New Drugs Den

Samuel’s gang met every night after school. Some came immediately, studious members came after homework, and laggards came after dinner. They rode bicycles to their den, a cave at the base of Mt Alba. Older kids sometimes “borrowed” cars to get there, and gave everyone rides home.

The police knew about these activities but were powerless. They couldn’t stop a child without a special warrant, which required extra paperwork. Also, there had to be a minimum of four cops present as witnesses, each later required to take a polygraph test.

Parents didn’t even try to discipline their children. A single complaint by a child led to their immediate arrest, a speedy hearing, and possibly prison. The result of all this was that children were allowed to run free and nowhere were they freer than in Samuel’s gang.

The first few weeks were exciting, but then kids began to get bored. “Let’s play games,” said Samuel. “We’ll start with wrestling.”

This wasn’t a popular choice, and no one volunteered to participate. Since the death of his friend Dale, Samuel had had no real competition. He could crush any other boy or girl in an instant.

One of the studious gang members said, “Okay, how about some word games?”

They played rhyming, guessing, and spying games and grew bored again.

“Who’s got some cards? We’ll play poker.”

They played poker, blackjack, gin-rummy and snap.

“Did anyone bring video games?

They crowded around Playstation 6, XXX-Box and Nintendo Wiiiii.

The modern world had made them bored. With so much available, always and everywhere, nothing was ever enough. Immersion in abundance became avoidance. They needed escape.

Gang attendance declined till Samuel hit upon a new idea, which was in truth an old idea. Toxins, the oldest pleasures known to man.

They began with drinking games, downing beers, wines, ciders and spirits.

Then came smoking games, with cigarettes, cigars and hookahs.

Then snorting games. Snuff, speed and cocaine.

Then injecting games. Morphine, heroin and amphetamines.

They all became drug addicts, which proved a nice earner for Samuel, and for his next layer of lieutenants. But he realized that to become a successful organization, his own house should be in order. Every night that week he locked everyone out of the cave, and made them go cold turkey, and chased the drug monster out.

But the monster returned. Samuel’s wholesale dealers were upset by their loss of earnings, and came looking. A fur-coated, trilby wearing thug asked, “Who is Samuel? The Boss wants a word.”

They didn’t know who they were dealing with. Samuel and his gang trapped and killed them and sold their cars.

The police suspected the gang’s involvement but could do nothing, and to be frank, were not inclined to. They thought, let the underworld clean itself.

Many years later, when Samuel was a grandfather and also a godfather, his grandson’s gang was in trouble. Samuel took care of the situation personally, but in the process was wounded mortally. He hadn’t been hit though. There were no traces of poison, nor knife or bullet wounds; no ropes or cement; no fire. How had they reached him?

Modern crime was no place for old men. It was a subtle arena. Electronic signals disrupted everything, communications in the outside world and nerve impulses within. He was no match for the new breed of robot dealers. Samuel’s last sensation was that of flashing ones and zeros, and high-pitched whirrs. This was against established protocols. Computers’ offspring were also out of control.

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