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.
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.
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.
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…”
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.
(Author’s note – Sorry for the delay.)
Reggie was playing PS4 when Jackson opened the garage door. He looked ridiculous in his full black sweat suit and face paint, and Reggie couldn’t avoid making a jab at him.
“Did you pull off the heist, hamburglar?”
“Uh-huh. We got a plan now man, we are going to help Ethan and find out what happened to Maggie. Ms. Halverson might know something, and giant Todd too.”
“Pretty sure my mom’s new boyfriend and his pig friends will do that, but I suppose you guys have an equal chance of solving the case. That dumb motherfucker wants to vote for Trump. At least, I think. He seems like a republican, right?”
“Yea, yea, how was dinner man? That had to be awkward.”
November 1st, 10:46 PM, Largo Household.
The tear stain spreading into Ethan’s pillow almost looked like the South American continent. He could still hear his parents yelling at each other in the kitchen downstairs. Upon getting him home from the police station, it had become clear that his father was on his side and his mother wasn’t. Continue reading
In a town like Deercliff there are no secrets. In the days following the assault of Maggie Nice, Sheriff Boyer made it her job to cultivate this small-town share-all mindset. She did not have to do very much before she was swimming in a proverbial sea of (mis)information.
Todd waved the police car in. Officers Bishop and Parker got out, both rushing to the passed out Maggie. An ambulance was only seconds behind, and the paramedics quickly took command, leaving the two cops to pacing the scene rapidly. Bishop made a slight gagging sound and sat down on the curb while Parker sent in a call to dispatch. Todd quickly walked inside, tapping Kate gently on the shoulder and pointing her towards the responders on the scene. He headed back to the dishwashing station as the officers entered the diner. Tyler, The Creator’s baritone voice barked out the words, “rape a pregnant bitch” and Todd smacked the speaker system, a small yelp leaving his lips. He hadn’t realized he was crying until looking at the blurry lights on his iPod as he shut it off. From the front of the house he heard Bishop say his name, and Kate’s high-pitched response.
There was more than one party that Hallows Eve in Deercliff.