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Instant Sober

Instant Sober

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Instant Sober

301 pages
10 hours
Apr 30, 2010


This is not only a dark exciting tale of a streak of murders in Toronto, but one of the most outstanding action detective novels I’ve ever read. It is a time of a brilliant innovative invention of two Canadian scientists–gone wrong! It’s also the time of the Spiderman Rapist terrorizing the city of Toronto and the two police detectives who are thrust into the crisis caused by both events. A masterpiece.

This dynamic writing duo transforms the detective story from a mere cliché in puzzle-solving to pure art; the pace as the investigators unravel the strange cases of murder in the homes of Toronto slips into warp drive . . . highly readable quick-paced drama in the streets of Toronto, Detective Adam Kenzy unravels the mysteries of the Spiderman Rapist and the Bird's Nest Murders. Interesting and full of blood and guts with lots of twists and turns. I was enthralled–found it difficult to put it down, with its quick ability to grab the reader and hold his attention throughout. Not necessarily a book for someone with a weak stomach but a great exciting read with an almost too close to home feel, if it were not fiction, (being a Toronto native). Would recommend it to those who enjoy the dark witty humor accompanied by aggressive action thriller. A great collaboration between the two authors, who seem to be getting more creative and intoxicating with every new work that comes out.

Apr 30, 2010

About the author

E A St Amant is the author of How to Increase the Volume of the Sea Without Water, Dancing in the Costa Rican Rain and Stealing Flowers.

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Instant Sober - E A (Edward) St Amant

Instant Sober

Published by E A St Amant at Smashwords

Smashwords Edition August 2011

Verses and poems within, by authors

Web and Cover design by Edward Oliver Zucca

Web Developed by Adam D’Alessandro

e-Impressions Toronto

Copyrighted by E A St Amant May 2010

Author Contact ted@eastamant.com

E A St Amant.com Publishers


All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, emailing, ebooking, by voice recordings, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without per-mission in writing from the author or his agent. Instant Sober: ISBN- 978-0-9782603-0-9. Digital ISBN: 978-1-4523-5628-0. Thanks to the many people who did editorial work on Instant Sober and their many kind suggestions, including Robyn Stephenson and Lisa D’Alessandro. This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writers’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances whatsoever to any real actual events or locales in persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Some initial ideas for the project were produced by Robbie Morra, with thanks.

By Edward A St Amant

How to Increase the Volume of the Sea Without Water

Dancing in the Costa Rican Rain

Stealing Flowers

Spiritual Apathy


Book of Mirrors

Perfect Zen

Five Days of Eternity

Five Years After

Five Hundred Years Without Faith

Fog Walker

Murder at Summerset

This Is Not a Reflection of You

The Theory of Black Holes (Collected Poems)

The Circle Cluster, Book I, The Great Betrayer,

The Circle Cluster, Book II, The Soul Slayer,

The Circle Cluster, Book III, The Heart Harrower,

The Circle Cluster, Book IV, The Aristes,

The Circle Cluster, Book V, CentreRule,

The Circle Cluster, Book VI, The Beginning One


Atheism, Scepticism and Philosophy

Articles In Dissident Philosophy

The New Ancien Régime

By E O Zucca and E A St Amant

Molecular Structures of Jade

Living Animal

Chapter 1

Track Grant wore a jean jacket over his wool pajamas and had a bright red toque covering his head. He sat on the wooden bench in the backyard drinking a Tim Hortons coffee. On the side of the bench was carved a crude ‘Hal 9000’. This was where as a kid he had played scientist. White tissue paper was jammed up his nostrils; his eyes were settling on what appeared to be a dead fox in the middle of the yard. He had a headache from more than one too many schnapps last night with his dad, who was leaving today to travel south for several weeks.

With the cold air, the irritation was passing. The freshness of the early morning helped too. He got up and backtracked into the kitchen, retrieving two plastic grocery bags. In scooping up what certainly seemed to have once been a beautiful mammal, he noticed upon studying it, two small holes in its head. He had seen the next door neighbor’s teenage boy with a pellet rifle. He put the carcass in the bag, sat it on the bench beside him and finished his coffee, perhaps for a moment even dozing.

