Fifty Shades of Illegal....

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 16 "Murder-Suicide"

 The Cardboard Box Part II  Chapter 16 
“ Murder-Suicide”

            My mind was racing in every possible direction besides calm. Tilton Boyer continued holding me as we both cried in shock over what we had just experienced.   Pam Hawkinson, Tilton’s niece, committed suicide and took Jake the snake with her before our very eyes.   And then we heard the sirens of the firetrucks, ambulances, and state trooper vehicles descending upon the property.  I had never experienced so many flashing lights in one area and as each light flashed it told a horrific story of death and destruction on all levels.  I wanted to go anywhere but where I was to escape the deafening sounds and spiritual hell all around us.  The crushed metal, raised voices and the force of water being spewed from the firehoses, blood, and the cries of the semi driver being placed into the ambulance.  Why I forgot my own name when the trooper questioned me as well as I never shared any of the information I had known about Pam and Jakes affair or her last words to me.   I wanted to punch the secret door in the corner of the garage and run back to the last place Pam and I talked before she and Jake drove away to their demise.   And so I did.  I took on that tunnel like it was a race to win all the way to it's exit on the side of the hill overlooking the mansion.   The sight of the accident scene and the noises from it were lessened from that small hidden landing.   My anxiety level was still “to the moon Alice.”  In recall I thinking I might faint from the hot flashes coming and going up and down my body especially the ones at the top of my head.  At one point I had become so abnormally frightened I involuntarily screamed as loud as my vocal cords had ever had to come forth in their twenty some year existence on earth. And then I crumbled onto the cement blocks someone had spent a considerable amount of time digging and laying into the earth onto the side of that hill.  I sobbed until most of the sirens were silent.  And then I heard it.

          Barking.  Barking from somewhere far away.  Probably wolves out there upset by all the crazy sounds and ruckus in their territory.  But I only heard one poor wolf, I thought?  Wolves run together and bark together from what I had ever learned about them.  And then I screamed again as I recalled Pam’s words through all the confusion of all the words spoken those past couple hours.  I  had recalled!  Duke, it was Duke.  Pam said if anything happened to her Duke was on what floor.  I couldn’t remember what floor or where or any of her instructions. 

          I screamed, “Duke, Duke, keep barking buddy, keep barking, I’m coming!” 

          Then I ran back through the tunnel to the garage opening, flung the door open as I ran into the house screaming for Duke who I could no longer hear barking.   I was running so deliriously I never saw him until Tilton grabbed me by the arm which flung me around full circle.  He took one look at me and said, “What is wrong with you?  You look like a crazy woman.  Settle down its all over now. I always wondered how men could be so unemotional.

My breathing was rapid and inconsolable as I spoke between breaths saying Duke is upstairs, Duke is on upstairs Tilton!

Tilton let go of me and I pulled away at the same time running toward the stairs.

He said, “Wait, where do you think you’re going?”

I screamed while hyperventilating, “Thi-rd flo-or.”

Tilton stopped and said, “Julianna, you cannot get to the third floor that way.”  And then louder, “Julianna!  STOP!”

I stopped turned around and faced him with what he told me was the emptiest almost greenish look he had ever seen on anyone’s face who wasn’t sick and in a hospital.

            Tilton said, “Julianna, did you say the third floor because I know of no way to get to the third floor. I thought it to have been closed down years ago.”

 I responded that I would not leave this property without my dog.  That I would push every section of every wall until I found the secret passageway, doorway or elevator to the third floor! “My God Tilton, Tom may be up there too!  Did you know about this?” And then I bound past him two steps at a time back to the first floor where I started banging on walls and doors for what seemed like hours.  Of course Tilton didn’t know about anyone being held on the third floor but Pam sure did.  And if Pam was working with Miles, then he must have known all along too.  I didn’t trust anyone anymore therefore I did not share said information with Tilton.   We had just about exhausted every wall on the first floor when I had the thought we needed to check out the shelter on the side of the house built for bad weather.  As I recall they were called “Fraidie holes.”  These shallow cellars had two large doors that lay nearly horizontal against their cement foundation.  Each heavy door had a large handle so to pull and lift it open.  The doors would lay open while the family hustled inside to beat the huge Texas tornados. I didn’t expect to find anything as the dugout portion of the tiny cellar was only a few feet wide and the same in its depth. Regardless Tilton and I opened the doors, moved very slowly down the spider infested stairs to the small opening where we inspected every square foot to no avail.  As we crawled back up and out we dusted the cobwebs off one another while we stood looking at the building trying desperately to come up with a way to reach the third floor. Common sense told me there had to be a hidden staircase, but where?

Rather than my typical running insane, Tilton and I were strolling back toward the rear passage of the garage when to our eyes low and behold who drives in but Jake's not all that French sibling Timothy Haines.  I immediately thought we should have hidden.  He was probably in cahoots with Jake and the other drug dealers but Tilton disagreed.  He told me he had known Tim since High School as well as they did the church scene together for years.  And so it was we greeted Timothy Haines with our deepest sympathy.  He was of course full of questions and of course I couldn’t interrupt him by saying his brother was a dirtbag.  Nor did I inquire as to how to get to the third floor because dirtbag put my dog and probably Tom Baird in a jail cell up there.  For all we knew they could be starving or worse which sent my anxiety levels to the moon and back all over again.  That damn anxiety I tended to call "mine" just about got a name calling session in the middle of the rest of that mess.  But I held my words for as long as humanly possible until my mind was about to explode at which time I took a deep breath and asked Timothy how long he had owned the house.  He had given me a puzzled look but answered politely, since his parents had passed away.  I noticed Tilton's immediate discomfort.   I’m sure I had not been very discrete considering my facial expression not to mention my head turning back and forth from Tim to Tilton and back to Tim yet no one spoke.  I had become sick and tired of all the lies and deceit.   I stomped my foot demanding to know what the heck they were hiding from me and furthermore I ordered them both to start telling me the truth and how to get to the third floor and right now.

Tilton tightened his mouth along with probably his buttocks and told Tim to tell me the truth and then how to get to the third floor because it was very important.

