March 28, 2007

Things were moving fast. So fast Byron could hardly keep up. He had seen scenes like this played out in movies. Always someone in need of help, dying, injured what have you. And always what happened? People in those stories tended to be useless. They ran around in near panic while the person in need died or whatever the script was commanded. But this was no movie. Nor was it one of his novels. It was reality and he could not afford to lose his cool….as it were. He had to stay calm and in control for Madison’s sake. If she died because of him, he would never forgive himself.

 “Yes. Right.” He replied to Melissa in a shaky tone. “I’m cool. Like a cucumber. We’ll see her through this together.”

 *He listened carefully to what Melissa was suggesting and followed her lead. He was amazed she was so under control. He had to hand it to her. It was all he could do to keep from falling apart. But he maintained his composure with some effort and did as Melissa instructed.

 Gently, he lifted Madison in his arms and with a slight assist from Melissa who kept Madison’s head at a proper supportive angle, together they brought her inside to the table. Along the way Melissa spoke to Madison, hoping for some reply. While they awaited response, they reached the table and Byron set her down. He swiftly covered her with several blankets. He could only hope that and the warm interior would hold off shock. That and he prayed Madison had done no physical or mental damage to herself in the fall.

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Byron Forbes: Revenge is a dish best served cold

March 8, 2007

Byron had been had. And worse he had been had by two women. They had taken advantage of his vivid imagination and played him for a fool. Needlessly to say he was not pleased. For one of the first times in his adult life he was at a loss for words. Of course this would not go unpunished. Did they honestly think that he was going to humiliated by women so they could throw this up in his face in the future. Not hardly. It would bad enough if a man did this but women, that could be allowed to slide, so to speak. Women were useful in the world, of that there was no doubt but when they started acting like equals something had to be done to put them back in their place. As his late pious father long maintained, women sprang from Adam’s rib, thus they were a cheaper cut of meat.

He had to get even. Just for the fact Madison was having such a good time with it. And so he would. But he had be crafty. Too simply say he was going to get even would put them on their guard. That would never do. He had to plot and plan, pick his moment when he would get revenge. For now he had to come across as good sport and when the time was ripe, strike and strike hard. And do so in such a manner as to let them know they had been bested.

“Very good ladies. I must admit you did put one over on me. But really Melissa, you took an terrible chance. With my skills in the martial arts I might have injured you badly. Still, it was a good joke.” He offered a pleasant smile that masked the scheming within.

A Snowman??? Madison please…it’s a raging blizzard. We should heed Melissa and wait until things settle down before considering….” He stopped in mid sentence, realizing the possibilities. Snowballs, tossing the girls in snowbanks, and other wintery forms of vengeance. And as he pondered a sly smile crossed his face. “On second thought, that is a fine idea. Just stick close to the house and we will be fine. Cleanup and find the board game later, Melissa. It’s time we had some fun.”

Byron: Realization

February 26, 2007

He was in agony. The pain from the poison was coursing though him. He could feel it. His joints were stiffening and his muscles contracting. After all the he had done for Melissa, how could she do this to him. He gave her a job. Let her clean and take care of him. Let her proof read his material even before sending it off to Madison. Let her run most of his errands and this was the thanks he received. Death in a manner most foul. Well he was not going down without a fight. He tried to scramble to his feet, but the effects of poison were too great. The agony to intense. He could hardly move.

 In desperation he put his finger in a blotch of Madison’s blood that he had slipped on previously. He was going to write Melissa’s name on the floor for the police to find, literally fingering her, as the old police saying went. But he suddenly realized it would not work. Melissa would see. Besides, she was such a fanatic about cleaning even if she failed to see him write something incriminating she would surely mop it up later. C.S.I. was no match for her.

 That is when he heard it. A voice nearby saying, braaaaaaaaains? He blinked and looked over. Madison? Alive? Impossible. He looked at her noting her neck seemed broken. Then again it came, braaaaaains.

 “What the devil? No. No way. You didn’t? You couldn’t?” Even his bewildered mind was starting to catch on. “You did?”

 That is when Melissa broke up laughing and spilled the beans, so to speak. She even had the nerve to offer Madison more coffee.