The yard was enclosed by the wooden and wire fences of the surrounding neighbors and had fifteen medium sized and diverse trees – chestnut, granny smith apple, cottonwood, willow, red pear and others – it was a woodland more than a boxed-in space so typical in Scarborough. It had no bordering fences of its own, yet was private; it had no symmetry but was idyll, well to him anyway; certain neighbors hated its bucolic design and had let their feelings be known.

As a professional scientist, it seemed an infinitesimal complaint from a cross-section not worth reckoning; in his mind, the anal class.

He had momentous matters on his mind.

In his first year of biology at the University of Toronto – maybe ten years ago – he had heard a story about this young inexperienced microbiologist. He had worked on proto-chemical formulas which were aimed at fighting diseases like angina. Their ensuant medical varieties, if palliative, were worth a fortune. In his own small private laboratory, or so the story went, this scientist-inventor produced a simple compound plasma loosely the same as a powerful aphrodisiac. In tests, as a significant side-effect to the main purpose, it gave male white mice prolonged erections. He thought nothing of it and didn’t put a name or patent on his new serum. Two years later, sildenafil citrate – viagra – hit the market.

Track recalled a limerick from his friend and fellow scientist from U of T, David Cornwall.

It made baby boomers none the wiser,

But, as for it’s authors, they can’t say aught, according to Pfizer,

Who profited from them, more than ever dreamt the Kaiser.

The point? The inventors had good jobs–the company continued to make billions.

What did this have to do with him?

At Hoddarys Laboratories – his former employer –Track had worked on a chemical compound consisting of prothrombins and other clotting factors used to discover substances with a positive effect on clots and coagulations in human blood.

He had made a startling discovery months ago.

He had been working with biogenetic cultured plant life rendered in human blood samples into a serum and had used a specified combination of proteins to produce specimens he had needed to further his main experiment. His in-vitrofication solutions encompassed stomatals, hypo-lignification and hyper-hydricity. The result of this complex and multiple combination of factors including acclimatization issues – the temperature on the module was near 30̊ C – was a liquid solution cold to the touch, with an acrid smell and clear dark attributes.

It was essentially the ingredients of mischance – destiny – which were responsible for the uncharacteristic response in the in-vitro phenotype. He tested it on and off against a well of on-hand samples for a period of a few weeks. It was like a sidebar–fooling around–curiosity. The samples with crystalline tropane alkaloids like opiate analgesics, cannabis or alcohol, when tested, were transformed into substances without opiates, toxins, stimulants or narcotics. More importantly, they lacked any significant cell damage.

A weird thing in itself!

Why he had these crystalline tropane alkaloid samples in reserve had nothing to do with his experiment. It was his senior partner, Brent Farrow, who had been using them in another altogether different experiment. By chance – destiny again – Brent Farrow was away for most of the month of March, in Hawaii, with his wife, when his discovery had taken place. These flukes led to a domino effect. Track destroyed the blood and vitro samples, test results, login-records and any other information relating to his tests from the previous weeks.

Brent Farrow would never go down the same micro-chemical paths as he had been treading these last weeks. They were in some sense based on irrational optimism, and looking back, his lab decisions had no logic at all.

When Brent Farrow returned to work he noticed nothing.

After several weeks, Track resigned from Hoddarys, postulating personal reasons and a desire to travel abroad. No one noticed anything suspicious and his fellow researchers even took him out to dinner as a sort of bon voyage.

Here he sat.

At the start of every day his reveille was a review of these last months. He didn’t think of it as the perfect crime, or even as lawbreaking. He had discovered the solution with his own work . . . his own mind, but on somebody else’s coin. A legality.

One small misstep and he would have to deal with the repercussions from Hoddarys after he launched his own research and campaign. That would be an economic disaster. Hoddarys, if they could, weren’t just going to mulct him, they would consume him whole, even send him off to prison.

The modern corporation was the new unforgiving feudal regime.

His phone vibrated. It wasn’t the call he wanted. He took the tissue out of his nostrils and ate a box of Junior Mints.