Timothy Haines invited me to sit down at the old yellow metal top kitchen table that was supposed to resemble marble but didn’t. I think it was out of the 1940’s for sure.  I reluctantly sat and listened as he told a tale of murder and suicide and how the two families were connected then and now.  Seems Tilton’s brother, Emil Boyer was Pam Hawkinson’s step-father.  He adopted her when she was a small child from his wife’s previous marriage.  Tim and Jack Haines father had an affair with Pam’s mother, henceforth the murder suicide at the end of the driveway.  As for Jake he didn’t handle the murder of his parents very well. 

I said, “What murder?”  Timothy turned his head away and then back to look me square in the eye as he told me how Pam’s father murdered both his parents and then drove him and his wife to their death at the end of this very driveway just as Pam had told me hours before yet not with the detail I was given.  I swear I about had a Texas size cow at that very moment.  I wasn’t sure how much more my mental stability could handle in one day. Not to mention the past couple weeks’ worth of crap besides.   My mind told me if this old place were my heritage I would burn the son of a bitch to the ground.  And then without forethought I said that very thing out loud.  Tilton looked at me like maybe I was a bit out of line but I was not.  Someone named Jake Haines had caused me a lot of pain and sorrow along with my dog and my friend Tom as well as his children and granddaughter.  I wasn’t about to be a sweet southern quiet girl in any way shape or form.  In fact I blatantly announced to Timothy Haines I was sorry for the mayhem in he and Tilton’s family background but Jake kidnapped my friend Tom Baird and my dog Duke who are on the third floor of this demonic building of bad memories.

Tim Haines was shocked at my accusation and warned me to be careful of such slanderous remarks.  Tilton stepped up restating what I said was the probably the truth and to please show us the fastest route to the third floor of this house.  

Tim Haines still couldn’t seem to bring himself to believe his brother Jake had stooped to such levels.  I was thinking how I could surely tell him a thing or three about his little bro Jakey.   But I held my tongue in anticipation of directions to Duke and Tom.  However Tim had no instructions for us besides the sad tale of family murder which apparently occurred on the third floor of this residence.  Yup, the angry husband of Alice Boyer, Emil, had murdered both of Tim and Jakes parents on the very same third floor we were trying to get to.  And at that instant wouldn’t you know another bombshell. As far as Tim could recall the third floor had been closed off indefinitely as a consequence to the horrific crime scene.  Plus he had no idea who would or could have reopened it or why.

I puckered my lips just about as tight as his asshole must have been at that precise moment and articulated slowly and clearly and without hesitation…….Jake did!  Now how do we get up there Tim and now!  Tim was silent for what seemed like infinity.  I mean come on I was so close yet there was still no clear answer as to how to reach Duke and Tom.  That was the same as infinity.  Of course that was again how my mind worked.  Drama on overtime for sure yet this time was for real.  Therefore I said, “NOW, Tim or I am calling the FBI as soon as I can find a phone.”  Attorney Timothy Haines slowly walked over the old pantry, opened the door, walked inside and closed the door behind him.  I looked at Tilton and said I wasn’t about to let the last living Haines get out of my site.  “Damn suicide runs in that family Tilton, let’s go!”  And we were up and in that pantry faster than you could say Jack Robinson….whoever that is.   But it was empty.  Oh glory day now the mansion magic had struck again but this time I understood it and told Tilton to start pushing on the walls.  Whalla!  Magic walls indeed as it opened to a hidden stairway.  I remembered reading in my history books about the old servant’s stairs usually off the kitchen area as well as having a few friends back in Wisconsin with old Victorian homes where we used to play on those old hidden unused stairways.   But why did Timothy take off without us?  Jeez Lordie was he a drug dealer too?  Was a loaded gun waiting for Tilton and me?  That is when I pulled out my baby browning and readied her for a fight.  I would kill anyone who harmed old Tom or Duke.  So much thinking as we silently made our way up the stairs that seemed to make groaning noises from the dead who most likely walked the premises since their untimely and gruesome deaths. I felt like I was in the filming of a real horror movie.  Only thing missing was Vincent Price and a bottomless hole of acid waiting for little ole Julianna Rowe.  Stinking thinkin’ was constant for me but then what else would be expected at that point in the game.  Problem was that was no game.  It was dang real plus now I heard Duke barking again which brought me straight back to my senses.  I was pushing and pulling on Tilton to hurry up.

We emerged at the top of the three story winding staircase hidden in the wailing walls off an old US County highway out in the boonies near Amarillo.  I pushed open the door, Tilton hanging onto my shirt like a scared kid.  I reached back and pushed him off me along with a bit of a dirty look as if to say, “Get off me you big baby!”  He got the message without the verbiage and then without warning I was hit dead center with a blow that knocked me clean off my feet.  I fell back onto Tilton who must have been hit also.  That is all I remembered until I regained consciousness. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 15 "Never Try to Out Con and Con!" By Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)

The Cardboard Box  Part II  Chapter 15 
“Never Try to Out Con and Con”

            Taking a walk on a fall evening in Amarillo, Texas was a good thought but not a safe idea for a young woman from the upper boundary waters of Wisconsin who had gotten herself in the middle of a drug war or drug gang or I really wasn’t sure what.  I just knew it was bad.  Pam Hawkinson had nearly gotten me killed more than once it was beginning to look like and her lover Jake the notsomuch Frenchman had conned her royally and was out to silence me and who was also the brother of Timothy Haines my attorney.  But then I really didn’t need an attorney because I was not a drug dealer.  The FBI was using me to find the drug dealers I thought.  Add Tilton Boyer to this menagerie considering his office is where Pam Hawkinson would go after almost every one of her shifts ended at the motel restaurant.  But why?  How are those two connected I continued thinking to myself along with being encumbered by the rest of the Amarillo mystery.  I wanted to go back to the hospital to see how Miles was doing but I didn’t dare step outside the confines of this house considering there was an unmarked car guarding the house and parked very near as well as I decided no more going out windows especially at night as I had done previously.  After too much thinking I lay down on the bed as the thoughts continued circling within my mind similar to a ball of unraveling thick string.  The more I tried figuring the mess out the more I felt like a fish in a net with no way out.  I knew better than to think such thoughts.  I had myself stuck in a cardboard box again even though it sure felt near like a dang coffin or at least a jail cell.  I had to start thinking outside the box if I were going to get out of this cesspool and back on the road.  And then I recall the crying began.  Crying for Duke and praying to God and his mother and all the Angels for Tom and Duke to be safe.  That is the last I remember before feeling the warm sun come directly into my bedroom window touching and soothing my face like it was trying to tell just me something out of the billions of people on the planet.  I rose with a new sense of strength.   Fixed my breakfast and while crunching corn flakes before they got soggy I made the life decision to go with Tilton Boyer to view the church I had in mind to buy for Tom.  I would continue my previous plan for Tom until I found out it was not necessary which I couldn’t fathom.  I would leave Miles a note with the address of the real estate property Tilton and I would be viewing mid-day.   I was trying to move forward as though everything were more normal than it really was.

