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posted on Mar, 8 2005 @ 02:02 AM
It was still relatively early in the morning, probably around 10:00am on a Tuesday. It was April Fools Day, of all things. She had her bag slung over her shoulder, it contained everything she owned. Well, not exactly everything, she had some stuff in storage, but that was on the property of someone she was in no hurry to see. Besides, it was far, far away. It was in the same country, yet, still very far away. But, dredging all of that up now, well, she just wasn't up to it.

The street she was walking down was familiar. She had walked on it hundreds of times before. But, everything was different then. As she continued to walk aimlessly, she was aware of the familiar things all around her. The huge hotels, all the tourist-type shops selling anything from gag gifts, such as those cans that you open and a fake snake on a spring comes out, to T-shirts, knick knacks, all the things you would find in a store meant specifically for tourists. No one else in their right mind would be caught dead with those things. Especially since they all had the name of the city on them. Something for those who had traveled so far to see the city, to take home with them and remember the good or the bad time they had had there.

The sun was already hot, people were out all around, walking, catching busses and taxis, speeding by in their cars, but no one even noticed the young woman walking in their midst. Even though that had been her home for almost eight years. That was before, though. She had always had a roof over her head. A place to call home, no matter how nice or how run-down, she was never without somewhere to go home to.

She was learning a lesson very quickly. And that is that once you leave a place, you can never go back and expect it to remember you. Sure you can go back, after all, she had returned, she was back. But it wasn't the same, never would be the same. All the people who had once crowded around her - seemed so long ago, but really, it was only a month ago, were all gone. They had moved on to find other people, people who hadn't gotten stale. For them, there would always be new people who would welcome their presence. For a while. They didn't know she was back, nor would they care if they did. She no longer had anything to offer them. Now she knew that she had to figure out her next step, and soon. She was out of money, had nowhere to stay, and knew that a woman alone, especially in this city of all places, could very easily fall prey to just about any pervert, and there was no shortage of them there. If anything happened to her, no one would even know to miss her. She had refused to tell any of them where she was going. Those who had caused her to spend a very unpleasant 30 days in that unbearable re-hab, had no business knowing where she was, and perhaps trying to send her back. It was outrageous, after all, she was a grown woman. Too bad they didn't seem to be aware of that.

She had just about broken ties with all of them, her small blood family. That was just fine with her, they had all done her wrong. Stabbed her in the back, over and over. She didn't need was still daylight, probably no later than noon. Her pack was getting heavy. Where was she going to go? All the familiar places were no longer open to her, her people had moved on.

She sighed, found a bit of shade under an olive tree and sat on her pack and closed her eyes. She startled awake, with the unshaven face of a vagrant with the worst breath and a filthy, torn shirt, shaking her, asking her for a quarter. "No, no",she sputtered, suddenly remembering where she was, and how alone she was. "I would help you out if I could, but as you can see, I have nothing myself." She pulled out a cigarette from a half-empty pack, was about to light it, but decided to give it to the old bum. Maybe it would bring good karma, good luck or something. He muttered some sort of thanks and stumbled on down the street.

It was dusk. Soon all the billboards and the lights around the hotels would come on and light up the city. Probably in part why so many were drawn to it. A chilling wave of fright came over her, as she realized just how dangerous was predicament she found herself in. With no money to get anything to eat, she would be O.K. for the time being, but with nowhere safe to stay that night, her chances of ending up as one of the thousands who just disappeared, never to be heard from again were pretty high. She shuddered at that thought. She reached back into her sack and pulled out a bottle of whiskey that was still fairly full, and took a big, refreshing swallow. She had just gotten out of a re-hab earlier that morning, she had been trapped there for 30 days, and definately not of her choice. That was for sure. She couldn't even enjoy a drink there. What a place! At least she was safe there, though. She never thought of it that way while she was there, she just swore that she was going home as soon as it was over.

Well here she was, "home". Well, the city was the same on the surface, but, it was no longer home. Sure, she had spent the little bit of money she had left and bought her long awaited whiskey, and that in it's self was a tremendous pleasure. At least that hadn't changed. It tasted as good as ever. But, it was only a temporary solice. She had better act quickly. She saw a city bus coming along, and got on it, not really caring at the moment where it was going. It had turned unusually cold and windy, especially for that city and she had no clothes on or with her warmer than T-shirts and a couple pairs of shorts. Normally, that was all that was necessary there.

The bus was warm inside. She started thinking that she had better get started on some scam or other. After all, she was used to conning people, scamming them. 30 days in a re-hab certainly couldn't have caused her to forget how to get by. The only real difference was that before, she had always had people either with her, right behind her, or nearby, always watching out for her. She was always safe before. Someone was always watching her back. Now, she felt no sense of safety at all. She was all alone, she knew it, and anybody else, especially the preditor types, and there were plenty of them, they knew it too.

A moment later, a sleezy looking man with a dirty, rumpled, cheap suit on asked her if she had anywhere to go, and if not, she was welcome to stay the night in his hotel room. Great, one of those self-proclaimed pimps who were always hanging around the city. Another sharp jolt of reality. She knew what she had to do. It would be very difficult, but by now, she knew she had no choice. That relative, the one with whom she was storing the rest of her belongings, the one who was so far away, both physically and emotionally, the one who had stabbed her in the back worse than any one ever could have, she was going to have to call her. Have to admit defeat.

Then what would happen? Oh she knew. She would have a money for a plane ticket waiting at the Western Union, she would take a plane to the city nearest to the remote, dismal, lonely place where her meager belongings were, and where the old bag lived. She was trapped again, just after she was freed, trapped by her saddness, her loss of self-confidence she realized now had not ever come from herself, but had been built up by those surrounding her. The ones who were now long gone. And of course, for someone who had always had some sort of a home, an income of sorts, a car sometimes, who had always before been self-sufficient, she was trapped because she was broke and scared.

