Weed of Ill-Omen

An essay by Dr. Abderrafie Alhazred, as provided by Sarah Yasin
Art provided by Luke Spooner


Some drug dealers keep big dogs to scare the cops. I always found that tactic to be labor intensive. Who wants to poop-scoop those massive feces every day? Not I. The drug business is purely an economic opportunity for me, and I follow the first rule of successful businessmen: keep it simple. Restaurateurs have sparse menus–and the really hot ones have only a chef’s selection with no room for substitutions or choice. That’s the way to do it. In and out.

You have to get the clients in and out in the shortest amount of time so you can increase your own productivity while diminishing the chance of intrusion by the local authorities. I abhor sanctimony, and there is nothing worse than the token toke with a customer after the transaction. Just get out of my apartment and go diddle on your PlayStation. I have bigger fish to fry.

My apartment does not fit the profile of a drug dealer’s home. There is no tie-dyed tapestry hanging over a futon, no poster displaying publicity for the Grateful Dead. Nay, I have appointed my home with oriental vases and framed pieces by Ansel Adams. You will not be assaulted by the pinch of cheap incense when you enter my home. I do not favor patchouli soaps or any such crude fragrance.

I don’t even have a television.

My bookshelves are lined with editions of Dostoyevsky, not Palahniuk.

I store my wares at the back of a walk-in closet. Many dilettantes attempt to beard their plants with psych-out displays of innocuous vegetation. They hide their Mary Jane among salad greens, but for me, it is the other way around. The pot I grow conceals my true herbal treasures, and the genius of my system is in the flagrancy of their positioning.

I keep them in the front of the closet, visible to any visitor.

My prized plants are not catnip or any of the usual relatives of the cannabis plant. They are the secret of my success, the crown of my efforts at staying under the radar.

Hydroponics can be tricky, the plants needing to be harvested every six months or so. I always get a thrill when new life sprouts forth, and tiny leaves emerge from their cavities. They are mandrakes. Yes, those mythical plants said to come alive and kill their predators, human or otherwise.

Art for "Weed of Ill Omen"

The smoke rose, and the heretofore obscured figure leaned back, holding a pipe in his lap. He turned his face to mine and said, “Oh, it’s you.”


To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Autumn 2018 collection.


Dr. Alhazred is a botanist and semiotician whose scholarly work in the emerging field of plant neurobiology has brought controversy and laud to the scientific community. He proudly claims a traceable lineage to Abdul Alhazred, author of the Necronomicon, who was unfairly dubbed the Mad Arab of Sana’a.


Originally from the idyllic coast of Maine, Sarah Yasin presently lives inland where she studies world literature in translation using the public library. Year-round she works at the checkout counter of a convenience store, and seasonally she facilitates writing retreats. Her stories and poems can be found in Truancy, The Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase, and Lovecraft Me. Learn more about her forthcoming books at www.sarahyasin.com.


Luke Spooner, a.k.a. ‘Carrion House,’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree, he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales, his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy, or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility, as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.


“Weed of Ill-Omen” is © 2018 Sarah Yasin
Art accompanying story is © 2018 Luke Spooner

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