The world is their oyster again. They’re free to go anywhere they like as long as it’s within the British Isles. If they try to leave the country, they may find their passports have been flagged. It isn’t worth the risk. It might only be a matter of time before actual names start being thrown around and suspects are actively sought. It might already be happening. The Nurse and Phil decide their best bet is to stay in the UK, lie low, and see if they can keep a weather eye on how the police investigation is going. With a bit of luck, things will die down now that they’ve left Devon. Pretty soon, the trail will be stone cold again.
With autumn on the horizon and North Yorkshire’s tourist rush about to wane, they could stay at La Rosa for the winter, all cosy, then make their next move the following spring. And that’s what they decide to do.
The waiting game
A rhythm develops to their lives. The Nurse and Phil stay in each of the caravans in turn, then finally pick the ones they prefer. The Nurse likes the farthest-away green caravan in the top field, the one decorated in Bollywood style. Phil ultimately chooses the funky old lorry in the bottom field, which has been converted into a sooty, tinder-dry room with its own wood-burning stove and bunk beds, too cool for school.
Phil is responsible for supplies, since The Nurse feels it’s too risky to bare her awful visage in Goathland during the off-season. The locals up here speak their minds. People pointing at her face and asking questions is the last thing she needs.
As the grass dies back and the leaves drop off the trees, La Rosa becomes a chilly sort of place, especially since they need to be careful around fires. They don’t want anyone to spot their smoke and investigate.
As the pair soon discover, glamping is only glam when it’s temporary. The lack of regular hot food, the absence of dry bedding, the fast-palling thrill of having a cold water outdoor bath in the middle of a field, it adds up. By the time spring is in the air, both Phil and The Nurse are grubby, tired and discouraged. They’ve lost weight they couldn’t really afford to lose. Phil, already a skinny fucker, is gangly and gaunt, and The Nurse’s face looks scarier than ever now that she only weighs eight stone. For a woman standing almost six feet tall, she’s way too light. She looks like she’s been fucking starved, tortured, and tormented.
On the bright side, they’ve had an entire winter to dream up ideas for their next venture, building a plan that’s both solid and workable, both practical and creative.
Hiding in plain sight
It is one hell of a canny plan. The Nurse and Phil are going to return to Middlesbrough. They figure it’s a good move, when you’re being chased, to hide in plain sight, somewhere nobody with an ounce of common sense would expect you to be, in other words right under the noses of the rozzers.
They’re going to move into a rented flat they’ve found in the paper and taken on, just over the road from Hampton Street police station in ‘Boro’s South Bank area. And their first task once they’re settled will be finding out where the police investigation up north stands.
First things first, the pair pack up their essentials into rucksacks. Then they slam the caravan and lorry doors shut behind them, each leaving a good-sized shit on the floor for good measure, and trudge up the steep, rocky lane for the last time.
It may have been chilly and uncomfortable through the depths of the North Yorkshire winter, but La Rosa has served them well, and in a strange way they’ll miss it. The purply hills, the steam train’s regular whistle, the cagouled dickheads thronging Goathland’s high street, the dippy sheep wandering amongst the traffic, it all helped give their lonely, boring winter days shape, texture and context.
The first leg of the journey involves a thirty-mile walk as the crow flies, longer if you wander off-piste like they have to. It isn’t an easy walk for people who have been weakened by a winter living almost-rough. They spend their first night under the stars at Grosmont Priory. On the second night they walk to Runswick Bay, adding more miles to the route than strictly necessary but keen to waggle their red-raw toes in the frigid North Sea before carrying on. There’s no rush, after all, and a random circuitous route is the bunny when you’re worried there might be some cunt tracking you.
They do the same the next day, traipsing over the moors to Saltburn where, after dusk, they bed down in a damp depression in the hard sand next to the boulder clay cliffs. It is a totally shite night, the shittest night of The Nurse’s life, if she’s honest. Never has she been so cold, so damp and so fucking pissed off. But they daren’t get too close to civilisation and a B&B is completely out of the question.
Look at them, for fuck’s sake. The Nurse is filthy, thin and poor-looking, her red hair a crow’s nest and her face a ruin. Phil is a scarecrow dressed in a huge, flappy tweed coat with long, grey, thinning hair, a scraggly beard, and hands ingrained with dirt.
Sticking to the coast, they eventually hit Redcar with its mighty industrial views, then make their weary way to South Bank, where Phil smartens himself up the best he can in a pub loo, shaves off the beard and has a number one all-over haircut before collecting the keys to their rental flat from a letting agent… who just happens to be blind. A fucking stroke of good luck, that. Then, finally, after a week of hellish hiking and desperately uncomfortable sleepless nights, they’re ‘home.’