After she made the call, which reminded her again of the bottle of whiskey in her bag. She was going to need it to muster up the courage to call the old woman in the first place. But after she make the call, and got off the plane in the strange, surreal place that she had only heard of, but swore she would never set foot in, she would be firmly trapped, once again. But, she would be "safe". Or so she thouht.

posted on Mar, 8 2005 @ 09:31 PM
The old woman waited expectantly by the phone. The girl had lasted longer than she thought possible, longer than any of the other girls had anyway. “What other girls?” she thought to herself. She tried to put the thought away, somehow these questions bothered her, emotionally. She was old, old enough to be somebody’s grandmother, but not quite old enough to be losing her memories already. The man standing next to her never said anything, never changed his expression, only handing her things from his pockets from time to time. She looked up at his face, nondescript, and as if knowing what she wanted he handed her a pill from his pocket and the thoughts subsided and she could think clearer now.

The phone was an older model, and the old woman was just noticing the extensive use it had undergone when it suddenly rang. She remembered she was expecting the call, yet that ring still startled her. Her old wrinkly arm extended and lifted the receiver. The conversation was short, just like the others. “What others?” she thought pausing in the middle of the conversation. Just as she thought this, over her left shoulder the man’s arm extended and another pill was placed on the table before her. She took the pill and continued on with the conversation. Just before she put the phone down she heard several clicks and short beep. The man who just oversaw this phone conversation had withdrawn a palm pilot. The old woman was now in a dreamy state sitting in her chair, and the man was now gone, perhaps he was an illusion. Her memory was toying with her again. She turned and faced the desk and saw a message she had written on a note pad. Her little girl was coming to visit her.

posted on Mar, 9 2005 @ 08:49 PM
At least the old woman had sent enough so she could buy a few clothes. And because she knew where the second-hand store was, she was able to add to her wardrobe and have a little extra for a couple of cheap meals and an extra bottle.
Even though she had thoughts of quitting alcohol for good, the warm glow was too hard to pass up yet. And, she would need that bottled courage if she was going to confornt the old lady...and her past.

She remembered there was a place she could shower and clean up a bit. Amazing how soap and warm water can make the day more bearable.
Wearing her new jeans and sweater, she walked down the street. She'd have enough time for a fast-food meal before heading out to the airport. Her flight wasn't due to leave before morning. Spending the night in the airport, with a ticket in her possession, was a lot better prospect than being on the streets tonight.

And, although her trip was not her first or second choice of plans, any definite arrangement was better than none.
That was one of the worst things about being alone. Not having anything to look forward to. She didn't need those people, but she didn't really want to be completly adrift either.

The bus trip to the airport was uneventful. There were few passengers and no one seemed intersted in her presense, which was fine with her.
She took a brief tour of the airport before settling in an area with some vending machine and hard plastic chairs. She suddenly felt completely exhausted. She arranaged her meager belongings on a small blaket from her bag. Soon she was fast asleep.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 07:57 AM
Next thing she knew, she was being awakened by a gentleman who had probably been sitting nearby. He said, "isn't that your flight that they are calling?" She looked at her ticket, and sure enough, the flight attendant (or whoever she was) was calling last call for boarding for her flight. She quickly thanked the man for having awakened her - the last thing she needed at this point, would have been to have missed her flight - and went to board the plane. As she was looking for an empty seat, a song that she hadn't heard since she first moved to the city, suddenly started playing in her head.

She thought it was called, "Leaving Las Vegas". She started to get teary-eyed, but, tried to wipe them away, remembering why she was leaving a place that had been her home for almost eight years, and going to a place she had sworn she would never go, ever.

She finally found a seat, placed her bag in the compartment above and tried to get comfortable in her seat. The plane was about to take off, and the stewardess was coming by, checking to see if everyone had their seatbelts buckled up. Ugh, how she hated seatbelts! But, it was only for a few minutes. At this point, getting underway to her destination was better than all this hanging there in limbo. The plane took off shortly thereafter, and before she knew it, "ding" the "fasten seatbelt" light went out. There was a time when there would be a "no smoking" light that would go out simultaneously, meaning it was then O.K. to light up. But not anymore, times were changing quickly.

She remembered her new whiskey bottle in her bag. She was barely awake when she was boarding the plane, but now she wondered how she had managed to get it past security, and on to the plane with her. Well, good. It would be the last one she would have in a very, very long time. Of course, part of the agreement she had to make in order to go and stay with the old bag at all, was, no alcohol and no drugs. It didn't matter. She didn't really need them, although having a belly full of whiskey would make the initial contact with the woman go a little more smoothly. Of course, she would bitch about the smell of whiskey on her breath, but, what could she say. The young woman didn't have any more.

Now, where and how was she going to consume the bottle? Obviously the only choice would be in the small (probably smelly) bathroom, since she didn't think that the airline would take too well to her having brought her own bottle. After all, they could sell weak drinks for a minimum of $3.00 each! O.K. she got her bag back out, found a sweater to wrap it in (she would change sweaters while in there, so if necessary, she had a good explaination of why she was bringing a sweater to the bathroom with her. There was only one person in line in front of her, so she hoped that there wouldn't be more right behind her, banging on the door, in a hurry to use the restroom.

She lucked out. The woman in front of her was fast - in and out, and still no one behind her. Feeling like a kid in school, she sat on the airplane version of a toilet, and downed the bottle. She threw it away, carefully throwing a bunch of paper towels after it. Well?.....She changed sweaters, feeling suddenly much more confident, and more like herself. She exited the restroom and sat back down in her seat. With that accomplished, she started to plan what she would say to the old hag. It was no secret to anyone, hag included, that the young woman was not happy to be going to that god forsaken place to see her at all, much less to stay with her for an indefinite length of time.

She couldn't plan anything, it would have to play by ear, depending on the atmosphere when she arrived at the airport. She was just finishing putting some final touches on her make-up and combing her hair, when the pilot announced over the speaker that they would be landing at her destination in about fifteen minutes. A cold chilll swept through her, then she was strangely calm. She was as prepared as she could possibly be.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 01:33 PM
She wondered if the old bat would meet her at the airport. It had been years since she had been to Ogden, Utah and the home of her maternal grandmother. How she hated being in this stifling city. How she had despised the religious functions her family had insisted she attend.
So strong was her feeling of alienation here, she had long thought she had been adopted. And, in truth, the old woman was always decent to her. She just didn't want to belong here. Too many memories over too long a time. The old woman had been the only remotely kind relative she had. But coming here still meant she was reattaching herself to her roots, no matter how tenuous the connection,

Most of who she was did not belong in this part of the country. Drinking, smoking and casual sex were more than frowned on here. Duty to God and family were strong beliefs.
She just didn't fit in here. She had nowhere else to go, but that didn't stop the feeling of dread and closeness she was feeling. How had things come to this, she wondered.

