How I got into collecting Hot Wheels

I wish I could tell you it is for my love of cars. While I do appreciate cars in all their glory, I am not a self described car person if that makes sense. But I love Hot Wheels.

It started out of necessity. I have a toy buying addiction. When I was living in a trailer house, that I owned at the time, I worked for a TV station and was making good enough money to buy toys all the time. But then payday would go and the broke would set it. I still had an itch to buy more toys. One day while I was in the dollar store I saw a display of Matchbox cars. I bought a 5 pack to have a few. It was only $5 so it scratched the itch but didn’t break the bank.

Pretty soon I found myself buying more Matchbox cars every payday. I would use them to fill out the toy lines I was collecting. I had a lot of action figures, Barbie stuff and Care Bears. But I needed more. So I kept buying Matchbox cars. Pretty soon I had bought the entire line. There were no new cars for me to buy. That is when I switched to Hot Wheels. They are made by the same company, are same size, same scale and similar materials. I figured why not?

It didn’t take long for me to build up a massive Hot Wheels collection. I set a goal of filling a single tote with nothing but die cast cars. Now I stick mostly to Hot Wheels and Matchbox but I occasionally stray into others like John Deere or Punch Buggy lines from time to time. They have to be the same scale as Matchbox cars though. I don’t buy any other scale.

What I like about die cast cars is they are cheap. I can satisfy my toy fix and only have to spend a buck and change on a toy car. It has been a godsend for managing my addiction. I don’t always have $15-$20 to buy a new action figure and my Barbie collecting is on hold until I can afford that doll house. Or find a Ken doll with clothes lol.

I could spend time talking about my personal history with automobiles but I’d rather focus on the toys instead. I like the designs. They put a lot of effort into these inexpensive little pieces of die cast and plastic cars. I just really enjoy getting a brand new car I don’t already own. I do have a few duplicates as I buy so many it is bound to happen but by and large I try to stick to originals. This can be a challenge as they only produce so many new cars a year. My collection is still growing despite the financial limitations of my current situation. But it’s okay. I found it is satisfying to pick up a new Hot Wheels or Matchbox car from time to time.

The Netflix Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a worthy successor to one of the greatest horror franchises of all time

There are only a handful of horror movies so terrifying I can’t bring myself to rewatch them no matter how much I might try to talk myself into it. The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most terrifying films I have ever seen. While not too scary to not rewatch at all, it is gruesome enough to savor my viewings so not to become spoiled. It is surely a classic.

That is not the case with the Netflix sequel. This movie demanded immediate reviewings from myself upon completion of the first watch. I watched it four times in one day. I am likely to enter it into my horror canon. But does it hold up or was it just the shock of it all?

The plot is paper thin as to be expected. Hell there is barely a plot to the original as it is. These movies are not known for their award-winning story-telling but for their shock value. It’s all about the gore baby. We all know the original kept the kills to a minimalist approach. Many were shown off camera only implied. The gore was left up to the imagination of the viewer. Its immediate sequels threw caution to the wind and doubled down on the gore. The Netflix film carries on that tradition of delivering the gore fans have come to expect.

I was trying to keep a running tally of the body count. By the time Leatherface gets to the bus I lost count. That is exactly what I wanted from this movie. My first viewing I expected the silent girl with the gunshot wound would be the final girl. I didn’t expect the magnitude of the violence this film would show me. I was quite impressed. If shock value is the bread and butter of these films then this one is a 4 course meal.

The acting is sub par as expected. The characters barely convey the emotions they are meant to demonstrate. You kind of have to fill in the blanks with your imagination. They demonstrate terror well enough but you could see multiple examples of the actors trying not to laugh on camera. I wouldn’t expect anyone finding themselves with a role in this film to take it too seriously. But who cares about acting as long as the girls can scream am I right?

The movie is a decent enough flick. I found myself wanting to see it over and over again to study it. I was enamored by the kills. It’s rare for a slasher to go all out with the kills. Often you get through the main course of teenagers and leave the adults alone. This was a rare example where everybody was fair game.

The movie leaves me with plenty of questions none of which I will examine here. What I will say is that I was quite entertained with this movie. It was well enough acted for a slasher film. The plot at least made enough sense to justify the bloodbath. The kills were the main draw and they certainly delivered on the goods here. All in all if you are looking for a bloodbath this is your movie. If you are looking for a love letter to the original film this might leave you wanting more. While it does a good enough job hearkening back to the classic original it does stand mostly on its own. It draws inspiration from the original but it leaves its own mark on the horror ethos.

I wanna say this was the most fun watching a horror movie I have had all year. After the disappointing affair that was the Hulu Hellraiser debacle I went into this hesitant to find anything I would enjoy out of it. Instead I discovered an instant classic I will revisit quite regularly. In fact I imaging this will become my regular fix for all things Texas Chainsaw.

4 out of 5 stars.

Comparing Diablo 3 to Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance

I play a lot of video games. Especially role playing games. I prefer western-style D&D-inspired games the most. I don’t mind a good JRPG from time to time but I prefer western style the most. Mostly things like Elder Scrolls, D&D itself, Diablo and Fable, among others. Of course I prefer single player games. I don’t care for MMOs too much.

Recently I been putting a lot of time into a couple different games. The first is Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance and Diablo 3 both on PS4. The two games have many similarities but there are some notable differences. For starters Baldur’s Gate has a more true to form combat system based on the table top role playing game. This is limiting in a video game capacity as it requires the player to save and rest frequently as combat is not a big part of D&D table top game play. It is meant to be nuked at low levels. I am also playing a spell caster which severely limits my combat prowess. Still the game is generous with the save points.

Diablo on the other hand has a more video game friendly combat system. I am also playing a spell caster there but you earn powerful spells quickly and your first level spells are far more useful than first level spells in the D&D game. Baldur’s Gate is also based on the 3rd edition D&D ruleset so while it is combat heavy compared to previous editions, it still has limitations in that regard.

As far as the story goes so far D&D is your standard fair. You start in a tavern and make your way into the sewers/first dungeon. From there you fight monsters one at a time if you want to live very long. It requires a lot of hit and dodge tactics followed by running away from combat to get your health brought back up. The game does provide a few easy to obtain health potions but the difficulty ramps up quite quickly. By the time you get to the first area in the dungeon you will find yourself hovering around that save point after each combat encounter. Perhaps this is the sort of game best experienced as a fighter-type character rather than a magic user. I find the game balance incredibly lacking. The game is meant to be played with a fighter class character not a magic user. This is a problem.

Diablo has a much smoother story to get into. It starts off immediately with an attack by undead zombies. It throws you into the action right off the bat. The story unfolds as you go on your adventure. The cutscenes are a little less cinematic in Diablo compared to Dark Alliance but they do the trick. They at least have voice acting as do the cut scenes in the D&D game.

I haven’t gotten far in Dark Alliance to have a strong opinion on the story itself. So far it seems pretty basic D&D. What I can tell you right off the bat is the controls are pretty easy to use. However there are limitations. I have a bow and a ton of arrows I can’t use as a magic user. This is disheartening as the game keeps dolling them out like candy on Halloween. My only spell is Burning Hands. A useful spell in close quarters combat one-on-one but useless for ranged attacks. My first hurdle came as a group of monsters with bows and arrows attacked me from head on. I had to drink several health potions and jump over some boxes in order to fight them. It took several deaths before I figured out the pattern. In table top D&D you get one shot and once you are dead you are game over make a new character. The fact the game offers save states is helpful, especially as they appear to be spaced out evenly. That helps.

