Posts Tagged ‘Opioids’


Image result for Jesse Stone the Bitterest PillThe encroachment of Boston, and the growth within Paradise, MA has Chief Jesse Stone dealing with the big city issues in their once quiet vacation-fishing town. Reed Farrel Coleman, takes Robert B. Parker’s characters into the current world with The Bitterest Pill (2019).

The book opens with a guiding quote to ponder about the war on drugs in the USA being 50 years old and at over a trillion dollars, asking the reader if something different needs to be done? The story itself is typical Coleman/Parker. Hard-hitting, and raising questions about the role of addiction and recovery in life. Jesse is a few months sober from alcohol out of treatment, and struggling with the triggers that come to have him wanting his old friend, scotch.

The town is shook by the popular girl overdose, which casts a light on the local school. It is a winding story that shows the ease of slipping into usage as a way to dull pain- is it physical pain? Traumatic pain? How does the overlords for lack of a better term fund their endeavors? Recruit the front-line hustlers and sellers? How far will one go to feed an addiction? It was a hard read for a mystery, but it was winding and good. It made a reader think of the reality of the latest drug epidemic in North America. Cause and effect, and what ifs, also for the astute reader it can raise other questions:

  1. What are the ripple effects of the addict? Family? Community?
  2. We need to question our stereotypes and realize that it can affect anyone, like other nefarious things of recruitment of the young, it is not always the “loner” type that is targetted.
  3. Abstinence and harm reduction. Note they are put together in my writing, not polar opposites, but a spectrum of ways to heal, and what a person needs, meeting them where they are at. As Coleman writes of Naloxone, and the drive being to keep life, one knows Paradise is on the spectrum… where does that put our society?

How much do we value life? How much do we value healing?

For me, as the question the book opened with, the concept of a war is a clear enemy, with a winner and loser. What if we reframe, no check that… throw out the idea of war, and ask a different question:

Are we prepared for the truth and reconciliation of the addiction complex?

Are we willing to create space for healing and the long journey ahead.

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3 days.

2 sleeps.

Until vote day.

It has been almost 18 months since Mayor John MacCurtis also known as the super powered adventurer PinBall and Bionic Archer perished under the control of the ancient alien demon known as Thor.

A vote waits for a city to choose a new identity. A new path. Years ago the heroes of old took a stand against the blood thirsty of the new and ended a siege.

Out of that siege a new religion took a foot hold, where a cult of killers were able to get sanctioned by the government and a tax exempt status. A former villain turned hero trainer with a man of Mystery entered the heart of the Church of the Killer Face…only to have the Mystery Man remember his heart of evil.

The church was renewed on its primary mission of control, death and mayhem (plus casino money as a non-profit) with their new “Pope” of the Killer Face—K, ancient Nazi killing Supra reborn into the 21st century at the helm.

As the scrutiny comes closer. As the opioid trade and sex trafficking is further traced back to the church, the youngest members of the Great Crime Fighters (okay 2/3 of the team remaining) were dispatched to keep an eye on the cathedral of doom as the police and RCMP have come to short hand it. Johnny Power pulls his duster around him a bit tighter as the rain continues. Speedster pulls the yellow hood up to cover her flaming red hair.

“Anything?” She asks.

“Worshippers in robes walking in and out. Also, Mrs. Kobwash-Saturn’s chief rival just went in wearing red suit.” Johnny Power said as he floats a bit above the wet ground.

“Red suit. High up on the council then.” Speedster said.

“Yip, Arch-deacon I believe.” Power said.

Speedster was raised a devout Anglo-Cath in the Traditional Anglican Church of Canada. She was excommunicated when she was open about her Polyamorous relationship that did not fit the oppressive structures of control. Despite that there was something about the Liturgical style of worship and study that still filled her soul and on the quietest of times of recharge she could be found tucked away in a high back pew of a Roman Catholic Church at Mass communing with how she understood the Holy Mystery.

She knew Johnny was an atheist due to Post Traumatic Church Stress Disorder (a very fundamentalist sect his parents were, and when the family was rocked by divorce their reaction drove his sister to a suicide). His anger drove him to believe that intrinsic piece of soul that needed to be filled was nothing more than a fairy tale. He could not understand her pondering about how the liturgical churches felt with such a holy terror using their terms of reference/office to structure essentially organized crime, mass murder and serial killings. Though part of her realized religions has always been co-opted throughout history by men and women, monsters in the flesh have used it for horrific agendas that could be classed as genocide (active or passive).

For all the good religion had done in Canada around things such as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, suffrage movement, shelter systems, settlement of new Canadians, refugee aid, social justice, there was also times it was used as the Devil’s play ground with Eugenics, Sex abuse, misogyny, residential schools to name but a few.

This church Speedster looked at as the true embodiment of the Shadow of the Christianities and Religious/spiritualists of Canada if she was a Jungian. The sad part was how much the government had created mechanism for religions and non-profits to build wealth so rapidly. Wealth that was now being used in overtly predatory ways to claim lives.

“I hear the arch-deacon speaking.” Johnny said. The mayoral replacement since John MacCurtis perished to save the universe, Gordon Lived, had actively worked with council and bureaucracy to roll back police budget to units that actively dealt with sex trafficking and illegal drugs as he chose more to take the ostrich approach than the solution focus approach.

Seeing him in red, it all made sense.

“And?” Speedster said.

“Ever heard the Brother’s Osbourne song.” Johnny said.

Power was a country music fan. It had grown on Speedster in the time they had been together. “It’s not my fault ?”

“You got it.” A lightning strike just in front of the double oak doors. Johnny’s eyes go wide with the golden shimmering armoured form, sword in hand standing before the church. “He’s back?”

Speedster looks at the form. “Shotgun was meeting him toda—”

The voice was like thunder that boomed out of the armoured form. “I have come for my brother!”

To Be continued…