Friday, April 29, 2016

One Friday Night at Barbie's Dream House

Hello All:
The challenge: can a short story (possibly a small series of short stories) be created out of a vintage Barbie commercial from the early 1960s?
The answer: at the Literary World of Tom Raimbault, this certainly is possible. What you will read, below, just might evolve into a small collection of Barbie doll stories.
***
Have a great weekend!
One Friday Night at Barbie's Dream House
One Friday night, at Barbie's dream house, Barbie lay on the floor of her bedroom, alone, while studying the many photos in her modeling portfolio. You see, Barbie is a highly successful teenage model. She travels the world and earns on average a million dollars per shoot. She's been on the front cover of many fashion magazines; been featured on billboards, and has even appeared on TV commercials.
So why would someone as successful as Barbie need to study her modeling portfolio?—you might ask? Was she looking for the perfect head shot to send to an agency?
No, Barbie doesn't need to impress a modeling agency in hopes to find work like an average commercial print model. She actually has a personal agent who receives countless requests every day for Barbie to do shoots. Whoever bids the highest, wins a shoot with Barbie.
How about studying her countless poses and headshots while thinking of ways to take her career to the next level?
Well... come on... How much further can the world's most successful teenage model take her career? The next step would be acting and appearing in movies. And Barbie doesn't want to do that.
So why was Barbie lying on her bedroom floor on a Friday night, studying her modeling portfolio? Well, you see, Barbie has a little problem with making friends at school. Yes, although she is a highly successful teenage model, Barbie attends the local high school like all the other kids in her neighborhood. But being that she's a model, most of the girls at school are jealous. And Barbie spends many nights with her burning question in mind of why kids don't like her. She often does this while studying her portfolio.
As for the boys, they are only after one thing. They automatically assume that a female model is nothing more than a sex object. Oh, there are nice boys who truly like Barbie for who she
is. But they all think that Barbie is too good for her. At least Barbie has Ken, an older boy (actually young man) who is equally successful in modeling as Barbie. Their paths crossed during a commercial print shoot in Chicago last year. As for tonight, Ken was in Hong Kong, doing a shoot for Asian sportswear—something peculiar because Ken is not Asian; he's white.
"I look so pretty in this shot." sadly commented Barbie to herself. "And I bet all the other girls at school would love to wear an outfit like this. I get plenty of clothing gifts and accessories from fashion designers, and would love to share them with everyone. I mean you think more kids would like me." Barbie sighed, turned the page and examined another photo of herself playing tennis on the court.
Just then the doorbell rang downstairs.
"Barbie!" called out Mother.
"What????" shouted Barbie in a somewhat irked voice.
"Come down here and see who's at the door."
Who could it have been? Whenever Mother ordered Barbie to see who was at the door, it was usually a surprise visitor for Barbie. It couldn't have been Ken. He was in Hong Kong, and wouldn't return to America for a couple of days.
Like a teenage girl, Barbie skipped down the stairs of her dream house in anticipation of who might have been at the door. When finally opened: SURPRISE, there stood her friend, Midge!
"Friend?"—you might ask in a challenging tone of voice. "But I thought Barbie doesn't have friends."
Yes, despite how Barbie complains that she doesn't have any friends, she actually has Midge who has been a close friend for a number of years. You know how teenagers are: they think they don't have friends—depends on what mood they are in.
"Oh, hi, Midge." greeted Barbie with a somewhat confused look on her face.
"Hi!" returned Midge.
And then the two stood there in an awkward few seconds of silence. Barbie couldn't remember inviting Midge over.
"Did we have plans?" asked Barbie.
"Your Mom told me to come over." explained Midge in a somewhat nervous tone of voice. You see, Mother is often concerned with Barbie. Barbie isolates herself, and rarely goes out with friends. Mother is friends with Midge's mother, and often requests that Midge come over to spend time with her daughter.
Barbie sighed, "Well come on in." Then she explained upon closing the door. "I wasn't doing anything terribly important. I was just studying my modeling portfolio.”
"Oh, how exciting." answered Midge. Midge is thrilled that Barbie is a highly successful teenage model, and really adores her for this.
Well... then again... that's only partly true. You see, this is what people are made to think. Both Mother and Midge's mother re-assert Midges adoration to Barbie. And to be nice, Midge goes along with it—pretends to be thrilled that Barbie is a successful model. But secretly, that's one of the things that Midge doesn't care too much for with her friend Barbie. It's almost as-if Barbie is supposed to be worshipped. And this sickens Midge.
"Well hello!" cheerfully greeted Mother while stepping into the foyer. She was wearing an apron.
"Hi!" returned Midge with a friendly smile.
"I was just baking some cookies." informed Mother. "They're almost done. In a little bit, I'll order a pizza for you girls."
"Awe... Your mom is so nice." commented Midge. "But maybe Barbie won't be able to eat because she's a model."
Barbie laughed through her lips, "Pff! That's not true. I'm a teenage model. I can eat like a horse and never gain weight."
"That's so very true." reassured Mother. "I don't know how you do it. There's not an ounce of fat on your body. Oh, and the same goes for you, Midge. How do you girls stay so thin?"
Midge shrugged her shoulders.
Then Mother looked over to Barbie to remind her, "Hey, don't forget that you have nearly a wardrobe of designer fashion wear given to you as gifts from all your shoots. Why don't you let Midge try some of these on? She's the same size as you."
It sounded like a great idea to Midge. Often, Midge gets to take some of these clothes home with her to wear at school. But then the other kids tease her, citing that she is Barbie's only friend and obviously got these nice clothes from her. Midge never cared. It was still nice to wear fashionable clothes.
The two skipped upstairs, together, into Barbie's bedroom where they stood before Barbie's walk-in closet.
"Wow, Barbie! Holy crap! You get all this stuff for free?"
"Yup!" affirmed Barbie. "The more popular of a model you are, the more gifts you get from fashion designers. They want you to wear this stuff for them in hopes that other people will notice you wearing them and then buy it themselves."
"Nice deal for you." commented Midge.
"Go ahead!" encouraged Barbie. "Try some stuff on. See, there are benefits to being my friend."
Midge smiled, stepped into the closet and began browsing the many never-worn-before blouses, denim jeans, shorts, sundresses and even swimwear. It was like stepping into a miniature store in the clothing department where she could privately shop around. The best part; it wouldn't be necessary for Mother to pay if she found something she liked.
In the meantime, Barbie lay back down on the floor to examine her modeling portfolio. Within a few minutes, Midge emerged from the closet in a pair of tight shorts with sleeveless t-shirt that showed off her cute figure. She was definitely ready for summer.
"Nice!" encouraged Barbie.
Midge noticed that Barbie was examining pictures of herself from the modeling portfolio. And whenever Barbie introduces or even remotely suggests her modeling career at a particular moment, it's Midges job to show interest. She walked over and commented on an image that was taken during a prom dress shoot. "They made the color of the dress match your pretty eyes." commented Midge.
"Eh... I didn't care too much for the dress." answered Barbie. She flipped the page over to a shoot in which Barbie laughed in the passenger seat of a convertible Corvette. Her long hair freely blew in the wind. Sitting next to her was her boyfriend, Ken.
"And that's the shoot where you met Ken." pointed Midge.
"Yup!" acknowledged Barbie.
"You're pretty lucky to be going out with a male super model like Ken." cited Midge. "I'm sure most of the guys at school are intimidated by him."
"And they should be." agreed Barbie. "Ken is a great guy."
Midge glanced at herself in the mirror and noticed how cute she looked. And she definitely had a nice body. "Hey Barbie..." began Midge. "You know what I don't understand?"
"What's that?" asked Barbie.
"I think I've got some good looks, and I have the same figure you do. I mean I'm fitting into all of your clothes. I've tried getting with a modeling agency, but I just don't have any luck. How come I can't be as successful as you? I mean you would think that some agent at last year's model search conference would have noticed me and selected me as a potential candidate. There were so many people there, and I really think I looked better than a lot of the girls there."
Barbie sighed, "Midge, we've been through this before. And you can't take this personal or let it bring you down. Yeah, you're cute and you've got a nice body. But you don't have the look. You don't have what modeling agencies require right now. And I'm really sorry, but the intellectual girl with short red hair and freckles really isn't in right now. Girls who are in all honors AP classes are not considered sexy or cool. So just be yourself and don't worry about it."
"I know..." agreed Midge while walking back to Barbie's closet that was crammed with designer fashion wear. She did a pretty good job of covering it up; but deep down inside, Midge's feelings were really hurt. Did Barbie actually think like that? Did she really believe that Midge's drive to be a successful, high-achieving student to be uncool and not-so-sexy?
As the evening progressed, Barbie's comment of Midge being un-cool continued to eat away at poor Midge to the point of nearly hating Barbie. Somehow Midge was going to have to prove Barbie wrong. Somehow, Midge would have to find a way to destroy Barbie.
To be continued...

