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SOME WILD THINGS
Is it Coincidence........or Part of the Master Plan?
By BILL JONES
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2013 BILL JONES
All rights reserved.
A NAKED VICTORIA BARLOW-WHITE opened the front door of her desert mountain cabin in the far north of Watoomba at 7.00 am to be greeted by a smiling Priest, in a white clerical collar and long black cassock. A dog barked frantically from a room in the cabin.
'Good morning, can I help you Father?' Victoria asked trying to cover her body with a flimsy robe, rubbing sleep from her eyes.
'Good morning to you my child, I am so sorry to disturb you at this hour but I was wondering if you would fit into this body bag.' Victoria stared in amazement at the question, as the Priest produced a .357 Magnum from under his cassock and shot her in the head killing her instantly.
He stepped back and admired her nakedness that had collapsed at his feet.
He was jarred back to reality by realising he had overlooked the possibility of there being someone else in the house. He hovered, listening intently for any sound of movement, there was none, so he moved fast and stealthfully through the cabin, pausing quietly, gently opening doors with the barrel of the Magnum checking every room.
He felt relieved that she lived alone, apart from an incensed barking dog somewhere in the cabin.
He moved diligently down the corridor back to the kitchen. It was a small three bedroom cabin resting against a sheer rock face in the most isolated part of Watoomba. A large front lounge window stretched from end to end and looked out onto a breathtaking 10 metre drop into a dry and sandy desert outcrop. He took the time to admire the beautiful view.
He was hungry after his overnight journey to Watoomba and opened the refrigerator door, carefully selecting none fatty bacon strips, mushrooms and eggs, with a slice of bread that he would toast. It was breakfast time.
Switching on the kettle he monitored the cooking over a steaming cup of coffee.
The toaster ejected a slice of toast which he buttered while throwing two dishcloths over Victoria's bleeding torso, the sight disturbed his appetite.
'Good God my child you are a bleeder, I think we should get you into the body bag before you mess up the entire entrance hall—my goodness you are a messy little thing aren't you just?' He spoke to her as would, to a tiny kitten.
The Priest zipped Victoria into the bag and served a sizzling breakfast onto a plate.
He had overcooked the bacon and the eggs were not 'easy over' as he liked them. Showing signs of irritation, he pushed the food around the plate and did not enjoy the meal. The barking dog became more ferocious and desperate.
He watched the desert sun rise over the top of his steaming coffee mug which promised the releasing of the oppressive Akabi desert heat across the valley.
His attention was drawn to a cluster of family photographs, one in particular caught his fancy, and it was a framed photograph of two women hugging a beautiful Rottweiler on a long tropical beach. They were identical twins. He opened the cupboard removing the photograph, studying it for a while. At the back of the photograph was a hand written scrawl that he read slowly whispering to himself.
'Victoria, Caprice and Suggs, l December ...?'
The date was smudged and he couldn't make out the year.
He placed the body bag over his shoulder and was making his way out to the car when he heard the unexpected sound of breaking glass.
He increased his pace under the weight of her body but felt uneasy and out of breath when he reached his vehicle; his nerve ends tingled across every part of his body as he placed her into the boot, closing the lid.
In a sudden and startling move he heard the rustling of grass on the fringe of the driveway about 6 metres behind him, he knew he was not alone.
Without looking back he slid his hand into his cassock and froze as he touched an empty holster, suddenly realising he'd left his .357 Magnum on the kitchen table. He was too terrified to look over his shoulder as the rustling of grass became more intense with a terrifying low pitched growl, now almost directly behind him.
'This is no way to treat a man of the cloth, I have contacts with the boss upstairs little doggie,' he said nervously, without turning to look. The dog growled menacingly gnashing its teeth.
'OK, sorry big doggie' he said as he turned to face a large bleeding Rottweiler with bared teeth in mid flight, heading straight for him. He could not believe the size of the dog and felt completely powerless. He was suddenly battling to breathe, with the realisation that he could not allow the frenzied dog to get hold of him—as it would tear him to shreds.
Without warning the beast bounded in huge strides towards him with saliva spraying from its mouth—with all the will power he could muster, he stood firm and dead still against the trunk of the car, bracing himself for the horrendous pain he was about to endure.
In a split second he had the insane urge to take a chance at outrunning the injured animal, but knew he would be dead in minutes if he chose that route. It all happened very quickly. The Rottweiler lunged in slow motion, like a wounded mountain bear and the hyper ventilating priest had no idea where he got the energy to move as quickly as he did. In a nanosecond, he stepped aside giving way to the flying animal. The dog did not anticipate the priest's agile side step and hit the boot of the car landing painfully on its ribcage and underbelly; it was hurt and began howling in agony and surprise.
