Volume One in The Story of Louise Templeton

There is fiction; there is fantasy; and there is a reality that no one has seen.

GREATER THINGS is a coming of age novel, the story of a young person who confronts a broken world. At first she used drugs to blot out the truth but then to grasp it in fullness.

Louise Templeton is a real person, of that name. She left school at 15. Never had a job, nor a marriage. Harry Ocie is an anagram of the late Professor of Physics at Glasgow University.

Glasgow is a real city where we have the highest drug misery and mortality in Europe.

As the phoney war on drugs enters its 8th decade, the Covid pandemic locked down the city centre and Chinese gangs took control of the new turf. They did not know that Beijing was becoming the main processor and exporter of mind-altering drugs.

Louise says drugs go from the illegal to the unimaginable; some dispensed, others trafficked; but the best are brewed in the Amazonian rainforest. Some enjoy them; some need them. Some calm you; some make you alert.

By the time she is 22, she has tried them all.

Underaged, underprivileged, and underestimated, Louise lives to get high and liberate caged animals. Aged 16, she was told by a retired Professor of Physics that she is a spiritual person, marked for greater things. Aged 21, she flees the gangs of Glasgow and is recruited by the cartels of Colombia who supply the west but is soon targeted by the drug lords in the narco-killings of Bogota.

England’s most iconic detective is hired by her lesbian lover to find out if Louise is dead or disappeared – but how can you trust a man who does not know who he is? Like his fictional hero, Alan “Sherlock” Holmes uses drugs to escape boredom and straight-line thinking. And the clues lead him to an absurd resolution, that, as the Physics professor theorised, Louise can be like Schrodinger’s Cat – alive and dead at the same time. And the client is the villain. And the detective was the marksman.


  • IF I DIE
  • V THE INVESTIGATION by Alan “Sherlock” Holmes


If I die the villagers will offer my body by fire in the rainforest. They will not report the death of a foreigner to the Office of Tribal Affairs.

Patrice told me, after I ingested the ayahuasca preparation the elders were afraid of my body spasms. She screamed out to me. Time was suspended. As I returned to wakefulness the translator was telling her what the village leader was saying about the white man’s delusion of the world.

You serve a cruel god who killed his only son and gave you dominion over all other species on the earth and the orders to colonise, convert, capture slaves, and steal the gold of weaker people.

But now your sister will tell you what the world is. That everything is alive and part of the planet. That humanity is a small part of life and a latecomer. But, the translator smiled, you need to ask your sister what she has seen, what no white woman has ever seen. Then you will understand why our people don’t need books. We ceased to create books after the Spanish destroyed ours.



Louise – he said – are you high? I smile. He said, I promise I won’t be angry.

I am sixteen but street wise. I said, so, you don’t even remember your own books but you’re a professor, and a great one.

He looks at me, all kinds of anger in his brain. Well – I said – Huxley, Doors, page three, adrenalin can naturally decompose in the human body and cause profound changes in consciousness. Shelf four, shoulder-high if you’re 5-2, the tall oak bookcase shedding varnish. Don’t sneeze or breathe deeply, Prof Harry, it is very dusty. Maybe full of germs. And creepies.

He just looks at me and walks out of the room. The floorboards creak under a well-worn carpet rug. He returns with an IQ test he used on candidates of my age who applied to be university students. Not that I could. There were tests of numbers, shapes, words, and sixteen objects you had to recall after turning the page. Anyway, I finished in half the time and when he counted the score he just looked up and since then he always respected me.

His heavy bones climbed the stairs to his mezzanine library, found the book, and in silence I watch him read page three. He smiles. So I smile.

In the leafy crescent of Glasgow’s west end, a taxi driver bumps his horn despite the late hour. A neighbour’s TV pumps out mindless music but the walls of these stone tenements are thick.

From his elevated library the prof laughs out loud and says, this is a 1954, first edition of Huxley’s Doors of Perception, worth a lot but only you knew its value. Take it with you when you go.

Because of my age he always sent me away before nine PM.

It was the first book I owned.

I took it to Caledonia Books in Great Western Road and the book became one fix, just one more fix. Considering its subject I suppose it justified the sacrifice and made sense at the time.

I DON’T KNOW to this day if Harry knew of my habit. Was it a flaw in me (and in others) that our brains needed or craved drugs? My father was alcoholic but my real problem was that I had been deprived of a childhood. I missed the glorious years of seeing the world as fresh and wonderful as it really is. Infinite, as William Blake said. Smelling a rose, tasting a raindrop, baking in the sun, milking a cow.

To fend for yourself in the city against bullies and perverts means to become an adult, to see and think like an adult – to live to work, to struggle to survive before you can make some sense of the world and by then they have made you conform to it.

I started drugs to blot out the truth but later in life I used them to see the truth. I began young, dodging bullets, not being seen, not being chosen, but the anger in me soon taught me how to fire bullets. Only with my tongue, of course. Always with tongue … but once with spit.

I hate guns. But it wasn’t a premonition. I didn’t see it coming, to be honest. But in her head (or mine) the silver bullet in slow motion brought the pavement up to crush her or my skull. Horrid. Blood. Oh, God! I’ll tell you about it. No man is an island; we are connected by our souls. You learn that when you take the precious substance.