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Slide Zone

Hello All:
If you're old enough to remember (and you would have to be really old) then you can recall a time when MTV used to air something called music videos. In fact, that's what MTV originally stood for: Music Television. These music videos would have been popular throughout the early to late 1980s. Yes, you would have to be old to remember them!
What is a music video?--a younger reader might ask?
A music video could have been described as a three-to-five minute short movie that was accompanied by some popular song by a well known artist--usually rock, pop, or rap. Sure, some of these music videos would simply be the artists performing before the camera. But most music videos aimed to really entertain the viewer by showing scenes and action. Sometimes the video would play for about thirty seconds to a minute as a scene unfolded before the music actually started.
I mention all of this because that's what came to mind when originally conceiving today's featured writing. It's based an old, mostly unheard-of song from the late 1970s from a well-known artist. I'm going to leave the name of the song and the artist unmentioned for now. It will be revealed towards the end of the story. See if you can figure it out while reading it.
The particular song that inspired this story is unusual for the artist. Released in 1978, I believe they were experimenting with what would have considered the up and coming high tech, electro sound that would dominate much of the 1980s. The artist was mostly acoustic. Now they were integrating synthesizers, electronic sound effects, along with a higher than usual tempo.
In analyzing the lyrics I thought to myself, "Hmm... That's a really interesting story... That almost sounds like something that would happen to our friend, the Cableman." And there we have it! A short story about the Cableman put to music video.
Just a sidenote: at the end of the story I do include the You Tube video. In the first 30 seconds of the video there is the sound of crickets and some other noises. Just be patient. The music will begin after 30 seconds.
Have a great weekend!
The Slide Zone
The Cableman has had more than his share of strange experiences throughout his life. If you've come to know him in our series of short stories, then you certainly know all about it. And despite how strange they can get, these occurrences have been so common for the Cableman that he tends to forget most of them. Take for example that peculiar stranger that he met some years ago on a late night ride home from the airport. No, it wasn't lady who he would end up going to bed with, which is a typical scenario for the Cableman. This was someone completely out of the ordinary who would catapult the Cableman into an unknown place.
As stated above, the occurrence took place some years ago after landing at the airport from a week-long job training seminar. The Cableman retrieved his luggage from the carousel, and then walked out to the taxi pickup area. Supposedly his boss arranged for the Cableman's transportation home. Sure enough, there was man standing out on the sidewalk with a large, handwritten sheet of paper that said, Cableman. Apparently this was the cabbie who would give him his ride home.
But what was this?
Much to the Cableman's surprise, it wasn't a taxi cab that he would be riding in. Rather it was a large, white limousine! Wasn't that nice of the boss to arrange for a stylish limo ride home from the airport? Maybe it would be complete with a couple bottles of beer from the cooler.
Then again, maybe the Cableman shouldn't have been so impressed, much less gotten his hopes up for a stylish, luxurious ride home. It would appear that the boss had taken advantage of some sort of share ride discount. Upon entering the backseat, there was an old man sitting there who briefly glanced over at the Cableman, and then resumed facing forward. What sort of cheapskate deal did the Cableman fall victim to?
One of the first things that the Cableman noticed was that the old man was wearing a torn coat. It was battered and shabby, looked to be made of the skin of some animal—perhaps suede or leather. And once the limousine had driven off from the pickup area of the airport, the Cableman glanced back over to the old man and noticed that his face was terribly worn. He had certainly experienced a considerable passage of time in the duration of his life.
Suddenly, the old man turned and faced the Cableman which revealed, for the first time, a pair of exceptionally clear eyes that for some reason suggested to the Cableman a certain level of awareness and superior wisdom.
"A river will always flow downhill." the old man suddenly said to the Cableman. "It's born out of a mass of water that becomes so great that it must move. Movement is always downhill for a river. A river will always start high up on a hill, or in the mountains. From there, it flows for a very long time—sometimes joining with other rivers—until finally reaching a lake or the ocean. This is where a river flows."
The Cableman was taken aback by the random piece of information suddenly given by the old man. And it was the first thing that the old man had said to the Cableman. Such a peculiar introduction.
"Interesting..." finally commented the Cableman. "I guess I never looked at it that way. Yes, you are right. Rivers always flow downhill and into a lake or ocean."
The old man smiled, nodded, and then resumed facing forward.
"I'm the Cableman." introduced the Cableman while extending his hand to shake.
But the old man said nothing in return. He simply kept his face forward while maintaining a stoned, blank expression.
The Cableman shrugged his shoulders, sat back in his seat and looked out the window of the limousine. Apparently the old man felt it was okay to dish out wisdom to people without extending common greetings and courtesy. He was, after all, an odd fellow. Maybe it was just some homeless guy who managed to get a free ride in a limousine for the evening.
Five minutes later, as the Cableman started to dose off, the old man suddenly announced, "Apple trees need honey bees to cross pollinate during the flowering season. This is crucial if the apple is to grow."
Startled, the Cableman turned to face him. Unsure of what to think, he simply agreed with the old man. "Yes, that's right. Bees are very important in growing fruits and vegetables."
Just like before; the old man smiled, nodded and resumed facing forward.
"Yeah, I just got back from a week long training seminar for my job." said the Cableman. "I have to admit that this sort of conversation is refreshing. It's nice not to have to hear about installing cable. That's what I do for living."
The old man said nothing in return.
"So where are you off to?" asked the Cableman. "Home, I assume."
The old man resumed his stoned, blank expression as if in some sort of trance. This went on for nearly a minute before he turned to face the Cableman to say, "There's an old stream that no one has ever heard of that has been dried up for many decades. Once upon a time, people would go there for its healing power. Some say that the gods have taken it away."
"Yeah?" asked the Cableman while beginning to conclude that the old man was crazy. "Is that where you are off to?—to find the magick stream that can heal people?"
"No..." answered the old man. "And you certainly are interested in where it is that I'm going. If you must know then I will tell you. I'm going to find a shooting star. It should be just around the bend up there. That's where they are."
With a somewhat amused look on his face, the Cableman gazed out the window and up the highway. "Oh, right... I know the bend you are talking about. It's sort of a fork in the road up there that—I think—leads to nothing but farm fields. I've never driven that way before. So you think there's going to be a shooting star?"
"Definitely!" firmly stated the old man.
Suddenly intrigued, the Cableman asked, "Can I come with you to see this shooting star? I'm sorry, but those are usually random occurrences that are almost impossible to predict. I want to see this shooting star of yours."
"Sure, I don't see why not." answered the old man. "I believe you are already going along for the ride. I think it's a quick detour we need to take before reaching your destination. If you want to get out of the limousine with me, then that's your choice."
"Hey driver!" called out the Cableman. "Are you listening to this? I want to get out wherever this guy is going to see his shooting star. You wouldn't mind waiting for a few minutes before taking me, would you?"
"Sure, I can wait." reassured the driver. "But are you sure you want to do that?—agree to finding this shooting star?"
"What do I got to lose?" challenged the Cableman. "If this man says he's going to find a shooting star, I'm in with him."
The driver shrugged his shoulders, "Okay..."
The Cableman shouldn't have agreed to such a thing. For that was the very moment that marked the beginning of a most bizarre incident of non-ordinary reality. Just as the limousine turned onto the fork in the highway that leads to the bend and open farm field, the Cableman started to feel the strange sensation of gliding. Although triggering an unpleasant moment of apprehension, the Cableman attributed the unexplained gliding to some residual motion sickness brought on by riding the plane for some hours before landing.
Then the Cableman's ears suddenly plugged up. He could no longer hear anything; not the sound of air rushing against the side of the limousine or the sound of the engine. Instinctively, he wedged his pinky finger in one of the ear canals in an effort to dislodge some wax that might have gotten displaced from the altitude change during the plane ride. This didn't help anything.
"I can't hear!" shouted the Cableman in a panic. It was a like a bad dream in which he tried to talk but made no sound.
Suddenly, the Cableman found himself rising high above the ground with the sensation of a great wind rushing from every direction. Somehow the old man was before him in this strange, new reality. And despite the fact that the Cableman was deaf, he could hear the voice of the old man. He announced with a smile that lit across his face, "You will know this place."
Upon this suggestion, the Cableman looked down to some thousand feet below to where the farm fields were. There was something there that the Cableman knew. But he wasn't sure of what it was. He was actually more concerned with what has happening in that moment. I mean it's not every day one takes a limousine ride around a bend and is suddenly transported into new reality of gliding a thousand feet in the air with a stranger.
And then the Cableman began to fall. Whatever power that had raised him and the old man some thousand feet in the air had suddenly released them so that they began to fall and spiral back to the Earth.
"Help me! Please!" the Cableman screamed.
Almost immediately he heard music... or at least he initially perceived it as music. No, actually it was the sound of an ambulance siren. While pulling out of unconsciousness, the Cableman perceived the siren as music. He was now riding in the back of an ambulance.
"Sir, are you awake now?" probed the paramedic.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Much better!" answered the Cableman. "What happened?"
"Well, according to your limo driver, you were picked from the airport and started complaining about a gliding sensation. Then you passed out. It looks like you had an extreme episode of motion sickness accompanied by long term jet lag. Slipping through all those times zones, or slide zones as some people call them..."
"So I stepped into a slide zone?" inquired the Cableman. "The old man had me going through a time zone?"
"Yeah, something like that Sir." answered the paramedic.
***
Somehow, word of this incident had been picked up by the progressive English rock band, The Moody Blues. Such a strange occurrence to have happened to someone; they actually made a song about it. Yes, 'steppin in a slide zone' is all about that fateful night that the Cableman would rather forget.
Now I hear you, the reader, challenging this notion. "Wait a minute!" you might argue. "The Moody Blues made that song in 1978! The Cableman was just a wee lad in those days!"
Ah, but you see; the old man in this story made the Cableman step through a time zone which triggered a brief moment of time travel. This traversing of time manifested itself so that people way in the past actually heard about the Cableman’s experience.
If you've never heard the song, do give it a listen in this You Tube video. I think the Cableman's story would be better suiting for the music video, don't you? And for your convenience, the lyrics of 'steppin in a slide zone' have been printed below the video.