Diablo has more going for it than better combat and a more engaging story. It has well defined dungeons with clear objectives. I am wondering around aimlessly in Dark Alliance not entirely sure what I am supposed to be doing. Diablo is more up front with the lore too. You find scrolls and diary entries left behind by adventurers that came before. This helps flesh out the story as well as the lore. Then there is the weapons/armor upgrades. I come across gold and weapons quite often in Diablo. So much so that I often find myself having to sell items off to clear space in my inventory. So far I haven’t come across a single weapon or armor upgrade in Dark Alliance. In fact I have yet to find a shop where I can browse items to buy. So far the game dropped me into the sewers with no explanation and then threw me to the rats.

I have to admit I enjoy playing each game for its own unique take on the role playing genre. I am enjoying Diablo 3 quite a bit more than Baldur’s Gate so far but I am still getting enjoyment out of both games. I was itching to play some D&D so Dark Alliance scratches that itch nicely. However Diablo 3 is by far the more satisfying role playing game. When I am in need of a D&D fix Diablo is my go-to game right now. While I will continue to explore Dark Alliance I must admit I prefer Diablo 3 much more.

My thoughts on the Hulu Hellraiser reboot

When I heard they were rebooting Hellraiser I set my expectations rather low. I expect a modern retelling of the original story. Instead what we got was a new story with a twist. This movie could have easily just been another sequel it didn’t need to exist as a reboot. The hype surrounding that is what drove me to watch it in the first place. 

Right off the bat it goes for the first kill off screen. That was a bad omen for the film. It shows the chains but it doesn’t really show the body being torn asunder like in the original. The first movie had body parts strewn about like newspapers at a hoarders house. This movie was squeaky clean in comparison. 

Immediately we shift from a rich person trying to unlock the secrets of the puzzle box to a couple having sex. A graphic sex scene that served no purpose other than to be gratuitous. There was sex in the first movie but it drove the plot. It established the main characters. This was nudity for nudity’s sake. 

Next we’re treated to a domestic squabble between an addict sister and her over bearing brother trying to keep her on the straight and narrow. This established the relationship between the brother and sister but that was about it. In what felt like a rush the girl was somehow opening the puzzle box while flying high as a kite on drugs. She thought she was hallucinating so what does she do, throw her self into her boyfriends bed for another unnecessary sex scene. Then following a fight with her brother who finishes the puzzle box he disappears as the cenobites take him to hell presumably. 

The sister spends the rest of the movie trying to solve the mystery of the puzzle box in order to resurrect her brother. One more kill is all we’re treated to before the cenobites make their move. It’s here I realized the movie wasn’t even going to bother showing us any gore. The gore was a big part of the first movie, not to mention the murders that took place. The sister was given a choice, sacrifice herself or offer her friends as tribute to the god. 

Once she discovers the truth she opts to sacrifice her boyfriend who double crossed her  earlier in the movie. Then she choses not to save her brother after all the people she let die, well three if you count her brother. Four kills in total if you don’t count the off screen kill at the beginning which was even more gory, as toned down as it was, than the offscreen kill of the brother who just screamed and left some blood in the sink.

There was one innocent person who died during the course of the film but again they barely showed anything. A quick torture scene, some off camera screams and we move onto the next scene sans gore yet again. 

If you are going to reboot one of the goriest horror movies in Hollywood history the least you could do is serve up some satisfying kills. Instead were treated to what feels more like a murder mystery than a horror film. Off camera kills aside, the story was pretty boring. At one point I was so bored I turned the film off and wrote it off as a failed reboot. I decided I had nothing better to do today so I finished it against my better judgement. By the end of the movie I was so disappointed I knew this was not an instant classic like the original. There was barely any intrigue. The cenobites were hardly scary at all, showing up a couple times in a dream like sequence to further the plot but the rest of the movie they might as well have been props they were used so little. No explanation about demons and angels, no speeches about the depths of pleasure and pain mixed together. No lines about tearing ones soul a part. Nothing of note. This movie should have just been another lame sequel not an attempt at a reboot. 

I hardly feel like wasting my time giving this a proper review but for the sake of my own sanity I will give it 2 out of 5 stars. This was a terrible movie that barely had anything more than token nods to the classic it was supposed to be rebooting. I found nothing positive about this movie. It was trash. 

Goldfish on the Mountain Chapter 56- The End

Chapter 56

By the time they arrived it was too late. Sheriff Hobbs rushed into the cabin to find Drake sitting on the floor covered in blood crying.

The woman’s remains were spread out all over the bedroom. Her torso had been nailed to the bed where she died. Her arms and legs had been brutally detached from her body.

The words “Molly Goldfish must DIE!” were written all over the walls in the victim’s own blood.

It was by far the most gruesome scene Sheriff Hobbs saw in his entire career. Even more grotesque than the woman who this same man shoved head first into the wood chipper previously.

As a law enforcement officer Hobbs always tried to find some satisfaction in closing a case. This one was different. He had the suspect in custody, but the lives this man destroyed over his obsession keep mounting.

Despite the graphic nature of the scene, Hobbs kept his composure as he sifted through the woman’s remains. The smell of rotting flesh and blood was beginning to blend into an odor Hobbs would never forget. It was one of those things he would bury under some Scotch later on at the local watering hole.

He had a man sitting in the back of his police vehicle with a shotgun pointed at his head. He had a woman who he helped escape from a mental health facility sitting outside with the daughter of the victim each trying to process the horrific reality they were discovering.

He knew he was going to have to answer for his actions during the investigation. He had no clue how he was going to explain all of this. He hoped the pursuit of justice and the need to catch a dangerous killer would justify the things he had done. There was no way of knowing how that would play out. For now he wanted to give that little girl some closure knowing the true fate of her now deceased mother.

The poor child, he thought. Here she spent the last several months mourning her mother and father’s deaths only to discover her mother’s death had been staged by a brutal cover up. Then track down her mother’s whereabouts only to discover her death was still a done deal. If it wasn’t for my oath to uphold the law, to dispense righteous justice, I would end that lunatic’s life right here, right now.

Out of the corner of his eye he noticed there was only one item in the entire bedroom that had not been bathed in the woman’s blood. It was a jewelry box resting on a wooden chair in the corner of the room. While he wasn’t exactly a detective, he knew that when something stood out it was important. He stepped carefully around the pools of blood on the floor as he made his way to the chair. He picked up the wooden box. Upon opening it he discovered there were three items inside. The first was a necklace with a locket in the shape of a goldfish at the end. Beneath that was a piece of paper neatly folded letter length. In the corner of the box was a single photograph of the woman and her ex-husband at the fair the night the two met. On the back were the words.

“George and Molly Goldfish falling in love- 1987.”

There was one word hand written on the piece of paper it read “Melody.”

He wasn’t sure if now was the right time to deliver it to the child or not. He felt like she had already been through enough. Despite his gut feeling, he unfolded the letter and read it to himself. As the words soaked into his eyes he knew this belong in the evidence locker for the trial. Yet, he decided it was best to let this one go.

Hobbs walked outside. He approach the young girl who’s mother’s remains was inside the house. Placing one hand on her shoulder he slipped the letter into her other hand. “Here.” he said. “Read it later.”

The girl tucked the letter into her pocket. She buried her tear-soaked face into the chest of Stephanie Taylor as she cried quietly.

Hobbs walked over to where his deputy was securely holding the prisoner. He tapped on the window to get the suspect’s attention. The man looked over casually with a smile of self-satisfaction forming on his face, relief visible on his brow.

The deputy raised his gun, pointing it at the man as the sheriff opened the door slowly.

“What can I do for you officer?” the man asked.

