The Hunger, Part 1

(by, 22 December 2000)

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   This story is 99% pure fiction.  The characters are fiction.  The setting
is fiction.  The only part of the story that is not fiction is the recipe for
the ultimate orgasm at the end of the story.  I have used it and the quote
about the orgasm "curling your toes" is taken as an exact quote from the
young lady I used it on.  I hope that others will try it and let me know how
it turns out for you.  This story has been 6 years in the making, so don't
look for a sequel anytime soon.  :-)  Writing is something I find maddeningly
monotonous.  I enjoy it, but only in small doses, so writing a single story
takes me an eternity.  I have to say, though, that this "nicotine fit" type
of story is a side of our fetish that I really feel is largely unexplored.  I
would encourage some of you other, more prolific story writers out there to
give this type of story some thought and I hope to see many more stories like
it in the near future.  Anyway, I hope you all enjoy it.


   It was cold.  As consciousness began to break through the slumber that
wrapped Laura, she became aware of the painfulness of her nipples.  The cold
had hardened them to the point of soreness.  She wrapped herself more snugly
in her grandmother's quilt and shivered.  She rolled over and through bleary
eyes she looked at the clock on the nightstand.  "7:30", she thought, "Time
to get up, I guess."  Longing for a little more rest, she closed her eyes and
sighed.  Something, however, had caught her attention.

   She opened her eyes again and looked toward the clock on the nightstand.
Laying there in the green glow of the digital display was her pack of
Marlboro 100's and her lighter.  Now more alert, she became suddenly aware of
her need for a jolt of nicotine.  She had fallen asleep early the night
before, so it had been about 10 hours since her last cigarette of the evening
before.  She hated the thought of braving the cold room, but the craving was
too intense.

   She darted her hand toward the nightstand, retrieved the gold pack along
with her lighter and quickly pulled them back under the cover.  Underneath
the covers she withdrew a cigarette from the pack and held it up to her nose.
"Mmmmmm, I love the smell of tobacco!" she thought.  Sometimes she wondered
if she didn't actually like the smell of an unlit cigarette more than the
smoke itself.  That smell, however, didn't make her feel the way the smoke
did when she inhaled it deeply into her lungs.  With that thought in mind,
she put the cigarette between her lips, then suddenly realized that there was
no way that she could safely light it underneath the covers.  Ignoring the
cold, she threw back the quilt, her thoughts now focused on lighting her

   She flicked her lighter quickly, but it didn't respond.  Irritated, she
slammed it into the palm of her hand a couple of times and tried again.  This
time the flame appeared and she quickly held it to the tip of her cigarette,
pulling hard on the brown filter between her lips.  As the cigarette began to
burn, she tasted the bitter smoke as it met her tongue and she smiled.

   The first cigarette of the day was her favorite, perhaps because the time
she slept was the longest she ever went without smoking.  She pulled on the
cigarette for what seemed like an eternity, then removed the cigarette from
her lips and inhaled the smoke into her lungs.  She felt that glorious tingle
in her chest as the desire for nicotine began to dissipate.  She held the
smoke in her lungs for as long as she could, then pursed her lips and exhaled
into the cold morning air.  Truth be told, there wasn't much smoke to exhale,
most of it having already been absorbed into her young body.  Still needing
more nicotine, she took another drag and opened her lips to inhale, holding
the cigarette between her long slender fingers without removing it from her
mouth, then dragged and inhaled again before exhaling through her nostrils.

   She wrapped the quilt tightly around her legs and layed back down, closing
her brown eyes and running her fingers through her jet black hair.  "This is
heaven," she thought contentedly.  "A week at my parent's mountain cabin with
two of my best friends.  No school and no worries.  A warm comfortable bed
and a Marlboro 100.  What could be better?"

   As she took another long drag, her mind drifted back to the weeks before
she got here.  Her senior year of college had been almost more than she could
handle.  The nursing program was much more demanding than she had ever
imagined.  Her part-time job as a bartender was a financial necessity, but
combining that with classwork, homework, studying and the hours that she was
required to put in for clinicals left very little time for rest and
relaxation.  As she exhaled toward the shortening cigarette in her hand, she
couldn't help but think of the persecution that she had been forced to endure
because of her chosen profession.  "Health care professionals do not smoke,"
her professors had scolded her.  "Yeah, well, this one does and has
absolutely no intention of quitting!" she thought.  "Not now and not ever!"