Steppin' In A Slide Zone by The Moody Blues
I took a ride in a limousine
I took a road I'd never been
I met a stranger by the way
His coat was torn but his eyes were clear

Standing in a slide zone
I could be steppin' in a slide zone

He told me where a river flows
He showed me how the apple grows
He told me of a magic stream
His face was worn but his eyes were clear

Standing in a slide zone
I could be steppin' in a slide zone
Standing in a slide zone
I could be steppin' through a time zone

He went to find a shooting star
Around the bend that's where they are
I went along just for the ride
Suddenly I began to glide

Standing in a slide zone
I could be steppin' through a time zone

The air raced by there was no sound
We drifted high above the ground
And then said you know this place
And then a smile lit up his face

Standing in a slide zone
I could be steppin' in a slide zone
Standing in a slide zone
I could be steppin' through a time zone

I turned my head and looked below
And there was something there I know
Suddenly I began to fall
I looked around and tried to call

Standing in a slide zone
He had me steppin' in a time zone
Standing in a slide zone
Falling through a time zone

Help me please I thought I said
Then something happened in my head
Music came from all around
And I knew what I had found

Standing in a slide zone
Falling through a time zone
Steppin' in a slide zone
He had me falling through a time zone

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Midnight Adventures of the Phantom Hellcat