“I don’t get it. Was all this really necessary? You wanted that woman dead so badly why did you kill the waitress and stage it to fake her death when you and your brother had her in your custody. You could have ended this all then, why do any of this? Why torture her all this time? Why end it on this exact day? And in this manner? It makes no sense.”

“Officer. You are a man of law. A man such as you looks for a logical explanation for things. In all of your years as a lawman, have you ever found a reasonable, logical motivator for murder?” Drake asked.

“No, I don’t suppose it always makes sense. There’s always a motive though. You had the motive to kill her no doubts there. But why go through all this? Why kill all those campers and set them up to look like murder-suicides? It all seems overly complicated for what started off as a quest to kill one woman,” the sheriff said.

The man looked down at his feet. Then he looked back towards the house. “Officer, did you feed my goldfish?”

“There is a woman’s bloody body splattered all over your house. You really think I am concerned with your pet? I have way more important things to deal with.”

“Correct me if I am wrong but is cruelty to animals against the law? Is it wise for you to become a criminal in an attempt to apprehend a man you believe to be one? Tisk, tisk officer.”

He thought about it for a moment. He wasn’t sure what game the man was playing.

“Jake,” he said. “Why don’t you go inside and fetch Mr. Thompson’s goldfish.

“Yes sir,” the deputy said.

“I don’t know what game you are trying to pull here but it won’t work,” the sheriff said.

“No game. I just want to ensure my pet is properly fed that is all,” Drake said.

Too much time had been devoted to this maniac already. He wasn’t going to give him any more attention than he already deserved.

The deputy handed the sheriff the goldfish bowl.

“Here you go sheriff,” Jake said.

“So all you want is to ensure the fish is fed is that it?” the sheriff asked.

The man nodded.

The sheriff stuck his hand in the bowl. Grabbed the goldfish and shoved it into his mouth. He swallowed it whole.

His deputy immediately reacted handing the sheriff his canteen.

The sheriff took a drink of his deputy’s water.

“Tasty son of a bitch,” the sheriff said.

He waved to his deputy.

“Get this motherfucker out of my sight,” the sheriff said.

“With pleasure,” the deputy said. The sheriff slammed the door shut on the vehicle and watched it drive off with the suspect in tow.

He walked over to the women he had driven up here.

“Ladies,” he said. “It’s over. Why don’t I take you back into town and we can begin to put this mess behind us.”

Ashley stood up and slapped the officer. “This poor child lost her mother today show some respect,” she said.

“Its okay miss, he’s right, we should get out of here,” Melody said.

The sheriff left the crews to clean up the remains and gather evidence while he drove the women back to town.

Melody looked out the back window of the vehicle towards the cabin where her mother, Molly “Goldfish” Thompson had been killed.

She thought to herself. This was it, her mother’s final resting place, the goldfish on the mountain.

Goldfish on the Mountain Chapter 55

Chapter 55

She opened her eyes. The sharp pain was back. This time it hurt to blink. She knew she was tied back up again. This time, Molly wasn’t going anywhere. He tied her naked body to the bed with barbwire. She could feel it piercing into her flesh.

She knew she passed out in the frozen river. It wasn’t fair. Molly hadn’t wanted to die before but when she thought death had arrived to relieve her of her suffering, she welcomed it.

He walked into the bedroom where she was tied up.

“Molly Goldfish. I had every intention of waiting until tomorrow night to finish you off. You know why it was tomorrow night right? Because it’s the anniversary of the night you stole my brother’s heart.”

He walked over to the bed and placed his hand on her chest. He took a knife and slit her breast open, letting her bleed. It was only a small flesh wound. She had been through this before.

“Unfortunately the time table has changed. Mother has been killed. By none other than your worthless little daughter by the way. Oh well. I gave the wench a chance. George begged me to spare her life, to ship her to my brother Daryl to take care of her. I wanted to sell her to the sex traffickers. It would have been a clean cut victory. You dead. Him dead. Her, out of the way.

Then mother and I would be free to finish out my days. She was doing a fine job helping me select my victims. Oh well. No use crying now. She’s dead. Soon you will be too.

Oh, Daryl is bringing the little bitch up this way to earn her trust. She will find your dead body and he will take her back home to finish the job. No. I won’t kill her. I need her alive. I need someone to take mother’s place. I’ll need someone to kill for me once they arrive. It’s the only way to save my brother from being found out.”

Drake wrapped her body up in saran wrap. Then he grabbed his hunting rifle and fishing pole. I’ll take care of you when I get back. Right now I need to go clear my head.

A gentle breeze touched the back of his neck. A squirrel sat in a tree eating a nut. There was a young bird singing lullabies to her mate. The sounds of nature filled his ears as the cool winter air touched his lungs. Off in the distance the sun was slowly setting behind a mountain.

Time was on vacation now and summer was playing a game of “hide and seek”. As he stood there surrounded by nature a single thought crept into his mind, she was gone and there was no turning back.

Drake sat there thinking back on the events the brought him here. He thought about Ashley, Jennifer and even the waitress. He sat there thinking back on how complicated it had all gotten. Now that his mother was dead, he knew he had to move quickly to save his brother Daryl.

Except he had one thought nagging him in the back of his mind, did he remember to feed Goldie, his pet goldfish? Drake kept a pet goldfish as a reminder of the woman, Molly Goldfish he kept locked in his spare bedroom. He had every intention of waiting until tomorrow to kill her but he knew the sheriff was on his way with all the evidence they needed to lock him up.

As he sat on a fallen tree observing the tranquility of the nature that kept him company he began to ponder. There had been a time when he lived in a crowded city, among other members of his species. He would awaken daily and the drudgery of his monotonous routine would continue to drag him down. He had the normal life. He did what you were supposed to do; he went to school, met a girl and found a fulfilling career. And yet here in the emptiness of nature in the cool mountain air he discovered he felt no remorse.

He lived alone and yet he was not lonely. It was beginning to get late and he was starting to consider going in but he was not ready just yet. He had some thinking to do up here on the mountain this late winter day.

He sat there on a tree stump overlooking the wildlife that was coming out of hibernation despite the spring weather refusing to come on schedule. He looked down the hillside at his trusty dog who was fishing at the river. He sat there and he looked back at his life and he wondered why couldn’t it have always been this simple? Why does life have to start out so damn complicated? Looking back he realized that there was nothing he could have done differently to avoid his destiny.

Life chose the path he was to walk even before he was conceived. He missed nothing of his old life, his parents, his friends, family, colleagues none of them meant anything to him now. This was his life, here in the mountains in his cabin cut off from the rest of the world. He look down at his pocket watch and noted that he had stayed out longer than usual.

“I bet Goldie is getting worried right about now, pacing his bowl back and forth wondering where the food is” he said to no one in particular. Standing up he stretched his tired old legs, blew a whistle in the direction of his dog Sandy, and gathered up his days game and heading up the hill towards the cabin he now called home.

He made his slow walk up the snow covered hill back towards his cabin. He hadn’t caught much; it was just a pair of baby rabbits that would soon be the main ingredient of his stew he would cook up for supper. The thoughts of his previous life were beginning to fade away as he blew one more whistle in the direction towards his companion, his trusty Border collie, Sandy. “Come on Sandy girl; get over here right now daddy’s got some rabbit for supper.”

He entered the cabin as usual and went straight to the fridge and grabbed an ice cold beer. Normally he would sit down, talk to his goldfish and tell him about his day and then feed the fish and prepare his supper. Today was different; he just wasn’t in much of a mood for anything other than drifting back down memory lane.

He sat there about half an hour just sipping his cold beer, looking at the dirty dishes waiting for him in the sink, contemplating the meaning of it all. Twenty-six years he worked at his job doing the good work. Now here he was alone with his thoughts, and it was not something he dared to face sober.