   Her professors were bad enough, but they weren't the only ones who liked
to preach to her about giving up her dreadful habit.  Her parents, in
particular her Mom, was even worse.  She had complained, cajoled and
generally made her life miserable until finally Laura had blown up.  She told
her Mom that she enjoyed smoking and would not, under any circumstances, be
quitting.  If she couldn't love her as a smoker, then she apparently didn't
really love her anyway.  Her Mom had felt so badly that she had offered to
let Laura and a couple of her friends spend the week at their cabin in the
mountains.  Laura jumped at the chance and appreciated the opportunity to get
away, but was still angry. Her mother had no right trying to run her life.
Besides, she had been smoking for 10 years now, 3 packs a day ever since she
had been in college, and probably couldn't quit if she had to.  She was just
too addicted.  The misery she endured just in sitting through an hour long
class proved that.  To be totally happy, she needed to smoke about every 15

   She realized that there were others who could go for long periods of time
without smoking and not notice it.  Her friend Leanne was one of them.  She
had often kidded Leanne about her light smoking.  Leanne was in the habit of
smoking a pack a day of Carlton 120's.  Laura had said that she could
probably kill a pack of those in one sitting without stopping, and still wind
up in withdrawal.  Leanne replied that, although she didn't smoke as often as
Laura, she still loved the ones she smoked and could not do without them.

   Taking another drag off her cigarette, Laura realized that the smoke was
getting pretty hot.  She looked and saw that her cigarette was spent.  Not
quite ready to get up and wanting another cigarette, she reached into the
pack and withdrew another one, lighting it with the still burning butt of her
last one.  As she dropped her hand onto the pack, she noticed that it seemed
light.  She examined it further to find that she had just lit the last one
and the pack was now empty.  She crumpled it up and dropped it into the
wastebasket beside her bed.  She then reached for her purse and began digging
for a new pack, the Marlboro clenched tightly between her lips as she
continuously dragged and nostril exhaled.  After a thorough search, she
realized that she was out.  She felt a sudden panic, but then laughed.  "It's
no big deal, I guess.  We have to drive the 10 miles into town today anyway.
Beth said she was running low last night too.  We really should have stopped
on our way in, but everyone was just too tired," she thought.  "I might as
well get what I can out of this one!"  She drew as much smoke as she could
possibly get, then inhaled as deeply as she could and held it.  Once again,
her lungs absorbed almost all of the smoke that she had taken in and there
wasn't much to exhale.  Trying to get as much nicotine as possible, she took
four rapid fire drags without removing the cigarette from her mouth, exhaling
through her nose before beginning each successive drag.  She then removed the
cigarette from her mouth and took several deep breaths, then took three more
rapid fire drags.  By then the cigarette was almost spent, so she took one
more deep drag and held it as she put the cigarette out in the ashtray on her
nightstand.  Now content, she put on her robe, gathered up her toothbrush,
shampoo and other toiletries and went out into the hall, headed for the

   As she passed the door to Leanne's room, she heard her cheery voice call
out, "Morning!!  Where you going?"  She looked in and saw Leanne sitting
cross legged on the bed, surrounded by books and papers.  The sound of the TV
and the headset she was wearing led Laura to believe that she wasn't getting
much work done, however.  She seemed to be smoking a half finished Carlton
120 to the music, bobbing her head with each drag and then exhaling to the

   "Morning.  I thought I'd take a shower," Laura replied.

   "What?" asked Leanne, forgetting to remove the headset.  Laura pointed to
the walkman and, with a laugh, Leanne removed it.  "Sorry," she said.
"What'd you say?"

   "I said I thought I'd take a shower."

   "You'll have to wait," said Leanne, exhaling her latest drag.  "Beth's in

   "Oh, well I hope she hurries.  We've got to get to the store.  I'm out of
cigarettes," complained Laura.

   "She shouldn't be much longer, I wouldn't think.  She's been in there a
while," said Leanne as she put out her cigarette.

   Moving over to sit on the edge of the bed and looking at the books, Laura
asked, "So, have you got that term paper finished yet?"

   "No," muttered Leanne.  "I hate history.  I don't see why it's a required
course.  I just can't make myself write this thing!"

   "But you know you have to write it or you'll flunk.  Then you'll just wind
up taking the whole course over again.  You know that you've already gotten
an extension on this thing," Laura reminded her.

   "I know, I know," said Leanne with a note of irritation.

   "Why don't you get Beth to help you?  She did pretty well in that class, I
think," Laura suggested.

   "I did pretty well at what?" asked Beth, standing in the doorway drying
her hair with a towel.  

   "History!  Can you help me?" asked Leanne.

   "Yeah, probably," replied Beth distractedly.  "Hey, Laura, can I bum a
cigarette?  I'm out."

   "You're out of luck, too," said Laura.  "I just smoked my last one a
little bit ago."

   "Of all the bad luck," said Beth.  "I ran out last night, so I haven't had
one this morning."

   "You poor dear!! Why didn't you say something as we came through town last
night if you were that low?" asked Laura.

   "I was asleep in the backseat, remember?" Beth reminded her.

   "You can have one of mine," smiled Leanne.

   Beth hesitated for several minutes, then replied, "No thanks, Leanne.  I
don't think yours would help that much.  To each his own, I guess, but for me
those Carlton 120's just don't measure up to my More Menthol 120's.  We're
going straight on into town, aren't we, Laura?"