As the plane descended to the airport, she replayed the events of the last few hours in here head. The short rest in the airport refreshed her, but only a little. She really needed about two days of sleep to totally recharge her batteries.

Then, she remembered something odd. The man in the airport. How had he known what flight she was on? Was she being paranoid? Was her mind simply overwrought from the last months' stress?
He was nondescript and benign-looking. But one never knew these days. She thought she had not drawn attention to herself and the man's words gnawed at her. Surely, she must be wrong. No one knew where she was or that she was returning to the only home she had ever known.

posted on Mar, 13 2005 @ 09:16 PM
“Ding! Please fasten your seatbelts; we will be landing in a few moments.” A pleasant voice said over the intercom. She sat up, her hair was sticking to her face, she had been sweating. She shifted in her seat to a more comfortable position then fastened her seatbelt. She didn’t remember falling asleep, it only made her more tired however, and wasn’t refreshing at all.

It seemed like only a few seconds, but the plane was finally on the ground and people were leaving the plane. She reached up and grabbed all her belongings and followed all the others off the plane. A lot of what surrounded her was new; new jet way, new building, new faces. She was the only one that felt old; her town had grown up without her. What else might be different she thought.

The bright lights hurt her head, or maybe it was the liquor she drank on the plane, it didn’t matter though, only that her head hurt. Not really knowing where to go, she followed the crowd out into the parking lot, where the light of afternoon was even brighter than inside. After taking a minute to adjust her eyes to the bright sun, she saw her. The old hag was in the same clothes a rat would call old; she hadn’t changed a bit. “This is going to be worse than I thought” she muttered walking over to greet the old lady, probably the only thing in this town that hadn’t changed.

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 07:13 AM
Before she could get very far from the plane, once again, she was being awakened. This time by the stewardess. Asking her if she was all right. Well, no, she wasn't. So far, she had been awakened, or woke up herself at least three or four times on this same flight!

She wanted to ask the stewardess if this was the Twilight Zone or what! She realized, though that she had been lucid dreaming. Now, however, she was fully awake, the headache she had dreamt up was unfortunately still with her. But, she could ignore that for the time being. The plane was gliding to a full stop. This time (she pinched herself to be sure), though she had shaken off the disturbing dreams. Yes, she was here in Ogden, Utah, however, she had never actually been there herself. As she had been reminding herself, and anyone around her that she would never set foot in that state (for several reasons) no matter what!

She hadn't spoken to the old woman in a long time. However, she still had kept somewhat in touch with her sister, who lived also in another state. Her sister, though, before marrying a couple of years ago, was extremely close to the old washed up wanna be gold digger. So, after finishing high school, she moved out to Utah to live with the hag. She was going to college there, then University, not too far away. She stayed with the woman, out in the most rural area you can imagine. She said they just shared rent, which was cheap way out there in the boonies, and it was a quiet place for her to do her studies. So all in all, she spent about five or six years out in Utah. Therefore, nearly every conversation she had with her sister, entailed a detailed description of the day before, the day ahead, and since she was studying creative writing, she was always very descriptive in describing the area in which she and the old woman lived. Apparently, all of that had incorporated itself into her disturbing dreams she was having on the plane.

Now, she stepped through the gate into the airport for real, and already she was capturing the feeling her sister had so clearly described. As in her dreams, she actually did feel as if she had lived there herself. With a chill going up her spine, she thought of the fact that her sister had lived there, but now was married and living her own life elsewhere. But the young woman, who so detested even the thought of the place, the woman, the situation she had found herself in was about to just begin to "live" there. She supposed that the woman, her truck and her house would also be just as described by her sister.

She hadn't seen the woman for so long, she really had no idea what she looked like now, except for the pictures that she had kept telling her sister not to send, but she sent anyway. Oh, oh....from a short distance away, a shakey voice was shouting, "Caitlin! Caitlin!, over here!" arms, much flabbier than was described to her, or remembered by her, were waving back and forth, crossing each other with every wave. She had on make-up, which she didn't use to wear, and had obviously colored her hair, since the signs of grey were gone. But there was no covering up those wrinkles that deeply lined her face. She had obviously tried, but the result looked just awful. You know, like a typical old woman who had used up a whole bottle of pancake makeup, but shouldn't have bothered. Somehow, that gave her a vulnerability that made her seem less formidable. Caitlin glanced around, before directly acknowledging her, to see if she had brought her most recent husbad, it would have been she thought, probably around her eithth or ninth one. But, the woman appeared to be alone. And, she looked so excited to see Caitlin, that for a moment, she came close to forgiving her, despite all the pain and humiliation she had caused.

But, quickly brushed off any such thoughts. The woman was evil. Pure evil inside. That show of friendly excitement was just another one of her tricks. She had been fooling people all of her life, tricked her husbands out of their money, just before she left them, also keeping half of whatever the unsuspecting men had left after she had bought all she desired for the time being. She was equally manipulative with everyone else, whether they were family, or a stranger she met in line at the grocery store. It was second nature to her, but she knew what she was doing. She was about to snare Caitlin into another one of her traps. Well, this time, Catilin knew better. She would be on guard at all times. Had to remembe that everything this woman did was not real, it was for evil, self-serving purposes.

Caitlin finally acknowledged her, waved and headed toward her. The old woman tried to hug the young one. She gave her a brief, superficial hug, reminding her that they were in a crowded airport. As old as she was, except for the tell-tale wrinkles covering her face, and she noticed also, that her hands were very old, age spotted and shrunken, she seemed to be chipper, in a great mood, and chattered all the way too to her truck (precisely as described by her sister.) When they got in, the woman suddenly stopped her charade of happy excitement, and said, "I smell alcohol. I thought that you were sent to that re-hab so that you would stop all that non-sense!" as her voice continued on, she re-itterated what she had said on the phone, "now, you know that we agreed when you called that there is to be ablsoutely no alcohol or drugs in my home!" "Yeah, yeah, whatever." said Caitlin. "I always keep my word, unlike some people I unfortunately know." It was starting already. Caitlin was already falling for whatever game the old bat was wanting to play. Well, a person can't have much of an argument all alone, so Caitlin fell silent.

