How an out-of-body experience brought me closer to my Goddess~

I have been working hard to rebuild my relationship with the Goddess Brigid after we had a falling out last year. I don’t wanna go into the details but she forgave me and she has been testing my faith in her trying to build up trust. The other night she earned my trust.

I was watching WWE Monday Night Raw with my niece and girlfriend. I am working seven days in a row this week so I been beat ass tired every night. I decided to throw in the towel and go to bed early. Except I forgot to take my evening pills which includes a dream suppressant. I immediately fell a sleep and began dreaming I was in the ring with the big wrestlers and it felt real every blow to my body. It was excruciating so I forced myself awake. As a life long fan of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise I have trained myself in the art of lucid dreaming. I can wake up on  a moments notice.

Once I was awake I tested my faith in Brigid by calling out to her. I asked her to protect me from evil. I also asked her to give me good dreams. She reminded me I forgot to take my dream pills but I insisted I was trusting her completely so I didn’t take my pill. She immediately responded by rewarding me with an out of body experience. She lifted me up out of my body and I hovered above myself for a few moments. Then she let me fly around the room experiencing the euphoria of the moment before I forced myself awake. When pressed why I woke up I told her I was still scared. She comforted me and I spent the rest of the night having wonderful dreams. Peaceful dreams. Comforting dreams.

Needless to say between this and a few more answered prayers she has earned my trust. I am now confident in saying she is my Mother Goddess and I trust her with my life.

This wasn’t my first ever out of body experience but it was the most euphoric one. It also came with the knowledge and comfort knowing my Goddess was watching over me. Tonight I will sleep well knowing she is still watching me. Only, no offense to her, I will be taking my pills tonight just in case.

Looking back at my time in the news media business

My time in the news business taught me a lot. It showed me that newspapers have way more power than people often give them credit for. It showed me the ugly side of people in local politics. It showed me corrupt cops were the norm not the exception. Above all it taught me capitalism rules this country.

I started my news journey in an unconventional way. My first job was working as a photographer for a wedding company. I got lucky the person training me to become a videographer worked as a production assistant for the local TV station. It turned out there was an opening for video editor. He gave me the personal cell phone number of the news director. I got an interview and landed the job on the spot.

I worked as a news video editor for three months before I was promoted to Assistant Producer. From there I worked part time as a camera operator and part time as a video editor. Meanwhile I continued to photograph weddings on the weekends. I saw a lot of cool stuff as an AP.

That job ended badly. One of the news reporters accused me of sexually harassing her. Considering I was deeply in the closet trans and completely asexual this was impossible. But they told me I had to apologize for whatever my actions were to keep my job. I left that job and moved to Texas.

Once I arrived in Texas I immediately landed a job at another local TV station. This time as a Master Control Operator. I did this for all of three days before I got fired for cutting the feed during a national commercial break. Oops. I wasn’t out of the business for long. Turns out the local newspaper in the town where I lived had an opening for Staff Writer. I applied and was given an interview. I was hired on the spot for “wearing a suit and tie” to the interview, something apparently nobody else bothered to do. I worked as a news reporter for that company for almost three whole years. I left to pursue greater opportunities elsewhere.

Once I left the small town paper I landed a job at the local daily community newspaper. This was the big boys in town. We had a newsroom with 30 people in it, much greater than the two at my last newspaper. I worked there first as an unassigned reporter. I worked whatever beat they had need for me. Then I got my first beat, education reporter. I did that for three months and won an award for my work.

Then I was given the Government Reporter beat. In the news industry that is one of the top beats to get. It requires getting intimately familiar with top brass in all walks of life. I walked the red carpet, spent time in the VIP room, was smoozed by a local oil tycoon and the list goes on. I took over editor of the website and became digital producer for the newspaper. I ran the website and our sports podcast along side my day-to-day duties as a Government reporter. I left that job for greener pastures.

I made it back into TV after several years of being at newspapers. I was hired as a News Producer/Editor for a local TV station. This was near management level work. I say near because chain of command is fuzzy in a newsroom but I was above the reporters in the chain. I worked there for three months then finally started my transition into a female from living a lie as a male-presenting individual. Needless to say I lost my job due to things I am not legally allowed to discuss after I signed an NDA. That was my last full time paid gig in the news industry.