   "You bet!!" said Laura with enthusiasm.  "As a matter of fact, I think
I'll just wait to take my shower until we get back.  It just wouldn't do to
have both of us suffering from nicotine fits, now would it?" she laughed.
"I'd rather be dirty than miserable!!"

   "How true, how true," shot back Beth with a smile.  "Let's get dressed and
get on the road, okay?"

   Beth and Laura returned to their own rooms, dressed quickly, then met
Leanne back in the hallway.  "Has anyone checked outside to see how cold it
is?" asked Laura.

   "I haven't," replied Leanne.  "I was so busy wrestling with that history
paper that I haven't even looked outside."

   "Me neither.  I guess I've been too distracted," added Beth.

   "Well, you girls aren't used to this mountain weather.  I would advise you
to bundle up," said Laura.  "It can get icy quickly up here."

   The girls each grabbed their heavy coats, mufflers and gloves and headed
downstairs.  As they cut through the kitchen to the adjoining garage, Laura
said, "I'm just going to grab a Pepsi.  Does anybody want anything?"

   "Yeah, I'd like one too.  And how about grabbing the box of doughnuts,"
suggested Beth.

   "Get me one too," Leanne chimed in.  "And a banana.  I'd like a banana."

   Rolling her eyes, Laura said, "Fine, but somebody will have to help me.  I
can't carry it all."

   "I'll help," offered Beth.

   "I'll go on out and open the garage door," said Leanne.

   Laura and Beth gathered up the food and drinks, then headed out into the
garage.  Leanne was standing by the still closed garage door with a perplexed
look on her face.  "What's wrong?" asked Laura.

   "I can't seem to budge it," answered Leanne.  "Does it pull in or push

   "In," replied Laura, sitting her load of food on the hood.  "Let me try."
She grabbed the door handle and pulled.  It moved slightly, but still would
not open.  "It seems to be stuck, but I think we can get it if we all pull

   Beth emptied her arms and joined the other two by the door.

   "Okay," instructed Laura, "Everybody grab the handle and pull on three.
Ready?  One, two, three!!"  The door lurched, then opened.  As it did, the
girls were knocked off their feet by an avalanche of snow.  Laura took a few
moments to compose herself, then stood to her feet.  Her eyes wide, she
opened her mouth to speak, but nothing came out.  There must have been two
feet of snow on the ground.  Finally she whispered, "Oh My Lord!!"

   By now Leanne had gotten to her feet and was grinning from ear to ear.
"Snow," she chirped.  "Lot's of snow!!  I don't think I've ever seen this
much snow.   Isn't it wonderful?"

   "No, it isn't," said Laura ominously.

   Beth was just now getting to her feet.  "What does this mean, Laura?"

   "Yeah, what's the problem, Laura?  I like snow!" said Leanne, clapping her
hands and dancing around, her green eyes twinkling and her long scarlet hair
dancing in the breeze.

   "You don't get it, do you?" said Laura, exasperated.  "We're snowed in.
We can't get out of here."

   "Sure we can," laughed Leanne.  "It'll melt off in a few hours......won't
it?" she asked in a small voice.

   "No, it won't.  This much snow could take days to melt off.  And that's
hoping that we don't get any more.  We could be here all winter, for heaven's
sake!!  They'll send out search teams, but we'll just have to cross our
fingers that they find us."

   Now afraid, Leanne asked, "Are you saying that we could starve?"

   "No, no, no.  We won't starve.  Even though I haven't been up here in
years, Mom and Dad come pretty often.  They prepare for just such an event.
The pantry has enough food to last until Spring if need be."

   "Laura," Beth said sickly.

   "What is it, Beth?" asked Laura.

   "Please tell me that your parents, at least one of them, smoke."

   The reality of the situation dawning on her face, Laura again moaned, "Oh
My Lord!!  OH MY LORD!!"  She sat down and buried her face in her hands.
Beth, the answer to her question obvious, did likewise.

   "I don't get it.  What's the problem?" asked Leanne, confused.  "We've got
food and...."

   "Cigarettes!!  Don't you understand?  We're out of cigarettes!!" said Beth

   "No, we're not," grinned Leanne.  "I've still got some.  We can share

   "You don't have cigarettes, Leanne!!" said Beth vehemently.  "You have
Carltons!!  Those aren't real cigarettes!!  I'll bet I could smoke four to
five packs a day of those!!  Those aren't going to help anything!!"

   Crestfallen, Leanne said, "I just thought I could help.  I'm sorry I don't
have any stronger ones."

   "Wait a minute," said Laura.  "Let's be sensible here, Beth.  I've kidded
poor Leanne unmercifully about her Carltons, but right now they're all we've
got.  I'd give my right arm for a carton of Marlboro 100's.  As a matter of
fact, I could really use one right now, but we just don't have any.  I'll
admit that you and I are in for the worst of this, but Leanne is probably
facing some withdrawal too.  Going a couple of hours between cigarettes is
misery for us, but any more than that and she'll start to feel it too.  You
have gone through withdrawal at times, haven't you, Leanne?"