It was a long drive back to the woman's house. At least about an hour and a half. The road was winding back and forth, back and forth. There was no scenery to speak of, to look at. No restaurants, bars, shopping centers, now that she noticed, there weren't even any sidewalks. Or people! Just fields that all looked the same, with a few straggly trees sprouting up here and there. The only sign of life she saw, were cows. Cows everywhere! She had never imagined so man cows all in one place like that. Then she noticed that about every mile or two, there would be, set far back from the road, barns with the paint badly peeling, and although she had to strain to see, she thought she saw a few farm houses, that looked as badly in need of a paint job.

A couple of times, out of curiousity, she almost asked the woman about the strange surroundings. But, thinking better of it, she decided that it would be best not to engage her in any conversation that wasn't absolutely necessary. Finally, they pulled into the driveway of a house that surprisingly appeared to be well kept up. They were greeted by a beautiful German Shepherd. Caitlin saw a few cats, one with kittens on the way to the front door. As they went in, the woman was saying that she would show Caitlin to her room, as she must be tired. She was relieved. No more conversation, at least not for the time being. Then, seemingly from out of nowhere, appeared a bald man, wearing overalls and a plaid shirt. The perfect image of a farmer. She wondered if they had cows, too. The old woman seemed uneasy as soon as the man showed his face. She simply introduced him as Henry, and said, "Don't pay him any attention, he's just a nuisance most of the time. He's stupid." Obviously, this was another husband on his way out. Well, eager to be alone, and away from any threat of conversation, Catilin said that yes, she was rather tired, and would like to lie down in "her" room. It was a pretty room, although fixed up for a much younger girl. Pink canopy on the bed with a pink bedspread. Pink flowery cutains, and a white carpet. Tons of fake flowers everywhere, also pink and white. Oh well, if she could just be alone for a while......

posted on Mar, 18 2005 @ 08:05 AM
Oooohhh, she was going to get a reprieve for a few moments. She knew that obviously, eventually she was actually going to have to have a real conversation with the old one, tell her - in a very guarded way, so as not to set herself up to fall in a trap, as she had been manipulated into doing for most of her life by the old wretch before she managed to find her own place at the age of 16, the very basics of why she had had no choice but to call her in the first place. That, of course would be after she herself figured out exacly why, and could put it into words.

She found her self already stretched out on the bed. It was actually very comfortable, if she ignored all the pink, flowery decoratons. It was the same room that her sister had occuppied the whole time she was going to college, but somehow, with all the details she had given her over the years, she failed to mention the child-like decor of the room. As a matter of fact, Caitlin vaguely remembered her saying something about having redone it several years ago, in white and blue(blue was her favorite color).

That damn old manipulator was at it again! She had ovbiously made a point of making the room look like it was designed for a 6 year old, not a 34 year old. Whatever she was up to, it sure wasn't going to be good, that was for sure. Well, she thought as she started drifting off to sleep, she had just better remember that no matter what, no matter how sincere the hag appeared to be, it would only be a smoke screen, and Caitlin absolutely refused to be sucked in, no matter what. Now, she was about asleep, but double checked to make sure the door to the room was locked, a stupid waste of time, there was no way that the old wretch would have a room in her house with a locking door and no way for her to get in whenever she wanted......zzzzZZZZZZzzzzzzz....wait! She had better make damn sure this time that she was really awake now, just tired, and when she went to sleep, she was asleep until she opened her eyes and saw this room. That wierd, half sleep, half waking state she was in for the last part of the flight was too wierd. She remembered the man at the airport briefly again. The man who had been a perfect gentleman, but knew what flight she was on.
She knew she had never seen him before, and he didn't seem like the stalker type or anything. Hmmm.....well, it was a very early morning flight, 5:45am. There probably just weren't that many other flights leaving at that time.

That was her final thought as she sunk, finally into a truly deep, deep much needed sleep.

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 06:51 AM
from: JoeDoaks
sent: 3/20/2005 at 06:36 AM
Looking at the young woman nod slightly he realized she was ebbing into sleep. Within a few minutes she might finally slip away.

Watching her casually his patience in such matters was reassuring. For the time it might take he stood motionless next to the support beam. No one seemed to pay any attention to the nondescript man reading a magazine.

He glanced again and realized she was truly asleep. She was attractive enough to bring a fair price. He estimated $3,000. 'Yes' he said to himself. Well worth it. He turned slightly and walked to the coffee counter.

Slowly sipping his coffee, his eyes slowly scanned the lobby across the brim of the cup. He noticed that the janitor was still near the same place he had been ten minutes before slowly mopping the floor. This struck him as odd.

Sitting on one of the plastic chairs his attention seemed to be focused on a teleprompter a few feet from him. The janitor was in his field of vision, slightly to the right. The sleeping woman still farther to the right. Again, sipping his coffee he looked out across the lobby.

After many minutes a small girl walked past the janitor to the bathroom. Two, then three minutes passed as the janitor slowly worked his way to the doorway with his mop waving across the floor in slow sideway motions.

posted on Mar, 21 2005 @ 08:35 AM
As the janitor neared the door to the women's room a sound caught his attention. Turning his head slightly he could see the man that had been sitting quietly was now quickly moving towards the exit doors. The woman that had seemed asleep was gone!

Quickly scanning the wide windows he could make out a blurred shape moving quickly towards a waiting cab. The man he was watching threw the doors open and slightly crouched while pulling a dark, thin, cylindrical object from his coat. Appearing to be a gun barrel the janitor moved his cleaning cart slowly between him and the man now crouching by the door.

The taxi speed away from the curb.

Slowly rising, the man at the door looked around to see if anyone had noticed his movements. Placing the cylindrical object back in his coat he saw the janitor now partially obscured by his cleaning cart. The man determined he had gone unnoticed.

Back inside he talked for a long period of time at a payphone. Every minute or so he looked around to make sure no one was close enough to hear him as the phone was one of those open booths hanging on a pole.