Hello All:
On Sunday night I was sound asleep and was suddenly woken up by a deep, guttural roaring engine. It was a car that was racing through the night. You see, it was nice that night and the windows were open. I could hear everything outside.
The roaring engine came closer and closer to my neighborhood. And I immediately recognized the sound of the roar. It was none other than the trademarked Hellcat roar!. Someone was enjoying the 707 horsepower of this wonderful machine by racing down dark and empty roads.
I got up to go the bathroom.
My wife rolled over, and said something to me. (I can’t quite remember what it was.)
“Do you hear that outside?” I whispered. “That’s a Hellcat.”
Upon returning to bed, I closed my eyes and listened in delight as the Hellcat roared and screeched its tires for many miles away. By now it had passed our subdivision and kept driving. While dozing off, I dreamed of a Phantom Hellcat that had no driver—just joy riding on a warm, spring night. And that sets the premise for today’s featured writing.
Midnight Adventures of the Phantom Hellcat
707 horsepower, delivered by a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI®, a neon purple Dodge Hellcat races through the night at clocked speeds of over one-hundred thirty miles per hour! Trailing behind is a squadron of state police cars—Dodge Chargers and an equally powerful Hellcat police car leading the squadron. In all the excitement of the dangerous chase, police are unable to determine who the driver is. You see, the license plate is somehow shielded by a tinted cover. Every time an officer nears and attempts to read the plate, the digits seem to change before the officer's eyes. It has to be an illusion or some sort of trickery of the mind.
What's more? The windows of the assailing Hellcat have dark tint which makes it impossible to see the driver. There is the possibility of the vehicle being stolen. If the police could at least identify the driver...
Plenty of people have seen the aggressive Hellcat roar through the darkened, midnight roads. It races through towns and does donuts in the middle of intersections to taunt nearby motorists and pedestrians. But just like the police, no one has ever actually seen the driver, only recognize the neon purple paint with dual black stripes down the middle of the car. But civilians and police, alike, might as well give up trying to see the driver or read the impossible digits on the license plate. You see, this car is the legendary Phantom Hellcat. It has no driver. Nobody can own this Hellcat. It has a life and a will of its own.
***
"All officers in pursuit of the Phantom Hellcat..." calls out the police dispatcher over the radio. "Be advised that there is a sharp bend in the highway and the road transitions west. The vehicle in pursuit will need to slow down to make this turn. You have permission to use the stop maneuver as needed." The stop maneuver, in case you are unaware, involves smashing into the left rear bumper of the vehicle in pursuit and then turning a hard right which forces the vehicle in pursuit to spin 180 degrees to a complete stop.
"I'm not going to do it!" declares the state trooper in the Hellcat squad car. "Not with this car! Someone else is going to have to do it." Surely you understand the officer's concern. The Hellcat squad car was a special vehicle used on the force for high speed chases—like chasing after the neon purple Phantom Hellcat that torments innocent civilians, night after night. There were less valuable police cars that could take a few bumps and dents upon executing the dangerous stop maneuver.
In answer to this concern, a Charger squad car raced ahead of the Hellcat squad car so that it was not more than fifty feet away from the vehicle in pursuit. And just as the dispatcher advised, the road curved and transitioned west. This made it necessary for all vehicles to slow down to maintain control. Speeds nearing one hundred thirty miles per hour are never advisable when following a sudden curve—even in a Hellcat.
But what was this?
The officer who moved in to make the aggressive stop maneuver suddenly discovered that the Phantom Hellcat appeared to have vanished. "What the...? He yelled out over the radio. "I can't find it! The driver must have turned the lights out."
Some moments passed as officers in the chase as well as the dispatcher argued back and forth over what happened. How could a car suddenly vanish?
Then the radio dispatcher announced, "All officers involved in the pursuit of the Phantom Hellcat; a police helicopter has cited the vehicle approaching northbound on Route 133. State troopers in the nearby jurisdiction are setting up a road block. Report to the location to assist in surrounding the Phantom Hellcat."
"That's two miles away from here!" called out one of the officers who were involved in the original pursuit.
"The driver must have neared speeds of two hundred miles per hours." commented another. "Is that even possible?"
"If the driver is crazy enough." answered another. "The Hellcat can do it. Must have a death wish..."
Five minutes passed as the original squadron of state troopers raced to Route 133. All the while, reports were heard of the Phantom Hellcat discovering the roadblock and turning around to head back. Unfortunately there were no intersecting roads or off-beaten paths to turn onto to avoid the oncoming state troopers. It looked like this was the end of the Phantom Hellcat's reign of terror. It was trapped with nowhere to go.
Sure enough, the flashing lights from a squadron of state troopers could be seen in the distance. They were gaining on the Phantom Hellcat which left it no choice but to turn around and head back towards the road block. One would think that a sensible person would simply give up. Then again, the Phantom Hellcat was no sensible person. It wasn't a person. It was a car with a life and a will of its own.
Not more than one hundred feet from the road block, the Phantom Hellcat came to a complete stop. As approaching police troopers raced up from behind, they watched as the vehicle in pursuit suddenly started doing donuts on the middle of the highway—of all things to do when just moments from being busted by the police.
Round and round the Phantom Hellcat spun with a  cloud of heavy tire smoke surrounding it.
"The driver is putting on a little show for us." commented one officer over the radio.
"It looks like he won't go down without a fight." commented another.
Then from the heavy cloud of tire smoke emerged the Hellcat that charged towards the roadblock of a dozen or so squad cars with a monstrous roar. With open throttle of 707 horsepower, the approaching vehicle matched that of a commercial jet that was taking off from the runway.
"He's not really going to do this, is he?" cried one of the officers over the radio.
"Crazy son of a bitch!" exclaimed another before jumping out of the squad car and running to the shoulder of the highway.
For the sake of their lives, a few other officers did the same. And just seconds from making impact with the roadblock, the Phantom Hellcat vanished into thin air. Two streaks of lighting zipped through the dozen or so squad cars along with a terrible blast of wind that nearly knocked down two officers who stood nearby. It was just like the movie Back to the Future when the Delorian vanished upon reaching 88 miles per hour.
One of the officers just about shit in his pants! And don't laugh! You would do the same!  There were several seconds of radio silence as officers stared at the glowing tire tracks and smoke on the highway near the roadblock.
"Where did it go?" finally asked one of the officers.
The Phantom Hellcat laughed upon reaching a main road in a nearby town. It was a fun little game to play with the police. Silly officers; they really thought they had the Phantom Hellcat surrounded. But the Phantom Hellcat can vanish and reappear at will. Now it was some miles away and in town, roaring down the main boulevard and approaching the stoplight.
The Phantom Hellcat certainly doesn't need to stop at red lights. But doing so often provides an opportunity to scope out any new sources of entertainment. This is what the Phantom Hellcat did at the approaching intersection. And just as hoped, there was something down the street; a pedestrian who had just gotten off the bus and was walking home. It was Bernard, a second shift custodian who worked at the city hospital. He used drive an old Cutlass to work, but the transmission suddenly went bad. This made his vehicle un-drivable. Now he had to take the bus to and from work until saving up enough money to get his car fixed. Maybe he should get himself a new vehicle.
While walking the lonely sidewalk, Bernard heard the monstrous roar of the approaching Phantom Hellcat. Neon purple with dual black stripe down the center and tinted windows, it was frightening in all its glory as it rapidly approached.
Poor Bernard backed up and flattened himself against a nearby building. He wasn't sure what to expect.
When close to Bernard, the Phantom Hellcat jammed on its brakes and spun around 180 degrees. Finally at a complete stop, the driver side door opened and dense cloud of vapor emerged from within.
Bernard was dumbfounded. There was no driver inside the car. There was no sign of anyone, in fact.
The Phantom Hellcat roared its engine, seemingly encouraging Bernard to get in. Poor, lonely Hellcat. It had no owner and driver; probably saw Bernard as the perfect partner in crime.
"Whoa! Wait a minute!" said Bernard. "What are you offering me? You want me to get in?"
The Phantom Hellcat roared its engine.
Bernard shrugged his shoulders, briefly glanced around to see if anyone was watching, and then carefully approached the Phantom Hellcat. But when not more than a few feet away; the driver side door slammed shut, and the tires burned into the pavement before taking off at a high speed.
Bernard was, once again, dumbfounded. "Man, that wasn't nice!" he exclaimed.
The Phantom Hellcat just laughed. Silly Bernard; doesn't he know that no one can own the Phantom Hellcat? It's a car with a life and a will of its own.
***
About an hour later, a metallic-blue 1969 Chevelle with noisy side-pipe headers roared its way down a dark, forested highway. Driving the Chevelle was the famous Cookie Monster from Sesame Street.
"Crazy!  "—you might declare? How could such a ridiculous occurrence happen in this story?
Hey, this a story about a Hellcat that has a life and a will of its own, along with a magickal power to vanish and reappear someplace else. Isn't that crazy, too?
Anyway, the Cookie Monster was on a late night run for some much needed cookies. "Me want cookies!" said the Cookie Monster while his left hand gripped the top of the steering wheel. "Cookie Monster so hungry! Oh, what me get? Maybe chocolate chip? Maybe peanut butter? The thought of all these wonderful cookies threw Cookie Monster over the edge. He shouted out, "COOKIES!" and then floored the accelerator.
The metallic-blue 1969 Chevelle with noisy side-pipe headers cried out a furious roar that seemed to agree with what the Cookie Monster exclaimed.
By now, the Chevelle was racing at speeds of nearly one hundred miles per hour. And even at that high speed, a pair of bright headlights rapidly approached the Cookie Monster from behind, slid over to the opposite lane and quickly passed him.
"What???" shouted the Cookie Monster. "Was that a Hellcat that just passed me at almost one hundred miles per hour?"
Neon Purple with tinted windows and dual black stripes down the center; No, Cookie Monster, that was no ordinary Hellcat. That was the Phantom Hellcat!
"Awwwwww!" shouted the Cookie Monster. "The Phantom Hellcat!!! Why these things always happen to me?"

See how much fun the Phantom Hellcat has in its midnight adventures?


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Creepy Doll Closet

Hello All:
I have for you some vintage Barbie commercials to enjoy that provide a nice early stage evolution of the popular toy that girls have played with through the ages. Scroll down and check out the original Barbie commercial, the introduction to her friend Midge, and then the exciting release of the Twist and Turn Barbie. I believe the girl in the third commercial is the young Marcia Brady (Maureen McCormic) from the Brady Bunch.
Bud do you know what's so sad about the third commercial? Girls are encouraged to bring their old and unwanted Barbies in for the new "Twist and Turn" Barbie. Don't you feel sorry for the old ones?