The priest knew his luck had changed, and with the speed and weight of the dog, on impact, fortunately popped the trunk lid revealing the body bag containing his mistress. The confused and distracted Rottweiler bought the priest even more time.
He remembered that he carried an old baseball bat from his college days in the trunk, and moved quickly to retrieve it from under the body bag. The subdued Rottweiler limped backwards away from the car, licking his wounds and growling menacingly without taking his eyes off the priest.
Baseball bat in hand he cautiously backed away from the vehicle allowing the dog the space to do what he really wanted to do, jump into the boot on top of the body bag.
It did just that, and started sniffing and barking trying to rip the bag open.
The priest cautiously made his way back to the kitchen to retrieve his firearm. His life had been spared but he now had another problem.
He entered the cabin, closing and locking the door behind him. Because of its unique construction the front door was the only point of entry into the cabin and although conservative in floor space, the architecture was stylish and visually astounding. It was designed to take full advantage of the jagged 'moon surface' terrain and the entire structure consisted of eight concrete stilts that towered over the valley like the tentacles of a giant Octopus enhanced by formidable and inaccessible gullies that dropped away onto intimidating rock outcrops.
He felt relaxed in the thought that the only way anyone could get to him was through the front door.
He walked to the back of the cabin onto an enclosed glass porch where a large dog kennel stood with the name SUGGS hanging from a silver chain above the entrance, half full bowls of food and water were scattered around.
The large window that the Rottweiler crashed through in its frenzy lay shattered, leaving shards of broken glass covering most of the wooden deck.
He ripped open a large bag of dog biscuits and filled a metal bucket with fresh water; before leaving he placed a small wooden table at the front door keeping it ajar and allowing access to the dog.
When he finally reached his vehicle, Suggs was sitting on the grass fringe licking his wounds. He watched the priest with a low growl and a distrustful eye as he cautiously walked to his vehicle closing the trunk lid. He slid into the driver's seat and hastily closed the door as the angry salivating face of Suggs crashed against the glass growling and barking hysterically.
He recoiled from the window in sheer terror.
'Jesus Christ, my nerves!' He shouted clutching his chest. He paused for a second glancing at the heavens.
'Please don't tell him I called' he muttered, starting the vehicle.
* * *
A cold shiver spread over Jim Maddocks as he watched the late afternoon light change, as it did in the desert at this time of the year. The temperature had suddenly dropped a few degrees over the last hour and the uneasiness and apprehension had even the smallest insect scattering to take cover, unable to cope with the complexities of their desert existence. A Gecko rolled its eyes at a piece of dry tumbleweed as it careered haphazardly across the sand, also desperately seeking somewhere to take cover, from the impending storm.
Rainfall was rare across the massive and arid desert region and red devil dust storms, fanned by strong dry winds were capable of blowing millions of tons of dust particles high into the atmosphere, with debilitating consequences. These particles were the scourge of the Akabi Plateau as they carried dangerous oxides and fungi that could, once settled in the bronchial tract, cause chronic respiratory problems and lung failure, potentially effecting 200 000 poor and mainly nomadic inhabitants. A red devil dust storm accompanied by prolonged periods of torrential rain could last for several days and always resulted in devastating damage to the ecology with causalities being high, not unlike a major cyclone.
Jim watched the colour of the horizon change, and he smiled as if to greet an old friend. The notorious Akabi 'Red Devil' slowly enveloped the savanna and the desert, like the casting of a huge duvet, reducing visibility to a minimum.
Gathering his clothing and equipment along the way, he hurriedly headed towards his Toyota laboratory camper to take shelter, ensuring that he secured and locked down protective window screens and air conditioners against the force of the storm.
His main objective was to seal the main door to protect his priceless scientific equipment, as over the years he had learnt the hard lesson that fine sand particles did not bode well for computers and sensitive equipment.
With many geological years of prospecting in the Akabi Desert to his credit, Jim estimated that the storm would not last longer than three hours and soon the vivid red late evening sun would fight its way through the dust to make a final breathtaking setting on the western horizon, at the end of the day.
He was wrong.
In less than an hour, the velocity of the storm and its gale force winds had reached a peak and was buffeting the camper, for what seemed like an eternity. Jim popped a can of draught beer; it was ice cold, exactly as he liked it, his first gulp was a big one. He leaned forward hitting a switch on the desk consol, it buzzed and flickered and abruptly sprang into life, revealing a scroll down menu of technical data.
Apart from a small desk lamp, the camper was in darkness and the reflection of the information on the screens cast a soft sheen on his face, like the reflection off the rapids of a mountain stream.
'Shit, you are serious about this visit, aren't you?' Jim whispered to himself.
