PotHead and The Marijuana Stone - By Dana Larsen
CHAPTER 8 - THE CANNABIS CASTLE
"Virtually the entire place
is made out of hemp!"
Hairy woke up from a pleasant dream,
where he was with his parents in a garden full of flowers.
He heard Herbonme's voice and he wondered
who she was telling her facts about the bus to now. He
opened his eyes a crack and saw that Gon had switched
seats and was now sitting next to Herbonme. She was reading
to him from her big book.
"Look who's decided to join us!"
said Gon, seeing Hairy awaken and smiling in his direction.
"Uh, hi," said Hairy, sitting
up. He pushed his dreads out of his eyes and straightened
his glasses on his face. He didn't know how long he had
"Herbonme's just reading to me
about Hempwards," said Gonall. "Go on..."
"Well," said Herbonme, "I
was just saying that Hempwards school lies within the
Canabis Castle, which is made almost entirely from hemp."
She looked back into the book to find her place. "The
location of the Castle, and even its very existence, is
one of the most carefully guarded secrets within the Weedster
community. However, some things are known. It's constructed
almost entirely out of a hemp product called Isochanvre,
which is similar to Square cement, but more flexible and
only a ninth the weight. It's so easy to make, just hemp
hurds mixed with lime, and it actually petrifies into
a mineral state. The Cannabis Castle has stood for many
The bus came to a sudden halt, jerking
the book from Herbonme's hands and sliding Hairy halfway
out of his chair before he caught himself. Hairy looked
down and saw that Headstash had been knocked over, so
he righted the pot and scooped the spilled dirt back inside.
"We're here little dudes!"
called out Otto, opening the front doors. "Grab your
stuff and get going!"
They gathered up their bags and trooped
off of the bus. Hairy wasn't sure how much time had passed,
but it was dark out, with a full moon hidden behind clouds
hanging high in the sky.
A tall woman in emerald-green robes
stood there to greet them. Her black hair was wrapped
in a tight bun, and she wore thick-framed glasses marked
with spots. She held a powerful flashlight in her hand,
and she smiled as the students gathered in front of her.
"Thank you Otto," she said
to the driver, then turned to the students. "I am
Professor McGanjagal. Everyone ready? Right then, let's
Slipping and stumbling, they followed
the professor down a steep, narrow path. Tall, ominous-looking
trees loomed over them on both sides. Nobody spoke much.
Then there was a loud "Ooooh!"
The path had opened onto an expansive
clearing with a steep hill at the centre. Perched upon
the hill was a great castle, with many turrets and towers
jutting up from the shadows. The wind suddenly shifted
and blew back the clouds, freeing the moonlight to reflect
upon the students from the castle's many windows. Dozens
of flags and banners fluttered up on the breeze, displaying
the same seven pointed, serrated leaf that Hairy wore
as a scar. Some of the castle towers looked like giant
bongs, with smoke flowing out from chimneys shaped like
lit bowls of cannabis.
McGanjagal strode purposefully along
a broad flagstone path, leading them towards the imposing
structure. They reached a drawbridge, and Hairy saw the
moon glinting up at him from the water as they crossed
over. The main door was decorated with a man's face emerging
from a mass of seven-pointed leaves. The face had its
tongue sticking far out, wrapped around a large brass
ring. The professor grabbed the ring and banged it loudly
upon the door three times.
The door swung open at once, and a
woman in white greeted them. Her white cottony hair was
layered high above her head into an ascending pouf. She
wore a white embroidered crinoline skirt and many layers
of lace. All her garments held myriad intricate patterns
of stylized cannabis leaves, buds and seeds.
"Good evening Professor McGanjagal,"
said the woman, smiling warmly and motioning them to come
through the door.
"Good evening Professor LaChanvrette,"
replied McGanjagal, leading the students into a large
entry chamber. The walls were made of big blocks which
looked like stone, but felt a little softer and warmer
to Hairy's touch. They were hung with hundreds of photographs
and painted portraits depicting the most successful of
Hempwards graduates. Hairy read out names like Thomas
Forcade, Howard Marks, Marc Emery, and Woody Harrelson.