What girl hasn't played with dolls? Oh, but there are people who have a phobia of dolls. If your child is afraid of dolls, here is a nice story to make him or her feel better.
The Creepy Doll Closet
Located on an intermediate level that separates the main floor of an old Victorian two story home from the second floor is an area that has been referred to as "then den", "the office", or the "rec room". Names for this intermediate level have been designated by the various families who have lived in that old Victorian two story throughout the many decades. You see; families move in and then move out some years later. And they do so out of their own will, not because of what some might immediate conclude to be a haunting. Old Victorian homes, after all, that have stood a century or more must surely be haunted, right?
Well this doesn't hold true for all historic homes—especially this one.
Oh, but there is one peculiar thing about this home to mention. It's on that intermediate level that we were just discussing in the above paragraph. There's a closet in the corner that is nearest the radiator that might have been intended to be used as storage. But over a hundred years ago it was considered ideal to be a small play area for a young girl who lived there. Outlined with a couple rows of wooden shelves, it was home to her prized collection of dolls that sat on them. A wool carpet had been fitted and laid on the floor so that the young girl could have a nice place to sit and play with her dolls. To this very day her collection remains in this closet. It's unclear as to why the original family had left the dolls there upon moving out. Perhaps they felt that the next family might have a young girl who would enjoy playing with them. Isn't that nice?
Strange you might comment?
Well it just so happens that the next family who moved in did have a young girl who was delighted to discover the closet full of dolls. She added her own collection of dolls that were received on birthdays, Christmas, or when Father would travel on business and bring back a doll as a gift. But eventually this young girl was too old to play with dolls, and the closet door remained shut for a number of years until her daughter was introduced to the dolls. And just like before, this new girl added her own collection to the doll closet and played with them in there. These were the happiest times for the dolls; to have a human play with them. Unfortunately, it was followed by some years or a few decades of being closed up in the dark until someone new would discover them.
And so this went on for many, many decades—over a century, actually. The collection of dolls accumulated and was passed down from child to child whether it be daughter, granddaughter, or a new girl who moved in. By the time that closet reached the modern age, it included newer Barbies, Brats and the likes.
Today there is a young girl who lives in that old Victorian two story home named Shelly. But unlike the girls who lived there before her, she wants nothing to do with the dolls. For her, the doll closet is used for punishment. You see, Shelly doesn't like the dolls in that closet. They're old, creepy, and give her an eerie feeling. Mother and Father usually find some way to integrate the creepy doll closet into dished out punishment. And with as much of a dreadful phobia that Shelly has of dolls, one would think that she would be on her best behavior.
Shelly tries her best to avoid punishment and is sure not to do anything wrong at home. But if she didn't know any better, the dolls can come to life and do all sorts of mischief just to frame her and get Mother and Father to punish her. And when Mother and Father punish Shelly...
Uh oh! It's about to happen again!
"Shelly!" Father yells up the stairs to his daughter. "Shelly, come down here!"
Shelly is in her bedroom and practicing her violin for an upcoming concert. And with the tone of her father's voice, she immediately gets nervous. What could it possibly be now?
"I'm coming!" yells Shelly as she scampers out of her bedroom, through the hallway and down the stairs. She passes the intermediate level; the office as Mother and Father have named it which contains a desk, and some file cabinets. And don't forget the creepy doll closet next to the radiator!
Shelly reaches the main level.
Father has a stern look on his face. "Now I'm only going to ask you this once, and I want an honest answer."
Shelly grows all the more worried. What did those blasted dolls do this time?
"Come in here!" orders Mother.
Shelly carefully enters the kitchen and sees Mother standing over a collection of items on the linoleum floor which had apparently fallen out of her purse.
"Do you know anything about this?" asks Mother.
"No!" answers Shelly.
"Well my purse was up on the counter a few minutes ago." explains Mother. "It was knocked on the floor, and my stuff came out of it."
"And don't forget the forty dollars!" reminds Father.
"I was getting to that!" snaps Mother. "Where is the money? You took money from my purse!"
"No I didn't!" defends Shelly. "I wouldn't do something like that! Why would I need money?"
"Bring it back right now!" demands Mother.
"Mom, I didn't take your money!" cries Shelly. "And I wasn't going through your purse! Why won't you believe me?"
"Well who would knock my purse over?" asks Mother.
"Yeah..." chimes in Father. "Do you think it was one of the dolls from the creepy doll closet?"
"Daddy, stop it!" snaps Shelly. "You know I don't like those dolls!"
For over five minutes, Mother continues to demand that Shelly return her money. In that time, poor Shelly is accused of being a little thief who would one day go to jail. Mother is terribly disappointed in her daughter for not only stealing but repeatedly lying. Unsure of what to do for the moment, Mother sends her daughter back upstairs to her room.
"She'll fess up eventually." promises Father with a mischievous smile on his face. He says this while Shelly storms her way over to the stairs.
"Daddy, what did you?" demands Shelly.
"You'll find out..." answers Father in a spooky, mysterious voice.
Outraged, Shelly stamps up the stairs. Apparently, Father sneaked away while Mother was scolding her, and did something that involved the dolls. Maybe he put her schoolbag in the creepy doll closet. Shelly would have to go in there to retrieve it if she wanted to do her homework. Or maybe he took a dozen or so dolls and scattered them on her bed. Shelly would be expected to put them away which, of course, would involve touching the old, creepy dolls while spending time in their musty closet. Oh, what sort of horrible thing did Father do this time?
Shelly enters her bedroom and doesn't initially see anything out of the ordinary. But then she discovers that the violin is missing.
"Daddy! Where is my violin!" shouts Shelly down the stairs.
"I'm pretty sure you know where it's at." answers Father in his spooky, mysterious tone of voice.
Mother chimes in, "And if you want to be ready for your concert, you better make sure you keep practicing."
Reluctantly, Shelly descends the staircase to the intermediate level. Cautiously she approaches the door to the creepy doll closet and opens it. She is immediately greeted by the musty old smell which would remind anyone of antique dolls. As for light, it is necessary to walk inside to the center and pull the chain so that the light bulb illuminates. You see; the creepy doll closet is about the size of a large walk-in closet. I suppose in olden times it could have been used as a small bedroom for, perhaps, a newborn. Instead, it was used as a play area so that girls could spend time with their dolls. How anyone would want to spend time in that closet and actually touch those dolls is beyond Shelly's comprehension. People must have been very strange way back then.
As Shelly scopes out the area for her violin, the dolls all stare back at her from the shelves and the floor where they sit against the walls. Who has her violin? Father brought it in here a few minutes ago and hid it underneath a group of dolls. Within a few seconds, Shelly sees her violin case being used as seat for about a dozen of dolls.
Shelly would never touch those hideous dolls! She uses her foot, and kicks them out of the way so that she can finally reach the violin. While lifting it off the floor, Shelly hears the most dreadful sound; the closet door slamming shut!
Shelly lets out bloodcurdling screams while dashing over to the door with violin case in hand. But the violin was the least of her worries. You see; the doorknob would not turn. Mother or Father was on the other side and gripped the knob so that Shelly could not get out.
"Daddy! Let me out!" screams Shelly while pounding and desperately pulling at the doorknob. "Please let me out!"
"The money..." answers Mother. "As soon as you tell us where the money is, we'll let you out.”
"I didn't steal your money!" cries Shelly. "You have to let me out of here! Please let me out!"
"Not until you tell us where you hid the money." reminds Father in his spooky, mysterious voice.
Just then, Shelly sees something out of the corner of her eye. It looks like one of the dolls jumping off the shelf and onto the floor. Startled and still crying, she looks over. And there on the floor is an old doll with a pair of twenty dollar bills lying nearby. It's just as Shelly suspects; the dolls had been in Mother's purse and took her money so that Shelly would be blamed.
"The money is in here!" shouts Shelly. "Please let me out!"
With that, the door to the closet is partly opened. Father peaks his head in. "Where is it?” he asks.
"Shelly points over to the doll with the money lying nearby."
"Oh..." exclaims Father in his spooky, mysterious voice. "So one of the dolls went through your mother's purse and took the money. Then she brought it back in here to the creepy doll closet."
Mother slips into the closet and snatches up her money. "We're not done in here!" she declares. "You're not getting off Scott-free after taking my money. As punishment, you can stay in here for the next half hour and practice your violin with the door shut."
"Mommy, no!"cries Shelly. "I didn't take your money!"
"I'll tag another half hour onto that for lying." warns Mother.
Defeated, all Shelly could do was cry. She hates those stupid dolls. Even more, she hates the way Mother and Father never believe her. She cries all the more once Mother exits the closet and closes the door behind her.
"Stop your crying!" yells Mother. "And start practicing your violin!"
Shelly kneels down and opens her violin case. Then she screams upon discovering that Father had placed one of the dolls in there before hiding it.
"What's wrong?" asks Father through the door with his spooky, mysterious voice. "Was there a creepy doll in your violin case?"
Shelly ignores him. Instead of answering, she smacks the doll out of the case and picks up her violin with bow. Then she starts playing.
Now in that half hour, something strange happens in the closet. No, the dolls don't come to life and torment Shelly. Rather, they remain motionless with eyes fixed on her, seemingly admiring Shelly's ability to play such beautiful music on the violin. They seem to really like Shelly; seem to wish that she would be their friend and play with them.
***
Later that night, Shelly sleeps soundly in bed. But she is startled out of her sleep about a minute to midnight from the sound of an eerie music box that plays on her bedroom floor. Being that Shelly plays the violin, she is familiar with classical pieces and recognized the song coming from the music box. It is Nocturne—opus nine, number two from Chopin. Very frightened, but at the same time curious, Shelly carefully looks down towards the floor that receives just enough illumination from a nearby nightlight. And there in the middle of the room is one of the creepy, old dolls sitting next to a music box. Shelly recognizes this box as being the one that sits on one of the shelves in the creepy doll closet.
The doll misses the days of many decades ago of when a little girl used to dress her up like a ballerina, and help her dance to the music that came from the music box. Couldn't Shelly do the same with her now? She is, after all, a talented musician and surely has an appreciation for the fine arts.
But Shelly screams in horror at the sight, and runs out of the bedroom.
"What's wrong?" asks Father. "Did one of the creepy dolls come out of the closet to play with you?"
To be continued…?