The janitor later reported to the police the above events. Yes, that is the only description he could give of the man. He was, well, non-nondescript. Kind of average height, medium build but maybe a little muscular or perhaps slightly thin, medium hair but perhaps a little blondish or brownish- the janitor couldn't really remember him that well. This puzzled the police as the janitor was known to have virtually a photographic memory.
- - -
Catlin awoke. Her insides felt like large chinks of sharp glass were moving around, she needed a drink really bad. Looking our her window she saw Henry, the 'stupid husband' lounging around near a low tool shed. Every now and then Henry would lower his head then yank it back. Catlin smiled. She knew the signs of quick drinks.

Virtually flying out the front screen door she skipped a little toward Henry.
“Hey ya, got a smoke?” Her voice was full and melodious.

“Gotta go ta da field.” Henry snorted as he tottered off.

'Whew, I hope I don't smell as rank as him. No wonder peole shy away.' She smiled to herself.

Catlin watched until Henry was beyond the raspberries. She knew 'auntie' was at the rear of the house digging in her perpetual garden.

Slowly Catlin stepped around the small tool shed until she caught the all too familiar band from the neck of Johnny Walker's Red. She almost shouted. This was stupendous. Almost a full quart of prime scotch whiskey. She preferred American or Canadian but this was some good stuff. She knew that after gagging down a few mouthfuls it would smooth out.

“Bad thing about Scotch is the taste.” She smiled. After three decent gulps her stomach was warm and she had a slight buzz. “Ahhh, she purred.” Putting the bottle back she looked around.

The old truck was the only vehicle not on blocks. The long ago Mustang sat near the far end of the yard on blocks and old tires. She could tell it was at least two blocks high, meaning someone had been working on it.

A distant sound disturbed her dreaminess. In the distance she could barely make out a twirl of dust rising from the desert floor. While being warmed by whiskey and sun Catlin just starred.

“Git chee-ya!” The screech of the old woman brought a little startle to Catlin. Looking at the front porch she saw the 'old hag' jabbing her arm furiously up and down. The old woman wailed at Catlin.

Turning she slowly walked to the house amid shrieks and flaying arms.

“Dem-it, dem-it, yus cum when I kall u!”

Catlin ducked a swing from the broom handle that cracked against a porch post.

Jumping a few feet back Catlin couldn't help but see all the torment and pain flowing again from this beast of a woman. Even the wildness in the old woman's eyes as they tried to pierce the desert heat waves didn't diminish their power.

Looking continually past Catlin the old woman began to shake. Through anguished sobs her words stumbled out.

“I knows ya dinks I be bad. I knows et. Deys cumen Catlin. Des cumen”

Her withered hand jutted toward the long road.

posted on Mar, 22 2005 @ 10:15 AM
Confused, Catlin just blinked at the old woman now looking so small in her fear.

Looking across the Utah desert, Catlin's eyes burned as she strained. In the distance a wisp of milky dust hung motionless in the distance as the horizon and a dark object seemed to waver a little in the waves of the sun.

Her hands shook a little as she felt the dampness of her palms. Shaking her hands slightly her burning eyes darted to the long row of brush running beside the old woman's garden. From her childhood Catlin knew that brush like that usually meant a depression that could run for miles into the desert.

As fast as a sprinter Catlin crashed through the front screen door and ran through the house to the kitchen. She threw open the refrigerator and grabbed a gallon jug and two small bottles of water. Out the back door she dashed for the brush.

“Aaargghh' she moaned as the salt cedar scrapped her arms. The t-shirt did a poor job of covering her bare flesh. Still it did provide a little relief to shoulders that would otherwise have burned under the sun. Glad she had that old scarf in her back pocket.

Running while she pumped the gallon jug with one arm and the two smaller bottles with the other her feet sloshed to the side in the loose sand and gravel. She wouldn't look back, it would slow her down. A small depression split the cedars as if some long forgotten creek had flowed.

Yard after yard she ran. Slowing to a trot to help her catch her breath then speeding up again. To her left the brush opened sporadically revealing nothing but pale pink sand. To her right the brush rose to ten feet or more. She sensed more than knew that something was there.

Curving a little to the right the depression was now four or five feet deep. Scattered small stones and loose gravel made her footfalls unsure. Ahead the depression split only to split again. Catlin kept the sun on her right cheek, knowing somehow that she was headed east.

Every time the depression split it got deeper. Before long she was traveling in near shade as the sides increased to well over ten feet with brush above them. No longer was the sun on her cheek her guide. The sheer depth of the small canyon forbade any sitting or view of the world other than the steep walls, rock, sand and occasional brush she dodged.

For how long she ran she didn't know. The air was beginning to cool a little and she knew it must be late afternoon. She stopped briefly. Her shirt and pants were damp but not dripping. She knew that was good.

The cool night air in the desert would have chilled her when the sun went down if her clothes were wet. Bending over at the waist she drew a few deep breaths before making herself stand straight and breath more deeply.

Standing still with her arms out the coolness of the shadows soon refreshed her. Looking behind her she realized her tracks were plain to the eye. Turning, she noted the way ahead was as behind, gravel and sand.

Looking up Catlin couldn't help but marvel at the clear blue of the sky. 'Let's see. 12 miles from the highway. I've been going at least three hours. Mmmm, I should be pretty close IF I'm still headed east.'

She knew that a good walker averaged 3 miles per hour and that she had not been going in a straight line. She figured she was covering 6 miles an hour. 'I wished I had been a Girl Scout- sheesh, I don't even know what I'm thinking!'

Sitting down the small water bottles she drank deeply from the gallon jug. She knew enough from re-hab to know too much water would drain away her bodies salts and make her weak. She also knew that lack of water would weaken her.

Looking at the jug, she realized she had drained half of it- “burp.” 'Gahhh, a water belch.' She smiled a little. For the first time that she could remember, alcohol was not her preferred beverage.
- - -
The old woman almost fell down when Catlin had run past her. The grasping claws for hands couldn't reach quick enough to snare the younger woman. Her head turned slightly as she froze at the quickening approach of the dark automobile and certain pain.

[edit on 22-3-2005 by JoeDoaks]

posted on Mar, 23 2005 @ 09:35 PM
If Caitlin had remained at the house, she would have been shocked to see the man from the airport in the car. But, not really very surprised. Nothing seemed impossible in the days that blurred togethr since she left rehab.

The car stopped and the man got out an approached the old woman. He wasn't worried about her presence.
He chuckled. The biddy would either be bought for a few bucks or be food for the desert scavengers. He figured the non-descript man who he saw in the fields would either take off or join her.
As far out from the city as this house was, the couple woudln't be missed for days.

