Good morning. It is I Gigi the parti poodle here once again to introduce chapter twenty-one of my story Corn Maze. This week we have had abysmal air quality here in the great northwest. This is due to an uncommonly warm fall, forest fires and a lack of precipitation. We are supposed to be getting some rain in the next few days that may help our situation.
On the darker side, the Maltese and I were forced to go to the groomer’s this week. I trotted out of the salon looking spectacular. The Maltese on the other hand is now…presentable.
My story Corn Maze will be ending soon, and I will be moving on to another tale. This is always an exciting thing for me to look at my accomplishments in the rear-view mirror as it were and focus my attention on the road ahead. Unfortunately, at times the Maltese hangs its head out the window and allows its tongue to fly in the wind. One cannot always experience nirvana. And with that here is Chapter twenty-one of Corn Maze. Enjoy!
Gigi the parti poodle
“What do you mean kidnapping?” Valerie asked the police officer behind the station desk. “He didn’t kidnap me.”
“You were neither at your fiancé’s residence nor your place of residence when we arrested him,” the officer said flatly, more interested in her paperwork than Valerie. “You were at the suspect’s residence.”
“But that doesn’t mean Harley kidnapped me.”
“Your fiancé believes you have Stockholm syndrome.”
“Stockholm syndrome? Are you kidding?”
“We’ll have to get a psychiatric evaluation of you.”
“I wasn’t kidnapped. I don’t have Stockholm syndrome. Harley is innocent.”
“Witnesses said you packed your bags like you were leaving.”
“Of course, I was leaving. I was breaking off my engagement to be with the man I love.”
“Which could be a symptom of Stockholm syndrome.”
“No, it’s a sign of sanity. It’s my fiancé who is insane.”
The police officer looked at her. “Hmm,” she said. “Sounds like Stockholm syndrome to me.”
“I don’t understand why Harley’s being held without bail.”
“The judge felt there was a threat to you, your fiancé, and the suspect’s fiancé.”
“The judge is wrong.”
“I am not the judge. It’s not me you have to convince.”’
“The judge is an old friend of Farley’s. And a jerk.”
“You’ll have to take it up with the judge.”
Thirty minutes later that early morning, Valerie marched up the steps of Farley’s porch, unlocked the door and burst inside. She stepped up to the bottom of the staircase and yelled, “Farley! Get down here now!”
Valerie waited but Farley didn’t answer. “You can’t hide up there forever, Farley!”
He still didn’t answer.
Valerie rushed into the kitchen threw open the refrigerator door and grabbed a bottle of cola. She hurried back out into the foyer and shaking the bottle in the air she yelled up the stairs, “Farley, if you don’t get down here, I’m going to pour an entire bottle of pop into the tank of your truck!”
Farley failed to come to the railing. Valerie shook the cola up a little more and placed it on the banister before she tromped up the stairs and barged into the bedroom where Mallory and Farley were sleeping. Valerie stared at the two of them. She couldn’t decide if she was hurt or relieved. She thought for a moment. Then she took her phone out of her crossbody bag and took a picture of them. “Proof!” she shouted. “Proof that you cheated on me, and Harley is innocent!”
Farley awoke and bolted up. Valerie took a picture of him. “Well, what did you think you were going to find?” he said.
Valerie took a third picture.
“Come on, Val! Stop with the Annie Leibovitz routine!”
Mallory awoke from her slumber and bolted up as well. “What are you doing?” she demanded.
“The more proof the better,” Valerie said.
“You just couldn’t leave well enough alone, could you Farley?” Valerie said.
“You are my fiancé,” he said. “It’s Harley who couldn’t leave well enough alone.”
“You went out on a date with his fiancé and now you’re in bed with her. You have no room to speak.”
“A date which was agreed upon by the parties involved.”
“Not by me.”
“Drop the charges.”
“Not a chance.”
“I’m leaving you, Farley.” Valerie took off her engagement ring and slammed it down on the end table beside him. “We’re done.”
