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Adam Fout

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    adamfout.com | Adam Fout is an addiction/recovery blogger who writes addiction-focused nonfiction and speculative fiction. He has upcoming or published fiction and nonfiction in Flash Fiction Online, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, december, J Journal, Another Chicago Magazine, the Superstition Review, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the 2020 Odyssey Writing Workshop. Visit his addiction / recovery website at adamfout.com. 5 chapters of his memoir have been sold to the litmags listed.
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  1. Name Adam Fout Novel Title Frost (70,300 words) Genre Near Future Science Fiction Comparables Glow by Tim Jordan and Dare to Know by James Kennedy Hook Line After entering a Dallas rehab in 2071 for a new drug called frost, a broken addict on his final attempt at sobriety discovers he and his friends are being drugged by the head counselor and struggles to escape with his friends (and his newfound sobriety) intact. Short Pitch Axel is addicted to frost, a drug that literally freezes users within 36 hours unless they take more. He uses to self-medicate the pain of an abusive childhood and numb his self-hatred. In the midst of a second ice age, he enters a long-term rehab in Dallas in 2071 to try to get sober. Above everything, Axel wants to be more than he is, to get out of this horrible life, to find meaning. He meets 5 other patients who, through their shared addiction and suffering, become close friends whom Axel wants to save alongside himself. They discover that the head counselor, Julie, is testing a new version of frost on them that causes rapid detox. Axel and friends escape the rehab and learn about a procedure in Antigua, Guatemala that can detox them rapidly and safely. Axel leads them toward the redemption he so desperately wants for himself. Security Bots guard the borders, and cash is scarce, but Axel and friends band together to overcome obstacles and moral dilemmas on their quest for freedom. Prose Sample Call it freeze. Call it rime. Call it glacier. Call it frost. Call it death. That’s all it is. It’s the drug of the 21st century. It’s the drug I can’t escape. One thing everyone knows about frostbiters. Never trust a word they say. # I’m in a government-funded oven called Hope’s Place. Been here for three weeks. When I got in, the intake coordinator told me, “Axel, the average stay is a year and a half, but given your history, you’re looking at more like three.” “I don’t give a shit,” I’d said. “I just want off.” I did then. I’m not so sure now. It’s like two parallel trains of thought in my fucked up head. In one, all I want is to get sober. In another, all I want is to get fucked up. I’m 38. I have no idea how much longer I can keep this shit up. I have no idea if I’m gonna be able to stay in this fucker. It takes a year to get off freeze. It’s got a detox that makes heroin look like nothin. They fill you full of Librium for the first six months to make sure your GABA receptors don’t send you into seizures. First week here, a guy missed his doses on purpose. Seizure was so bad he went braindead. ’Nother chick’s permafried from three seizures in a row. Bit her tongue in half on the third. Covered the TV room with blood. I take my Librium. Somethin about that Librium though. Don’t quite feel like a benzo’s supposed to. I done a lotta benzo’s in my day. Xanax, Valium, Ativan. I know what the fuck it’s supposed to feel like. This shit feels… off. This whole place. It just feels off. Like a dream. Second thing they do is pump antidepressants into you until you get serotonin syndrome. Only way to get your core temperature up high enough you don’t freeze to death. Before they had ovens, used to be frostbiters would freeze in sixty degree weather comin off the shit. Frost is a motherfucker, ya know? You got thirty-six hours before you need to use again. You don’t, you freeze. You use too much, you freeze. And just like heroin. You use for just a few fuckin days. And you’re hooked. I seen a couple rime addicts frozen solid in an alleyway in the middle of Dallas summer—almost seventy degrees outside—on account of not gettin their dose. That was back when the glaciers were still in Ohio, back when freeze was just another drug, back when no one gave a shit about junkies or crackheads or alkys or frostbiters dyin in the Dallas streets. I take Parnate and Prozac the way they tell me to. Bio Adam Fout is an addiction and mental health blogger at adamfout.com and has been sober for 10 years. He has been published in numerous literary magazines, including december, Flash Fiction Online, and J Journal.
  2. Kansas is a flyover state. Even the dregs of the middle class would rather take a plane over than risk stopping inside. I’m in a crackhouse, which is to say, somewhere safe. Somewhere like home. The apartment’s walls are covered in blood spatters, the carpet a patchwork of black, still-wet stains. A blunt hunting knife has been stabbed into a once-beautiful mahogany table. A tiny cracked mirror with lines of coke is balanced on the table’s edge. Hundreds of cigarette butts, wet and sticky with a purple fluid, spill from table to carpet. Burn marks and holes cover the gray cloth couch. The resident crackhead, Swimming Team Fred, has a body like a machete, smokes rocks like a bonfire. Fast Jacky is five foot and talks like six, walks like seven. He has two kids in another of those square, flat states, pieces of his heart he’ll never get back. They are men who live at the edges of cracked needles and cellophane, gravel men who carve allowances for decay and rust in their lives. Fred dances in the kitchen, his body in constant motion, his pupils massive. Jacky splays across on the couch, hovering near the coke. Fred’s tiny girlfriend Ella curls up on the end of the couch in a fetal position. She will not look at anyone. I wonder what they used to be like before the American dream came there to die—the flyover states, Fred, Jacky, his kids, his heart, all of it. Places of tall wheat and sunflowers and endless light, of thunderstorms in a sky bigger than God. The land of the Wind People, of the Wichita and Comanche. Can you count the peaceful millennia before we poured their blood into the earth, forged Walmarts and Olive Gardens from their bones? Lineages strong and infinite of Cheyenne and Arapaho, Apache and Kiowa, Pawnee and Osage and ten thousand others lost to memory and white knives. What would those forgotten people think of the fat churchmen who roll over those raped plains in shining cars with little girls in their laps, of Fred Phelps’ horrid kids holding signs that say “God Hates Fags” at funerals for nineteen-year-old children sent back from Afghanistan in body bags? What would they say of the OxyContin and Xanax and Ritalin sown into our souls? What would they say of the legions of addicts crawling through the muck above the ruins of their earthlodges, of the buffalo-less burial grounds converted to razed frac sand and meth-bomb fields? What do they say now? Fast Jacky claims some portion Native American, like it gives him leave to sucker punch dopefiends when they owe him $50, like the violence in his blood comes from these people he can only ever think of as wild, these people he knows nothing about. Jacky sneers at oxy addicts while X worms holes through his skull.