            The unmarked car that had staked out Miles house overnight had left.   I figured it must have been a nighttime thing with the FBI.  Apparently I was on my own during the day light hours or else someone would be losing their stripes.  Wait that is only in the armed forces.  O well, no skin off my back so I went bouncing out the door in my skin tight jeans to the ankle, my newest Ship n Shore blouse, white tennies with bobby socks.  And of course my knife but this time tucked in the right bobby sock due to the stitches still in the left ankle and might I add getting tighter by the day.  My Baby browning was under my arm.  I had found one of Miles extra shoulder gun holders and used it.  I felt like Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin, who shared his super powers.   Yes at times my imagination definitely went wild as it was doing that morning.  I bounded out the door like I didn’t have a care in the world.  As I think back I believe the sun truly did speak to me in a very powerful manner as I felt different somehow. 

            Tilton Boyer came alone driving a brand new fancy red corvette convertible.  Holy Schmolley I remember thinking where did he get that kind of money selling real estate in a small town like Amarillo?  But then it was none of my business. 

            He reached over the passenger seat and opened the door for me as he handed me a beautiful silk scarf for my hair.  Humm I thought this sure was a different side of the Tilton I met at the office the other day.  But then I was trying very hard not to allow my imagination to run off without my senses at the least behind it.   And if there were a problem it was by far too late as we sped off toward the outskirts of town where the little church supposedly stood waiting for its new preacher, Tom Baird.  I always got ahead of myself and this time was no different.  But we didn’t stop at the edge of town, rather he floored the accelerator and we rolled out into the countryside full barrel.  I turned to ask him where we were going but he couldn’t hear me with the car, wind, and the radio, all between Tilton and me.  Then suddenly I freaked out thinking about all the times I was out in the middle of nowheresville with people and it never turned out well at all.  I tapped Tilton’s shoulder to get his attention.  He turned down the radio and waited.   I asked where we were going considering I noticed we passed the area where I thought we were to turn off and view the church.  He smiled and informed me we had to go to one of his clients other properties to retrieve the key to the church which at that point in time satisfied me.

            We pulled off the main highway after what seemed like a thirty mile exodus onto a long gravel driveway.  I couldn’t see the main property until we followed the drive up to what appeared to be a huge white plantation type home with large round pillars. Heck it almost looked similar to the Governor’s mansion in Austin yet way run down and unkempt.   It looked like something out of a movie set.  Quite spookey actually.   Paint chips peeling like a tree trying to shed its old bark for the new year but this house had no signs of beginning any new year. In fact it looked like it might have been used during a war.  My psychic awareness came forth full bar.  Tilton pulled out a garage door opener from the glove box like he had been here many times before. He hit the button and he pulled directly into the garage like he owned the place.  We walked inside where all appeared to be an old but very normal and very royal.  Marble floors, gold embossed frames around each doorway as well as intricate wood carvings surrounding each fireplace in every room we passed.  There was a very eerie feeling surrounding me as I sensed Tilton and I were not alone. We continued meandering through the hallways me following like a lost child. At one point I asked where the heck are we going?   He stopped, turned around, looked directly into my eyes and said, “We are meeting the owner of the church here.” In recollection I realized later the he way he spoke to me had made me feel like a child so I continued further up a winding staircase to the second floor where I couldn’t help but notice how many rooms there were with closed doors.  And in the center of all these closed doors were barred rooms.  I literally squealed with fear because I was staring at a prison.  The entire second floor of this old erie mansion was a hidden prison.  I was about to flip my wig and have one of my cows I had when mad or scared.

            In response to my little squeal Tilton whirled around saying, “What the hell is the matter with you?”

            “Tilton.”  I said.   “I sense we are wondering through a maze of hallways in an old war zone.  I don’t like this I am turning around and will wait in the car.”  Oddly, he told me to go on then!” 

Turning back was worse than going forward because I lost my way.  There were so many doors and halls I felt like I was in one of those cornfield mazes or mirror rooms at the fair where at every turn you are more lost than before and I was getting really scared.  What was behind the doors?  Dear God what if it were skeletons of people left to die here.    I tried to open one of the doors but my hands shook beyond any sort of normalcy as I pushed as hard as I could. It only budged enough for me to see a stream of light through the crack.  Those doors had not been opened for many years and had swollen with in the Amarillo humidity then dried from the hot Texas sun and then again and again. 

Not only was I lost in an eerie old mansion at a second floor jailhouse with locked doors all around it out in the middle of nowheresville Texas, but now I was halted in my every movement and thought as I heard voices not to mention no one knew where I was at.   I needed to get out of there as fast as I could find a way.  It was at that precise moment I hear Jake Haines voice. What was he doing there?  Fear began to rush though every cell of my body.  My rational mind concluded this could be the hide out for the Amarillo drug lords.  And then I heard the distinct voice of Pamela Hawkinson.  But where was Tilton in all this?  I started running until I found the staircase and ran into the garage.  My spirit was sensing they knew I was there.  They had set me up and were going to kill me. 

From one of the secret staircases that opened at the back corner of the garage stepped out Pam staring at me in bewilderment. 

I said, “Why do you look so shocked Pam? You are all in cahoots with drugs, smuggling, kidnapping, and probably murder also.  You are really something girl!?

She responded quickly grabbing my arm and pushing another wall button that opened yet another secret tunnel down and out of the building.  She whispered for me to come on with her which of course I denied.  She said she worked for Miles and was there to help me as she was the other night but I jumped out before she could explain. 

“Liar, Liar, pants on fire!”  I said as I wondered why I would use such a form of childish response in such a serious time. 