He didn't see his quarry anywhere. He couldn't imagine that she had left the minute she saw the car approach. He put the tazer and hypodermic in his pocket and walked up to the crone.
"Pardon me, but, I am looking for a young woman who arrived here recently. We shared the plane ride in and she gave me directions to this house."

posted on Mar, 28 2005 @ 01:41 PM
The canyon had grown much cooler. With the sun ebbing somewhere above her line of sight Catlin knew that the darkness of the desert would soon engulf her. She could probably climb up and out one of the sides as the dirt-sand mix was easy to dif into but thoughts of being seen kept her in feet on the gravel. About 10 to 12 feet up the brush of the desert sprang into view. Looking around she saw a darkening depression ahead of her on the side of one of the canyon walls.

Looking into the narrow darkness she could see 5 to 7 feet. With a small twisted branch she jabbed into the dark depression. Nothing came running out and she smiled at her childishness. Kneeling down, her hands moved along both sides of the opening as bits of dirt and sand fell down her arms. Gradually she crawled into the depression realizing it was at least 7 feet deep. With a flat rock the size of her hand she scraped the sides to remove loose dirt and spider-web like roots. A small amount of dust chocked her dry throat a little. After a few minutes she determined her new home was relatively stable.

Back into the small canyon Catlin walked while looking for wide leaves to line the inside of her cave. Finding a skunk gourd she stripped its stinking leaves from the tendrils. Across a smaller arroyo grew what Catlin thought was tall grass. Feeling this she realized it smelled good and was soft. The gourd leaves were dropped as she gathered in an arm load of grasses.

Back at her cave-like opening the grasses were spread around to form a relatively decent pad. Smiling to herself she realized a cover of some sort would be nice. Back into the largest arroyo she went looking for more grasses. Darkness was coming quickly.

Working feverishly, a half sized pad was packed together and three arm loads of small sticks and twigs were gathered. During the process a fair sized clump of very dry brush was brought close. Catlin needed one more thing to feel safer, a big stick! Thoughts of roaming coyotes or a cold snake looking for a warm body gave her the shivers.

As darkness finally fell a half-decent shelter existed. Curling up slightly the days worries seemed to drift away as drowsiness settled in. The brush and sticks covering the opening gave Catlin a feeling of security from prying eyes and being discovered. Laying in a semi-sitting position she was sure she would sleep silently without the occasional snore she was known for. After a long while she curled up a little pulling the pad around her as close as possible for warmth.

No dreams interrupted the sleep. Waking, darkness slowly ebbed away. Catlin crawled from her shelter into the pre-dawn desert air which instantly made her shiver. She stood slowly and stretched. Enough light crept into the canyon that she could see her footprints from yesterday must have been swept away by a night wind. She felt sore but good.

Standing in front of the makeshift shelter her mind wondered. 'If I move in the daylight they might see me. At night it is to dangerous, holes and arroyos, cactus and who knows what else.' Reaching into her waste band she realized she must have lost a few pounds during her run yesterday as her pants were a bit loose.

She crawled back into the shelter, deciding to lay around and do nothing until late afternoon. She was not trackable at the present and whoever was in that car might still be looking. She reached out with a handful of brush and erased the few tracks she had made then pulled the brush and sticks in front of the opening once again.

posted on Mar, 29 2005 @ 04:27 AM
Slipping into an uneasy, half asleep, half awake state, Caitlin found herself tossing and turning. That was extremely uncomfortable on the rocky floor of the desert. But, she knew that she had lost her mind when she actually made the call to the old woman, thought she must be even crazier to have actually went through with the plane trip (and what a strange trip it had been) all the way to Ogden, and rode on that seemingly endless trip with the old bag, with the upper arms that swayed in the breeze, coming to an end with shrunken, claw-like hands. She shivered at the thought that she had actually gotten the courage to go through with all that. All she had done, was to catch a real nap, one that she only woke up from once, then realize that she had gotten herself in a plight that was even worse than the one she was in when she had returned to Las Vegas.

She sat up, put her head between her knees, and sobbed. Why? Why me? She cried until she was exhausted, and fell asleep in that awkward sitting position until she was startled awake by a somewhat familiar face, but it wasn't familiar in the way that it was so non-descript, it could have been any stranger that she may or may not have run across at some time in the past. She reeled back like a snake, having no weapon, and nowhere to run. Now, she was definately more frightened than she had ever imagined. The half-way safety of the pink room in the witch's house in the boonies sounded pretty good to her right now.

The man said to her in a gentle voice (almost a familiar voice?), "I just happened by on my way to work, and saw something unfamiliar in the dessert. I know this place like the back of my hand, and any thing a little different sticks out to me like a sore thumb." Caitlin was frozen with fear, she just stared and didn't say a word. One thing she did know, was that this man definately was not from around here. He had never been here before in his life. There was something chilling about his very presence. He was the mild little man at the airport who had know what flight she was on! What was he doing here!

Having nothing to depend on but her own intuition, Catlin knew that there was no running away, she was all backed into her little shelter. All she could do was to try and talk her way out of this. She had done it before. But always she had been in more familiar surroundings.

She reached out and gently touched his hand, pretending to have no idea who he was. She told him that she had come here, not realizing how lonely, how barron the place would be. She had one person, she supposed could be called a relative by sorts that lived out this way, but as soon as she arrived at her place, she realized that she was in the way, and was on her way to her sister's place, in the urban area of Glendale, California. "Do you know the most direct route to the highway?" she asked. The man said gently, "I've got a warm coat here, why don't you come out of there, sit down, I've got a thermos of coffee in the car, and we'll talk about it.". O.K., Caitlin agreed quickly, thinking that she could make a break for it while he was going to the car. It was nowhere in sight, so she could at least get a little head start....

posted on Mar, 31 2005 @ 09:27 PM
Caitlin was hungry, cold and thirsty. Whatever possessed her to come the visit the old woman in this godforsaken place? Then she remembered that things weren't so great before she called the crone.

The man looked rested and calm. How had he found her? Even if he could have tracked her, it seemed like too much of a coincidence.

