In the Altered States of America, warped perceptions are king and melodrama runs high. In this original series from Brooklyn-based illustrator Mike Reddy and writer Matthew Newton, a new short story is published each day throughout the month of July.
An adventure on the high seas was exactly what Alexander needed. No more nights spent playing backgammon alone in the library at Burnshire, the all-boys preparatory school his parents insisted he attend. No, that solitude would soon be a fading memory. He imagined himself standing on the deck of a majestic ship, staring out at the open sea before him. It would be a journey to usher him into manhood. When the ship docked in exotic ports he planned to seek out danger, perhaps lose his virginity to a prostitute the way Uncle Milton had. How could he have been prepared for the painful realization that Wealthy Wayfarers’ Journeys Abroad was a racket run by Somali pirates? The brochure certainly said nothing about beatings, intimidation, or identity theft. But before Alexander was able to set foot on the ship, his baggage and passport were taken from him at gunpoint. The two armed men opened his crisp new passport and laughed at the photo. That’s when a sticky note on the inside cover caught their attention: “Hi Sweetie, Here’s the pin number for your trust fund. Enjoy your trip my globetrotting hero! Love, Mom.” At this point the sneering, sweat-drenched men were on the ground in a puddle, having laughed until their knees gave out. As they boarded the ship, Alexander started to cry. It appeared his virginity would remain firmly intact.