Almost twenty minutes lapsed in silence in the dimly lit interior as he processed technical data; he pushed a lever and flicked another switch as he heard a muffled grinding sound from outside. The sand that had piled up against the side and roof of the camper was reluctantly giving way to the electronic mechanism of automated cameras, presenting a 360 degree view of the exterior.
He watched with interest as images appeared on his television screens, revealing a panoramic view of the storm.
'Come on babe, give me a better picture—shit!' he muttered, sipping his beer as more soft images appeared.
Jim chuckled softly; he was doing what he loved most—exploring nature and its attitude.
'Visibility, a maximum 2 metres' he whispered, tapping out a parradiddle on his keyboard.
'120 kilometres south easterly, and a midnight temperature of minus 3 with a wind factor minus 10 degrees, shit, its fucking cold out there.' Jim said aloud, shivering at the thought.
With the continuous buffeting of the storm the camper creaked and swayed from side to side—he found himself resigned to the fact that the red devil had beaten him and he was hostage to the elements. He was starting to feel the cold, so he lay back on his bunk bed pulling a blanket over his legs.
He watched in amusement as his empty beer can moved across the control desk like a nervous dancer at an audition. The can tottered on the edge of the desk in the final throes of the ballet, and with the final nudge from a gust of wind, clattered helplessly to the floor, rolling under the bunk and into oblivion, its ballet career in tatters.
'Life sucks' Jim Maddocks mumbled to the beer can as he drifted into sleep.
* * *
Nothing was urgent in Jim's life and nothing that could deter him from reaching any goal that he set his sights on. By nature he had acquired everything that he wanted from life, regardless of the consequences and the price that had to be paid. Vigor, undaunted confidence, was the key to his success, by the same token his demise.
Jim was a determined and rugged looking geologist who clambered to the top of his career in no time at all. A dedicated and conscientious scholar he gained international awareness, early in his career, by becoming an authority on tracking down the world's most precious commodity—water.
Soon he was recognised as a dedicated specialist in his field of expertise, he met with overwhelming success in some of the most remote areas of the globe. Jim's only setback was his withdrawn and reclusive personality which few people knew about.
'You're one helluva geologist Jim.' He remembered one of his employers saying at an exit interview.
'But you have a really shitty attitude, your people skills leave a lot to be desired, I sadly do believe you will eventually find yourself isolated and alone'.
Jim was well aware of all his failings, with the most noticeable being his dislike of the human race. With two disastrous and expensive marriages as well as sequestrations to his credit, these were all contributing factors to his already lengthy run of hard and catastrophic backhanders from life. This prolonged sadness eventually led him to barricade himself in his very own 'green zone' away from the world and everything it had to offer.
* * *
It all began when he fell madly in love with Katie Cremone, a young attractive social sciences lecturer at Brooks Hill University, during his graduation year. Jim was in love for the first time, an experience that, although quite stimulating he knew nothing about having emanated from a loveless dysfunctional family. Henry Maddocks, Jim's father now in his late 80's was a product of Woodstock, and to this day still believed he was a flower child from that era. He sired a variety of siblings during his drug induced life and was a regular to rehabs across the country. Young Jim Maddocks was 18 when he got a school sweetheart pregnant, and with Murtle his mother being totally inaccessible to matters of the heart, or anything that went up and down, went to confide in his father about the untimely mishap.
It was 7.30 am in the morning and Henry offered his son a cold Budweiser while he rolled his second joint. It was a 'pip crackling twelve blader' resembling a body rolled up in a dirty mattress.
'I've got a girl in trouble Dad.'
'What's her name son?' he asked quite coherently as his joint exploded like a Chinese New Year.
Jim's reaction was one of joy and he was genuinely surprised that his father even comprehended what he had said.
'Dylan Dad,' he whispered, warily looking over his shoulder, in case someone was eaves dropping.
Henry began to rant quietly to himself, to begin with, and then it rose to a crescendo. Jim stared in amazement at his father.
'Dylan is an arsehole son, Hendrix dude.' He said inhaling a lung full of Ganja.
'Jimi Hendrix is my man, yes siree, Hendrix, what a fucking player dude, fuck Dylan my son.' He giggled like a child.
Murtle Maddocks was the 'A' typical mother who was committed to the work of the Catholic Church in her community and with her good attributes and fine values, she was, however, the product of a violent, drug induced home, with four decades of abuse behind her she also detached herself from all environment that did not involve the church or the worshipping of God. Unfortunately, with her dysfunctional background Murtle was incapable of showing any love or affection towards her young son Jim—something he craved so desperately.
Excerpted from SOME WILD THINGS by BILL JONES. Copyright © 2013 by BILL JONES. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
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