Getting up the nerve, she asked the man how he had found her. She decided to gamble and admit she recognized the man.
"You don't look like you're on your way to a the middle of nowhere? I swear I've seen you somewhere recently....wait, aren't you the kind man who kept me from missing my flight? How did you get here?"

The man smiled.

Caitlin felt another chill even though the desert was heating with the day. Her uneasiness grew.

"My name is Silas George. I'm an investigator. I have been tracking you for some time. If you look in your jacket pocket, you will find a small tracking device. I placed it there in the airport while you slept.
I mean you no harm. If you will allow me to explain a bit, you will see I really have your best interests at heart.
There is a man staying with your grandmother, an evil man. He is who I am really after. You must help me."

Caitlin was dumbstruck. She didn't know whether to believe him or not. She didn't remember much of anything about the man who kept company with her grandmother. She felt more trapped than ever...

posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 08:01 AM
For a moment, Caitlin was completely torn between wanting to believe this man, and wanting to get as far away from him as possible. A "tracking device"! she snorted to herself. How she detested anything that she thought would allow another person to know her whereabouts, and especially to do it in such a sneaky way! She was so enraged about that, that she totally forgot that a few moments ago, she had been sure that this man was going to kill her at best.

But, after her spurt of anger, following her intense fright, she had to just laugh and laugh and laugh. A loud hysterical laughter that she just couldn't stop. It had happened to her before, as a result of too much stress, and it came on very unexpectedly. As she was rolling on the desert floor, laughing uncontrollably, the man, (what was his name?) it didn't matter, was laughing with her, almost as hysterically. Neither of them knew what was so funny, but they both had tears rolling down their faces. This went on for about fifteen or twenty minutes.

It certainly broke the ice. Finally, the man spoke in a voice that was fairly serious, still trying to stiffle the remainder of his laughter. "Well, he said, I had expected just about every re-action but that." He continued on, "I take it that you now trust me? At least enough to listen to me and not run away?". Caitlen said, that yes, even that although she had no tangible reason to trust someone who would place a GPS type thing in her pocket, for some reason, she did. She was thinking about how as much as she detested the old witch, she had found herself feeling - not so much sorry for her as she had done in the past, by being manipulated by her into feeling that way, but she had sensed something different in the old woman this time. It was like she was seriously frightened by someone or something. The witch from hell, O.K. she might as well admit it, her "birth mother" (although she had not in a very long time considered her any kind of a mother, mostly becaue she did not behave like any kind of a mother - not even an evil stepmother) was always right on top of the situation, whatever it may be. She had long ago mastered the art of manipulation to a "T". She tried hard at the art of gold-digging. but never hit the jackpot. Only enough to kep her in the home of her choice, a new truck or car, the latest computer equipment, the basic creature comforts, and of course all the while quite pleased with herself at her ability to control just about anybody. Especially men. She always got what she wanted, maybe not a million dollars, but, enough to always be comfortable and in control.

What little exchanges, verbal and non-verbal Caitlin had seen between her and the man, had seem strained on the hag's part, like as if she was for once in her life not only not in contol, but almost afraid. She had also noticed a very distinct chill (literally a chillling breeze) the couple of times that she had walked by him. It was very unnerving. But, in the past, whenever the woman had gotten tired of her latest "provider", she had no qualms about telling him that she had filed for divorce, and that 1/2 of everything belonged to her. That was basically the way she worked. She had even had a violent one once, who she swiftly got rid of, with the aid of a local Sherrif. But for some reason, rather than getting rid of him, like she did with the violent one, she seemed quite afraid of the man, and afraid to do anything about it. Hhmmm. Caitlin thought about it, and decided that she really did believe the man. Now, she was intreagued.

"O.K.", she challenged, "let's say I believe you, and am on your side, what do we do now"?

posted on May, 27 2005 @ 04:06 PM
"Well, I just need to know one thing", he said gently. "Then I believe that we can both move on with our lives, separately, of course". "Of course", said Caitlin. "Separately. No offense, but at this point in my very confused life, I really need to start everything over, I mean really over again. Now, what was it that you needed to know?"

Silas replied that finding the old man was the end of his mission, and that he only could have done it by following Catilin, because he believed that she, and she alone might be able to accomplish what neither he nor the police had been able to so far. "What are you talking about?" she asked, rather annoyed. "You don't even know me, or anything about me!...or do you?" She said accusingly. "Besides, if you are talking about bringing the cops around, whatever it is, I want nothing to do with it. I would just as soon stay out of their way, and have them stay out of mine." "Caitlin, please, could you calm down just for a minute and let me explain? I'm sure you will agree I owe you that, at least? Come on, let's sit down, I'm confidant that once you hear me out, you may feel differently." "I highly doubt that", she retorted. But, she was also more than a little curious, and by now, she honestly did not think that he was out to hurt her, so she agreed to at least hear what he had to say. They sat down awkwardly on some really uncomfortable rocks, and Caitlin was about to hear a very shocking and incredible story.

Silas told her that he knew that he had gotten his break when she called the old woman from the pay phone in Las Vegas. "What! And how and why would you, who don't even know me, happen to be listening to my call to her from a pay phone from another state?!" "Please", he said. You promised to hear me out. And I promise you that I never did then, nor do I now mean you any harm at all. As a matter of fact, I wasn't going to bring this up at this time, because I didn't want to to take it as a bribe, as when I'm through with my story, you will see that it isn't. But, because you don't seem to be able to settle down and hold your temper long enough to hear what I have to say, maybe it will help if I let you know now, that there is a good sum of money in this for you if all goes well. Enough for you to do just as you said you wanted - to go away somewhere and start a new life for yourself." "You want to pay me? For what?", Catilin asked skeptically. She didn't want him to know just how broke she was, and how badly she could use some money, any amount would sure help. But, at the same time, she had to make it clear that she was no prostitute, nor would she ever be. Neither would she be any sort of narc for the pigs.