This night was different than any other night, because tonight was the anniversary of the night his life went straight to hell. It’s kind of a hard thing to live with and that is why the fridge is filled with nothing but ice cold beer, locally brewed in the small sleepy mountain town up the road from his fortress of solitude. In fact if you were to open that fridge you would find oh about sixteen or so beer bottles waiting to be consumed, a tub of the fattiest cholesterol spread, and whatever slop he had left over from last night’s dinner and that would be about it.

It was finally time. Drake walked into the bedroom here Molly Goldfish was tied up. He grabbed a butcher knife, a hand saw and another beer. It was time to cut this bitch into pieces.

Goldfish on the Mountain Chapter 54

Chapter 54

Despite her claims of self-defense, Melody was still taken to the police station.

As she sat in the interrogation room waiting for the detective to question her she went over everything her grandmother had told her in her mind.

She knew it all sounded far-fetched. The police wouldn’t ever believe a story like that. As she thought about all the things her grandma said she realized one thing she came to prove, her father’s innocence was certain now.

The door opened and Melody looked up at the officer. He walked over to her, removed the handcuffs and told her, “okay kiddo, you’re free to go.”

“What do you mean? Just like that?” Melody asked.

“Yes. Just. Like. That,” a booming voice said. It was her uncle Daryl.

She ran up to her uncle and gave him a big hug.

“Oh, Uncle Daryl, I didn’t mean to, she told me a horrible story and then tried to stab me,” Melody said.

She could taste the tears as they rolled onto her lips. He wiped her tears away.

“I know sweetie,” Daryl said.

“Mother wasn’t well so I had hidden cameras installed in each of her rooms. When I heard my mother had been stabbed and you were the suspect I immediately checked the video. Come on, you need to come home with me straight away,” Daryl said.

Melody pulled back from her uncle.

“No way. After everything grandma said, I’m not going anywhere with you. Not until I feel confident you’re not killing for her too,” Melody said.

“I get you are rattled. I need you to come with me, you are completely safe,” Daryl said.

“Besides, there is someone I want you to meet.”

He took her to the front desk where she was released. They got into his car.

“I must say I am a little surprised you made this little trek of yours without telling me,” Daryl said as he drove off.

“How can I trust you? If her house was bugged why didn’t you know about Drake’s killing before?” Melody asked.

“Simple, I never had any reason to look through the security cameras. Besides, it’s not like she sat around talking to herself,” Daryl said.

The two pulled up to the old diner.

“Come on inside, there is someone I want you to meet,” Daryl said.

There was a man in a sheriff’s uniform sitting at a booth with a woman.

“Melody Thompson, this is Sheriff Hobbs and Ashley Taylor,” Daryl said.

“Nice to meet you ma’am,” the sheriff said as he tipped his hat towards Melody.”

She looked at the woman. Was this the Ashley that everyone was going nuts over? Nothing made any sense. Melody was completely losing her grip of reality. What was going on?

“I know you, you’re one of the cops that worked my mother’s case,” Melody said.

“That’s right. I did. I still am in fact,” Hobbs said as he motioned to Melody to sit.

“Have a seat. We’ve got a lot to talk about,”

“Can we get a round of pie and a bottomless pot of coffee over here?” Daryl said to the waiter.

Melody sat there drinking coffee and eating pie for the next couple of hours listening to a wild story unfold. Stephanie talked about how she had been framed for her husband’s murder by Drake and the sheriff was helping her prove that.

They told how George and Drake kidnapped a waitress from this diner and killed her as a decoy. They discovered this after looking through the autopsy report. There were a number of inconsistencies, but the most glaring was Dr. Drake Thompson’s signature, considering he was retired and all.

Once the sheriff discovered that was a forgery he too visited the old farm house. His encounter with the old woman was suspicious enough he decided to give Daryl a call to see if he could talk to Melody.

“That’s when I heard the call on the scanner, 911 elderly woman stabbed to death. The address was clear as day stuck in my head as I had just left there a few minutes earlier,” Hobbs said.

“What made you call my uncle? What did you expect to learn from me?” Melody asked.

“I can handle that,” Ashley said.

“You see, the doctor had used drugs on me to mess with my mind. After I had escaped the hospital enough time had passed the drugs had worn off. I remembered your dad came to visit me and he whispered how he was going to use you to lure Molly into a trap. I told the sheriff we needed to question you to see if we could figure this all out together.”

“If you solved the case, you know who the killer is and you know my mother is safe, then what the hell are we doing here sitting in a dinner? We need to rescue her right now!” Melody said raising her voice as she stood up.

“Hush girl, sit down and lower your voice would you,” Hobbs said.

“It’s not that easy. Yes, we have a strong suspicion your mother might still be alive. We do believe, as your grandmother suggested, she is being held captive by your uncle.”

Melody looked dead into the sheriff’s eyes as she leaned into his face from across the table.

“Then why are we sitting here?”

“Because, as of right now nobody knows where he is,” Hobbs said.

“I do know that he had been in touch with your grandma. She was keeping a list of people he killed. But the thing is, I have no clues to his whereabouts. But I think you might be able to help us figure it out, when they kidnapped you did you hear anything at all that would be useful,” Hobbs asked.

“No, nothing useful anyways. I was too scared,” Melody said.

“Wait a minute,” you said he was contacting his mother, the one I stabbed tonight?”

“Yes, we believe he was. I don’t know how he contacted her Ashley said she remembered Drake telling her his mother was keeping a list of all his victims, it was something he told her during one of his visits,” Hobbs said.

“How did he keep you drugged?” Melody asked?

“I don’t know. But I figured as a doctor he probably had connections or something,” Ashley said.

“You said he kept a list? I found a list of names in his old bedroom,” Melody said.

She pulled it out of her pocket and handed it to the sheriff.

“Here you go, maybe there is a clue on there,” Melody said.

“Son of a bitch!” Hobbs yelled as he spilled his coffee all down his shirt.

“I recognize this last name, it’s old Hank. I just questioned a him for shooting Hank right before I came down, he made it sound like self-defense. In fact it was a note the victim had on his person that led me down here.”

“Wait a second, you just said nobody knows where he is, but you questioned him recently?” Daryl asked.

“I know where he was, recently, but I called my deputy to check his place, sent over a search warrant and everything. Nothing. Not a sign of him,” Hobbs said.

“I figured he must have gone into hiding somewhere. That’s what I was hoping you could help us figure out,” Hobbs said.

“Where did you find him the last time you saw him?” Daryl asked.

“He has a cabin up the hill from the town where I work. Right outside town.

“No. That’s my cabin. I boarded it up a while back. He must have been living in it, had to have gotten a spare key made at some point I suppose,” Daryl said.

“We have another cabin, a family cabin deeper in those same woods. I’d bet dollars to donuts that’s where you find him,” Daryl said.

“If Molly is alive you had better get up there pretty quick. Come on let’s get going I’ll show you the way, it’s kind of hard to find, it’s off the beaten path well hidden. We used the first cabin sort of as a decoy, you know privacy and all that,” Daryl said.

“Then what are we waiting for! Let’s save my mom!” Melody said as she jumped up.

Goldfish on the Mountain Chapter 53

Chapter 53

Melody got off the plane at the airport closest to the town she grew up in. She knew going back home was going to flood her with painful memories. She was going to have to suppress those feelings right now. The woman her dad used to justify murdering her mother was on the loose and she knew she had to see that woman before they caught her.

Melody walked up to a cab and gave him directions to the place she wanted to go. She sat there thumbing through her phone looking at old photographs of her mother. She didn’t know what was going to happen but she knew she owed it to her mother to find out who this woman was.