The Nurse and Phil must tend to their physical selves before doing anything else. They’re barely fit to be seen in public right now. They make online supermarket orders, buy new clothing on the Internet, and stock up on toiletries.
They have a brief but bloody fight about who gets to have the first bath in their new home, a fight that sees Phil gagged, bound, posted into the wardrobe like an Egyptian mummy and locked in while The Nurse fills the bath to the top with scalding hot water and loads of bubble bath.
A couple of hours later, she emerges, scarlet and steaming but clean, blessedly clean. She lets Phil out. He smacks her across the face good-naturedly, she grins at him fondly. Then he runs a deep, scalding hot bubble bath of his own. No hard feelings or anything.
With The Nurse’s ex Steve long dead, they don’t have any contacts left in ‘Boro. It’s a relief, really. They don’t want to get recognised. On the other hand, they need to know what stage the rozzers’ investigations are at, and there’s no way they dare just wander casually into the nick over the road and ask. Once The Nurse and Phil are restored, on the way back to looking like their old physical selves, they decide it’s time to make a move. But her looks remain a problem. Her face, having been messed with so much in pursuit of a disguise, is a face to remember, and that could easily prove disastrous.
She makes discreet telephone enquiries and eventually finds a plastic surgeon who’s been struck off for giving unsuspecting women absolutely massive silicone tits when they actually went under his knife for breast reduction surgery. His reputation has been so badly damaged that he’s flat broke, living in a shipping container on wasteland ‘over the border’ in Middlehaven.
Doctor X, as he now calls himself, suffered a nervous breakdown thanks to the tits thing and his subsequent disgrace. He is a tad odd to say the least. But he knows his surgery, as they find out when he comes round to their place, tasked with doing what he can to make The Nurse look less scary. She asks Phil to keep an eye on things while she’s under anaesthetic on the kitchen table, since massive boobs are not going to help her become anonymous, and she doesn’t trust him not to give her a pair when nobody’s looking.
When The Nurse awakes to find Phil hovering anxiously over her, bearing a comforting cup of shroom and ecstasy tea, she asks for a mirror straight away. Fuck me, this guy is good.
Okay, her face is swollen and purple, but she can see, beneath the swelling, how he has tidied up her nose so it sits comfortably on her face instead of looking like something unwanted and irrelevant that some cunt who thinks he’s funny has stuck on there with superglue. Her eyes are wider and brighter. The scars that marred her cheeks have been reduced to fine, silvery threads you can’t see unless you get up close and personal, but let’s face it, it’s pretty fucking unlikely anyone’s going to get that close. It looks like, once the swelling goes down, she’ll be fit for public consumption for the first time in ages.
Two weeks later, the munter of a blonde is totally transformed into a comparatively ordinary-looking brown haired lady with bright eyes, a wide smile and some barely-visible facial scarring. It is remarkable. Nobody is going to recognise her, and the Smoggies have never met Phil. They decide it’s OK to pop into the rozzer station and make a few subtle enquiries.
Pushing through the door and approaching the desk, The Nurse and Phil spot a poster on the wall, slightly dog-eared, asking for information about a series of mysterious killings, disappearings and maimings up and down the country, including the local area. The pigs are asking anyone with a clue or a funny feeling about things to pop in.
Phil approaches reception and asks a completely unrelated question about parking restrictions, then nods casually at the poster and asks the tubby desk sergeant – why are they always tubby? – if he’s had any luck. The sergeant shakes his head no, then explains that Tory police budget cuts mean they only have limited resources at their disposal and they need to prioritise. Because there are no new clues, the matter has slid down the snake of priority and now lingers close to the bottom. If a new clue arises, the case will climb back up the ladder of importance. His colleagues are keeping their eyes open, as are the rozzers in Devon, East Lothian and East Sussex, but they haven’t had as much as a sniff of anything interesting for ages. Phil nods sympathetically, The Nurse gives the sergeant a friendly smile, and they leave, sweating slightly with residual fear but reassured.
On the way back over the road, feeling rather wonderful, The Nurse buys a nine bar of exceptional hash from the dealer on the corner. At home, she and Phil proceed to get utterly wankered. Oh, it has been ages. They grab a notebook and pen each and jot down their ideas, because powerful hash is not exactly the best drug for remembering the inspiration you felt while you were off your face on it.
Although they don’t realise it, by doing so they manage, at long last, to sow the seeds of their own downfall.