  3. Call it freeze. Call it rime. Call it glacier. Call it frost. Call it icebomb. Call it death. That’s all it is. It’s the drug of the 21st century. It’s the drug I can’t escape. One thing everyone knows about icebombers. Never trust a word they say. # I’m in a government-funded oven called Hope’s Place. Been here for three weeks. When I got in, the intake coordinator told me, “Axel, the average stay is a year and a half, but given your history, you’re looking at more like three.” “I don’t give a shit,” I’d said. “I just want off.” I did then. I’m not so sure now. It’s like two parallel trains of thought in my fucked up head. In one, all I want is to get sober. In another, all I want is to get fucked up. I’m 38. I have no idea how much longer I can keep this shit up. I have no idea if I’m gonna be able to stay in this fucker. It takes a year to get off freeze. It’s got a detox that makes heroin look like nothin. They fill you full of Librium for the first six months to make sure your GABA receptors don’t send you into seizures. First week here, a guy missed his doses on purpose. Seizure was so bad he went braindead. ’Nother chick’s permafried from three seizures in a row. Bit her tongue in half on the third. Covered the TV room with blood. I take my Librium. Somethin about that Librium though. Don’t quite feel like a benzo’s supposed to. I done a lotta benzo’s in my day. Xanax, Valium, Ativan. I know what the fuck it’s supposed to feel like. This shit feels… off. This whole place. It just feels off. Like a dream. Second thing they do is pump antidepressants into you until you get serotonin syndrome. Only way to get your core temperature up high enough you don’t freeze to death. Before they had ovens, used to be icebombers would freeze in sixty degree weather comin off the shit. I seen a couple rime addicts frozen solid in an alleyway in the middle of Dallas summer—almost seventy degrees outside—on account of not gettin their dose. That was back when the glaciers were still in Ohio, back when freeze was just another drug, back when no one gave a shit about junkies or methheads or alkys or icebombers dyin in the Dallas streets. I take Parnate and Prozac the way they tell me to. Ovens are mazes designed to keep addicts in and the public out, but you pay close attention, and you can figure ’em out. I walked through the hallways from the psychiatrist to the medical doc to the cafeteria and back ten times at least. I think I got the place mapped out. I think I could escape if I wanted to. But do I want to? I don’t fuckin know.
  4. 1. Story Statement A young drug addict in Kansas fights his addiction, only to move to Texas and struggle with mental illness and sobriety. 2. Antagonist Heroin. Cocaine. Methamphetamine. Benzodiazepines. Addiction. Sobriety. All threaten to take the life of the protagonist, who is the biggest threat of all to himself. 3. Title Drug Seeking Behavior: One Addict’s Broken Memories of the Opioid Crisis in the Midwest Fiend Altered Mental Status: Drug Dealers, Madness, and The Endless Plains of Kansas 4. Genre/Comparable Titles Genre: Memoir The Recovering by Leslie Jamison Generation Oxy by Douglas Dodd & Matthew B. Cox 5. Core Wound/Primary Conflict In the early 2000s in Lawrence, Kansas during the peak of the opioid epidemic, a drug dealer, certain of his worthlessness, stumbles from one insane event to another, seeking and fearing sobriety, himself his greatest enemy. As sobriety grips him after a move to Texas, his mind begins to unravel, a new madness threatening his life. 6. Other Matters of Conflict Primary conflict: In the memoir, I am conflicted between my deep addiction to many drugs, my life as a drug dealer, and my wish to live a good life and be a good person, all overshadowed by my myriad mental illnesses. In one scene, while buying drugs, I consider how much money I would need to start a drug dealing business that could give me a good life, but my anxiety overwhelms me, and I race home to burn my SIM card in a frying pan, terrified I will be caught for possession. Secondary conflict: I am in constant conflict with the people around me, from friends of drug addicts who confront me for dealing drugs to their friend to my girlfriend who chases me from city to city after a horrible breakup to another girl who saves me from committing suicide to a drug addict I am teaching to become a dealer to take my place. In all these relationships, I struggle between trying to be a good person and actually being a coward, always running, never facing the truth, and being cruel and vindictive in between. 7. Setting In Lawrence, Kansas, under the shadow of the University of Kansas, a drug subculture rages during the height of the opioid crisis, pills and cocaine changing hands while addicts die and dealers profit. In Dallas, Texas, that same subculture produces a new one—the subculture of sobriety. Between the inner halls of rehabs and the stages of Dallas performing arts centers, the lives of the recovered addicts seethe and struggle with newfound sobriety.
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