top of page

  You could have a big dipper   

The Shrimp Are On Cocaine, The Sea Bream Hallucinogenic by Daniel Guy Baldwin

CW: Drug references, environmental issues

It was bound to happen. The shrimp are manic, restlessly flitting about the waterways doing whatever it is shrimp do. And if the shrimp can't help but doing a cheeky line, then how are the humans expected to cope?

The orcas are angrier than ever; already pissed off about being held captive, the cocaine-infused prawn cocktails certainly aren't helping. Bioaccumulation in action. Luckily, our pre-emptive strikes kill enough of them to prevent a prison break. A drugged-up killer whale revolution would be difficult to ignore.

Not to discredit the sea bream, ahead of the curve as it was. A self-made hallucinogen. Commonly known as the dream fish, the Sarpa salpa lives in the East Atlantic, though it can often be found as far north as my dining table.

The starter: honey glazed prawns on a bed of lightly grilled asparagus.

The main: A generous helping of ichthyoallyeinotoxism served with homegrown roast potatoes, washed down with the cheapest Pinot Grigio available. Garnished with lemon.

The dessert: abstract geometry, profound realisations about nothing in particular, and infinite glimpses into a variety of possible futures. Vines crawling over ruins, orcas on thrones, deserts filled with bones of fish.

Later, I stumble into the bathroom only to learn that a depressed looking seahorse has replaced my Ficus. He promptly asks me, “Where’s it all headed, man?”

Down the drain, into the ocean, into the animals, into the nets, the supermarkets, the baskets, the bags, fridges, pans, plates, mouths. Repeated ad infinitum minus the benefit of infinity. The end approaches, we repeat ad finem.

Boiling oceans drowning in petrol, microplastics, pesticides, fertilisers, hubris, greed, several vague notions of sustainability that weren't put into action, and, of course, an inexhaustible supply of drugs.

The shrimp are on cocaine, the sea bream hallucinogenic.


Daniel Guy Baldwin is a writer currently living in Newcastle-Under-Lyme, a Philosophy graduate from Keele University and trying his best to write meaningful fiction with varying degrees of success. social: @danguybaldwin.

142 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page