Officers Parker and Bishop shuffled down the steep scree field, sending smaller rocks racing out under their heavy feet to the bottom of the coulee. They had parked behind the ambulance, which itself had been parked behind the fire chief’s rig, which was further parked behind the logging truck that had first stopped and called in the crash. The guardrail was severely mangled, like a great beast had come along and shredded its rusty contours with razor-sharp claws. It was that time of day where the sun had just begun its travels off to other parts of the world, and the mountains and trees were casting jagged shadows that danced as the emergency service lights all spun around at different speeds. The bottom of the ravine was home to numerous small shrubs and a creek that gurgled by gaily with little to no regard to the horrendous addition the mangled truck had made.
Both deputies had heard over the radio who exactly it was that had been ejected from the driver’s seat. Both couldn’t help but think it was related to the Nice case, yet both were determined to not let the paperwork from this incident join that growing pile of shit.
Various electronics partially illuminated Jackson’s basement room. He felt that his bed was as comfortable as usual, but he found the warm folds of his sheets and the soft give of his mattress and pillows to be borderline inhospitable. He tried laying on his back, then his side, then his stomach, then his back once again.
The image of Big Mac leaving Reggie’s garage played out in his mind over and over again: “Whatever. This is all bullshit.” Jackson had barely had time to process that moment, let alone finding out that Big Mac was cheating on Ann Marie and Ann Marie storming out herself moments later. Everything had happened so quickly, and now Big Mac was dead, just like that. Continue reading
Hey AT & RH,
Loving the copies we have seen so far. You two have a real knack for filling in the blanks of what happened in those bumpkin towns. Two reasons I’m contacting you today, and frankly, it’s not all peachy. (see what I did there?) The first item, sales from the last book are down. This was to be expected going into this quarter but still thought you two should know. I guess people are done hearing about the incident in Phoenix, with the final finding being inconclusive and all. There is a palpable energy here in the office though; we are really excited about this Deercliff work. Which leads to my second reason for emailing. WTF is up with the delays? That sheriff got her memoir out within months of the events up there, and she is on fucking Ellen. We don’t know how much longer we can cover your expenses without seeing some tangible results from our investment. Need to see the next entry of the work sooner rather than later. If you two are burnt out or something, then just say so, but we need to have something ready to publish in the next few months (even if it’s unfinished) to keep up our contract with you.
Sorry for the pressure, like I said, we really like what you have sent our way. just really really need you guys to wrap up your work in Deercliff and come on home.
Author’s Note: Blame Persona 5 for the delay in my publishing this. (God, but that is a very long and very awesome game.) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Austin and me! 🙂 ❤
The slamming of the door served as an exclamation point on Big Mac’s dramatic exit from Reggie’s garage. Jackson’s whole body shook as he absentmindedly rubbed his hands together. He turned to face Ann Marie and found that although there was evidence that tears had been running down her cheeks moments ago, it appeared that they had now ceased. In fact, Jackson was surprised to find Ann Marie more or less collected. No running to the door in regret, no uncontrollable shaking; Jackson would have thought her to be in shock if she didn’t turn away from his gaze to begin removing the gym bag from Todd’s head.
When it was off, Ann Marie put her hands on Todd’s shoulders and bent slightly to make eye contact with him. “Are you all right?” she said. Continue reading
Hey reader. Few quick notes for you. One, this entry is longer than most, I hope it can hold your attention. Two, this story is a little over a year old now, so get your cake and candles out and send me presents. Three, Reese and myself love you all very much.
As he adjusted his buttocks, moving his phone from his back pocket to the front, the leather chair Ethan sat in squeaked. There were a lot of squeaking chairs in the expansive room, as the Largo family all waited rather patiently for the lawyer to return from fetching coffee. Although charges still had yet to be brought against the high school senior, Ethan’s parents thought it would be best to get out ahead of any potential allegations. That parental drive had brought them into the city, and the downtown office of Chas German, famous for his role in the city universities college football team 1983-1987 seasons, and infamous for his work following.
