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Los Angeles: Winter, 2005.

Most of the apartments near Pico and Hoover were filthy, run down and not very secure. On a cold January night in the bottom unit of a drafty duplex, Elizabeth Roth, a small, young woman who had given up on life, laid alone on a tattered sofa. A needle, spoon and matchbook sat on top of a lopsided, veneer-covered motel nightstand, which was the best the barely conscious woman could do for a coffee table. A spent match had burned a hole in a note informing Liz, and her pincushion arm, that her unemployment benefits had run out.

The absence of carpets, drapes and any other furniture caused the enthusiastic voice from the small TV to echo harshly around the room. The voice tried very hard to tell Liz how much more screwed up the city had become in the last twenty-four hours, but the heroin running through her veins refused to let the message get through. She hated bad news and the heroin did all it could to keep the bad news away. That is why the drug had become her best friend. She loved her horse and it loved her back.

While drugs shielded her from news of what happened in the outside world, only the flimsy front door of her apartment stood between Liz and a violence worse than she could imagine. In the street outside the duplex, a large man wearing a black leather coat stood silently, holding a standard issue D.E.A. battering ram. After taking a look up and down the street he

Copyright 1996, 2001, 2002 Chris Caldwell  All Rights Reserved 

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