I recall watching Dad behind the counter, shooting the shit with customers aside the affable Marvin Spinelli, the ice cream barkeep. That old store made all the townsfolk happy. Scowls were rare within it’s walls.
Rocko Peterson lived in a shack off Houston Hill Road. He cooked meth, and was completely bat-shit. He never slept, and suffered from delusions of being a famous golfer named Peter Rockerson, a.k.a “The Iron Slugger.” Up until two years ago he was a pretty normal guy, but meth did quick work. Rocko soon grew undeniably dangerous to himself and anyone in his vicinity. Every Wednesday, for eleven months, Rocko sketchily strolled two miles to the local Wal-Mart, buying a different golf club each time.
The Bosca twins, two sweet little elderly black women, owned the Bosca Soup Kitchen (BSK) at the corner of Main Street and Houston Hill. Molly Bosca was celebrated for her jovial jocularity, and Lucy Bosca was notorious for her wondrous wisdom.
The Super Savings Packaging Corporation (SSPC) neighbored the BSK. The head of management, David Kosmo, kept to himself. Over the years he made millions investing in the frozen foods industry. His employers remained a mystery to everyone, and the source of his funds were equally shadowed.
Across the street was The Unfortunate K-9, a night club owned by a young woman named Catrina. Inside, the walls were covered in Day-Glo graffiti with black lights, strobes, and disco balls scattered all throughout, and a giant fish tank in a jet-black bar stretching from front to the back. There were four bouncers who worked in shifts. Their names were Zack Zalinsky, Rosco Schwiggins, Franky Joseph, and Justin Case. When they weren’t working, they were partying. Sleeping didn’t fit on their schedule. Rosco was a drinker of all the drinkers, and the others were into some wild shit. Their latest lust was getting “curious” on a new drug synthesized by a mysterious fellow known only as “The Chemist.”
The Chemist synthesized PL-11, a substance known on the streets as Curiosity. It had only until recently been experimented with in labs, but it started growing in popularity in the music festival scene. It was known to give select users mind-reading abilities, and although vaguely documented, the capability to shift small objects with telekinetic force. These effects were accompanied by intense retrospective dreamlike hallucinations, allowing the aware user to change events as they occurred in the past to better themselves in the future (which was actually their present).
The unaware user, however, had no basis of what was or wasn’t a hallucination. This left them in a loop, thinking they were living a past moment for the first time over and over for eternity, like an expansive never-ending echo of deja’ vu. Users suffering this phenomenon were known to erupt into fits of violent rage, on occasion fierce enough to drive them to suicide, homicide, or both.
Ten thousand heavy doses could fit on the sharp side of a thumbtack, and the effects lasted for days, making it the perfect drug for those who weren’t interested in sleep. The drug (or “supplement” as Franky Joseph called it) opened new areas of subconscious that had not yet been tapped.
A conspiracy was underway. Frozen foods flew off shelves due to encouragement plans.
$25 dollar gift card for every $100 spent on frozen foods.
Many of the good Shepherds suspected wrongdoing, but the sheep continued to do what they were told, regardless of the Shepherd’s moral value. Shepherds and sheep are morally flawed creatures. Some Shepherds’ motifs are far from genial, and the sheep that follow them are analogously menacing. People were losing control, and the war had already begun.