Farley laughed. He leaned into her and said, “We will never, ever be done, Valerie.”
“I’m not marrying you, Farley. Drop the charges.”
“I’m not dropping anything. You’ve got nothing. No money, no job, nothing.”
“I’ve moved my things into Harley’s farmhouse.”
“You what?!” Mallory said reaching forwards and grabbing Farley’s robe off the end of the bed and throwing it on.
Valerie turned and hurried out of the room and headed down the stairs.
“Hey!” Mallory yelled hurrying after her.
Mallory chased Valerie down the stairs and beat her to the front door. “You can’t just move into my fiancé’s house!”
Valerie snatched the bottle of cola off the banister and moved in on Mallory. “You can’t just sleep with my fiancé. But you did. So, I’m justified.”
“That’s my house.”
“No, it’s Harley’s house.”
Farley tromped to the top of the stairs. “If you walk out that door, Val, I’ll hunt you wherever you go.”
“Go ahead,” Valerie called up to him. “Chase me to the ends of the earth. You’ll never catch me again.”
She went to open the door, but Mallory blocked her. Valerie twisted the cap off the cola and pointed it at Mallory. The soda exploded onto Mallory who screeched and jumped back surprised as Valerie fumbled for the knob, opened the door, and made her escape.
You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments of my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!, Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!, Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!, Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!
STREAM OF THE WEEK: THE BLACK PHONE (2022)-Peacock
I am not a fan of horror films. But I do believe almost every rule has exceptions. Not to mention Halloween is on the horizon. The movie industry loves these kinds of films because they are generally cheap to make, can have big box office payoffs and be turned into lucrative franchises. I was once told horror films are considered date films because, traditionally, the guy takes the gal to the film, and she gets scared and grabs him…or vice-versa. So, though I don’t care for horror films per say, I like any well written film that is about thinking and this one fits the bill.
It is based on a short story by Joe Hill from his collection 20th Century Ghosts. If you don’t know who Joe Hill is, he’s Stephen King’s son. Many great storytellers have a theme that runs through all their works. The Cohen Brothers write about greed. Quinten Tarantino writes about honor. Stephen King writes about incarceration. Incarceration in his books may take many different forms. In The Shining it’s a hotel. In Misery it’s a cabin. In Gerald’s Game it’s handcuffs and a bed. In The Mist it’s a grocery store. In Dolores Claiborne it’s a marriage. In The Shawshank Redemption it’s a prison. You get the point. People in his books are often trapped in something and must work their way out or face dire consequences. And we find here that the apple does not fall far from the tree. Mr. Hill has also chosen to write about incarceration and in this case the prison is a soundproof basement located in a suburban house where a child serial killer named The Grabber (Ethan Hawke) lives. The Grabber takes the boys he kidnaps and holds them there till he’s ready to do them in. And from what we are led to understand, his do them in methods are brutal.
The story takes place in the 1970’s in a small town in Denver, Colorado where Finney Blake (Mason Thames) and his sister Gwen Blake (Madeleine McGraw) reside. Their mother has passed away and they are being raised by their alcoholic father Terrance Blake (Jeremy Davies). Middle school boys have started going missing around their neighborhood and there aren’t really any leads. That is until Gwen has a dream about black balloons. She mentions her dream at school and the police take her seriously as black balloons were found at the site of the last disappearance. Terrance lives in terror that Gwen has inherited the same clairvoyant gifts as his late wife. The same gifts which took her life. He uses corporal punishment to thwart Gwen’s focus on her intensely vivid dreams. But Gwen is a remarkably strong girl and instinctively knows what she sees in her dreams is of importance and use.
The most recent vanishing is a boy named Robin (Miguel Cazarez Mora) a classmate of Finney’s who helped him thwart three bullies. Robin tells Finney that one day he’s going to have to stand up for himself. Finney, who is a book smart kid, does not think he has the confidence to do so especially after the three boys beat up Gwen and him. But shortly after the fight, Finney comes across a black van whose driver is a mysterious magician and Robin’s advice is put to the test.