 For a long moment Byron sat there, taking it all in. A trick. A stinking, lousy, rotten female trick! His stomach twisted in knots. This time not from some phantom poison, but rather from embarrassment. His facial expression twisted as if he had bitten into something rotten. He had been had and he did not like it. Already his mind was turning to thought of vengeance. Vengeance most foul!

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Byron and Melissa: The final confrontation

February 22, 2007

It was like a scene out of one his favorite horror tales. A mad woman eliminating the competition then deciding the object of her desire would never have her and therefore planned to kill him as well. How could he of all people have not spotted the signs. Melissa was the strange quiet type that was always the killer in those “B” movies he watched. Byron was wise enough to realize how enough life imitated art. The stories of Jason, Horace Pinker were not as far fetched as they seemed. What was crazier, that or real serial killers. Things like that really happened. People could learn much watching those films closely. Unfortunately, Byron now saw he had not watched close enough. The result, Madison was dead. Dear sweet Madison. The girl he once loved and might have again. But that prospect was gone. Her demise would haunt him throughout the remainder of his life. But he could still avenge her. Looking directly into Melissa’s eyes he stated boldly,

“My doing? What have I got to say for myself? Not me woman, you!” He pointed an accusing finger at Melissa. “You murdered her! You’ve been just waiting haven’t you. You dare care about me! It’s all about you, you sick twisted fiend!

His words were melodramatic and in truth taken from the ‘Chamber maid masscre’ at the climatic scene where the hotel owner confronts the killer. Somehow repeating those lines seemed apt. Byron gazed down at Madison’s shapely corpse and a tear formed in his eye.

“I won’t let you hurt anyone else!” Byron declared and struck a karate pose. He moved his arms with the dramatic flair of skilled martial artist and leapt forward, planning to kick Melissa in the midsection. He was not planning on holding back despite the great size different between he and young housekeeper. He knew from those horror films insane people had the strength of several men. He had to put everything he had into taking out Melissa. Then, without further delay he launched a kick toward the knife wielding maniac, prepared to end her demented plans for good!

When Byron launched into his karate moves, the hand with the knife it in fell to her side as she rolled her eyes and heaved a great sigh. “Yes yes, blah blah…” she responded, rather becoming bored with this game quite quickly. She looked over at Madison, thankful that none of the ketchup was over anything that would stain too badly or her hair… that stuff was icky to wash out…

And back to the subject at hand.

Byron had never been one to practice karate moves with anyone that knew what they were doing, and as this was not orchestrated in any way, Melissa had no trouble taking a step to her right and evading his blow, which would probably leave him in a puddle of ketchup… but that was his own fault.

*He launched himself forward…sure that all those many karate moves he had witnessed on TV would work here. After all, although he was never formally trained he was an expert observer. Once you had the moves memorized, that was all that mattered.

He moved, but Melissa, to his shock and surprised sidestepped him. His foot that was on the floor for support hit something slippery. In a moment of horrible realization he knew it must be some of poor dead Madison’s blood. The results were easy to predict. Byron lost his balance an crashed to the floor with a sickening thud.

He was for a briefest of moments he was stunned…than as he got his bearings he looked up….and saw Melissa standing over him…knife in hand. He was helpless…at the mercy of this mad woman! And he did the only thing he could given the circumstances. He screamed, knowing his life was soon to end!

She sighed and shook her head. “Heart of a lion… haven’t you?” she said as she put the knife close to him. Not so much, as he was likely to thrash around or something, and she didn’t want to accidentally cut him.

“But you don’t have to worry Byron… I’m not going to cut you open.” she told him with a sweet smile. “The poisoned cocoa winding it’s way through your system should do the trick for me.” she told him as she leaned back and crossed her arms as she watched him, waiting for him to take that home and chew on it.

She just hoped this is what Madison had in mind. She was probably going to go over and offer her a hand up any moment now, and leave Byron gaping in stupor while they go do something else, leaving him to fend for himself for awhile.

Byron’s eyes widened with fear as the knife drew close. It was all just in the movies. Only he was not playing the part of a hero. Instead he was the victim. A knife across the throat and he would meet his end. Oddly none of the things that were suppose to happen did. No life flashing before his eyes. No moment of strange contentment came over him. It was just him and the knife.

He decided to be brave and mentioned as much to Melissa. “No. I will not give you the satis……..”