She assured me she was working with the FBI and to follow her as it might be my only chance to get out of there alive.  Doing a quick mental review of the situation I realized she might have a point therefore I followed her though a tunnel to a landing out into the woods up on a hill where we could look down on the old mansion.  There she began to tell me of her glorious affair with Jake.  And how one evening after an amazing lovemaking session, you know she said, the kind where it seemed extra intent was at hand?  It was then he told her he needed to talk to her about something.  She admitted she was not prepared for what came next.  I stopped her asking what relevance this had with our immediate situation.  She urged me to listen and I would find out.  Jake told me he rents out his home in Paris to friends and famous people for parties and such and there had been some problems and he had to go back to take care of them.  He hoped his little Cheri would understand.  That is what he called her as he pretended to be a romantic frenchman.  She continued telling me she did not show him any emotion whatsoever except to offer him a slight grin which being a con himself he caught the inference immediately and said, “What is it? No what is it?”

She responded it was nothing that she understood how these things can happen.  Of course she told me she knew he was lying and had been for some time.  Pam told me she had asked Jake when he would be leaving and he replied as soon as possible but that he would like one last outing with her.  She agreed she told me because she wanted to follow his game to the end.  Who knows she said, it might make a good book someday.  She told me she never did know when to quit and was very sorry for causing me such undue stress since my arrival in Amarillo but that she was on payroll with the FBI and had no choice.  I asked her if she and Jake ever had their last outing and why was he still here and in this awful crazy house of horrors? She told me this was to be their last outing today but she feared he may have caught onto her.  I could see Pam had gotten in way too deep.  She fell in love with a damn drug dealer and lost her objectivity and work ethics to boot.  I asked her if Miles knew about this affair with Jake.  She affirmed he did.  That hit me like a boulder. 

Was she that dumb?  Yes she was, or was she simply a woman in love and now in trouble.  What had happened from my point of viewing the situation was Pam wanted to win and to beat Jake at his own game at what seemed any cost.   I tried to reason with her in what short time I had to repair the damage Jake had done to her but I couldn’t reach her. She seemed to believe she could out con a con.  Something my Granddaddy taught me a long time ago not to even try.  Pam told me she knew Jakes game and for me not to fret. 

I said, “Okay I’ll bite.  What’s his game Pam?” 

She told me when they arrived at the old mansion by the way Julianna it is owned by Tilton Haines, Jakes brother.  She continued, when she arrived earlier she had found a piece of paper on the garage floor with a small round type metal item that looked like a battery but in reality it was an acid bomb. Jake didn’t realize he had dropped it and Pam found it.  His plan was for her to take what was a fake love letter from him before he left.  She figured he would tell her to wait until he reached the end of the long driveway before opening and reading it. Then when it was in her hand and he was out of sight he would remotely set it off and take her out because she knew too much.

I was personally shocked at her deduction of the upcoming events and was now not sure who was the bigger con, her or Jake. Not to mention the shock of learning Tilton owned the building.

She then told me her plan was to reverse the entire scenario on Jake.  I didn’t even ask how it was all so up surd and drama ridden.  I simply followed her instructions back through the tunnels and hidden stairs to the secret garage opening where we heard voices.  She told me to stay behind the door where I would be safe until she came to get me and if anything happened to her Duke and Tom where hidden on the third floor and how I could get there through a secret staircase behind the fake chimney in the kitchen.  They were safe but not for long. 

I thought I should faint from excitement and sheer fear.  I said for her to wait, who is Tilton Boyer?  She responded with ssshhh….   Gotta go.  Then she added, “Did you know I grew up in this house and my parents were killed at the end of this driveway when they pulled out in front of a big rig going 70 mph.  And she opened the door and exited the darkness.   I heard Jake enter the garage asking her where the hell she had been.  She answered him kindly she had taken a walk on the property while he finished his business and then I heard silence, a door slam, and an ignition turn over.        

Jake hollered, “Hey, stop, that’s my car, stop Pam!” 

That is when I realized exactly what was about to happen.  I had dang goose bumps all over my body as I flung open the secret passageway door to the garage and screamed, “Pam, no!!”

Jake had jumped into the car with Pam in the driver’s seat.  She barreled down the gravel driveway never braking, pulled out onto the highway into the path of an oncoming semi going 70 mph.  The sound of metal was deafening.  I was in shock as Tilton burst into the garage grabbing me and holding me as I screamed.   Tilton cried saying Pam was his niece, how did this happen? 

Later when I explained all that transpired between Pam and Jake to Tilton and Miles who could not understand why Pam seemed to do this on purpose.  I told them how he tricked her. How he had planned to kill her.  How much she loved him and could not stand what he did to her.  She felt she had lost again at life and had nothing else to lose.  It was the ultimate control she exercised over him as he had almost done to her.  I suspected there was just enough time for her to look into his eyes and soul and smile letting him know she won when in fact no one won. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 14 "Leap of Faith" Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)

Chapter 14  “Leap of Faith” 

                I hit the ground hard on my left side and slid on the gravel shoulder for what seemed like hours.  My mind recalled the feeling I had one time long ago when I slid down a very hot metal playground slide in mid scorching August  day as it burned a never ending flame throughout my body especially the backs of my legs.   But I wasn’t on a playground hot metal slide as my senses were returned from the blow on my head when I initially jumped.  I couldn’t even tell if I had been run over by the back tires of the black and silver crazy skank driven truck taking me to my death.   I was delirious as I lay in the ditch not even a half mile from the death ranch.  In fact I could still see the ranches yard lights and as I began to sit up and access the damage to my body not to mention my beautiful pink boots.  And then I saw the headlights of the truck speeding back toward me.  I quickly laid back down pushing my body into the earth as flat as I could like I was some sort of magician.    I mean I could only go so flat but it mentally worked and I didn’t move a muscle until she had passed me and was out of sight. 