   "Yes," said Leanne quietly.  "I told you, I may not smoke as many as you,
but the ones I do smoke are just as important to me.  I tried to quit once
and after two days I was miserable.  I had a headache, I was shaky, I
couldn't concentrate,..."

   "Okay, okay, okay.  We'll feel it soon enough.  Let's not make it worse by
talking about it in detail.  I'm sorry I snapped at you, Leanne," said Beth
remorsefully.  "How many packs do you have?"

   "Uhhh, packs?  Well, you see, I don't go through that many packs..."

   "How many, Leanne?" asked Laura reassuringly.

   "Well, actually, one," said Leanne with a sheepish grin.

   Beth's face started to turn red again and she blurted, "One?  One pack?
You've got to be kidding me.  You mean to tell me that we've got a total of
twenty CARLTON's to last us until we can get out of here?"

   "Well, not exactly," said Leanne.

   "Oh good," said Laura with relief.  "Then you actually have more, right?"

   "Well, no, actually it isn't a full pack, but I know there are some in
it!!" said Leanne brightly.

   "We're going to die.  We're just going to die," said Beth sadly.  "How
many are in it, Leanne?"

   "I don't know.  I left them upstairs.  Let's go look!"

   "Cross your fingers," said Laura as they headed back into the house and up
the stairs.  As they reached Leanne's room, she threw herself onto the bed
and retrieved her purse from the floor.  She dug through it and emerged with
the long pack.  She smiled at Laura, who looked back encouragingly.  As she
squeezed it, her face fell.  Slowly, she turned the pack upside down and
poured the cigarettes onto the bed.

   "Four!!  Four lousy cigarettes!!  And Carltons, to boot.  I'm in hell!  I
am just in hell!!" raged Beth.

   "Well, at least they're 120's," said Laura.  "That means they'll last a
little longer."

   "Okay, okay.  If it's all we've got, it's all we've got.  Give me one of
them.  I'm dying for a cigarette!!" said Beth.

   Leanne had picked up one of the cigarettes from the bed and started to
hand it to Beth when Laura grabbed her arm.  "No," she said.

   "C'mon, I'm desperate, Laura!!  Quit kidding around.  Give it to me,

   "No!" said Laura again forcefully.

   "Please, Laura," Beth pleaded.  "I need a cigarette.  Why can't I have

   "Because we don't have enough.  Look, we have four cigarettes.  There's no
telling how long we'll be here, but my parents are expecting me back next
weekend.  If I don't show, then they'll send help.  That means we could be
here five days.  If you have one now, then I'll be desperate in an hour or
two.  I'll figure that you had one, so why can't I and I'll have one.  Then a
few hours later you'll be wanting one again.  You'll have it and by that time
Leanne's cravings will start to kick in and she'll have one.  Now we're out
and the day isn't even over yet," Laura explained.

   "So what do we do?" asked Beth.  "Suffer horribly so that we will have all
four when we get out of here?"

   "No, we have to ration ourselves.  Believe me, right now I could smoke all
five of these in a row without stopping, but that just isn't practical.  Once
a day we'll light one of these up and each take one good drag.  Then we'll
put it out until the next day.  That way we can make them last and still get
a little nicotine each day, so we won't completely go without."

   "That makes sense, Laura," said Leanne.

   "No it doesn't!!" argued Beth.  "Laura, these are Carltons, the lowest
there are in nicotine content!!  Do you realize that it would take twelve or
thirteen of these to equal the nicotine content of one of my cigarettes?  And
I smoke forty of mine a day!!  That's four hundred and eighty of these!!  For
that matter, the nicotine content of yours are about equal to mine and you
smoke sixty a day of yours!!  That's seven hundred and twenty of these!!  We
are still going to go through hell!!"

   "Would you rather have no nicotine at all?" asked Laura.

   Beth stumbled for a reply, then finally gave up.  Resignedly, she said,
"Okay.  I guess you're right.  Let's light it up and take our drag.  Maybe I
can inhale the whole cigarette in one drag, do you think?"

   "Well," laughed Laura, "if you can, then so be it.  You get as much as you
can take in, but just one drag, understand?"

   "Yes, I understand.  Light it!" said Beth eagerly.

   "Do you understand the plan, Leanne?" asked Laura.

   "Yes, and it's a good plan, but just one thing bothers me," she replied.

   "What's that?" asked Laura.

   "Can't it wait?" begged Beth.  "I want my drag!!"

   "No, it really can't," said Leanne, "because that's what it's about."

   "What is it, Leanne?" asked Laura.

   "Well, it hasn't been that long since I had one," Leanne explained.  "I
think we should wait until tonight to light one of them.  Then we'll all
really need it."

   "I guess I'm going to be hurting either way," said Laura, "so I might just
as easily hurt now as later.  I guess we could wait."