(Author’s Note: Sorry this took forever. I found myself drinking a lot in September, got some ants in my pants, and then recorded an album. I’ll post that later on. Hope you guys are enjoying the story.) Continue reading
When school finally started back up, it was with a visible weight on everyone’s shoulders. The hallways were filled with huddled groups discussing Maggie’s attack, and in a special session of homeroom students watched their teachers stumble through lectures on depression, sexual assault, victim blaming, and self-harm. The senior class in particular was targeted by the staff, getting an assembly on underage drinking and consent with a speaker from Washington who was in the AA program. The PA system rang out throughout the day, asking for specific students to come to the office for a brief conversation with the principal.
After Halloween weekend, the school had been closed for four days and was getting back into the swing of things on November sixth, which fell on a Friday. Approximately half the student body showed up that day. Noticeably missing were some of the names that were called out over the PA.
“Ethan Largo, to the office…”
Note: Before Austin left for his wild Hemingway-style adventure in the Pacific, he gave me his blessing to post another update in his absence. He’s up next when he comes back though.
Here’s a link to the first entry if you’re just now tuning in and feel like getting caught up:
Hope you guys are enjoying the story!
Reese Continue reading
Ann Marie laid on the bed and browsed Facebook as the warm sonic tones of Maggie singing “All That Jazz” drifted down the hallway. It was a month before the end of summer and most of the pictures on Ann Marie’s newsfeed showed various acquaintances on vacation in sandy places or laying in the sun at the Quentin’s Lake Reservoir, so named for frontiersman Nathaniel Quentin who founded the first trading post in Deercliff in the early 1800s. Ann Marie scrolled through the newsfeed absentmindedly and then rapidly flipped back up to the top of the page to check her notifications. She had posted a picture of her and Big Mac about three miles up Harris Creek Road at one of the many waterfalls that ran alongside the road where they had stopped to drop a fishing line and enjoy a picnic. She saw that only four people had liked the photo and decided to turn off her phone’s screen and to drop it gracelessly onto her chest. Continue reading
Howdy folks, one of your friendly narrators here. Hope you are enjoying our little tale so far. I’ve always enjoyed a good “previously on…” segment, so let’s get caught up real quick, shall we?
Deercliff, a Northwest mountain town, has been hit by tragedy. Maggie Nice, a high school senior, was assaulted following a Halloween party, her unconscious body dumped outside a quaint diner. Found the next morning by the diner’s owner and a fellow high school student (the three-fingered, extra tall Todd Sizemore) Maggie was rushed to the nearby city for medical treatment. The last group to see Maggie was her core group of friends, a set of popular boys and girls, lead by Jimmy “Big Mac” Halvert whose open house had been the base for a costume party. At the party, Maggie had been seen kissing Ethan Largo, who was really just trying to get Big Mac’s on-again off-again girlfriend Ann Marie to look at him as a potential romantic entanglement. Ethan is now the primary suspect of the investigation into Maggie’s assault, due to a beer run which coincides with the suspected time of the attack. While the group of friends set out to find out what happen to Maggie and prove Ethan’s innocence, multiple other wheels have begun to spin in Deercliff. Sheriff Essie Boyer is chasing a lead from a distraught young teacher, who claims to have seen Maggie the night of the assault in some sort of BDSM room at an elite party. Todd Sizemore, having found and kept Maggie’s phone, is trying to find his cousin Delia, who has been sending numerous texts to Maggie’s number. Maggie’s brother Trevor is speeding across the flat, snow-covered stretches of North Dakota and Eastern Montana to see his sister and family, a strange hitchhiker in tow. The Largo’s have taken their son to the city, and they all sit awkwardly in the cramped law office of Chas German, a slew of square-jawed football trophies looking down on them from the walls. In the same city, at a little hipster coffee shop, a gaggle of young girls are painting signs and trying to figure out how to split the gas bill to get up to Deercliff, desperate to not let this girl become another faceless victim.