                I sat up in the pitch black night in terrible pain.  I began having sick feelings of hot flashes up and down my entire body making me think I might be going into shock or maybe I broke my back and would never walk again.   I wiggled my toes but I couldn’t see them it was so darn dark but if felt like I could feel them inside my boots.  I decided to try to raise my leg to stand up but fear stopped me.  The next thing I thought of was my baby browning and sure enough it was still secure.  Thank God and whoever else.  I reached for my knife inside the left bobbie sock and low and behold it was there also.  But it had cut me.  I could tell because my sock was wet but it was too dark to inspect the damage although now that I knew I was cut the pain seemed to worsen.  Funny how that works.  Then I realized my flashlight was gone.  The flashlight I took from the truck just before my leap onto that hard country road in the middle of nowheresville?  It must have fallen out of my hand when I hit the ground.  I started crawling back feeling all around for the flashlight.  God it could have flown twenty feet into a pasture or even been run over by the truck.  How would I get away from these evil people in this darkness without it?  I started to cry when I felt something long and cold on the ground.  My anxiety ridden mind instantly thought it was a snake and I almost screamed bloody murder.  Well maybe without the bloody murder part. And then I realized it was the flashlight! My luck had changed I thought until I tried to turn on the on switch and no light came on.  I was shaken to my bones with fear and pain.   Then I got mad and shook that flashlight like it was Pam Hawkinson herself.   The vigorous angry shaking must have corrected whatever happened to it when it hit the ground during the jump and bingo dingo I had light!  I quickly scanned the field behind me and noticed a grouping of trees that were calling my name.  But then what?  How long could I hide this close to the ranch of death?   And were there coyotes or wild boar around here and what about bear?  I was not familiar with this part of the country but then I realized I had no choice.  I could think about the worst case scenario’s all night and the next day, for what?   I had to get back to town as soon as I could while hiding all the way which I had absolutely no clue how to do.  I was so out of my league but again the over thinking had to stop and self-preservation had to take over.  God it was so dark.  Tears the size of elephant ears were cascading down my face each containing a large portion of self-pity as they rolled on down and watered the weeds beneath me.  Why did I go out that window?  What was I thinking?  The eyes in my ass were giving me the answer to that question as usual.   

                I didn’t want anyone at the ranch to see the light from the flashlight.  I would turn it on just long enough to light my path toward the woods and then off it would go.  As I walked through the weeds my mind started going over everything that had happened the past week or so.   Meeting old Tom Baird and Shamika and Shamonta… her little girl, The Rice Motel, Tom getting a job there, Pam being overly friendly with me a total stranger and  her inviting strange men to my motel room, my gun being stolen,  her lies about Jake being a romantic Frenchman.  I never knew a Frenchman but I suspected they didn’t drive a black and silver ranching truck or have an attorney brother with no French accent.   Not to mention getting my car impounded and my dog stolen!   Add to that being shot at and told I was being jailed for my own protection which was the worst but in hindsight would have been better than this mess out in the boonies being near murdered.  Not to mention jumping out of a slow moving truck that did not really seem to be going all that slow thank you.   But here I was almost to the tree line and there was the black and silver truck coming back down the old country road very slowly looking for little  Julianna.  Sorry skanky Pam but you lose.  I could just sense her brain panicking.  What would she tell her Jakey now?  Well I hadn’t won yet but I aimed to.  I didn’t come this far to have some druggie get in the way of me getting to my big city lights in California.  Nope…. I hobbled out the other side of the small grouping of trees onto an open field.  As I was heading for what appeared to be another barbed wire fence leading me to a country road I heard a strange sound.   I turned toward the sound and hit the flashlight switch.  I figured if this was it for me I aimed to see who it was taking me down.   The sounds had gotten even closer during my mental thinking time out so without further contemplating I flipped the switch to on.  Dear God in merciful loving caring sweet heaven it was a cow.  No wait, upon further notice it was a living, breathing, snorting, snotting, pawing the ground bull!   There was no time for any thinking because Mr. Bull’s eyes were upon me and only me.  I had entered his domain and I did not look like any of his other ladies in that field and we both knew it.  I hit the off switch and took off running like the wind  was  beneath my feet toward the barbed wire fence.    I was switching the light off and on so I didn’t hit the fence head on while not so far behind me was Mr. Bull.  I wondered if Bulls could see at night like cats or owls and if I lived through this ordeal I would be looking that up for sure.  But considering my immediate situation it seemed very unimportant as I hit the ground and began to roll under the bottom wire of the barbed fence as it caught my shirt and stopped me dead.   The bull was right on top of me.  He hit my left shoulder with his hoof and I screamed as I pulled the ripped shirt right off my back leaving it lay on the ground for Mr. Bull to have and to hold forever more.   Once I was safe I turned around to shine my light in the old boy’s face and told him a thing or three!  I must have been an 8 x 10 glossy sight for sore eyes standing there half naked telling off a bull cow.  Can’t say it didn’t make me feel better because it did. 

                I was so mentally and physically exhausted I layed down in the ditch and fell asleep clutching my baby browning.   I awoke to a beautiful warm Amarillo country sunrise.  That is until I fully regained my senses and realized where I was and what I had on for clothing and that not only had Pam and Jake tried to kill me but a bull did also.  Where were my Duke and Tom?  I got up and started walking in the direction I thought town was.  My sense of direction was terrible so I could have been heading for the West Texas Mountain range for all I knew.   Of course I knew the sun rose in the East and set in the West which meant I was not heading for the mountains thank God.  Time would tell.  And that is when I noticed my beautiful pink cowgirl boots I bought in Houston were trashed.  The jump from the truck had wasted them but in thinking about it they probably saved my ankles from breaking as well as I am still upright, alive, walking with no shirt on, and talking.  I did pity the poor bastard that would be the first to come upon me way out here in the middle of nowheresville half dressed.   It must look like I was taken advantage of and dropped off out here.  I guess I was but not in the manner it appears.   And then I saw a car approaching off in the distance.  If it were Jake and Pam I had nowhere to run but Bullsville so I pulled out my baby browning and readied myself for a showdown.  Can’t say I didn’t squat in the ditch just in case.   I squatted so tight and low I nearly missed him.  The car stopped right next to me.  I jumped up and pointed my gun directly at………Miles Reed! 

                “Whoa little lady,” he shrieked.

                I screamed like that Bull had trampled me right there on the spot.  Must have been pure emotions coming out of my being very loudly and then some curse words only bad sailors used on ships where there were no women.   Miles Reed’s mouth dropped open.  I guess I shocked the man-boy! 