   "No, we can't!!" cried Beth passionately.  "Look, Laura, I know that
you're going to be hurting just like I am now, but you had one this

   "Two, actually.  I had my last two."

   "Okay, two then.  I haven't had one since last night.  I was going to have
one right before I went to bed, but when I went to my purse to get them,
there was no trace.  All I can figure is that I must have finished the last
in the pack and thrown the pack away.  Anyway, that means that it's been
thirteen or fourteen hours for me.  I can't take it!!  I have to have a puff
right now or I'll go crazy.  I'm begging you, if you've ever cared anything
for me as a friend, please let me light that cigarette!!"

   Laura and Leanne looked at each other in silence for what seemed an
eternity, then Laura said, "Leanne, it's your call.  What'll it be?"  Leanne
looked at Beth, who stared back pitifully.  Without a word Leanne handed Beth
a cigarette and the lighter.  A look of rapture swept across Beth's pretty
face and her blue eyes twinkled with delight.  She quickly placed the long
white cigarette firmly between her lips and clicked the lighter to life.  The
light from the flame danced off her blonde hair as she touched it to the end
of her cigarette.  As the cigarette began to burn, she closed her eyes and
her cheeks hollowed deeply, emphasizing her prominent cheekbones.  She pulled
on the cigarette for so long that she seemed to be taking the smoke directly
into her lungs.  When she finally could hold no more, she removed the
cigarette from her lips and inhaled deeply.  Laura immediately took the
cigarette from her and placed it between her lips and began her own intense
pull.  Beth held the smoke in her lungs, savoring the feeling and waiting for
the powerful craving to subside.  When she could hold it no longer, she
exhaled, although no smoke came out, having all been absorbed.  She leaned
back in relief, but then noticed something unusual.  The craving had not
dissipated, but had, in fact, intensified.  With a start, she realized that
she had to have another puff and had to have it now.  Laura had just finished
her long drag and inhaled, a look of ecstasy on her face, and was handing the
cigarette to Leanne.  As Leanne placed the cigarette between her full lips,
Beth blurted out, "Leanne, wait!!"

   The cigarette still dangling from her lips, Leanne asked, "What's wrong
now, Beth?"

   Desperately, Beth said, "Please let me have your drag.  That way we won't
use up any more of the cigarette and I really need it."

   The cigarette bouncing between her lips, Leanne replied, "I need it too.
You've had your drag, now it's my turn."  She had just started to pull on the
cigarette, when Beth interrupted her again.

   "Leanne, please.  I'm begging you.  There wasn't enough nicotine in my
drag to kill my craving, just enough to make it worse.  You said yourself
that you don't need it yet.  It hasn't been that long since you smoked.
Please have pity on me and let me have your drag.  Please!!"

   Still not removing the cigarette from her lips, Leanne asked, "Why should
I let you have my drag?  What do I get out of it?"

   Beth's eyes darted around the room, desperately seeking an answer that
might satisfy Leanne.  Her eyes come to rest on Leanne's school books.
Hopefully, Beth said, "I'll do your history paper!!  I'll get you an A, I

   Leanne looked at the books, then at the blank page of paper that was the
total sum of her work for that morning.  She removed the cigarette from her
lips and looked at it.  "Alright, Beth, but it had better be an A!" she said.
She handed the cigarette to Beth.

   "Are you sure you want to do this, Leanne?" asked Laura.  "It's going to
be a long time until tomorrow's cigarette."

   "I'm sure," said Leanne.  "I really need that paper worse than I need a
cigarette right now."

   "Then make it good, Beth, cause this is it for today," Laura said.

   Beth again placed the cigarette between her lips, then hesitated.  The
smoke was trailing from the end of the cigarette up it's shaft and into her
nostrils.  She breathed in deeply through her nose.  The smoke burned it a
little, but she was getting more nicotine this way, so she didn't mind.
After several deep breaths, Laura said, "Come on, Beth.  We have to put it
out.  Take your drag or forget it!"

   "I'm taking it, I'm taking it," she said quickly.  She closed her lips
tightly and pulled with all the power she had.  She felt the smoke fill her
mouth and throat and she smiled sweetly.  Finally she removed the cigarette
from her mouth and inhaled, again holding the smoke in her lungs until it was
all absorbed.  When she could hold it no longer, she exhaled sadly.  That was
it for today.  At least the combination of the two drags and the smoke that
she had inhaled up her nostrils had beaten back the craving, though not
completely eliminated it.  Laura took the cigarette, which was a little more
than half smoked, and put it out.  Secretly Laura was sad too, but she knew
that it had to be this way.  She was just glad that she had made the most of
her last two Marlboro 100's.  She then picked up Leanne's notebook and a pen,
placed the half smoked cigarette on a clean sheet of notebook paper and drew
a line from the tip of the filter to the burnt end, tracing the length of the
cigarette.  She removed the paper from the notebook, handed it to Beth and
began drawing another one.

   "What are you doing?" asked Beth.

   "Yeah," added Leanne, "what's that for?"

