There’s four here. Ding with everyone packed into his Ford Cortina barrelling his way down the empty Fife streets far into the wee small hours. Four harlequins making funny faces. All taking part in a shared experience that is really beautiful, even when the outside world could just see it as sordid amusements or whatever it is they think.

A voyage deep into the unknown, one adventurer to each seat, Marc and Gerard each slumped into their corners away lost in isolated worlds. Marc just staring straight ahead at the beyond, his features nigh on unreadable, the hint of a smile beginning to form around his lips. Observe the start of a moustache, too, but not yet enough of one for anyone to start mocking him right now. Seatbelts not thought necessary for these occasions, and we trust ourselves not to be lifted by any lawman types interrupting the festivities.

Myself and Gerard both gazing inward, conducting a thorough self-analysis of our state of mind and the imperfect society we find ourselves in. My head rests against the cushion of this seat and its hardness does cause me some discomfort, I’ve got to admit. The vehicle swerves its way around corners as we go full throttle down the deserted county roads. The Dunfermline landscape is deathly ‘round these parts, as if it’s been cut and spliced from the frames of a silent film. No traffic here so far as I can make out.

I clock the buildings all looking vaguely uniform in appearance, disused former factories now housing elusive projects whose purpose now remains for now ill-defined, recipients of lottery grants aiming for wider public engagement in the arts sector. Me, I’m here merely as a neutral observer. The night stretches out all the way ahead of us while adrenaline courses through our collective veins, our minds trying to focus on what’s immediately up ahead of us at this particular moment in time.

Ding driving unreasonably fast just like always, as I sit here in the passenger side staring at the pattern in the seats’ fabric, blue and yellow threads entwined unto infinity over every surface, spreading out now to cover the windows if ever I allow my eyes to unfocus their gaze. Angles of the colours tesselate to form an infinite matrix of orange and blue tones. The pattern goes on forever into a perpetual vortex with no ending in sight. I struggle to comprehend the enormity of this feat of mass-production.

Marc speaks up, at last. “I don’t even know what day we’re on, never have done. Ever since school folk were telling me what year it is, ken? All that stop and start is shite when there is no end.”

Our driver brakes sharply now as he manoeuvres his way along the road. Ding’s not overly speeding but the boy’s forever careful to drift around the limit just as a way of keeping all us on our toes. His tape plays loudly over the car’s cheap system and it stops us ever being able to think straight. Sounds distort through the rickety speakers; still, we know his choice of banging 90’s techno is the gateway to an altered state of consciousness, that much is a given.

We glide smoothly along over the grey terrain as our crew exchange panicked glances at each other. Blissed-out smiles give way to expressions of alarm. Ding is away with it, we all knew that full well before we embarked. Says he can see blue pyramids where the shop fronts should be. Hallucinations began some weeks ago and now represent a separate plane of existence to be navigated like any other. All of us understand this and trust the boy implicitly.

Just then, a stray feline smacks against the windscreen with an almighty crash, so loud it seems to tear a hole in the very fabric of reality itself. Our perception of the world is forever altered and there will be no cosy cuddle at tonight’s after-party. I can make out the unlucky animal twitching alone by the side of the road and we just have to hope Ding’s dad will cover his insurance. I get out the car to examine the corpse, its dead eyes staring back at me deep into nothing. I see the worst thing in the world and I cannot look away from the beast before me, its rictus mask mirroring my own.