For days his ex-girlfriend had refused to talk to him. She wouldn’t return his calls. They had been together for some considerable length of time. He was hoping that whatever problem had arisen between them would somehow disappear.

If looking by appearance alone, it seemed that when he had quit his job, the light had gone out of her eyes. Perhaps she was mercantile. Women were a mystique, deep, untarnished and unfathomable, like the Virgin Mary or Mona Lisa, but of course he knew that many of them were outright whores.

He rose and stretched, picking up the double-bagged dead fox and heading around to the front of the house through a wide alleyway which his father shared with his neighbors on the right. While the backyard was closed in on all sides by multiple borders, the front was entirely opened. Across the street, a barren field spread out into a woodland. To its left, stood a small outdoor municipal children’s park. The neighbors to both the right and left had the same type of house as his father’s: four bedrooms, a den, three bathrooms, finished basements, and each structure about 2500 square feet.

Their front lawns were divided down the middle with sidewalks straight out from the entrance with a pretty Japanese cherry blossom or red maple on either side and hedgerows of oleander and miniature red cedar nicely bordering it. Every house in the subdivision had large two-car garages. The street, despite this, was packed with cars. The sad or happy fact was that the average Canadian family owned two each. He had always told himself, however, that there were far more trees than cars in Toronto, well at least by sight alone He knocked at the Basen’s front door, using their brass knocker. Ironically, it was in the shape of a fox. The Basen’s front yard was unobstructed by trees, fixtures or shrubbery. They grew straight-up and simple bright green manicured old-fashioned grass. He was hoping for the boy – Kyle – who was pleasant and somewhat reasonable. Who he got instead was Kyle’s dad – Jack – a balding bear of a man without grace or patience, but one with who Track had always seen eye to eye. Jack worked for Alarm Power going on a decade, and after a fashion, had the disposition of many police: wry, suspicious and critical. He was someone you wouldn’t want to cross without good cause but in a pinch could be a good guy. Notwithstanding, this might be the ‘fine mess’ which would fracture their frail neighborliness. Track’s father wouldn’t appreciate that.

Track Grant, Jack Basen said with a whisper of smile which was more in the eyes than on the mouth. What can I do for you?

Now standing here, Track was sorry he’d come, but swallowed his reticence. Hey, Jack. He uncovered the red fox.

You got him. Jack said. Good for you.

I think it was your son, he said flabbergasted. It has pellet holes in its head.

I don’t know about that. Kyle couldn’t hit the side of a barn, but this little red devil has developed an appetite for our Ringed Turtledoves. Track couldn’t think of what to say. He had long known they bred and showed thoroughbred pigeons. So what would you like me to do with it? Jack asked.

I thought Kyle might like it, to stuff and mount in his bedroom or something.

My son doesn’t mount that kind of fox. Track laughed to be polite. Actually he had often wondered if Jack’s son was gay. You keep it, Jack added gruffly. It was more of a command than a suggestion.

He returned home and threw the stiff body of the dead red fox into the green plastic trash can near the back of the garage. He went inside, cleaned his dishes and stepped in front of the mirror in the upstairs washroom. He was somewhere below 200 pounds now. It was his old standard, a constant weight of late teenage-hood, which had grown much heavier as he filled out into his mid twenties. Laboratory work was a lot of sitting in front of a screen and then skipping out for a quick fast bite (usually of the worst sort of fast food).

His body was hairless, or rather was replete with short fine blond hair not easily seen, even his pubic hair seemed sparse. His college haircut made the mop on his head innoxious, six feet and some odd inches from the spotless tiled floor. After his morning dump, he masturbated and shaved at the same time, using up all of two minutes; he was hardwired in the one and almost hairless in the other, so these thing didn’t take long, but he considered them both nuisances – well, the dump too for that matter.

After his shower, he checked his weight on the scales – 195. Ever since he’d left Hoddarys, he had been losing weight. He told himself that it was all due to his own objectives, but perhaps it was nothing more or less than an anxiety diet. It looked as though his girlfriend was leaving him just when he was taking a huge risk with his life. He was losing many spare pounds; he was sweating it. He hadn’t slept well for months, nor in turn, was he thinking straight.