                He asked me if I was done and did I feel better.   I responded with a few more bad words regarding my entire stay in Amarillo, Texas and then I told him I was finished.

                He asked me where my shirt was.   Probably not the thing to bring up at that particular moment because then I was bawling “L.E. Phant” tears while crumbling to the ground which took my leg to bleeding which allowed me to begin to feel all the pain everywhere in my body from truck jumping to bull fighting to barbed wire rolling.   Miles put the car in park, got out and gently lifted me to my feet.  He then put both arms around me and held me close until I stopped crying and shaking.  At which time I backed up and hit him in the chest approximately twenty times.  Would have been more but he grabbed my wrists and held them behind my back containing me until my anger subsided.

                If I let you go will you settle down Julianna?

                I don’t know Miles.  How did you find me?  What’s the deal?

                He said, “I came to your room last night to make peace just as you went out the window and ran across the yard with Pam Hawkinson so I had you followed.”

                I couldn’t believe my ears.  “You had me followed.  You let me go through all this pain and suffering thinking I was to be killed and I almost was but not by humans, rather by a damn Bull! What’s the matter with you Miles Reed? How could you do that to me?”

                “Slow down little lady,” he said and continued… “I didn’t go out the window with no backup, you did.  I didn’t know what the plan was but I did step in and had you followed.  I didn’t jump out of a moving truck, you did.  I didn’t have a run in with a bull in a pasture, you did!  You were not supposed to leave the house.  You were under protective house arrest which obviously did not work.  So now maybe it’s time you stay in the pokey where you would be safe.” 

                And so the fight continued for a long time on the side of an old county road near Amarillo, Texas.  Miles finally picked me up, threw me over his should and deposited me in the back seat, slammed the door and drove off telling me to stay down so no one would see me.  This time I listened considering he was pretty steamed.  A woman usually knows when to quit and this was quittin’ time for sure.

                After what seemed like a hundred miles but was probably only five, I softly asked Miles to please not take me to the pokey that I promised not to run off again.   He didn’t answer.   This time small sad tears birthed themselves from my lonely eyes onto the suede seat covers of his fancy vehicle.   He reached across the seat and kindly handed me his handkerchief which I gladly received quietly I might add.

                After arriving back at Miles house I mentioned how much I would like to soak and relax in a bath so I headed for the bathroom where I noticed some lady bubbles. Men don’t customarily have lady bubbles laying around so I inquired why and he explained he had come to my room the night before after buying me some bubbles for my bath.  That is when he saw me just as I had crawled out the window and knew I had run off with Pam Hawkinson.   I thanked him and quietly moved myself back to the bathroom.

I had just settled into my wonderful hot bubble bath when I noticed pain and bleeding at the site of the knife wound.  It wasn’t going to stop nor was the pain.  Jeez I could have slept all night in that tub but once again my plan was cut and a new one replaced it.  

We arrived at the local hospital about a half hour later to a multitude of questions as to how this happened.  Miles had instructed me what to say beforehand.  I told the emergency room staff that I had been cutting tomatoes when I slipped and fell.  That is when somehow I cut myself during the fall.  They sort of looked at me like they really didn’t believe me.  Even I thought a real FBI Agent could have come up with a better story than that one.  That is when Miles excused himself to go find a coffee machine.  Truth was he didn’t want to watch me get the several stitches the gash required.  Nancy Boy!  The staff also said no showers or baths for me for about a week.   An Xray showed a severely bruised shoulder requiring a rigid sling for a couple weeks.   I was a mess but I was alive.   We thanked the hospital staff and headed back to Miles home, my fancy new pokey.   Miles actually helped me get my baby dolls on and tucked me in.  He turned to leave the room but stopped.  He turned back, leaned down as he put his hand behind my neck and the other on my shoulder and gently kissed my lips. Twice.  Then he turned and walked out closing the door behind him.  Jeez, wait I thought.  Come on back here for crimany sakes.  And then I decided to simply enjoy the moment for how nice it was.  

Morning came and we met awkwardly in the kitchen.   Neither of us said a word until I decided to ask if he would take me to see Shamika considering she was so terribly worried about her father, Tom Baird.  He agreed but told me he had to go to work and could he trust me to stay at the house until he returned at dinner time.   I said he could but wasn’t sure how I could stand it there alone all day without this mess of a mess solved.  Would I watch soap operas?   I watched The Guiding Light with my Nana in Austin and had been stuck on it since then so that was at least one option taking up an hour of the day.

Shamika was overjoyed to see us as well as full of questions.  Miles assured her they were doing everything in their power to find her father and of course Duke.  Shamika began crying and I realized why.  Old Tom was the only support the family had and since he had been kidnapped there were no pay checks coming in.  I took her aside and handed her one of my hidden one hundred dollar bills.  My Grandma Gillie always told me to hide some “mad money.”   I asked her why she called it “mad money” and she told me if I was ever on a date and got mad at the S O B there should be enough “mad money” hidden to get me home safely!  The mad money didn’t help me much the night before in the pasture with that bull but it sure came in handy today.   Shamika cried with joy and asked us if we could babysit her brother and daughter while she walked to the store for groceries.  Of course Miles stepped in and offered to drive her.  She ended up taking her daughter with her while I sat with her brother Shamonta who was bedridden. 

I knew Miles was going to be late for work and as time passed he was going to be really late for work.  In fact I was beginning to get worried. 

While I was waiting for their return I dialed up the Rice Motel regarding my belongings and getting checked out.  I was informed the FBI director had checked me out and had my belongings relocated to an unspecified location.  I was livid.  Now they had my beautiful Pink Cadillac, my belongings, and my dog was missing.  I had six stitches in my ankle, and my arm in a sling!  What the hell else could happen?  And then I remembered never to ask that question as it is bad luck.   