McGanjagal stood before the students
and clapped her hands twice to get their attention before
"Welcome to Hempwards! I hope
your journey here was as pleasant as possible. You are
beginning an even greater journey now, one which will
change your lives and expose you to a whole new world
and a different way of being. But to become a student
here, you must first go through a special ceremony in
the Great Hall, where you will be sorted into your houses.
"Hempwards School was founded
long, long ago," she continued, "by four great
Weedsters: Pakinbowles Puffintuff, Jahmon Rastalaw, Getriche
Growindor, and Selzimout Snytcherin. The founders built
the school together, far from prying Square eyes. It was
an age much like this one, when marijuana was feared by
the common people and Weedsters suffered much persecution.
"There are four Houses within
Hempwards, each named after one of these great founders,
and each student is assigned to one of them when they
arrive. You will each draw a slip of paper from the Picking
Pot, then announce the name of the house you will attend.
"While you are here, you will
have classes with the rest of your house, you will sleep
in your house dormitory, you will toke in your house common
room. Your successes at Hempwards will reflect well upon
your house, and I hope each of you will be a credit to
whichever house you join."
She led them through a large set of
doors and into a massive main hall. The room was full
of smoke, with giant hashish incense cones smouldering
along the walls and behind the head table. The walls were
painted with fields of marijuana, so highly realistic
that for a brief moment Hairy thought that they were somehow
windows onto the outdoors.
Other students were already lined up
into a long row, waiting for their turn at the Picking
Pot. Hairy's busmates all took their places in the line.
At the front of the row, Hairy saw a brown-haired girl
stepping forward to reach into a small cauldron.
A professor stood over the cauldron,
holding a clipboard in one hand and a long quill in the
other. "Andamide, Anne!" he announced, checking
her name off of the list.
Anne pulled out a piece of paper, read
it, then quietly said "Pu- Puffintuff."
A group of students broke away from
the huddle of youths waiting past the cauldron. They clapped
and shook Anne's hand, greeting her into her new house,
then an escort took her through another set of doors and
deeper into the castle.
The next student who came forward was
large and hulking, with small eyes embedded into his thick
head. "Raveel, Finke!" announced the professor,
as the boy reached into the Picking Pot and pulled out
his slip of paper.
The boy squinted, held the paper close
to his sallow-skinned face, and muttered to himself for
a moment, sounding out the word.
"Snee... Snit... itch... itcher..."
"Snytcherin!" cheered some
of the greeters, and another equally thick and dull-looking
boy came forward to grasp Finke's hand, followed by a
few other creepy Snytcherins. Finke stayed to watch the
other students making their picks.
The next few students seemed to go
quickly. "Carrot, Camberwell!" joined Puffintuff,
along with "Spark, Roland!". "Bagbottoms,
Shakey!" joined Growindor, but not until he had knocked
over the Picking Pot while drawing his name.
"Tokersson, Heddy!" joined
Puffintuff. "Bobo, Shanti!" and "Lambsbread,
Natty!" both joined Rastalaw. "Squeale, Will!"
joined Snytcherin, along with "Dent, Biggerow!"
and "Terrus, Trey!".
Herbonme and Gon were in front of Hairy,
and both gleefully called out "Growindor!" when
they drew their slips of paper.
Finally it was Hairy's turn. He stepped
forward nervously, and the teacher called out his name
as he reached his hand into the pot. A hush fell over
the room, and Hairy pulled out a slip of paper. It had
only one word written upon it: SNYTCHERIN.
Hairy swallowed. Not Snytcherin! He
didn't want to join that unsavoury lot. His mouth felt
very dry. He looked over at the Snytcherin crew, and he
did not feel like he belonged there. He thought of the
obnoxious boy at Olliboinger's, who was sure he would
be joining Snytcherin. He looked at the youths standing
in the other houses, all watching him eagerly. He saw
Gon and Herbonme standing together in the Growindor group,
smiling at him warmly.
Hairy tried to speak but no sound came
out. His heart was beating very fast. He swallowed dryly,
and then managed to croak out a single word.