I ran a lot of stories during my seven year tenure in the business. I took a lot of photographs. I filmed a lot of events. I reported on big and small stories, some even becoming national stories. I served my community well. I won awards and accolades for my work. To this day I am proud of my time working in the news media industry.

Despite all that I will never go back. The most I would consider would be staff writer at a small town newspaper so long as it paid a living wage. I am perfectly happy with how my life has turned out thus far. I got to experience a lot of good times in the news business. But I also saw the dark side of it all. Look for future articles chronicling the shady stuff I had to experience and the trauma-inducing stories I was required to cover. For now know this. I was a damn good reporter. I have sources to back that up. I have top-notch references. I choose to stay out of the news business because I found peace elsewhere.

Coming to terms with my disabilities in an ableist society

I used to shy away from telling people I had a disability. Partly because I saw how my friends who are disabled were treated by those around them. Yet here I am coming to terms with my own disabilities. It’s not an easy subject to discuss. People think you are lesser than they are because you struggle with things they take for granted.

I have multiple disabilities. For starters I permanently broke my foot in an accident I don’t talk about. I walk with a cane. I have a handicap permit. I cannot do any job that requires me to be on my feet for the majority of the day. This limits the jobs I can pursue. It is a physical disability I had to come to grips with. I constantly have people asking me why I didn’t just get the surgery to fix my foot or why I don’t do physical therapy. Put it simply money. I couldn’t afford the surgery and I can’t afford physical therapy. So I walk with a cane. I limp with a cane rather, I don’t walk anywhere. I can’t I physically cannot run. I cannot stride. I cannot skip. I cannot do jumping jacks. I am severely limited in what I can do as a result.

I also have a slew of mental health disabilities. First up is borderline personality disorder. My emotions get the best of me. If I lose my temper I am blinded by anger and literally nothing can calm me down. This has landed me in trouble with the law on multiple occasions. It is something I cannot control. I take mood stabilizers but they can only do so much. This limits the stressful situations I can be in and still function.

I was a news reporter for several years with this disability. I cannot tell you how many times I had to sit in an office while upper management literally yelled at me for mistakes I made I couldn’t control. Things that prevented me from climbing the ladder too high.

I also have bipolar disorder. I can’t begin to tell you how debilitating it is to not have the focus to function in society. This keeps me from performing high stress and mentally demanding jobs. This is another reason why I failed as a news reporter. I struggled to control my mania and then depression would make me unable to write well. I could just shut down. There are days where I literally cannot get out of bed because depression is crippling to me.

I also have severe social anxiety disorder. If I am in a space of any size that has more than two people, myself and one other person, I shut down. I can’t speak. I can’t breath. I run the risk of having an anxiety attack which I have had multiple times while at work. I can’t tell you how many jobs I lost because of a panic attack. There is nothing I can do for this one. There is no treatment. There is no magic pill that makes me able to talk to people. I can handle one-on-one conversations with people I trust but add a third person and my brain goes into panic mode.

I am trans gender. While this isn’t a disability in it’s own right it is a limiting factor in my ability to find gainful employment. I struggle with discrimination all the time. While it isn’t a tried and true disability per se it has caused me to lose employment. I was told by one employer, in Texas, they were legally allowed to discriminate against me because I was trans. I couldn’t fight back because they had religious exemption.

I have a medical condition that limits my ability to function. My stomach muscles do not work. If I eat too much solid food, no matter what it is, I throw up. Sometimes I puke even on an empty stomach. I get dry heaves literally every single day. I have bathroom issues as a result too. I am technically supposed to be on a 100 percent liquid diet but I can’t survive like that so I run the risk of vomiting every single time I eat anything.

I have physical, mental health and medical disabilities. I struggle with day to day things people take for granted. Yet I constantly have to face people telling me to just get over it, buck up, try harder, etc., when I literally cannot. I do the best I can with what I have to work with but truth be told I have severe limits to what I can do. And it sucks the way I get treated as a result.

Some dismiss my disabilities. They say so and so has x and they do just fine. They forget each person is different. While it is possible to over come some of my individual disabilities, it is extremely difficult with everything I face. Yet I do. I fight on. I do not lean on my disabilities even though I suffer. I do try harder. I do buck up. I do push myself beyond my limits until I break down. Because our society is ableist and if you have any sort of deviation from the norm you are treated like an outcast of society. A worthless human incapable of making a “real contribution” to society. A drain on resources. This is why I struggle.

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.