He paused as she mentioned the coco. Good lord, it was true. He could see it in her eyes. He felt himself cramping up and grabbed his stomach.

“You witch! You’ll never get away with this! The police will piece this together and lock you away forever!

Byron to the rescue!

February 18, 2007

“Good lord, what have I done?” Byron Forbes thought as a rush of panic flowed through him like a scummy tide. He brought Madison here to rekindle her coldly logical yet vibrant spirit he loved so much. Not to get hacked to death by a raving lunatic.

 If anything happened to her he would never forgive himself. He had to act fast if he was going to save her. There were two ways to go about it.

 The first was to go into the kitchen and confront the threat directly. He could use his sauve personality to charm Melissa away from anything sharp and then grab her. But if she grew suspcious and beat him to the knives, anything could happen. Of course he knew martial arts. He had never practiced it of course, brutality in any form was repugnant to him save on the televison screen, but he saw martial arts demonstrated in movies. He knew what he was doing. In the ‘nightslasher terror’ the surviving teenage girl knew karate and managed to beat the slasher. He pondered this and did a few shadow box martial arts moves. Yes, he could pull it off. Yet, it might be too risky. If he failed and Melissa got the advantage, nobody would be left to protect Madison. Worse, he would be dead.

 The second and probably more sane course would be finding Madison and warning her. In this way if Melissa came running out of a door knife in hand like Anthony Perkins on crack, it would be two against one. He knew from shock theater, that loonies like Melissa had the strength of several people. Even his martial arts skill and manly prowess might not be enough if she got rolling. Best to have Madison with him for back up.

 On tip toes he made his way out the living room and toward Madison’s room. She would likely be there by now. Without knocking he enter and whispered her name. No response. Was she still downstairs? He ventured to the guest room staircase and moved downstairs.

 “Madison?” He called out softly. Again no reply. That is when he felt a rush of fear move through him. She must have gone back up stairs to speak with Melissa. He bolted up the stairs, praying he would not be too late. He heard the screams and the end of discussion.

 “Hold on! I’m coming Madison! I’ll save you!” He yelled. But as he reached the kitchen he saw Madison on the floor and the scene was a bloody mess, literally. “Good lord! I’m too late!” Now it was down to he and Melissa. He was locked away, trapped alone with a madwoman!

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Byron and Melissa: at least there hasn’t been a shower scene yet…

February 16, 2007

Melissa had heard what he said, but it didn’t matter, the damage had already been done. She hurried up to the kitchen to make cocoa as she had offered to do as she measured out enough milk and set a saucepan on the stove to start it heating.

She felt like being lazy this time and actually using the powdered cocoa mix, but she still needed to wait for the milk to get to a proper temperature before anything else could happen. So she pulled out the cinnamon sticks and whipped cream while she waited in order to distract herself and keep herself busy so nothing embarrassing occurred.

Byron made his way up stairs away from Madison. He had to have a little chat with Melissa. He would not be nearly as harsh with her as he was with Madison for in his opinion he felt Melissa, in her own way, was defending his honor. Still, he could not have her jumping down the throats of his guests. Even a guest that was acting more the role of a pest.

He checked in the living room. No sign of her. Then he started for the bedroom before coming to a stop. Though he heard no sound to alert him, Byron turned and headed for the Kitchen. Melissa had mentioned making herself some coca. She had to be in there.

He stepped into the Kitchen and stopped his quarry. As expected she was in the midst of brewing coca. He offered a thin smile and moved next to her. “Mind making me some? I could use something to relax me about now.”

“I was planning to do so.” She said softly as she pulled out the grinder for the cinnamon sticks. “There is plenty for Madison too if she cares to have some.” she offered in a tone a little above a whisper as she went back to grinding the sticks.

It was a long time before the click of metal onto the counter signified she was done and she turned to look at him. “Look, before you say anything else, I’m very sorry for the way I acted. I was trying hard to remain tacit and calm but… there is something about her that just… pushed my buttons.” she explained. “I know that is no excuse and I will do better in the future.” she told him before swallowing nervously and turning to stir the milk so it didn’t stick to the pan.

