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Shea’s Story [MRVR Notes]

OK, so here’s the base info page for Shea’s story, similar to the one I did for Emo’s story. These will probably be the four principle characters, although I’m sure more will be included. As mentioned in the base MRVR plan and summary, Shea’s story will take place over the 10 year period from Chapter 6 to today, and will thus include the elements I had already planned out for the original Moose River Book 3 (Chapters 7-9), along with new elements as well.

The character designs depicted are ones which cover Shea’s story that takes place 10 years later, but the bits of Chapter 7-9 will look similar to how Shea looked back then. Here’s a quick breakdown of who’s who and what’s what. (SIDE NOTE: Hopefully it’s obvious, but sometimes I’ll include questions or POVs in the descriptions… it’s not me bringing it up but rather the character in question thinking about it themselves.):

  • SHEA MARERRA: Our main character. She’s working as an office clerk after having quit working at the Pet Cemetery at Forbidden Mountain. She’s been having drug addiction issues since at least Moose River chapter 6; Chapters 7 was going to address her entering rehab while Chapter 9 was going to have her see it to completion… which may or may not be what I depict here. But as mentioned in the graphic, this will be her third attempt to get clean.
  • QUICK DESIGN NOTE: Shea’s still “ironically” following current trends, partially so she can make people who look like her look bad. It’s kinda like that one “WHERE’S MY SZECHUAN SAUCE?!” freak out video, where the guy was clearly trolling in order to make Rick and Morty fans look like a bunch of complete pieces of shit (not that they needed any help with that; I’ll shut up now). But I kinda think she likes it and uses “trolling” as an excuse. So right now she’s doing that whole “shaving the one side of your head” thing. Her attitudes, however, will be one of confusion and fear. Why would anyone want to help someone as worthless and scummy as her?
  • JACKSON DURANTE: Shea’s drug councilor and sponsor. Super handsome with a great smile. He too has had issues with drugs during his younger years, but he’s been clean for 20+ years, and uses exercise in order to help him stay clean. Jackson has known Shea since he was assigned to her during her second attempt to get clean. She kept going through councilors in her previous attempts (the first she quit because she thought it was too tough) until being assigned Jackson, which she then tried her best to do things right. Jackson is legitimately interested in seeing Shea get clean and do the right thing; when Shea quit rehab the second time, it greatly disappointed Jackson, and Shea in turn was legit surprised to see him be so disappointed, which was enough to convince her to give it another shot (albeit like one year later). I wonder if it’s OK for a patient to date their councilor? He hasn’t mentioned anything about a partner, and he’s definitely straight… but then again maybe that’s none of Shea’s business.
  • QUICK DESIGN NOTE: I’m terrible at drawing “handsome men”! Like, I can draw dudes pretty easily and normally, but I draw guys from a guy POV. Drawing a dude from a woman’s POV is super challenging. But I think I can get used to it. If anything Jackson will be a good way to practice and test out some handsome man techniques. For now though I’ll focus on his behavior and Shea’s reactions and relationship to him. Also, I may have him have a slight hidden side to him, as part of his personal flaw. Like he was actually born Andrew Jackson Durante (as in “Andrew Jackson” is his entire first name) but he prefers to be called just “Jackson” and hides this point so well that very few people actually know that about him. I don’t want it to be his main character focus, but I feel like his totally human flaw of being unwilling to offer up information may cause a legit strain on his relationship/friendship with Shea. We’ll see.
  • SHEA’S HERO(IN): I call him her “Hero”, but he represents Shea’s main drug of choice: heroin. As a so-called “functioning addict”, Shea’s learned how to avoid destroying herself over drugs, which means never injecting it. She’s stuck to smoking it, or snorting it as of late (it’s easier to conceal and is thus way less obvious). Shea’s story therefore will be Shea’s struggles to define what happiness really is: if drugs makes me happy, and I don’t have to hurt anyone else because I’m just a shitty girlfriend and partner, then why shouldn’t I use drugs if it means no one gets hurt? Plus heroin won’t hit me, or cheat on me, or force me to give up sex just to keep him pleased… it’s all of the benefits of a boyfriend with none of the drawbacks. None. There are no drawbacks to using drugs at all.
  • QUICK DESIGN NOTE: Shea’s Hero will take the form of the lead singer of Shea’s favorite (indie/local) band, “Apes to Astronauts”. It does also kinda look like Jackson, or maybe the other way around… it’s definitely not a coincidence. I don’t intend on having it talk unilaterally, but rather it’ll only say whatever Shea puts in it’s mouth. Furthermore it’s actions will only be reactions to Shea’s own actions, in the sense of acting in acknowledgement that Shea is addicted to it’s love. Or “love”. Finally, Shea’s Hero, while maybe appearing to be the “antagonist” of the story, won’t ever “lose”. It doesn’t “lose”. It’s been part of Humanity for millennia and it has never “lost”. But it also knows how to pick its battles and accepts the almost inevitable return of its girlfriends (or boyfriends). In that case, patience is its specialty, and therefore its actions (or inactions) will reflect this; like, there is no need to fake a level of confidence when you know something will happen exactly as you expect.
  • NAVY CHANG: Navy left Moose River maybe six years ago to go live in Boston, just because she got tired of everyone’s fakeness. Or maybe she was sick of her own fakeness. Or maybe because Takashi—her ex-boyfriend—moved there, and she followed. She might also have a kid, but she’s been mum about it. Navy definitely isn’t currently in a relationship with anyone in any case. Part of the story might involve her departure, and/or her return to visit. We’ll see.
  • QUICK DESIGN NOTE: I’m gonna keep Navy in fairly conservative clothing for this story. I never saw her as being wild, just unstable. Her friends still love her for who she is, and were legit disappointed when she moved away. This might be why she came back for a visit, tho no kid is in tow, so her motherhood rumor remains just that.

This is going to be another huge story to cover, especially given such a heavy subject matter like heavy drugs. But honestly I feel it’s a story that needs to be told, given the heroin addiction epidemic that is plaguing the nation right now. (I blame the Reagan-era “Just Say No!” anti-drug campaign for all this, but that’s another story for another time.) In any case, I hope it’s a story that people will be interested in reading about.

The thing is, it’s easy to treat it like the entire life of an addict stops dead in its tracks because of their drug abuse. But the modern truth is, it doesn’t. Again, “functioning addicts” are something that exists, in the sense that addicts are able to not destroy their lives so suddenly like addiction is depicted in the media. Rather than a quick flame out in a blaze of glory, it’s instead a slow but persistent burn. The problem is that society has a system to deal with such catastrophic burn outs… but not so much when it comes to the slow burn of “functioning addicts”.

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Moose River
by Philippe Van Lieu
—Fully Charged - June 27th, 2019—

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