It was a three hour drive to her destination.

By the time she arrived in town she knew she had some digging to do. She decided to have the driver take her out to the home her father grew up in. She wasn’t sure if grandma would be happy to see her or not but she felt she had to start someplace.

The car pulled up to the house. Melody asked the driver to hang tight. She walked slowly up to the front door. She her heart was pounding. She was dreading the reaction she would get from her grandmother, the woman who raised her father, the man who turned out to be a monster underneath it all.

Melody walked up to the front door. She took a deep breath as she mustered all the courage she could. She didn’t even get to knock, the door opened. There was her grandmother standing there with open arms. She grabbed Melody tightly and began sobbing.

“Oh child, it is so good to see you, won’t you come in please,” Grandma Thompson said.

Melody walked into the old house. It was a farm house. Her dad always told her stories about how his parents had been very active in the community. She always imagined they had more money than they actually had.

While they were active and pushed all three of their boys and one daughter to be the best they could, Melody could tell deep down they were simple people. She looked around the house ad noticed everything was exactly as she remembered it. She used to spend the weekends at grandma and grandpa’s growing up. That stopped around the time of the divorce. Her mother never gave her a good explanation just said they were his family and her own. Melody never viewed it that way.

“I was expecting you child, I received a phone call from a gentleman by the name of Manuel something. He told me you were going home for some important life passage,” Grandma said.

“Hi grandma it’s good to see you. I don’t know what he told you but I just needed to get some answers about my dad before I went to college I guess. Do you mind if I ask you some questions about him?” Melody asked.

“Oh dear, not at all. You do know I hardly believe the lies the police man said about my dear boy. George was such a sensitive child. He was always too tuned in to the feelings of other people. I don’t believe a word of it those police men set him up,” Grandma said.

Melody had heard all of this before at the custody hearing. It was a large part of the reason she opted to stay with her rich uncle rather than her grandma who lived close by. Grandpa passed away a few years ago and grandma had been slowly losing touch with reality ever since.

“Grandma, please, I am not here to talk about the things my dad did to my mother. I just want to get some clarity on who he was. What was his life like before he met mother? How did he get along with his brothers or his sister? Most importantly I want to know more about his relationship with a girl named Ashley,” Melody was abruptly interrupted.

“We do not talk about that harlot in this house. Your father broke free of that wench when I set him up with your dear mother. That succubus kept trying to corrupt all of my boys. No dear, we’re not going to talk about her,” Grandma said in a very stern voice.

Melody knew she was going to have to be more tactful.

“I don’t want to know what she thought of him. I just want to understand why he was so obsessed with her, what did she do to him?” Melody asked.

“Oh she was a harlot my dear. She seduced two of my boys and made strides to get into bed with the third over the years. My darling George was such a sensitive little boy. He was very easily duped by her wiles. She was such a temptress. Why don’t you have a seat while I fix us some tea and we can talk about something more pleasant,”

Grandma said as she placed her hand on Melody’s back leading her into the living room.

She stopped in her tracks.

“Grandma, please, I know you don’t like Stephanie and I don’t know anything about her. I just need to know why he was so obsessed with her. The night he killed my mom he kept talking about her like he was doing it for her,” Melody said.

Grandma slapped Melody across the face.

“You listen to me child! My boy was set up. He did not lay a hand on his lovely wife, your beautiful mother. The police framed my boy and convinced you of things you didn’t see. You weren’t even in the room. You know I will not sit here and listen to you slander the good name of my innocent little Georgie…”

Grandma said as she fell to the floor in tears.

Melody bent down to her grandmother and wrapped her arms around her tightly. She whispered into her ear,

“Grandma, I am sorry. Please forgive me for bringing this up.” The two women cried on the floor a few minutes.

Melody decided it was best she left the old house. Her grandma was in bad shape and she didn’t want to make things worse. There was no point in pressing further; it was a dead end at this point.

Melody walked back to the cab. She sat in the back sobbing for a few minutes before she instructed the driver where she would go next.

After a few minutes Melody decided she needed to check out the backyard. She needed to retrace her father’s steps. Touch everything he touched the night he left Stephanie for Melody’s mother.

Melody knew there had to be something they were missing. Why on earth would her dad be so obsessed with this other woman that would stage her kidnapping, murder her mother and then kill himself in the process. It didn’t make any sense. Who the hell was Ashley and why didn’t anyone in the family ever talk about her?

Whenever Melody would ask her mother how she met her dad, Molly would always tell the sweet story about how they went to the fair and had a great time. How he kissed her on the Ferris wheel before winning her that pet goldfish. It was that goldfish that Molly would take to school in a little water bottle that earned her the nickname Molly Goldfish. That and how she tripped on her shoe laces standing in the lunch line, accidentally dropping the goldfish into the chili pot. The poor fish was dead instantly, ruining the whole pot of chili, and ending the lunch period early as a result.

Molly always said how much she resented how she earned the nickname Molly Goldfish, but since the pet that caused the whole ordeal was a gift from her beloved George, she always cherished it.

It was that love Molly had for her husband, that unwavering devotion to a man secretly growing increasingly resentful that made her death all the more tragic for Melody. She loved her dad at one time but she never stopped lover her dear mother.

Melody spent a lot of time at the old farm house over the years. She knew she had seen every inch of her father’s childhood home. As she walked around the backyard she began to wonder if there were any clues here at all.

She sat down on a pile of hay in the barn her dad used to play in as a kid. It wasn’t the same barn as that one had burned down in a fire, killing one of George’s best friends along the way. Her dad never let that go. He held onto that memory, retelling the story of how he wished he could have done something to save his friend. Molly always said it haunted him more than anything else.

She sat and wondered if that tragedy all those years earlier might have left a scar on her father turning him into a murderer. The more she remembered her dad the more she was determined to get to the bottom of all this.

“My dad was a cold and distant man,” Melody said. “But he most certainly wasn’t a killer.”

Melody woke up. She must have fallen sleep in the barn. She had no idea how much time had passed. All she knew is it was dark and she didn’t have a flashlight on her. She pulled her cell phone out of her pocket in the hopes the dim light from its screen would be enough for her to find her way back to the cab, that is, if the cab was still there.

Melody decided her best bet was to confront her grandmother once more. She stumbled her way up to the house and knocked on the door. She peaked around front confirming her suspicion; the cab was most certainly gone.

Her grandmother opened the door.

“Oh child, it is so good to see you, won’t you come in please,” Grandma Thompson said.

“Hi grandma can I come in?” Melody asked.

“Why sure child, you’re always welcome at grandma’s house. Should I give your mother and father a call to let them know you are here? It’s a little late for you to be out child, did you get into an argument with your mother again?”

Melody had forgotten about grandma’s Alzheimer’s. She seemed so together this morning it completely slipped her mind.

“Oh no grandma, they said I could sleep over, they wanted some alone time,” Melody said.

“Oh of course they do. That slut can’t keep her hands to herself can she.” Grandma scowled.

“Grandma, please, I just want to go to bed can I sleep in my dad’s old room?” Melody asked.

“Oh no dear, I can’t allow that. It’s not been touched since the funeral. You’re dad hasn’t quite been himself since poor Brandon passed away the other day. It was such a tragedy. Why don’t you sleep in your uncle’s bedroom instead? He is off on a business trip you know. He won’t mind one bit.”

Melody walked up the stairs to her uncle Drake’s old bedroom. She really thought she should get a look around her dad’s room to see if there was anything to explain his behavior. As she walked pass her dad’s room on her way to Drake’s she decided she would take a peak. After all, grandma was downstairs. She turned the door knob only do discover it was locked.