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Melanie's New Home

Hello All:
Recall in our last story that Melanie had been tricked by strangers over a walkie talkie radio to meet her outside the safety of her home in the dead of night under the misrepresentation of meeting her lover, Pias. During this radio sessions, she planned on running away with Pias with a promise to never see her wicked overlordess of a mother again. But how Melanie wished she hadn't done this.  You see, it wasn't Pias who met her outside. Instead, it would appear that some creepy pedophiles had somehow tracked fifteen-year-old Melanie with the use of a walkie talkie, and tricked her into meeting them outside. Now she was in the back of a pedovan and restrained by a dirty, sweaty, and frightening man who reeked of stale cigarettes and beer.
Melanie’s New Home
"Do you have her?" asked the driver up front.
Melanie looked up and could see his heavy beard in the review mirror along with bizarre tattoos marking his arms. The tattoos were nothing more than various shapes and symbols. From the looks of it, he was some sort of devil worshipper. Maybe these men were going to use Melanie in a virgin sacrifice.
"Yup, I have restrained pretty good." answered the man who was holding her. Melanie was in a position that she really didn't want to be. As described before, she was sat on the floor with the stranger sitting behind her against the sidewall of the pedovan. He used his legs to lock Melanie's onto the floor. With his arms that Melanie eventually noticed had similar tattoos as the driver, he further held Melanie down by the shoulder.
"I need a smoke." announced the stranger who sat behind Melanie. He was so strong that he was able to restrain Melanie with one arm while using the other to reach for his cigarettes and lighter in his jeans pocket and light up.
"Where are you taking me?" cried poor, frightened Melanie. "What are you going to do with me?"
The stranger exhaled cigarette smoke. "This is what you wanted. This is what you agreed to. There's no backing out."
"But what are you going to do with me?"
"You'll find out." answered the driver.
Melanie cried all the more in the response. How she wished she would have never contacted the strangers on the walkie talkie. And where was Pias? Couldn't he save her?
"I'm putting on some music." announced the driver over Melanie's cries. He slid an old cassette tape into the outdated stereo of the pedovan. Immediately, the sound of heavy metal music blasted through the speakers.
"Slayer!" cheered the stranger who restrained Melanie. He actually managed to play air guitar while keeping his hands on Melanie's shoulders and chanting along with the vocals of the music, "Die by the sword... Die by the sword..." Through all of this, Melanie had to endure the irritating cigarette smoke which enveloped the van. But that was the least of her worries. From the looks of it, these creepy pedophiles had abducted Melanie to possibly rape and then use as a virgin sacrifice to the devil.
Occasionally, Melanie glanced over towards the front window of the van in an attempt to recognize the van's whereabouts. Throughout the first several minutes of the ride, she recognized the main roads and businesses throughout her town. But then the driver turned onto a darkened, forested road. Melanie's parents had traveled this particular road which opened into isolated highway that was surrounded by woods. Because it was night time, Melanie soon could see nothing but pitch black on the outside. The strangers were probably taking her to some remote area of forest to do their horrible things to her.
Onwards the van traveled. The heavy metal music continued to play while both the driver and the stranger lit up cigarette after cigarette smoke while occasionally chanting along with the vocals. Then the van turned onto what felt like a bumpy road. The driver lowered the volume of the music and then turned down the music.
"I always hate this part of the drive." complained the driver.
"I know..." agreed the stranger who restrained Melanie. "You can't go in here with the lights on. You have to be able to see in the dark. It sucks." He took a final drag of his cigarette, died it out on the floor of the van and flicked it over to the other side.
The van bounced up and down on what Melanie assumed to be rough and rugged forested terrain. The strangers must have had a secret hideout in the middle of these woods. They probably made a habit of abducting kids, and then taking them to this secret hideout to do their awful things to them.
During the final moments of the ride, the van traveled up a steep incline that Melanie assumed to be some sort of mountainous hill in the middle of the forest. The engine of the van roared with nearly full power while continuing to travel upwards. Then it bounced and thudded upon reaching flat ground. This, Melanie assumed, was the final destination. She looked outside the window and was surprised to see what appeared to be a large castle-appearing building with many lights and even torches that outlined the driveway leading up to the building. When close enough, the driver shifted the van into park and turned the keys in the ignition to off.
"This is your new home." announced the drier to Melanie.
With that, the stranger who restrained Melanie stood up. Realizing she had no choice in the matter, Melanie did the same. The driver slid open the van's side door. Both she and the other stranger stepped out.
From what Melanie could initially see of it, her supposedly new home looked like a castle! Where was this place? How could this have been hidden out in the middle of the forest? And it surely stood high up on some mountainous hill. Is this where the creepy pedophile/devil worshippers actually lived? Is this where they tortured and did all sorts of horrible things to the victims they abducted?
Both strangers had a firm grasp on each Melanie's arms and forcefully escorted her up to the entrance of the castle which was dramatic to say the least. Wide, marble stairs led up to the arched double entry doors which were made of what looked to be stained glass boasting numerous shapes and colorful designs.
And then the doors to the castle seemed to open on their own which yielded a grand and dramatic entry complete with marble floors. Off in the distance stood a woman who wore colorful and jeweled robe-like garments. Upon spotting Melanie with her captors, she immediately rushed over. "Oh, there she is! She's arrived safe and well!" As the woman approached, Melanie could see that she was about the same age as Mother except something beautiful and youthful about her. The only giveaway of being old was her hair long and silver hair.
"Oh, she's frightened!" exclaimed the woman. "What did you do to her?" she asked the abductors.
"Nothing!" answered one of the "We simply did as you asked. We got her for you."
"Release her at once!" ordered the woman. "She's not some prisoner to harshly drag around."
Melanie felt an immediate sense of relief upon realizing that being harmed by her abductors was most unlikely. And after enduring the terrifying moments and traveling in a pedovan with creepy men, Melanie immediately developed a sense of trust to this new woman who seemed to care about her. Relieved that nothing terribly bad would happen, Melanie began to cry.
"Oh, poor honey!" exclaimed the woman. She rushed over and embraced Melanie. "There, there; everything is going to be just fine. I saw everything that happened; the rotten way that your mother treated you. I'm your new mother, now." Then she looked over to the men who abducted Melanie. "You smoked around her?"
"I'm sorry!" apologized one of the strangers.
"It's late at night. We needed to stay awake." explained the other.
"Don't worry." whispered the woman to Melanie. "These men won't hurt you. They work for me." Then she released her embrace and introduced herself. "I'm Dianna. I'm the witch who lives and reigns in this fortress and castle. Nobody in the outside world can see this place. It's obscured from seeing eyes. You'll never have to worry about your wicked mother coming to look for you because she will never find you. And look; I have the paper you were working on." Dianna removed a sheet of notebook paper that contained Melanie's writing and notes. Somehow, Dianna managed to recover and restore Melanie's paper that had been thrown out by Mother earlier that night.
"How did you...?" Melanie was baffled.
"I am very powerful." explained Dianna. "I simply reached my hand through the crystal ball and pulled it out of the wastepaper basket. You can work on this, maybe, tomorrow if you feel up to it. For now, you've been through a frightful ordeal and need your rest."
"But what about Pias?" asked Melanie. "What happened to him?"
"Pias was only a trick." explained Dianna. "I'm sorry, but I needed a way to prepare you to escape. Pias was my invention, like a ghost who would haunt you in your dreams and encourage you to leave your wicked Mother."