He quickly dropped the slip of paper
back into the pot and jogged over to his new housemates.
Gon and Herbonme were smiling and clapping for him. A
tall boy with straight white teeth and golden-blond hair
stepped forward to shake his hand. Hairy felt his knuckles
grinding under the boy's firm grip.
"Olfyber Hurd, Hairy. Growindor
House Captain. Glad to have you on board!
Hairy smiled back weakly at Olfyber.
He felt vaguely guilty about his deception, but he was
glad to be with his friends and not with the Snytcherin
crew. A smiling girl introduced herself as Tootie Piper,
and she led Hairy, Gon and Herbonme out of the Great Hall
and through dozens of winding passages. As they walked,
she told them that they should try to have a bit of a
sleep, as in a few more hours it would be morning, and
they needed to be out of bed and back in the Great Hall
for the opening day Waykenbake Ceremony.
Finally they went up a long spiral
staircase and entered the Growindor common room, a cozy,
round chamber full of plush armchairs and elegant stand-up
ashtrays. Then through more doors and into the common
bedchamber, where a series of elegant four-poster beds
awaited them, hung with hemp velvet curtains coloured
in deep gold.
Hairy, Gon and Herbonme each chose
their beds and put away their belongings. Some Growindor
students were already sleeping, others were chatting in
small groups. Tootie left them to get settled in.
Herbonme and Gon sat on Hairy's bed
and smiled at him, holding their bongs in their hands.
Gon's bongwater was still slowly seeping through the layers
of duct tape.
"Can we have a little more of
that fabulous bubblehash, Hairy?" asked Herbonme
sweetly. "It is amazing stuff!"
Hairy picked up the jar of hash which
he had shared with everyone on the bus. It looked like
hardly any had been used. He was amazed that just the
little bit that was missing had been enough to get the
whole bus incredibly stoned!
He put it back and picked up the other
jar. The label said "Moroccan Hashplant x Candycane
Indica. 45 microns. 4.5 stars. Heavy body stone and muscle
relaxant. Good for insomnia and pain relief."
Hairy opened the jar and smelled the
golden powder within. It had a scent like spearmint and
pink bubblegum. It was a finer powder than the other hash,
more bronze than brown, and it shimmered like ground glass.
Hairy placed a tiny pinch into each of their bongs, and
a third tiny pinch into his own.
Hairy smiled and held up his bong like
a wineglass. "I propose a toast," he said. "A
toast to new friends, to marijuana, to Hempwards, and
to Weedsters everywhere!"
"I'll toke to that!" added
Gon. They clinked their bongs together and sparked their
lighters in unison, sucking in the delicious smoke from
the highly potent hash.
Herbonme and Gon both began to cough
as they staggered back to their own beds. Hairy simply
held in his toke and smiled happily.
"Thanks Hairy!" said Herbonme,
still gasping as she closed the curtains around her bed.
"I am fabulously baked and also exhausted. See you
in the morning!"
"Me too Hairy," choked out
Gon. "Have a great sleep! See you in a few hours."
Hairy lay back, closed his eyes, and
let the smoke flow slowly from his nose and mouth. He
felt the cannabinoids saturating his bloodstream yet again,
his body becoming heavy and lethargic as his muscles relaxed.
He could barely believe that this was all real.
He had spent fifteen years living in
a closet, unaware of his true nature, blinded even to
the existence of this special, magical plant. And now
he was in an amazing Cannabis Castle, with new friends,
good friends who actually enjoyed his company! In the
morning he would begin classes, begin learning more of
the secrets of this plant and the hidden culture that
was part of his true heritage.
Hairy's thoughts swirled down into
sleep, and soon he was deep into a dream. He saw himself
as a tiny figure, trapped within the Picking Pot, clambering
among giant slips of paper all marked with the word "Snytcherin"
printed in blood-red ink. Then the rude blond haired boy
reached into the pot and grabbed Hairy in his giant fist,
pulling him out of the pot while saying "You're one
of us now, Hairy Pothead! You're one of us!"
Hairy rolled over and fell into
a deeper sleep. When he woke in the morning he didn't
remember the dream at all.