She looked around to see if there was anything she could find to force it open. She decided against it. She made her way into her uncle’s room. She sat on the bed wondering what ever happened to Uncle Drake. She knew he hadn’t been himself since his wife died but she never really was that close to him in the first place.

Melody decided since she came all this way she was going to have to do some snooping. While she couldn’t get into her dad’s bedroom easily she could snoop look around her uncle’s room just in case. The more she could learn about her father’s past the better chance she had at discovering what made him snap at the end.

She looked around the room. It was a typical boy’s bedroom alright. It had a football shaped alarm clock on the night stand. The wall paper was sports themed. There was a desk pushed into the corner. Along the farthest wall there was a trophy case for all her uncles trophies. Even though it was her other uncle that grew up to be the professional athlete, Drake sure was an all-star at the high school level. She saw a group photo of her uncle’s little league team with a face crossed out in red marker. It was his childhood friend, Brandon that died in the fire when the barn burned down.

She pulled it out of its frame to see if it had anything written on the back. It had the names of all the players written in blue ink. The name Brandon was crossed out in red ink with the words DEAD written over the top. She shook her head. Clearly his death affected Uncle Drake almost as much as her dad.

All of a sudden she noticed something unusual. The football trophy her uncle’s received for winning the state football championship was cracked and lying on its side. She pulled it out to see it had a piece of paper stuffed inside the crack. She wiggled it free.

It was a single note rolled up. She sat on the bed and began to read it. It was a list of names. Each one had a cross through it.

Brandon- fire

Jennifer- pills/suicide

Baby- pills/mothers suicide

It didn’t take long before Melody figured out what kind of list this was, a death list. Next to each person’s name was a cause of death. She read each name to herself and the cause of death. Each one made her stomach churn; girl death on table, woman death in waiting room, girl chocking. The first one that caught her attention was Linda, car wreck followed by campers, stabbing.

There was a whole list with stabbing next to the names. At the bottom of the list, there were two more names, one yet to be crossed off. Woman, wood chipper. George, gunshot. Molly Goldfish, mutilated.

Molly’s name had not been crossed off but her dad’s had.

“You sneaky little shit!” grandma yelled as she flipped the light switch on.

“You mind your own business you little twerp!”

Melody dropped the note. Her grandma was coming at her with a butcher knife. She grabbed the football trophy and smashed it into her grandma’s hand, knocking the knife onto the floor.

She tripped over her grandmother as she tried to reach the dropped knife before her attacker could.

“You little shit. Just like that slut of a mother!” Grandma yelled as she inched her way towards the knife.

Melody managed to get it first pinning her grandmother down in the process.

“Grandma, I don’t believe this, what is wrong with you?” Melody asked.

The woman was old and weak. Melody heard bone cracking.

“Ouch! My ribs, child you are cracking my ribs please mercy!” grandma began to yell.

“No way! You tried to kill me!” Melody exclaimed.

She could feel the woman’s bones cracking. Suddenly with tears in her eyes she got up off her grandmother and ran over to the wall, yanking the jump rope her uncle used to train with and tied her crazed grandma’s hands together.

“Why grandma?” Melody asked.

“You are just like that whore who seduced your father. You just couldn’t leave it the hell alone could you! Let me go child. I am your grandmother this is how you treat your elders? Such disrespect child,” grandma said.

“First, you tell me what the hell is going on with my mother. Then I will call the police and let them sort it out,” Melody said.

“The hell you will. I am family. You don’t rat out family,” grandma said.

“You want to know the truth child, I’ll give it to you. Your mother was nothing but a dirty whore who seduced my boys. I wanted my son to have a good life. He was supposed to marry Jennifer but that went out the window when she took her own life. The whore became pregnant and, well she got what she deserved didn’t she? Well, didn’t she!” grandma snapped.

Melody sat her grandmother up against the bed. She walked over to the list, opened it up and shoved it into her grandmother’s face.

“Did you kill her too? Did you kill all these people? What about my dad, did you kill him too?”

“No child, you’ve got it all wrong, I never hurt anyone,” she said.

The woman began to chuckle. Confused Melody snapped her fingers in the woman’s eyes.

“Hey lady what the hell is so damn funny?” Melody asked.

“You’re out of time kid, you’ve already lost and I am too old to care anymore,” the woman said.

“What do you mean? Tell me! Is my mother still alive?”

Melody slapped the old woman across the face.

“Answer me! Is my mother still alive!” Melody asked.

“You really want to know? What difference does it make now, even if she is still alive today she won’t be much longer so what does it matter? She will be dead before you can get to her. And there is no chance in hell I will tell you where she is. Not like this anyways. Not until I get word the cunt has gotten when she deserved. You hear me.

That woman that seduced your mother, that whore that produced you, a little tart yourself, she will be dead just like all the other whore’s that get in the way of my boy’s living a good life. And believe me child, if that means you then so be it.” Grandma said.

“I don’t get it, why kill those people? What did any of them ever do to you?” Melody asked.

“I had four children. Three good kids and one dip shit. I tried to my hardest to teach that boy, George, to grow up, to get a real job. I tried to get him to marry a girl that would better his life. He had eyes for Stephanie Taylor, another whore. But Jennifer was the one I picked for him. The problem was Jennifer, the little cunt, had a crush on my son’s best friend. Naturally I couldn’t have that now could I?” grandma said.

“What so you killed Brandon?” Melody asked.

“Oh child, you have it all wrong,” grandma said. “Like I told you I never killed anyone. But I had two good sons. They would do whatever I asked of them no questions. Drake was instructed to set Brandon up. Get that little twerp put of the picture and once she finished mourning the girl would see George was perfect for her”

“But no, that slut seduced my Drakey, getting pregnant along the way! I had to work fast. I told Drake he had to talk her into getting an abortion. It was the only way. But the ignorant little shit ended up taking her own life instead! What the hell was I to do?”

So I tried to find my son another suitable companion. Drake ended up with Lynda and Daryl well he married a gorgeous super model since he was a famous football star. I couldn’t complain about that.”

But George, the dreamer, he ended up falling for Stephanie who broke his heart by sleeping with his brother. I instructed Drake to get her out of the picture too so he could focus all of his attention on Molly. I thought, she was a suitable replacement for the lovely Jennifer. I was wrong. She ended up being a slut too, a worthless whore just like the other sluts that my George would fall for. I had to do something,” Grandma said.

Melody couldn’t believe it. Her grandmother had been pushing her own son to kill in order to, supposedly, protect her dad. It was too much for her to handle.

“What about aunt Lynda? Her name is on the list,” Melody asked.

“Oh she was a fine woman, but I needed Drake to fuel his taste for blood while getting Molly out of the picture so my George would finally be happy. Except he never got that stupid Stephanie out of his mind. Lynda was an unfortunate collateral damage I needed to get Drake to give up his life as a doctor to become a full time killer. It was the only way to see to it he would be blood thirsty enough to do away with Molly the way she was meant to be, tortured to death in a slow, painful manner as she was slowly torturing the life out of my Georgie Boy.”

Suddenly Grandma wiggle free of the jump rope and made a dash for the knife in Melody’s hand. In a split second there was a squeal and then grandma’s lifeless body fell limp to the floor. The blood was pooling onto the carpet.

Melody panicked.

“What have I done? Oh Grandma! Oh no I am so sorry!”

Melody rushed down stairs to call 911.