I said I’d play no tricks with time and the narco-killing in Colombia was in the future. My future. Or hers. The body of a twenty-year old was interred six feet under reinforced concrete with my name so Scotland’s authorities make sure no one will find out. Not even England’s most famous detective. And you think he is dead. Define dead. Then open your mind. I asked the publisher, can I spell it as said, ayawaska? – No. – Is that for social conformity? – No, it is for search engine compatibility and target readership. And you can’t expect a publisher to extol the health benefits and safety of illegal … drugs.

§1 A Marked Person


It was a kind of arrogance; I thought I was better.

The professor of Glasgow University told me, “You have the mark. You aspire to greater things.” I was sixteen. I knew exactly what he meant. But not what to do. I had powers of observation. High IQ. Higher ideals. I did not want to think as you do. I did not want to behave as I do.

You’re a female Emil Sinclair, Louise, another century on. A thinker.

Five years later, his words give me dignity and hope. A few people would listen if I could write my own Demian.

So I must find myself. Be myself. Stop drugs. Be smart. Craft words.

I was a Gen-Z birth, and an unwanted child. I know I should think about Gen-Alpha, the little ones; what kind of a world are we passing down to them? How can they rise to great things? Could I ever raise a child? As a single parent?

I have little idea what, if anything, I inherited from my dad. As a kid I felt his absence was a rejection that made me miserable. It was a trauma that had to be avenged. I needed compensation. At first toys would do but what little I owned was left behind every time I was judged disruptive and moved to a new home. In a way your toys define you, especially when you are an adult. Designer brands; bags; your watch, or your car.

This is how I met the prof: he helped police exorcise haunted houses. Harry was a founding member of CSCPR – Church of Scotland Committee for Psychic Research. Girls of my age unwittingly channel energies that cause havoc. It’s rare but it happens. Furniture collapses; fires start; noises in the night.

I like semi colons and hope you don’t mind their liberal use. I find “quotes” clumsy and pretentious because no one recalls the exact words they said at the time. I slip tenses and from first to third person but I am only trying to re-enact things vividly or make things objective. I don’t like talking about myself, but this is my story.

Most people want money but a marked person seeks meaning. You seek truth; you follow your path; you watch, listen, and think. You talk less. No one controls you, but even a small woman has something to say, especially about cruelty. Like the nasty snob in Edinburgh; more later.

I believed that when I grew up people would listen but as another animal activist once said to me, you either have a voice or a vagina. Without thinking I replied, yeah, and you either have power or paws.

She laughed and it made me feel good. I was a poet for a few moments. I began to think that one day I would write a book. This is it.

The world will be better with women as equals. We nurture children but not even women have learned to respect all sentient beings. Animaux. Creepies. Mushrooms. Viruses. And, our planet. I don’t believe in the politics of causes; not even good causes.

Charities are corrupt. I don’t like religion either.

My friend Patrice, the biochemist, once said an honest person carries no baggage. That’s what she said, in a soft Irish accent. She worked for Big Pharma at a big salary. She did her work placement with Benzene Pharmaceuticals and they gave her a job: “Go study [and steal] the active ingredients from the tribes of the rainforest.”

So that’s how I met her.

From an early age she was planning. She planned to marry a salary earner, to rent somewhere in a capital city, to have 2 – 3 kids, to contribute to the family income, and to be independent if need be.

But, against my promise to keep it simple, I’m running ahead of my story by two years.

I’m still in Glasgow getting bored, running drugs, and I had not met the biochemist who used the b-word when I acquired my baggage.

My baggage is a green holdall with a Harrods logo in yellow thread. You’ll hear all about it. Not in the papers of course, as the criminal world has no newspapers.

The bag is packed with money, enough to give me a new start in life. But it was not mine to take. It was not theirs either. Patrice was in the future, as I said. But of course, I knew it was wrong to keep it.

I tried to give it back to the gang. But when I returned to Glasgow after two years, it was too late. Frogeyes had disappeared. Tammy had gone. New Tongs ruled but Triad-B and Wee Lan (Chinese gangs) were gaining ground. Splat, a few bodies turn up here and there; in our trade the dead speak volumes. I’m not sure if gangsters are counted in Scotland’s drug-related deaths; maybe it is only the girls. There was a lawyer who died. They made it look like suicide. The cops looked the other way. Stayed out of the way.

The Press portrayed me as a fugitive from justice, deranged hooker, animal rights activist, climate protester—and a drug addict. Oh yes, I talked to trees and sided with a killer virus. Maybe this is why I have to tell the story of the two missing years; even if you won’t believe me. What I did over lockdown in Britain.

It’s not what they said on the news.

I flew to America during the UK’s lockdown; first time ever on a plane. I thought I was calm but I threw up. Don’t know why. Perhaps I had premonitions of what was going to happen to me in America.

To participate in an ambitious publishing venture I invite publicists, publishers, and agents to read our business plan. Louise Templeton is the next Harry Potter. Greater Things the movie may come faster than you think!

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