   "I'm making sure that none of us cheats the others.  I know that we trust
each other, but withdrawal can make people do strange things.  Now if any of
us gets the idea to sneak a few more drags, the others will know because we
can each measure the cigarette to see if it's any shorter.  Whenever we have
one that's half smoked, we'll do this," she explained, handing Leanne her
sheet and beginning one for herself.  "Of course when the others are unlit,
that won't be a problem."

   "I don't think you trust us!!" exclaimed Beth.

   "No, you're wrong," argued Laura.  "It's me I don't trust.  I guarantee
you that if I could get away with it, I'd have all of these smoked by
tonight.  I'm just making sure that we aren't as tempted."

   "I'm sorry, Laura," said Beth.  "I guess that's one of the biggest
problems of withdrawal for me.  I get irritable.  You're right, it's a good
idea.  Where do we keep them?"

   "There's only one safe place and that's in plain sight.  I say we put them
somewhere that we're frequently together.  Any of our bedrooms would not be a
good idea.  Again, that would be too tempting to cheat.  Our only protection
from our addiction is each other.  I say we put them on the coffee table in
the living room, a common area."

   "I see your logic," replied Beth worriedly, "but that's going to be tough.
Withdrawal is hard enough without dying for a cigarette with several of them
staring you in the face."

   "Beth's right.  Isn't there some other way?" asked Leanne hopefully.

   "Well," answered Laura, "I'm open to suggestions."

   Beth and Leanne looked at each other for several minutes.  Finally, Beth
glumly said, "I guess there's no other way.  If it gets too hard, I'll go
someplace else."

   Laura took the three remaining cigarettes and headed back downstairs,
placing them squarely in the center of the coffee table.  Beth and Leanne
followed and both sat down on the couch, staring at the cigarettes on the
table.  Suddenly Laura noticed something else.  "I'm so stupid!!!" she said.
"How could I be so stupid?"

   "What?" asked Beth.

   "The phone!!!" said Laura.  "We can call for help!!!"  She yanked up the
receiver, preparing to dial, then her face fell.  "I should have known.  It's
dead."  With a sigh, the girls returned their attention to the precious
cigarettes lying on the coffee table.  Laura seated herself in her mother's
rocking chair by the fireplace and also focused her attention on the coffee
table.  After several minutes of this, Laura stood up.  "This is stupid.  It
isn't going to get any easier if we all sit here and stare at them," she
said.  "I'm going to take my shower now."

   "What about our lighters?  Do we need to turn those in, too?" asked

   "I don't think so," said Laura with a wave of her hand.  "As long as the
cigarettes are guarded, there'll be nothing to light, right?"

   "Oh yeah," said Leanne sheepishly.

   Laura went back upstairs. A few minutes later, Beth got up to follow her.
"I'm going back to bed.  Maybe I can sleep until we're rescued, or at least
until time for our next cigarette."

   "What about my term paper?" asked Leanne.  "You said you'd do it.  You
promised!!  You said you'd get..."

   "I'll get to it!!" said Beth sharply.  Angrily she turned and headed up
the stairs.

   Leanne, her arms crossed, stared after her in irritation.  "Well, it had
better be good!" she muttered.

   As the day wore on, each of the girls reacted differently to their
predicament.  Leanne was nervous, almost frantic.  She spent the day doing
every housecleaning chore that she could think of.  She ran the vacuum, did
the dishes, dusted, did laundry, then ran the vacuum again.  When she found a
bucket and rag and started to wash the interior of the windows, Laura stopped
her, explaining that the frigid temperatures outside could cause the water to
freeze on the inside of the windows.

   Laura, for her part, pretty much kept to her self and stayed quiet.  She
had never been one to let her emotions show and too much contact with the
others could allow her depression to show.  Every little thing put her on the
verge of tears.  She looked through her mother's video tapes and finally
decided to watch Casablanca.  She had forgotten how much smoking there was in
that movie.  Luckily, it had always made her cry, so she could let the tears
flow freely without arousing suspicion.

   Beth slept most of the day, but woke up as angry as she had been earlier,
if not angrier.  She was mad at the world.  At dinner, she knocked over her
drink and, in fury, picked up the glass and fired it into the wall, smashing
it into a million pieces.  Laura and Leanne both stared at their plates,
refusing to look at her.  After several minutes of strained silence, Beth
looked at Laura and said, "I hope that wasn't your mom's best crystal."

   "It wasn't," Laura replied quietly.  "Did that make you feel better?"

   Forcing a smile, Beth replied, "As a matter of fact, it did!"

   Without another word, Laura drained her glass and flung it against the
wall, smashing hers as well.  Leanne looked at Beth, then at Laura, then
followed suit.  All three girls collapsed in fits of laughter.  "We may be
able to survive not smoking, but I'm not sure that your parents' cabin will
be standing by the time we get out of here!" Leanne chuckled.  The girls
finished their dinner, then got up and cleared the table.  They knew that
they'd all need a cigarette after eating, so they got out of the kitchen as
quickly as possible.