Goldfish on the Mountain Chapter 52

Chapter 52

Drake sat down next to Molly and leaned back against a tree. He looked her up and down. He was taking it all in. He promised he was going to keep his hands off her for the remained of the day. He promised he was going to take her outside for a nice picnic to give her one last day of sunshine before he made the final preparations to end her miserable life. As he was looking up her dress he could see things he promised to leave alone. Inside his heart he was thinking how badly he wanted to break that promise.

Molly cringed. She felt empty inside because of him.

As much as she hated listening to his stories she felt relief knowing her life was nearly over. In the back of her mind she wished she could trade places with that waitress George had killed to throw the cops off. Molly knew George thought the plan was to stage her death and then the two would take turns inflicting their pain on her until George was ready to end her life. Little did he know Drake had other, more elaborate plans.

Later that day Drake wheeled Molly back into the house. The two spent the rest of the day sitting on the couch watching TV while he cuddled up next to her pretending they were a couple. Molly finally got Drake to spill his plans to her. He was going to kill her in a very elaborate ritual ceremony akin to a sacrifice.

He explained how he wanted to release her soul while spilling her blood on the anniversary of the same day he impregnated the girl his brother had truly loved. She didn’t really desire to understand the plan, she was only pumping him for specifics because she was looking for any way to help her plot her escape.

It was late afternoon somewhere around 5 pm Drake sprang up, grabbed his shotgun and darted out the front door. He didn’t even waste the time it took to lock her handcuffs. For a split second she assessed her physical condition to see if she might have the strength to stand up on her own legs.

She figured if she could get into the wheel chair she might be able to get outside. The house was on a slope. If she rushed she could risk going down the side in hopes she could get to the highway. If she made it that far maybe, just maybe, someone would drive by and rescue her. Molly knew she had to act fast. She knew whatever it was that startled him wasn’t going to take long to deal with and if she sat her too long she would miss her window of opportunity.

She tried to stand up. Her legs were too stiff. She had no strength in her lower back whatsoever. She could barely pull herself off the couch. She decided to roll onto the floor and crawl using her elbows mostly towards the wheelchair. Her heart was racing now. She knew if he returned and found her in a compromising position it would only make him angry.

She could hear the sound of two voices outside arguing. She panicked. Who was out there? Should she risk getting his attention by yelling for help? That would only make things worse. She decided her best bet was to use the distraction as her chance to get away. She grabbed the wheelchair and began slowly pulling herself up onto it. It took all the strength in every muscle she had to get seated. She was running out of time. She pushed the chair over to the side door through the kitchen. She figured it was her best chance. She grabbed the handle and began turning it. Locked! She frantically began looking around for the key. There was no key in sight. She rolled over to the kitchen counter. She began opening drawers. There had to be a knife somewhere. She had to get that door opened before he came back.

She opened the top drawer and threw it into the floor. Nothing useful just a junk drawer. Not even a screwdriver. She pulled out the second drawer. Still nothing. It had silverware but no knives. Not even butter knives. This was not working. She looked over at the stove. There was a metal spatula he used for cooking and occasionally in the bedroom. She shuddered briefly then pushed that thought out of her mind. No time to dwell Molly. Get to safety now. This is your last chance.

She rolled over to the door and began prying with the metal spatula. She didn’t have much strength in her legs but she was finally able to jimmy the door open. Suddenly she heard a gunshot. Shit! This is it Molly he’s going to be on his way back right now. She began rolling as fast as she can. She looked over her shoulder towards the direction of the shot. She could see Drake dragging a body over to the side of the road where he was situating it. Molly rolled towards the hill beside the house. This was it she had no choice but to throw herself down the hill. She tumbled her way down to the bottom of the hill. There was no getting back into the wheel chair. She knew if he came this way he would look for the wheel chair. She pushed it into the creek, tossing leaves onto it in order to cover it up.

She pulled herself into the freezing water. She was going to have to swim with numb legs. It was no use. She would drown. So she let the water lift her legs up floating along as she dragged herself along the side of the creek. She knew it only went down a couple of miles before it stopped up at the highway. That was as far as she needed to get. She looked over and saw the flashing lights of what looked like a police vehicle. Perfect this was it, her chance to make her escape count. She knew there was no way she was going back that way. Even if a cop showed up, Drake would likely kill him too, only moving his plan to end her life up sooner. She knew if she caught her she was going to put up a fight.

This was her life and she was getting it back.

The water was freezing. She was beginning to feel numb. She could hear the sounds of the cars slowly driving off one by one. She didn’t have enough time to get up to the highway before the final vehicle drove off. She decided to get to the other side and crawl up onto the side of the creek. She was going to lose mobility but she was too cold to keep going in the water. In the back of her mind she thought she would rather die of pneumonia than endure one more minute being in the same house with him.

Molly could hear the sounds of vehicles off in the distance. There was a piercing pain shooting up her spine from her lower back. She had been lying in that bed for so long her muscles were weak. Her body was sore from all the abuse. She was afraid that if the cold didn’t kill her she was going to drown once her arms muscle gave out. She was holding on tightly to anything she could along the shores of the creek. She saw the headlights of a vehicle pass by and stop. She heard a car door slam shut. She froze. If he was out looking for her she was going to have to be very still.

Molly remembered how she wiggled her toes earlier in the morning.

Her legs never went numb. She knew she wasn’t paralyzed just really sore from the abuse. She bent her knee up to her chest. That sharp pain shot clear through her body sending every nerve it touched into spasm. Knowing it was now her never, she summoned all the strength she could muster and dove under the water and attempted to swim downstream.

She had to get some distance between him and her if she was going to have a chance at escape. She frantically kicked her legs as her chest filled with sharpness of the icy cold water she was submerged in. She began flailing her arms about desperate to get some movement. She felt her body fall to the bottom of the creek. The current was dragging her down. Her lungs were begging for a gasp of air and her eyes were close tight to keep the water out. She felt the bed of the creek as her feet began to drag. She used her arms to push herself down to the floor. Once down there she pushed off with her arms and chest against the ground as she motioned frantically to get above the current to the fresh air.

She could feel her brain beginning to pass out. She knew she was going to slip into a coma or death if she didn’t get her head above water soon. She felt a root of a tree along the side. She grabbed it and pulled herself up. She was on the wrong side of the creek. She needed to get further downstream. She filled her lungs with as much of the cold air as she could stand. She was beginning to shiver.

Molly looked back in her mind on all the events that brought her hear. She remembered that first date with George. The way he looked at her when she smiled in his direction. She remembered her wedding day. She focused on the feeling she felt walking down the aisle in front of all those people. She knew in her heart George Thompson was the man she was destined to marry.

As the cold began to grip her legs she remembered the pain of child birth and the joy of holding her baby girl in her arms. She knew in that very moment her life had a purpose. She smiled as she resolved this was it, she was going to slip into the afterlife right here, right now on her terms. She saw a beam of light strike her face as she slipped away into the cold, ice water into her slumber she desired more than anything. She was finally at peace.

Goldfish on the Mountain Chapter 51

Chapter 51

The alarm clock rang. The girl, lying in her bed rolled over and tossed a pillow on top of the obnoxious screeching sound blaring from the box.

It was a very typical teenage girl’s room. Big fluffy pillows with unicorns on the pillow case. White sheets with a very thick comforter wrapping her up in warmth. Next to the bed was a little night stand. There was an old fashioned bell alarm clock frantically ringing on top of the stand, smothered by a pillow.

Looking around the room it was very nice. An expensive stereo on the dresser, itself made out of a hard wood, carved with engravings. It was a very antique looking dresser. Very elaborate, very old and obviously very expensive. There were posters hanging on the walls of all the latest pop singers and movies a teenager would find interesting. The spacious bedroom was cluttered with all manner of expensive clothing tossed to and fro.

