The Covenant Bridge

The Covenant Bridge

I know this one, very important thing. A man, my creator, taught it to me. It is something that as I lay here, defines my existence. You see things were not always as they are. There used to be nothing. That’s what the man said. There was nothing, but he could change that. He was a builder.

On the day that I began, so I’ve been told, he came with his followers. A small group of dedicated men intent on learning all that he could teach them. Seeing the chasm, he paused and gave them instruction. “What then, brothers,” he said to them, “When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for the building up.”

So, they began to build and when they were done, I was left standing as a new covenant. The sides of this previously impassable ravine now in agreement to allow safe passage. The man was the first to cross.

That’s the thing I know, the way across. The man created me for that purpose and here I stand, in stillness, patiently waiting for all to cross over.

Small Fish

Just so you know, “Small Fish” is my upcoming work of fiction.

It tells the story of Stephen Crown, a blogger who takes on “big pharma” and the news media.

His popular blog, Discussion Questions, is light-hearted and aimed at the students of the local colleges. In it, he normally asks such deeply enlightened questions as; “Why is it that only sports teams have cheerleaders? What if the math department had some as well? Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah! Solve for X!”

That is until his father dies from an overdose of opiate painkillers. Stephen starts to doubt if all the advertising hype about the effectiveness and even the need for most drugs is valid. As you can well imagine, when he starts to research and speak out, he attracts the attention of the pharmaceutical industry. The darker side of which tries to prescribe a new type of cure for his particular malady. One that is to be administered by big men in black cars.

pills

ArchaeoKnights

Book I, The Gold of Ophir

A customized, black truck chases Finley, “Finn” MacAdams along the gravel farm roads of West Texas. He doesn’t know who is behind the wheel, or why they are after him. Neither does he know that his life is about to change. The chase lands him in the hospital, where he narrowly avoids capture. Deciding he needs to lay low, he goes to visit his brother, Cross. Arriving at his trailer, Finn discovers that Cross is missing. The beautiful blonde woman he finds there claims she is an archeologist, a friend of Cross’, who is worried about him. She believes Cross has set out, fleeing his own capture, in search of the legendary city of Ophir, the biblical source of King Solomon’s gold. It all seems too far-fetched to be true until Finn is kidnapped and taken to Eritrea. There, in the hands of ruthless thieves, Finn must face his inner demons. There is no choice, he cannot run this time, not if he is to save himself and his brother.

Chapter 1 – Small Fish

Stephen Crown sat behind his computer. He moved his head from side to side, stretching to relax his neck without even noticing. It was Tuesday morning, his usual blog time. The time he most looked forward to. On a normal day it was his chance to entertain and challenge the minds of others with his humor. But today there was just too much pain and anger for entertainment. Today he needed to share something more somber.

Where do I even begin to talk to this? Gotta be honest, right? Okay, well here goes.

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“My apologies for not posting last week and in advance for diverting from my usual upbeat style. Today I am much too full of sadness to be witty. You see, my father died last week. On Tuesday morning, he simply didn’t wake up.

My pops was addicted to painkillers and they killed him at age 44.”

pills

There, that feels better, getting it out in the open.

“That is a poor elegy I know and there was so much more to him than that, but that is the one thing that defines his death. Even more so than the fact that he leaves behind a wife and a son.

His death began a year ago last April when he fell from the cab of his truck. He was a long-haul trucker and after he backed his rig up to the loading dock on a rainy night, he slipped getting out. It wasn’t a long fall, but he landed with straight legs, knees locked and injured his spine. He was in too much pain to stand, but luckily he had his cell phone and dialed 911. The paramedics found him still laying in a puddle.

The doctors prescribed opioid pain meds and between them and the constant flow of energy drinks, he was back on the road in days. We thought it was a miraculous recovery and credited it to his personal strength. We were wrong on both counts. It was not a miracle and he was no match for the pain or for the addiction.

His downward spiral began that easily, just a little accident and a little too much self-applied pressure to return to his job quickly. As he pushed himself the pain increased. So he took more of the painkillers. As he took more drugs, his tolerance grew, so he had to take more to reach the same relief. When the painkillers began to affect his focus, and the energy drinks no longer helped, he sought medical help and was prescribed a psychostimulant.

His story is not unusual. Forty six Americans die from painkiller overdoses every day.

I found three empty and two full bottles of his pain pills in his truck. In the medicine cabinet there were two more, but one was nearly empty, as was the one in the bag on the nightstand. Some rough math based on the dates and quantities and I estimate that he was taking twelve, 15mg tablets per day. That 180mg total dose was three times the normal amount.

The Sunday before he died was a slow drive day. A blown recap on the rear left dual had cost him nearly two hours. He pushed to get to his drop yard and then to get home on Monday night. One more push. One more pill. One too many as it turned out.

The thing is, Mom and I never knew how bad it was. I guess we were both naive. In hind sight, there were warning signs. His irritability for one thing. The new, small, leather man purse he carried everywhere now for another. His constant need for laxatives should have been the biggest clue of all. Even the fact that eight months ago he changed his normal route so that he now stopped for a full day in Tulsa, should have told us something. But it didn’t. He was Pops, I trusted him to be smart, honest, and to be there; and now, he isn’t.

So, dear readers, today’s discussion question: “How is it that the doctors that gave him the prescriptions are different from the drug dealers on the streets?” I really need to know.”`

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