To be continued...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Melanie Runs Away with Pias

Hello All:
On Monday I made the announcement that I plan on eventually unpublishing the novella, Dji, from the major catalogs and reworking it so that it no longer makes mention of Gypsies. You can read all about this decision on Monday’s blog post.
I also mentioned that I plan on continuing the nightmarish story of a middle-aged man named Pias who wishes to marry fifteen-year-old Melanie. No, the story isn’t set in some third-world country where people do these things. It’s set in modern-day America, and it happens to a disturbed teenage girl. Let’s continue with the adventures from where we left off on Monday.
Melanie Runs Away with Pias
It was late Saturday night, about five minutes past ten; nearly twenty four hours since Melanie lost her baby. Or did she really lose a baby? Throughout Saturday, Melanie speculated whether or not it would have been possible for Pias to impregnate her through a dream. Did science ever validate such a phenomenon? Regardless, it all seemed so real to Melanie. After all, there was something special about Pias. He possessed the ability to telepathically communicate with Melanie and, understood how to use magick. In Pias' world, impregnating his bride to be would be very possible through the simple use of dreaming.
Just like most Saturday nights, Melanie was confined to her bedroom by order of that evil overlordess, Mother. Melanie should have considered herself fortunate enough to be allowed to have dinner that night. In recent nights, she had been forced to skip dinner and go to bed hungry.
After dinner, it was back upstairs to work on that essay paper. It was difficult, however, for Melanie to concentrate. She wasn't able think about the stupid topic. All she wanted was to escape prison and finally be freed from the clutches of over-controlling Mother. Where, oh where was Pias?
Melanie tiptoed over to the entrance of her bedroom and listened carefully for any clues that Mother was near. From what she could determine, Mother was downstairs with Father. Satisfied that all was clear, she tiptoed back over to the desk drawer and pulled it out to remove the walkie-talkie radio from underneath.
"Pias?" softly called out Melanie. "Pias are you there?"
"Hello! Hello! Yes!" answered a startling male voice over the radio.
Melanie quickly turned down the volume so that Mother and Father wouldn't hear. Then she asked, "Pias, is that you?"
"Yes, who is this?" asked the male voice.
"It's Melanie."
"Hi Melanie." The male voice sounded so friendly. "What's going on tonight?"
"I'm just locked upstairs in my bedroom." answered Melanie. "I hate my life, and I hate being trapped here. It's time for me to escape."
"Where do you want to escape to?" asked the voice.
"Well I was hoping you could take me away, and we could live happily ever after. Isn't that what you want to do with me?"
Melanie could nearly see Pias smiling from ear to ear through the radio as he confirmed. "Oh, yes it is." There were a few seconds of radio silence before Pias asked, "What do you mean you are locked upstairs in your bedroom? Do your parents have a lock on the door?"
"She's punishing me as always." answered Melanie. "It's Saturday night, and my mother is making me do some stupid essay paper for school."
"Can you get out of your house?" probed Pias.
"I can, but I have to wait until later tonight when my parents go to bed. I can sneak outside and wait for you by the side of the garage. You can meet me there and help me escape. I'm ready, Pias. I'm ready to leave and start a new life."
There were several seconds of radio silence before Pias asked, "Just how old are you?"
"Fifteen..." answered Melanie.
"Are you pretty?" asked Pias.
Melanie smiled. She knew Pias was being playful and teasing her. "Yes I am. I'm pretty enough to be your bride and start a new life with you."
There were several seconds of silence before Pias asked, "Could you hold on for a minute?"
"Sure..." answered Melanie.
Just then, Melanie could hear her evil overlordess of a mother walking up the stairs! She was coming! Melanie needed to hide her radio, and make it look like she was working on that stupid essay paper. Quickly, Melanie turned off the walkie-talkie, and slid it under the bed. The she dashed over to the desk and sat down. She did all of this just in the nick of time.
"Who are you talking to up here?" asked Mother.
"No one..." answered Melanie.
"I heard talking!" accused Mother. “It sounds like you were on the phone with someone. Now I'm going to ask, again; who were you talking to?"
Melanie boldly lied, "I wasn't talking to anyone, Mother! I was reading my essay paper out loud to make sure that it sounded right. Can't I do that? Isn't that okay with you?" Melanie added the final questions with a note of provoking and of challenging Mother.
Mother smacked Melanie across the face. "Don't get smart with me, young lady! The she lifted the essay paper off the desk and read it while appearing to look for something to be critical of. Eventually, Mother shook her head. "Melanie, these are not focused body paragraphs. I can tell you right now that they are not tied to the thesis statement."
"But it's only my rough draft, Mom." cautiously argued Melanie. She didn't want another smack across the face. "I'm just trying to get my thoughts together."
"Get your thoughts together?" mocked Mother. "What's there to think about?" She crumpled up the rough draft and threw it in the nearby waste paper basket. "You are capable of so much more. Tomorrow you can get a fresh start. Light's out, it's time for bed. You can work on your essay paper first thing in the morning."
With that, Mother stormed out of the bedroom and shut the door behind her.
Melanie sighed a relief. Events could have turned nasty had Mother wanted them to. She could have insisted that she heard talking, and turned the bedroom upside down to find a supposed telephone. Then she would have found Pias' walkie-talkie. Speaking of which, Melanie wanted so badly to retrieve it from under the bed and call out to Pias. But it was necessary to wait until determining that she was safe from Mother.
About a minute later, Melanie could hear the shower from Mother and Father's bathroom running. Apparently, Mother was taking a shower that Saturday night before going to bed. This presented the much needed opportunity to retrieve the walkie-talkie and call out to Pias.
"Pias?" nearly whispered Melanie. "Pias, are you there?"
"Yes, hello. What happened? Where did you go?"
"I'm sorry, Pias." apologized Melanie. "My mother came in the bedroom and I had to hide the radio."
"Oh, I see." answered Pias.
"And I hate my mother so much. Could you please come get me?"
There were several seconds of silence before Pias asked, "You seriously want me to come and get you?"
"Yes!" answered Melanie.
"Okay... So what is your address?"
"Well you should know." pointed Melanie. "You're my bus driver, and you gave me this radio so I could contact you if ever running late."
There was nearly a minute of radio silence that followed. What was wrong with Pias? Why did he seem clueless as to where Melanie lived? And why did he seem so hesitant in rescuing her? "Pias?" finally called out Melanie. "Are you still there?"
"Yes, I'm here." affirmed Pias. "Okay, I just need your address so that I can make sure I'm at the right house. I don't want to show up at the wrong house and get in trouble, understand?"