The girl was days away from her 18th birthday. She was having mixed feelings about it. Both of her parents were dead. She had been living in the mansion of her uncle, a famous football start she never really knew much growing up. Her dad had never been that close to his brothers. Melody moved her after her dad went crazy and murdered her mother right before shooting himself in the head. It was one of the worst days in her entire life. As much as she tried not to think about it, it was always on her mind.

“Melody, breakfast darling come and get it!” aunt Britney yelled up the stairs.

Melody had been raised in a broken home. Her parents were divorced when she was just nine-years-old. Her mother didn’t make a ton of money so they lived in a small house together. She didn’t see her dad much the five years between him walking out of her life to the night he returned just to kill her mother and ship her off to live with her uncle.

She had been raised her entire life in Montana. Moving across the country to Vermont was not her favorite thing to do but she was glad to put some distance between her and her past.

“Melody, child would you get up and get your breakfast before it gets cold?” aunt Britney said as she poked her head into the bedroom of the teenage girl.

“I’m not hungry. Why can’t I sleep?” Melody asked. She was tired from a long night of partying. Of course, she didn’t want her uptight aunt or distant uncle to know what she was doing with her nights. She just wanted to get through this summer to her first semester of college so she could begin her own life.

“Melody, darling, you have to eat. Your body needs nutrients in order to sustain itself. Then we go to the tennis courts and exercise our bodies. You need to take better care of yourself,” aunt

Britney was saying as she walked over to the night stand to shut off the alarm’s muffled ringing.

“Come on down this instant. And do a better job keeping your room clean child, honestly this is a pigsty.” aunt Britney said.

“What’s the difference, the maid cleans it up anyways?” Melody snapped.

“The difference is you need to learn to take better care of yourself sweetheart. The maid makes your bed and does your laundry, she shouldn’t have to pick up your toys and things off the floor. You can neatly tuck the dirty clothes into the hamper for her honestly. It’s not like she doesn’t work hard enough as it is,” aunt Britney said.

“Well, if you were so concerned with her welfare why don’t you pay her more? I mean as rich as you people are it makes me sick how cheap you can be. We were never cheap growing up.”

Melody said as she crawled out of bed, slipped her bunny slippers on and scuffled towards the breakfast nook.

“Please, darling, your mother lived within her means, as did your father. But you surely cannot expect me to explain the finer points of social class or economics to a child I mean honestly,” aunt Britney said.

As she walked past her maid she said to Melody, “working class people need to respect their place in life as much as us privileged folks do. If I didn’t spend money at the boutiques on clothes, those women wouldn’t have jobs to feed their illegitimate children. Lord knows we pay enough in taxes for the lazy bums to infest our welfare system as it is. You will learn this stuff when you get off to college,” aunt Britney said.

“Whatever. Hi Suzie, sorry about the mess. Aunt Britney said you’re a bum and it’s my job to teach you to clean up after me so you respect and fear rich people,” Melody said.

“No worries miss. I am just happy to have a job,” Suzie said as she scurried into the girls bedroom to clean it up.

Melody walked down the breakfast nook where she ate her morning meal. It was never enough. Aunt Britney only let her have a half slice of grapefruit and a single bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. It wasn’t even real cream cheese is was some sort of diet soy stuff Melody hated. Her aunt was also getting onto her about eating healthy and staying fit. She was always hungry after her aunt’s tiny breakfasts. It wasn’t that big of a deal, she’d just sneak off and grab a breakfast burrito when her aunt wasn’t looking.

Melody didn’t want to act like one of those ungrateful brats. She was happy her uncle took her in and that he happened to have a lot of money. She just felt really uncomfortable with the luxurious lifestyle her aunt and uncle enjoyed. Sure it was nice to have money but she detested the way they treated people with less money as inferior. It was not the way Melody was raised.

“Salutations lovely Thompson ladies, how is life treating my most fabulous Britney and her lovely niece this fine morning?” asked Manuel Benefficio, Melody’s private tutor and aunt Britney’s biggest butt kisser.

“Manuel, darling it’s so good to see you up and at it. Would you please talk some sense into this travesty my dear husband brought into our lives, she’s giving me a migraine with the way she treats the staff like equals and gives me lip every time I remind her of our place, it’s quite exhausting,” aunt Britney said.

“Well, if you treated your staff like people and paid them a living wage maybe they would have better self-esteem and would do a better job?” Melody snapped licking the soy crap off her bagel.

“Oh no, dear, do not begin a sentence with the word well. Frankly, with all the effort we put into your schooling, helping you get into a fine university this fall to hear you flippantly disregard your grammar is indeed as your aunt says, a travesty. Likewise, a child of your own who has yet to experience life properly, with such an incomplete education, you hardly have the capability of forming such opinions,” Manuel said.

He snatched the bagel out of her hands.

“Manners my child. You will be attending a very fine university in the fall. Your peers will most assuredly ravage your attempts to socialize should you behave like such an uncouth individual,” Manuel said.

“I can’t sit here for this, I have to head off to the tennis court. Melody you should really care to join me once you have completed your morning chores, Manuel darling later,” aunt Britney said as she left.

Manuel turned his attention to the Melody.

“Have you spent your morning reading up on current events? Where is the newspaper?” Manuel asked.

Melody shrugged, putting her knees up on the table as she leaned back, nibbling on a cold bagel to replace the one he snatched from her.

“Fair enough child. I will put on the television. You can see what passes for journalism through the lens of your local news cast. Be mindful of the world around you child,” Manuel said

.

Under her breath Melody mumbled to herself, “I’m not a child.”

In national news we turn to a story on the west coast. Authorities are seeking help from the community in locating a woman who recently escaped from a local mental health facility. The woman, named Ashley Taylor, escaped from Cedar Hills Mental Health Center Tuesday evening.

Local authorities say Taylor is a very dangerous woman.

“She is a convicted killer. The woman brutally stabbed her husband to death with her daughter tied up to a chair forcing her to watch. The suspect is considered a danger to herself and anyone she comes in contact with,” a doctor said to the newscaster.

“I know that woman! That’s the crazy girl my dad went to see in the mental hospital the night he killed my mother before he shot himself dead,” Melody exclaimed.

“Child, that is not a news story for you to concern yourself with. Let’s see what the national broadcasters are talking about,” Manuel said.

“No! Don’t change the channel. Please. I want to see this. That woman, she is like the very reason my dad went nuts. I don’t even know anything about her but I swear to you there is something about her that made my dad go crazy,” Melody said.

Against his better judgment Manuel let the newscast play. In the back of her mind Melody knew that woman was the key to her mother’s death. She made a decision she was going to run away. If she could get to the town where her parents grew up she had a feeling she might be able to find that woman and ask her point blank what she did to her dad.

Melody knew it wasn’t going to be easy ditching Manuel. But she had a plan.

“Manuel, listen since my 18th birthday is coming up I was thinking about having one of those life adventures you always tell me about. I’d like to take a bus to Mexico and spend a weekend in a dive motel. Can you help me make that happen? Like cover for me while I am gone tell my aunt and uncle I am doing some community service project with friends and will be gone for the weekend? I need to get away for a few days before I go off to college,” she pleaded with her tutor.

Despite his harsh demeanor in front of her aunt, Manuel had always taken her side on these things.

“Oh child, I’ve seen that look in the eyes of many a woman. I know better than to try to talk you out of this. I will come up with a cover story. You do what you need to do. Just promise me you will take care of yourself. And child, no need to lie to me, I know you are going back home. I wouldn’t expect anything less from you.” Manuel said as he hugged the girl.

“Go, I will take care of things here. I will buy you a plane ticket and drive you to the airport myself,”