His dad had asked him if he was in love, which was pretty thick, since Track wasn’t even seeing anyone except brandy in a bottle. Lori White, the woman he indeed loved, whose love had given him the strength to leave Hoddarys Laboratories and pursue this wild idea was having doubts about him. She had dropped pretense at being his girlfriend. He might be attractive as a class, being a scientist and all, but what did that mean now? Arcane whisperings of his lonely college days had returned to him. He had been drinking more.

He reassured himself though, that his new discovery would give him wealth and fame.

Everything was under control. She’d come back!

It wasn’t the investment capital alone which he needed to raise that had made him uneasy. Small business loans were encouraged and subsidized by the Canadian government. It wasn’t deciding on an ally he could trust; a scientist-partner to help him with his new formula. What steady man of science would risk such a thing on a wild gamble? Who would have faith among all those skeptical scientists he knew. Faith was often treated with disdain. To get a partner, he couldn’t mortgage the whole endeavor into the indefinite future either. It was going to be hard!

If only he could do it alone, but it was just too big–too important.

There was one man. His closest friend at university – David Cornwall – had been a lab rat like him, but he had left that behind to become an executive for a major pharmaceutical. If only he could get David. They had been tight. He was streetwise and no-nonsense. He excelled at research, but would he do it?

He made six figures. Track wasn’t overly optimistic, but he had to try. Still, David was a small worry compared to Lori. It struck him as odd that most of his anxiety at this point was caused by a woman, and only secondly by the desire for wealth. For the man, it was always about the woman.

Chapter 2

Adam Kenzy sat at his desk at Precinct 52, a large office at the back of the free-standing structure. Photos of his late wife and kids were perched in a cluster around a large lamp in the right corner. His daughter Mara had been four years old at the time of her death, and Hayden, his son, only three. Another photograph of his recently deceased mother was beside it. All were dead, every single person he had loved except for his sister, Lin, were gone from this earth. Maybe those dolorist theologians of the middle ages were right about life being full of pain and grief. That defined his adult life: stochastic, disquieting and filled with broken-heartedness.

It was an appropriately cold, wet Wednesday in May. He was working the night-shift, sharing his office with his partner on a dull night in the city. He stared down at the news clipping he had in front of him on his desk, scratching his goatee one second, pulling his slight sideburns the next. The article was in fact about the death of his mother, Pam Kenzy. She had been so proud of him. He had been a detective for seven years promoted to the position on the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force from patrol; at the time, the youngest ever. The wall behind his chair held citations of Due Diligence, Beyond the Call of Duty, Heroic Effort and so forth.

On the wall opposite him was a quite remarkable painting of a sparkling red barn with shining black quarter horses and pristine white chickens. Near the barn, in a luxurious house, pigs sat around a fancy dining table on the porch and drank from delicate tea cups. On a broken mail-box by the front gate, were the faded letters, Farmer Democide. It had been painted by his sister Lin in university some years ago. He used to hate her political bent. What did politics mean in Canada? It was the machine that had built the troughs which so many had their snouts in. He had changed his mind, or as he sometimes thought about it, crime and its effects had changed his mind. Now politics mattered but he didn’t know what to do. Near the painting, hung a poem, laminated on a poster with an enormous Metropolitan Toronto Police badge in the background which he had bought in Chinatown.

Ignoring the poem, he glanced down at the clipping again. Pam Kenzy, 58 Year Old Local Woman Murdered in Home

Next to it was a pink and white birthday candle he had picked off his piece of anniversary cake that the staff bought him to cheer him up. The cake itself sat on a plastic plate on his partner’s desk. The room was silent, in fact a hush had sprung up on him as everyone had said their, ‘good nights’ and headed out into the cheerless wet night. Perhaps they rushed a little into the gloom having felt his greater gloom. He could hardly blame them. He was funereal and saw no relief. He cupped his hands over his face and his mind drifted away to better times.