My next call was to the Real Estate Agent, Tilton Boyer although I was a tad leery of him considering that is where Pam Hawkinson used to go every night after work.  We had yet to figure out that part of her story.   I called Mr. Boyer.  Heck the reason I was in Amarillo anyway was to find old Tom a church to preach in.   Wouldn’t you know the crazy Marilyn Monroe secretary answered the phone.  Lucky me!  I politely asked to speak to Mr. Boyer.  After a long spell of theatrics I was put on hold.  Mr. Boyer came on the line telling me he was glad I had called as he had a small church he wanted to have me view as soon as possible.  I asked if it was the same one we had discussed the other day and he responded it was.  What he had failed to tell me is we had to meet the owners at a different property and then be escorted to the church.   I didn’t think much about that at first but as time passed I thought it odd for some reason I couldn’t explain.   Boyer set up a time the day after next and I agreed not thinking I had no way to meet them considering I was under fancy house arrest at Miles.   Oh well it was done and I would figure it out.  Sadly in my life I had said that way too often much to my regret.  I could only hope this would not be one of those times.

Way too much time had passed without Miles and Shamika’s return.  I wasn’t sure what to do or who to call when an unmarked car pulled up with Shamika and her daughter and the groceries.   Miles was not driving and Shamika was shaking like she had seen a ghost. 

I said, “What is going on? Where is Miles?”

The gentlemen driving calmly informed me there had been a car accident and Miles was taken to the local hospital with what they think was a concussion.  Shamika and the little girl were checked out and released.  “I am to take transport you to Miles home, please get in ma’am.”  

“Oh no,” I said.  “I do not know you and I have been to hell and back with a bull and a knife and a crazy skank lady.  No, No, No!  I will stay here with these nice people thank you sir.” 

“Ma’am I must insist you come with me as that is an order from the FBI Director ma’am, please.  I do not wish to have to take you by force and scare you or these friends of yours. “

I knew I should have never said what the hell else could happen.   Cause here it is and Miles is in the hospital.

I told Shamika if anything happened to me to tell Miles Reed and get the license plate of the car that took me.  I thanked her and told her we would find her dad not to worry. Poor thing had no phone so I left her with terrible worry anyway.

I was taken back to Miles Reeds residence and left there alone.  I was absolutely terrified the entire rest of the day and even worse all night.   I suspect I didn’t get two hours sleep just lying there starring at the doors, windows, and hearing all sort of noises imagined and otherwise.   Next morning I called the Southern Bell Telephone and ordered one for Shamika and her family.  It was the least I could do.  And I called Tilton Boyer to cancel the viewing of the church due to my transportation issue.  Tilton immediately and with an acute change of voice pressured me to allow him to pick me up for the viewing.  I reluctantly agreed thinking it would be one positive happening in the midst of a quagmire of awful incidents. 

There was no one to share my whereabouts with.  No one would know where I was or who I was with.  I would leave Miles a note with the address not that it would do any good considering he was in the hospital.   I am sure there was no reason for me to be concerned after all Tilton Boyer was a local Amarillo respected Real Estate Agent.  Right?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Cardboard Box Part II Chapter 13 "Frenchman?" Julianna Rowe (Property of Diane Ogden)

Chapter  13   “Frenchman?”

                Miles Reed returned home later that evening with more food and a continuing frown on that oh so handsome face of his.  We shared our hamburger and fries at his grey top marble looking table with shiny silver legs, matching chairs with glossy red leather seats, the latest in high fashion kitchen sets along with all the necessary kitchen gadgets.  One would think him a nancy boy by looking at is well dressed home.   I was thinking maybe there had been a Mrs. Reed but decided not to inquire.  We sat quietly for what seemed way too long when he asked me if everything was alright.  I told him it was, but asked how long I would be quarantined here?   He put his burger down in a slight form of disgust if that is possible and told me this was nothing to mess around with.  These people were high dollar dangerous drug dealers who would stop at nothing including murder.  They have left a trail across our state that must be stopped Julianna. 

                I asked Miles if he thought old Tom was still alive. And why they felt any need to take an old hound dog? 

                Miles responded, “They were in the wrong place at the wrong time is all.”  And if the pushers can use them they will keep them alive, but at this point in our investigation I have my concerns.”

                Of course I freaked out and almost had a cow again at his pretty kitchen table when he interrupted me by telling me they were getting close to catching at least the local dealers and not to get all stressed out yet.  That he shouldn’t be sharing even that much with me therefore we had to drop the subject.

                “Drop the subject?  Drop the subject?   I should be traveling Route 66 headed for Sante Fe right this minute but instead, my beautiful pink Cadillac has been impounded, my dog is missing and presumed dead…..”       

                “Now wait a minute Miss Rowe, I didn’t say he was dead!”  During which time his face turned a very bright shade of crimson and his eyes changed from a stunning blue to a pale green.  Sort of like in the movie, “Children of the Corn.” 

                “You might as well have said it Mr. Reed!” I exclaimed in distress.

                I recall thinking in the midst of the small fit I had going on that he must not have had too many deep emotional discussions with women in his life because he did not seem to well adept at handling it, or me I should have said.  Actually he excused himself without finishing our conversation and retired for the evening.

                I had never felt so alone and frightened.  I should have felt safe in the home of Amarillo’s finest FBI Agent Miles Reed, but I didn’t feel safe, and I was frightened for Tom and Duke and Shamika.  Maybe it was time to call Granddaddy, or Billy, or Harper Rutherford.  Nawh, what am I thinking?  I got myself into this mess and I can only hope I can get myself out of it.  I was in such deep thought I almost didn’t notice a cracking sound that came from the West window.  Then again.  At first I panicked still in shock from the gunfire outside the Federal Building but then I realized it was something hitting my window pane.  I immediately shut out the bedroom light and near crawled around the bed and over to the window where I slowly began to rise from the floor when I heard it again.  Something was hitting my window.   I carefully pulled back the curtain a mere hair to see if I could see anyone or anything.   And sure enough I saw it, I mean her.  Danged if it wasn’t Pam Hawkinson outside and under my window.   Jeez, wasn’t the best FBI Agents house under any sort of surveillance?  Dang, should I holler for Miles, should I hide, should I open the window and maybe get shot?  Then my mind went to Duke.  I bet she knows where my dog is.  Little did I think about what good it would do me if I were shot dead and so I opened the window.  

                What are you doing Pam?  Where have you been and where are Tom and Duke?  All I have to do is scream and you are in jail forever Pam! And how did you know I was here?  Start talking!

                She responded with five words……”I know where Duke is.”