   After dinner, Beth decided, "I think I'll watch some TV!  Anybody want to
join me?"

   "Sure, why not?" said Laura.  "How about you, Leanne?"

   "I don't know.  I was thinking about reading some on my new Stephen King
book.  What's on?" asked Leanne.

   "Let's see," said Beth thoughtfully, "it should be about time for

   "Oh that's right!!" said Leanne.  "Yeah, I guess I'll join you."

   The three girls settled into the living room just as the show was about to
start.  "You know, Laura," said Beth, "I forgot to thank you for bringing us
up here with you.  I mean, I know that it has turned into a terrible ordeal,
but it's the thought that counts, right?  It really is a beautiful cabin."
Looking around, she added, "I do have a question, though."

   "Shoot," said Laura.

   "Well," said Beth, "I noticed that beautiful porcelain lighter on the
mantel.  I thought you said neither of your parents have ever smoked."

   Laughing, Laura replied, "They haven't.  That's mine.  One of my most
cherished possessions.  It used to belong to my grandmother.  She smoked her
whole life, and when my parents found out that I was a smoker and simply
could not accept me as one, my grandmother not only accepted me, but
encouraged me.  I'll never forget going to her house, and she would always
have some chore to do out back that she needed my help with.  She lived
several hours from us and my parents never allowed me to smoke in their
presence, so by the time we got there, I was pretty desperate.  Granny would
make some excuse to get me away from them, then she'd quickly give me a
cigarette and light it for me, even before she lit hers.  Those cigarettes we
shared were probably the best I've ever had.  I needed the nicotine badly and
I needed her love just as badly if not worse.  When she died, I was allowed
to choose any one of her personal items to remember her by.  You should have
seen my parents' faces when I chose that.  They obviously disapproved, but I
didn't care.  I could have chosen a much more valuable item, but none more
valuable to me.  I miss her so bad."

   Sympathetically, Beth asked, "How did she die?"

   With an ironic grin, Laura replied, "The big C.  Lung Cancer."

   Leanne looked at her in shock and said, "I'll bet that gave you pause for
thought.  I've always thought that if someone close to me ever died from
smoking, I might reconsider my own.  Maybe even quit."

   "Well, it did for a while," Laura replied.  "I actually did try to quit
and was miserable.  Then I remembered how sorry my Granny felt for me when I
would show up there aching for a cigarette and realized that she wouldn't
want me to have to go through that.  After all, we all have to go sometime
and she died doing something she literally loved, just like I do.  She would
never have quit, so I know she wouldn't want me to.  Anyway, we're missing
the show," Laura interrupted, wiping a tear from her eye and hoping no one

   After the first commercial break was over, Laura looked at Leanne and
noticed that she wasn't looking at the TV.  She was staring squarely at the
long white treasures resting in the center of the coffee table.  Beth,
totally involved in the show, didn't seem to notice.  Worried, Laura spoke
up.  "Leanne?"  She never dropped her gaze from the cigarettes and did not
reply.  "Leanne? Are you okay?"

   Surprised and almost angrily, Leanne shot back, "Of..of course!!  Why
wouldn't I be?"

   "Well," said Laura, "you seemed sort of....distracted."

   "I'm fine," fumed Leanne.  "I don't see why you have to study my every
thought!!"  She jumped up and darted up the stairs.  As they heard the
slamming of her bedroom door, Beth and Laura looked at each other, shrugged
and went back to watching TV.

   A half hour later, Leanne marched defiantly back into the room carrying
her lighter.  She retrieved the half smoked cigarette, placed it between her
lips and flicked the lighter to life.  Just before she could touch it to the
end of the cigarette, Beth grabbed her arm.  "What do you think you're
doing?" she demanded.

   "I'm taking my drag!!" she answered, trying with all her might to get the
tip of the cigarette into the still burning flame.  

   "No, you're not!!" Beth argued.  "We can't do that until in the morning!!"

   "I don't mean tomorrow's drag," said Leanne.  "I mean today's!!"  By now
the lighter was beginning to get hot, so reluctantly she let it go out.
Immediately she relit it, still intent on lighting the cigarette.  Beth held
on with all her strength, still keeping the flame from touching.

   "You can't do that, Leanne," said Laura matter of factly.  "You gave Beth
your drag for today, remember?  I even asked you if you were sure."

   "I know," said Leanne, "but I've changed my mind.  I can't take it any
more.  I need to smoke.  I didn't know that tomorrow would be so far away."

   "Too bad, babe!!" said Beth.  "We made a deal and now you've got to live
up to it."

   "You haven't started on my term paper yet.  I'm cancelling our agreement.
I need a puff and I'm taking it now!!" she demanded.

   "I'm afraid she's right, Leanne," said Laura.  "You can't do that.  She
may not have started on your term paper yet, but she HAS already taken your
puff.  If you renege now, that will be one less drag of tobacco that we have
between us."