Clare sat around a table playing a board game with their best friends, perhaps it was Balderdash or Trivial Pursuit. Everyone was drinking, talking and laughing. She loved nights like that and was a wonderful hostess, not too effusive. Her laughter filled his ears. God, to see her face once more, to wrap his arms around the wonderful ivory skin. Hayden’s angelic boyish face came to him, an attractive a boy as ever created, and his older sister, Mara, a sweetheart who won Adam’s heart as much as Clara. How prettily she had been constructed and how gracious her face. To touch that dream was too hard. He rubbed his eyes with his palms and the world of sound seeped back. First came the hum of the computers, and then, of all things, a mouse scurrying up the desk to steal some cake.

He laughed at the sight of it but the moment was interrupted by Eric Ross entering the room with a rush and smashing the mouse to death with one swap of the heel of his shoe.

Got the little fucker, he shouted. I’ve been after that thief for a whole fucking week! He threw the mouse and cake into a wastebasket and sat in triumph at his desk, wiping off his shoe with sheets of Purell sanitizer. He had a hole in his sock at the top of the big toe. An oleaginous nature fell about him sometimes, other times, a heroic, or even other times, a comic one.

After a moment the office fell silent again. Adam could hear him chewing gum and smacking his jaws. He could smell the spearmint from where he sat, mildly repulsed.

Are you okay? Eric said, sitting and swiveling in his chair.

Adam grunted not looking over. He hadn’t slept a good night’s sleep since his sister had called and told him about their mother’s death, although, in truth, since Clare and the children’s death, the nights hadn’t been exactly glorious woolgathering events, but still, they had been getting better.

His 58 year old mother had been murdered in Gravenhurst.

His life was filled with violence and destruction and there was nothing he could do about it. He could quit . . . surrender . . . but no, he couldn’t shave the pelage and go from a lion to a mouse. Look what happens to the mice? It would destroy him faster than a bullet to the head.

Ah, brace yourself, his sister Lin’s broken sobbing voice echoed in his head. Are you sitting? It’s bad . . . it’s so . . . .

Lin had moved to Gravenhurst after she had married. It was a small tourist town pinned between Muskoka Bay and Gull Lake–near Bracebridge. Her husband, Beau Rogers, had found work for Bracebridge Oxygen Incorporated, becoming a paramedic. Lin, after having worked so long with victims of domestic violence at Francis Deacon House in Woman’s Hospital, had made a complete career change and was now working as a Loan’s Officer for TD Canada Trust in Huntsville. The odds were frightening. Part of the reason they were now living in Gravenhurst was to be closer to Mother.

Norma will be safer there, Lin had argued, talking about her daughter. With a better education.

The crime rate is higher in rural than in urban areas, Adam had countered. Toronto is one of the safest places in the country and the schools are good . . . secure.

The kids in the city have . . . it’s too much, too busy . . . a lot of confusion. Who’s going to look after mother?

It was true. Mother wasn’t the same since his father had committed suicide all those years ago when Adam was a teenager. Especially after a mountain bike accident where she shattered some bones in her leg and was prescribed oxycodone. She had developed an addiction to painkillers. Some nights – at the time it felt like every night – she would call him late in a sleepless slumber, saying awful things about her life and about how she thought her kids had failed.

Adam loved her. She had just had a rough life.

Now the old lady was dead.

Everyone dies, but when your mother dies that’s when you feel your own mortality, and Adam couldn’t help but feel like he had let her down. He had arrived in the city this morning after taking the last four days off for the funeral and to be with Lin and her family. Yet, just to beat him down a bit further, he could feel he was getting a cold. That familiar tickle in his throat which usually meant a week of sneezing, aches and pains. Maybe it was H1N1. No one would shut up about it! He knew he needed to rest. He wanted to lie with Clare and hold her until he fell asleep. It was last year when his family had been killed by a drunk driver. It was the worst time, a punishment for some unnamed sin. He felt beaten. His mother had been murdered – physically assaulted – brutally mutilated. Where, when did it stop?

Eric picked up the newspaper clip he had been lost to, pulling him away from his introversion. Who murders a nearly 60 year old woman in a small quiet town like Gravenhurst?

His partner’s kind unobstructed eyes showed his pity. Adam hated it. Eric

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