He laughed. "Caitlin, can I call you Caitlin?" She nodded. "You are a very beautiful girl, but I have a wonderful wife and three children of my own at home. A prostitute is not on my agenda, believe me." He turned serious then. "My own children, all the more reason why this job I'm on is so important to me." He then told her that he was a private investigator, currently working for the distrought parents of a six year old girl, who had been recently abducted and were desperatel searching for her. Especially frightened, because not long before the disapearance of their daughter, there had been another girl, about the same age, who was last seen alive with the same man in the pictures he was about to show her. That girl's body had turned up a few days later with multiple stab wounds in a shallow grave in the Arizona desert. Caitlin gasped. "Are you really being serious? Because if you aren't, that is a horrible thing to say, and if you're making any of this up, I won't help you at all!" He shook his head, looking very grave. He pulled out his Identification, along with two very blurry photographs. However, blurry as they were, both of them, showed the man that the old bag had introduced to her when she first arrived at their Godforsaken house, as Henry. In one of the photos, he appeared to be at a carnival, smiling what appeared to be a very evil grin, and had a little girl on his shoulders. She appeared to be laughing. "Oh My God!" exclaimed Caitlin. " that the girl who's parents you work for?" He shook his head slowly. "No, not this one's. It's strange though", he said. "None of her family had ever seen him before, they were quite sure of it. But usually" he continued, "in these cases, it turns out that the abductor either knows the victim in some way or another, and is trusted by her or him, or is actually a relative. But not in this case." He said that made it all the more difficult to track him down. The parents had no idea how in just a few moments, while she was supposed to be waiting in line for the pony rides, she had instead ended up on this man's shoulders, looking happy as could be. Of course they didn't see her there personally. It happened that the photo was a frame from one of the thousands of video cameras which Caitlin despised, that had been set up by the government. That explained why it was so blurry. The parents had seen her to the pony ride line, then gone to sit on a nearby bench, and that was the last time they had seen their daughter alive.

Caitlin was horrified, but found herself quite captivated by this man's story. In the second photo, also quite blurry, and had been come by the same way as the first, was also the unmistakable shape of the man called Henry. In this one, he had a different small girl by the hair, and appeared to be shoving her into a truck......the same truck as the one the old witch had picked her up from the airport in! "This girl", Silas said, "has yet to be found. She has been missing for four days now, and it is her parents who have hired me to try to find her before it's too late." He pointed out that the licence plate on the truck was completely in the photo, and amazingly, it was just readable enough to be able to trace it to the old woman who Caitlen had called, and subsequently flown to Utah to meet. Caitlin was shocked, and almost defensive. She said that the woman was pure evil, but never to her knowledge in the way that she would ever be directly or indirectly involved in something such as abducting and murdering children. No, her evil came from deep within, and was always carried out in a phychological way. He quickly assured her that no one thought that she was, but that for some reason, fear, perhaps, she was protecting him, because the three times he went out to the house, twice with the sherriff in tow, she would come shuffling to the door with a large, growling dog held close to her side by his collar. She always claimed to have no idea of his whereabouts. "Probably out in the field somewhere", she had told them once. Well, their "field" sprawled out for miles. It was covered with tall grass, weeds, large shrubs, trees, a couple of huge junk piles and at least five or six growling, snapping unleashed dogs. There was no way they could get to him, even if he was out there somewhere. Besides, they did not know the terrain at all.

He told her that they had managed to get a wire tap on her phone a couple of days ago, and how he had just gotten the best lead he could have imagined when he had tapped into Caitlin's call. While Caitlin didn't exactly like the idea of her call being listened in on, she did understand why. "I suppose that you want me to go back there, find Henry and bring him out in the open, since he wouldn't be suspecting me of helping you, so you can be somewhere close by, probably calling the cops. Right?" "That's about exactly what I had in mind. Will you do it"? "Well, I'm not exactly into turning people over to the pigs, but I suppose weighing what he's done, and with the possibility of rescuing that second girl, what choice do I have? One thing though, I'm not in any trouble with the law, but I would like to keep it that way, so.....did you mention something about my being paid for this?" "Oh, yes. How about $10,000.00 cash? Sound fair?" He pulled out his billfold and began counting stacks of $100.00 bills. "Now, seeing that you would rather not be around when the police arrive, how about you take this $5,000.00 that's 1/2 of it now. Then I will give you a ride to within about a block of the woman's home, you get out, find a reason to get the old perverted killer out front - I can tell that you're resourceful. We will take it from there. Now, about the old woman. You don't sound as if you care much for her. I don't know if you will want to stay with her after we have taken the killer away, or....." "No", Caitlin said quickly. I would just as soon walk away, out of her life once and for all, and get on with my own, if there is a way that could be arranged." "Not a problem", said Silas. I will leave this blanket right here, behind that tree over there, see which one I mean?" he asked, pointing. "Yes", Caitlin said, sounding a little suspicious again. But, she had the $5,000.00 already tucked away in her pockets, so what did she have to lose if he didn't come up with the other 1/2, really. "How about if I leave the other $5,000.00 and my cell phone under that blanket, there doesn't seem to be anyone around who could possibly see. That way, as soon as we grab him, if you like, you can just walk away, pick up the rest of your well earned fee and use the phone to call yourself a cab, and be on your way to the nearest airport, or wherever you choose. That's it. That simple".

Caitlin still wasn't sure how to react. In all of her strange adventures, none of them had ever turned out anything like this. Things like this were for the movies, or at least other people who she would never meet in her lifetime. Then, there they were, a couple of houses down from their destination. She got out, walking briskly toward the house. She could see in the distance, the old hag out there sweeping the front step. As she neared, she heard a screech, "Hey! Where you been!?" "Oh, just out exploring. I got lost for a short while, but as you can see, I'm back now."

With that, she walked right on by the wretch, ducked into the bathroom for a minute, then headed out back. Henry was sitting on a tree stump, drinking a beer. "Hey girl, got a smoke?" "Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. I just left them right inside. I'll get you a couple if you like. You going to be here for a minute?" "Yeah, yeah," he muttered. As if that was her cue, she nodded at the car partially hidden behind the trees, saw the arrival of the sherriff with two other cop cars in tow. She took one last glance at the old hag, said not a word, and slowly walked toward the blanket with the rest of the money and the cell phone. The cab was on speed dial. She slowly pushed the button, as she heard the fading screams of the nightmare who had claimed to be her mother, for the very last time. She was finally free. The whole world was ahead of her. She breathed a sigh of relief as the taxi pulled up to her feet.
(The End)
[Finished 5-27-2005]

[edit on 5/27/2005 by CyberKat]

[edit on 5/27/2005 by CyberKat]

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