                Hot tears filled my eyes and flooded the gates to my brain.  I opened the window, but not before grabbing my baby browning and pulling on my pink boots.  It was then I climbed out the window and ran across the yard with Pam Hawkinson toward a black and silver truck waiting for us.  I couldn’t stop now even though the brain gates had begun to open and stupid was running behind me.  This was a sure enough trap and I ran like a dang fool directly into it even though I knew full good and well the United States Federal Government had tried to protect me.  As I was running the old saying I always joked about came rushing back at me. There she goes, the lady that can’t see anything until its passed cause her eyes are in the back of her ass.

                Pam swung open the door of the silver and black truck and as the dome lite came on no one appeared inside.   I stopped in my tracks as Pam circled the truck to get into the driver’s side.   I did not get in and after she noticed I was not complying, rather standing outside that truck she hollered at me to get in if I ever wanted to see Tom and Duke again.  I checked my pocket for my browning and got in.  Had I looked back I would have seen Miles Reed standing in my bedroom window watching me take off with a suspected drug dealer, unable to stop me.

                Pam hit the accelerator and we fishtailed out of the neighborhood….  I was on my own now which meant I had to take over and so I reluctantly decided to take over.  I grabbed her arm and demanded she start talking.   But she didn’t she instead just drove.  I demanded again and again.  Then I pulled out my baby browning and pointed it at her head.   She told me to put my gun away that she didn’t aim to hurt me, rather she needed my help.  Well anyone that ever told me they needed my help always got it considering I was one of those people that fell in the well to help someone vs throwing them a rope.  And so I jumped in with Pam.  She told me she had been held captive by Jake, who disappeared yesterday with a friend and hadn’t returned but had left the truck and the keys on the key rack. 

                I didn’t believe a word of it.  I told her, “Sure Pam, so how did you know where to come and throw pebbles on my window?” 

                She replied that Jake had told her I had been picked up by the FBI for questioning and he had called her to say his people had followed me to the Agents house.  

                I told her she was a liar.  That she had stated he left yesterday and she hadn’t heard from him since.  She had heard from him.

                I shouted at her that we had been shot at as we left the Federal Building and I suspected her lover was a part of it of which she denied emphatically and so we argued continually for at least the next eight miles at which time she pulled over, turned off the ignition and stared at me intently.

                I said, “What? Now what are you doing?  I suppose you’re going to put me out in the dark in the middle of nowhere, right?  God you’re a skag!  How did you ever get a job at a nice place like the Rice Motel I will never understand!  You irresponsible uncaring retarded ratfink skank!  You better take me to Tom and my dog Duke or I swear I will shoot you.”

                While I was ranting Pam calmly stared out the window past me until I was finished at which time she asked me if I were finished and I replied probably not, but yes for now.   She informed me she could not take me to where I asked because she did not know where they had been taken.  All she knew for sure is she was in love with Jake Haines and he asked her to bring me to the ranch.  This woman seemed to have been separated from her senses.

                My eyes got big as Texas in light of the fact the only thought coming to my mind when I heard the word ranch was Joseph B. Justice Cattle and Oil Ranch outside Tulsa Oklahoma where I was held while recovering from a concussion.   I put my hands in the air and said to Pam, “Oh no, what ranch, where, and why?” 

                She responded she was not sure why.  All she knew was Jake’s Attorney Brother Timothy had prepared them a way out of the country if I delivered you to the ranch.   

                I was in shock.  How dumb was she which I proceeded to ask her.  “Do you have any idea what you have gotten yourself into Pam Hawkinson?  The Federal Bureau of Investigation is in on this, did you hear me Pam, FEDERAL!!”  I shouted at her as I continued, “They will extradite you from whatever country you end up in.  And why?  What did Jake do that he needs to flee from his homeland country, America?  You will possibly spend the rest of your life in prison.  Are you that blonde? “  Of course I meant dumb but I decided beating her up with insults may not be the best path or in my best interest.

                She did not respond for some time.  I was in great hopes a vehicle would come upon us whereas I would jump out to retrieve some help.   And then she said.  “But he loves me Julianna.  No body ever loved me like that before.  Not since my parents were killed.  I only had a couple of boyfriends in school and the girls made fun of me.  Jake is the light of my life. He is my soul mate. He said he would take care of me.  

                Suddenly a bell rang off in my head.  The bell said, wait a minute, she told me he was a Frenchman.  She told me Jake was a Frenchman.  I remember now.  Why was she lying to me.  His brother certainly had no accent.  How could that have slipped my mind?  I stayed silent.  Sometimes circumstances called for listening skills to enter the building or the vehicle whichever the case and this was one of those times. 

         Pam started the engine and I held my breath.  I hadn’t gotten through to her and God only knew where she was taking me.  I still had my browning and my knife and I would use it if I had to.  And that is when I realized I was out in the middle of nowhere with a nutcase just as I was back in Austin with Billy Connally.   I was sitting in this passenger seat thinking the unthinkable might happen to me.  I recall how angry I became after that realization.  In fact I was so angry I pulled out my baby browning, pointed it dead at her head and told her to tell me where the hell Tom and my dog where or I would kill her sorry stupid skanky ass right here and now.  I will never forget her saying, “No you won’t kill me Julianna!”   God I wanted to kill someone! Something!  I put the gun down and started to pretend I was crying.  And after a bit I really did begin crying.  I needed help where there was none.  As I look back I believe my mind was so confused with fear that the crying helped clear my head.  It also appeared the tears had had brought out Pam’s nurturing side where as she came to my aid.  Imagine that, we are both in the well with no rope.  Problem was she had no idea she was in a deep well with no rope.  That is when she nonchalantly began talking to me about Jake like I was her best friend forever……  Like I had not just pointed a gun at her head, or had a seriously loud meltdown.   Didn’t she know her lover was going to kill me because I was the only witness from the Palo Duro movie night.  I was the only one who could identify the drug dealer who had hidden himself within the group of young men who came to my motel room with Pam.   She was nursing a serious case of the dumb ass and I was an integral part of a serious drug ring gone bad. 

          I have always been amazed how women lose their God given intelligence when they fall in love.  And in this case her love would get me murdered unless I could think much faster than I was.  And then before I could whistle Jack Robinson I saw the lights of “the ranch” dead ahead.  Dead being the word I should not have entertained at that moment in time.  I had to jump out and now!