"Okay..." answered Melanie. "My address is, 1436 W. Cobalt Avenue."
"Got it!" answered Pias. Then he asked "You don't expect me to go to your door and ask for you, do you? Can you sneak outside to a hidden location so I can meet you?"
"That's what I want you to do." answered Melanie. "Please don't come to my door. Meet me outside near the side of the garage. I'll be standing there, waiting for you."
"What time?" asked Pias.
Melanie sighed, "Is it okay that you could wait for me some time after midnight? I probably won't be able to get out there for a couple of hours. But if you could just be patient... Remember, I have to sneak past my parents."
There were nearly 30 seconds of radio silence. Melanie further asked, "Pias, could you do that for me?"
"Sure, we'll do that." reassured Pias. "I'd say it's definitely worth the wait. So we'll... or I mean I will hide by the side of the garage after midnight and wait for you. If it takes a couple of hours for you to get outside, I will wait. Does that sound okay for you?"
"Yeah..." affirmed Melanie. "I have to shut the radio off and make it look like I'm going to bed. Bye, and see you later tonight."
Melanie hid the walkie-talkie under her bed. She left her clothes on, and went to bed for the night. Melanie rarely received any good night visits from Mother to be tucked in. For that matter, she didn't need to worry about Mother discovering that she wore clothes.
Melanie lay there for over an hour, but couldn't get to sleep. How could she? She was planning on running away and would never see Father or her evil overlordess Mother again. She actually began to feel sorry for poor Father. But in all the years of watching Mother mentally abuse his daughter and occasionally beat her, Father never stepped in. Perhaps Melanie shouldn’t have felt so sorry for him.
***
It was now 2:20 in the morning as Melanie lay in bed, sleeping. She dreamed a bizarre nightmare in which a large wolf with human like features—like the Big, Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood—met her out in the forest.
“Take off your bra!” ordered the Big, Bad Wolf!”
Melanie, of course, would do no such things.
That’s when the Big Bad Wolf demanded, “Little tits... Little tits… Let me in! Or I’ll huff… and I’ll puff… and I’ll blow you’re bra off!” With that he blew a massive amount of wind on Melanie’s chest that was so strong that it caused her to fly some distance away.
The ending of the nightmare startled Melanie awake. She quickly glanced over to the clock on her nightstand and could see that it was 2:21 in the morning. “Oh no…” she whispered. She quickly got out of bed and grabbed her shoes. Then she tiptoed across the bedroom and towards the closed door where she carefully opened it.
Was Pias still outside? Did he keep his promise to be patient and wait for his bride to finally arrive? Melanie tiptoed down the stairs and into the kitchen where the sliding glass door yielded an exit to the backyard. She could rush across the patio and around the garage where Pias was supposed to meet her. How she hoped that he would still be there.
Slowly, Melanie opened the glass door and carefully stepped outside. She closed the door behind her and shivered from the chilled night air. She set her shoes on the cement patio and quickly put them on. Then she rushed over to the garage where she ran around to the side.
Pias was not there, at least not out in the open.
“Pias?” Melanie whispered. “Pias are you out here? Please don’t be mad. I overslept, and I’m sorry.” She went over to the large bushes and moved some of them around to see if Pias was hiding in there. Maybe he was sleeping. But it was then that a large arm covered in a gray, flannel shirt reached through the bushes and pulled Melanie down.
Melanie screamed!
A hand quickly covered her nose and mouth. “Shhh… Don’t make a sound…” whispered a voice. “This is what you wanted, right? We’re here for you.” Then the voice whispered to another person who was apparently hiding in the bushes, “Go get the van. I’ve got her, and she can’t escape. Go get the van, and pull it up to the driveway. And don’t turn the lights on. I don’t want anyone inside the house to see.”
Some rustling could be heard in the bushes. Whoever else was there at the moment carefully crawled out. It was then that Melanie could finally see one of the people who were about to abduct her. He was a large, muscular man with beard. He wore a tight, black t-shirt and his arms were covered in strange tattoos.
“Stay quiet and don’t move.” ordered the voice of who held her back. He smelled like stale cigarettes and alcohol. This wasn’t Pias! Neither was the person who was getting the van. These were creepy pedophiles that succeeded in bringing a victim out of the safety of her home and into the night to be abducted. Terrified for her life upon this realization, Melanie began to squirm and squeal through her nose (the stranger’s hand only covered her mouth). She had to do something to get help before it was too late.
“I said be quiet…” whispered the voice. He closed his hand around Melanie’s nose so that she could not breathe or make squealing noises. “You have to be quiet. You leave me no choice but to keep you from breathing when you do that… Now I’m going to let go, but you better not make a sound.”
Melanie understood the situation, and knew what was expected of her. If she made any further squealing noises, her air would be cut off. The only hope now was to try and escape when the stranger attempted to drag her out of the bushes and into the van.
Keep in mind that Melanie’s home is located off a main highway. This made it impossible for her abductors to park the van “out in the street”. It was necessary to park a short distance down the road in a neighboring subdivision that accommodated street parking. And this accounted for the period of time in which Melanie was held against her will in the bushes by the stranger.
Eventually, the sound of a vehicle pulling into the driveway could be heard. This was the stranger’s cue to stand up and pull Melanie out of the bushes with him. But Melanie wouldn’t go without a fight. Just as planned, she resisted and fought with all her might to squirm and get away. But the stranger was too strong for her. He simply lifted Melanie off the ground and rushed over to the van with her kicking and screaming.
“Hurry up and get out of here!” the stranger ordered upon throwing Melanie in the back of the van. The side door shut, and the stranger wrested Melanie to the floor. While this happened, the driver did as ordered, and backed out onto the main highway.
The van was empty in back with hard floor and no windows—the perfect pedo-van. The reader knows what a pedo-van is, right? It’s the sort of van that a pedophile drives around in to abduct kids. Because there are no windows, people on the outside cannot see what is happening in the back. The abductor can tie his victim up in the back and drive to a remote location to commit the assault. This was the sort of van that Melanie was trapped in, now.
The stranger sat on the floor while restraining Melanie. He reeked of stale cigarettes and alcohol. All poor Melanie could do was cry and cry while fearing for her life. How she wished she hadn’t been tricked into giving a stranger her address over a walkie-talkie and agreeing to meet him outside.
To be continued…