   "I don't care!!" shouted Leanne.  "These are my cigarettes, remember?
I'll just take them back and smoke them all.  How would that be?  I'll just
chain one right after the other until they're all gone.  What do you say to

   "We can't let you do that, Leanne," said Laura patiently.  "I'm sorry that
you're hurting for a cigarette, but we're hurting, too, probably worse than
you are.  I appreciate that they were your cigarettes to begin with, but we
are in an emergency situation and we have to share."

   "That's not fair!!" cried Leanne pitifully.

   "I know, but this whole situation isn't fair," said Laura.  "I'm sorry.
Beth, grab both arms."

   Before Leanne could react, Beth clamped onto both her arms and held them
immobilized.  Leanne clenched her lips and held on as tightly as she could,
but, having the use of both hands, Laura was able to remove the cigarette.
Bursting into tears, Leanne ran back upstairs.  With a sigh of relief, Laura
sat back down, placing the cigarette between her own lips and removing her
lighter from her jeans pocket.

   "Hey!!" yelled Beth.

   Laura removed the cigarette, looked longingly at it, then replaced it on
the coffee table.  With a weary smile, she said, "Just kidding."

   An hour later, as Beth and Laura were turning off the TV and getting ready
for bed, Leanne came back downstairs.  She was still angry.  "Feeling
better?" asked Laura.

   "No, I'm not!!" shot back Leanne.  "I'm dying for a cigarette, and what
makes it worse is that I HAVE almost a quarter of a pack!!"

   "WE have almost a quarter of a pack," said Beth calmly.

   "Whatever," said Leanne.  "Have either of you seen my book, or has that
been confiscated for the common good, too?"

   "I haven't seen it," said Laura.

   "Me neither," said Beth.  "As a matter of fact, I haven't seen it since
you were reading it on the way up here.  Maybe you left it in the car."

   "You want me to help you look?" offered Laura.

   "No thank you," said Leanne with a sniff.  "I'll look myself."

   "Fine," said Laura.  "I'm going to bed."

   "Me, too," said Beth.  "See you guys in the morning."

   "Good night," said Leanne.

   As she started toward the garage, Leanne stepped on something.  She looked
to find that it was her lighter.  She had dropped it earlier in the struggle.
Picking it up, she looked evilly at the cigarettes on the coffee table.
Reluctantly, she thought better of it.  "They'd probably beat me up, the
bullies!!" she thought to herself.  Going on out into the garage, she saw her
book laying in the back window of the car, just where she had left it when
she and Beth had traded places so Beth could get some sleep.  She crawled
into the back seat and got it, then started to get back out.  Looking down,
she noticed something green sticking out from under the seat.  Curious, she
leaned down and pulled it out.  She saw that it was a More Menthol 120's
pack.  "So this is what happened to Beth's empty pack," she thought.  She
picked it up and started to crumple it up.  At the last minute, however, she
noticed that it seemed heavy.  Her heart racing, she looked into the bright
green package and saw four long, brown cigarettes.  Quickly looking around to
make sure that no one was watching, she took one of the cigarettes from the
package and smelled of it.  It smelled wonderful.  She replaced it in the
package and replaced the pack in the floorboard of the car.  She then got out
and quietly closed the door leading from the house.  She climbed back into
the car, removed the cigarette from the pack and placed it between her soft
red lips.  Still holding her lighter, she flicked it to life and touched it
to the end of the cigarette.  The end glowed bright red and she pulled the
rich menthol smoke into her mouth.  Taking her usual long drag proved to be
too much, however, and she began coughing.  She wasn't use to these stronger
cigarettes.  Afraid of attracting the attention of the others, she was soon
able to stifle the coughs.  Her throat was now scratchy from the coughing,
but her need for nicotine forced her to continue.  She took another long
drag, this time at least better prepared and was able to inhale the rich
smoke.  She held it for several seconds before exhaling and immediately began
another long drag.  She took three drags in a row without hesitating.  By
this time her head was starting to spin, since she was unaccustomed to the
large amount of nicotine.  She composed herself for several minutes, then
took another chest expanding inhale and held it.  As she exhaled, she thought
to herself, "I'll show them.  I'm going to sit here and chain smoke all four
of these and they'll never know the difference!!"  She continued to inhale
deeply and to hold the smoke in, getting every ounce of nicotine.  When the
first cigarette had grown short, she took out the second and placed it
between her lips.  Before she lit it, though, she stopped, removed it and
looked at it.  This was stupid.  "Why smoke all four of these now and do
without for the rest of the time we're stuck here.  Beth and Laura don't know
that they exist, so I'll just hang onto them and smoke them as I need them.
They'll last me a whole lot longer than they would either of those two, if
the situation were reversed," she thought.  She replaced the cigarette in the
pack and pushed it back up under the seat, this time all the way.  Her
craving now satisfied and wearing a broad smile, she went back into the house
and went to bed.

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