We open the story in a quiet remote and dusty desert mining town. It’s a boom town and right now it’s in a lull. But the work continues day and night. There are about 18,000 people living in this town. Enough people to keep a few schools operating and plenty of Wal-Marts. And just enough people to mask a significantly large methamphetamine operation.
Now the miners love the crystal meth. Keeps them on all night while they’re working. Those dark shifts get long, and the last thing you need is a two-hundred ton equipment controller falling asleep. So this guy does up a gram of meth before the shift and he’s good to go for four hours until his next gram at break time.
The crazies love this town too. They go by unnoticed for the most part, but they’ve set up a nice little neighborhood for themselves down by the train tracks. Mostly trailer parks, but you get a few weathered looking houses here and there. The fume is enough to keep a person awake for days. Dig through a garbage can and you’ll find broken beakers, cold medicine boxes, old car batteries, kerosene containers… the most evil stuff you can imagine. And that’s about all you’ll find. Maybe a few neglected children running around in dirty clothes.
Many people don’t know, and others won’t admit it. But meth is running this town. If the police don’t come in and start crackin some crack-heads, this sleepy little mining town will never sleep again. These dope dealers start at the junior high school. Most of them are kids themselves. They’ve got a mom or a dad who brews the stuff up in a bathtub at home, this methamphetamine. Fourteen year-old kids are turning in ten page essays and too spun to realize they wrote the same sentence three times in a row on six of the pages. They think they’re doing more things when really they’re just making scrambled eggs out of everything they touch.
The parents aren’t much better. Working in the mines is a tough job and the guys out there need something to help them stay alert. And since drinking is all too tell tale, the meth makes them feel excited about work and able to take on the world.
But the truth of the entire matter is that the local government is aware of the problem. And like any government, it doesn’t go without some corruption. That’s where it all gets interesting. The former mayor had some shady deals going with the underbelly of the methamphetamine operation. The county government got wind of it and the people kicked him out of office. The new mayor comes in and decides to clean up the town. Now the DEA is in there kickin some heads to the curb. We’ve now got entire neighborhoods that are roped with yellow tape. Men and women in Hazmat suits walking in and out of houses and trailers like an extra terrestrial invasion. The smart kids are getting out of dealing and back into school. The parents are going to church and trying to clean up their heads.
We now see an old boom town, covered in yellow tape and white suits, trying to go about its business. In five years it will have twice the population it has now. Crystal meth will resurface and the cycle will start over. Educate the children, or the dope will never die.