Melissa has done it again. She had anticipated his every move. From his desiring a cup of coco to his wanting to offer up a mild scolding for her behavior. The woman was frustrating indeed. Almost magical in her ability never be heard and to know what he was thinking before he could offer and utterance. That said, she was correct in her surmise. She was out of line as was Madison. They needed to have a little sit down these two and overcome the problems that had arisen. He would suggest it, but known Melissa, she
knew what was coming in advance.

“Why not go ask her if she’ll have some.” Byron said quickly. “We’re going to be stuck here several days together. I’d rather it be cordial rather then us at each others throats.”

He leaned on a nearby counter top as he spoke. The smell of the cocoa was refreshing to his senses. As he waited for it to finish he glanced out the window. The storm was raging. Close to a foot had fallen already and double perhaps triple that was on the way. He was getting the sinking feeling no matter how diplomatic he tried to be, he was going stuck in the role of lion tamer with two extremely willful and feral lionesses for the next several
days. And he without his whip and chair. This could get ugly.

“I will.” she offered gently as she looked over at him before she started adding the powder to the milk. “But… before I do, could I… ask you something?” she said softly as she looked over at him. “Did you… mean what you said to Madison?” her voice was soft, and was barely heard at all. “That… you really don’t love her anymore because she was acting like that?” She swallowed and looked up at him uncomfortably. “Because you really should be with someone who cares about you and won’t ask you to change your lifestyle too much.” she explained gently, wondering if he’d catch the subtle hint… but she sincerely doubted that he would.

Byron was pondering the next few days locked away in this snow covered cage with these two feuding females. Needless to say it would not be a pretty sight. He had visions of himself caught between the two as they waged war over their respective disagreements. He knew Madison. She was overly self-confident like himself. She had opinions bursting to come out and she would not let Byron or anyone stop her no matter what was said. She was going to push her beliefs and desires for all they were worth. Just as he, Byron tended too.

Melissa was the more mellow of the two but if pushed, Byron was certain she could be a handful. It was those quiet ones you had to worry about. Every late night slasher film he had ever seen had proved that. Norman Bates, Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Ed Guine, Lizzy Borden. All were either soft-spoken or utterly silent. But if you got their hackles up, they looked at you like a virgin at a Aztec sacrificial ritual. And who knew what could set
them into crazy mode? One minute Melissa could be stirring coco, the next she could be running around in a three cornered hat and a powdered wig.

He chuckled suddenly as the absurdity of this line of thought. What was he thinking? Meek Melissa being that way? Impossible. Besides, even if that were true it would take more than a noisy house guest to set her off. Normally there was a deep catalyst involved. Normally it was something extreme like unrequited love and the addition that the person those feeling were held for was suddenly being removed from reach. Minus such a reactive agent, no worries existed, at least to Byron’s way of thinking.

He glanced into the living room at that moment by chance and his eyes happened on his DVD collection. He was really watching to many of those slasher flicks, he mused. He was starting to think like a actor in one of them. Maybe his mother was right. Maybe after a while they did rot your brain. A slight smile began to cross his face but faded as he noticed one of the films was partly pulled out from the others, as if someone had been
examining it closely. He looked closer and saw the title. ‘The chamber maid massacre.’ Yes, he watched that one evening after Melissa went home a couple of weeks ago. She spotted it out the next morning and asked to borrow it for her nephew, or someone close to her. She must have brought it back today.

He suddenly found himself recalling the plot. A young soft spoken maid working in a hotel falls for the handsome owner and kills off anyone she considers a romantic interest. Later she turns on him when it becomes apparent he does return her love.

The wheels in Byron’s mind began to turn in the obvious, paranoid direction. He glanced at Melissa for a long moment while she was busy preparing his cocoa. Could she be a lady bluebeard under that mild exterior? He thought it over and grinned in a slightly embarrassed manner. Of course not. Just because someone was quiet, somewhat repressed and moved with the stealth of a cat burglar did not mean they were a raving madwoman ready to shove a knife in your back. Or even the back of your comely houseguest. Most damning to this moronic theory was the fact Melissa was not in love with him. She had no interest in him other than that of an employee and good friend. With absence of such an intense feeling as unrequited love there could be no
underlying lunacy.

Silently, Byron was berating himself when Melissa spoke the words that made his bones cold.

“Did you…mean what you said to Madison? That… you really don’t love her
anymore because she was acting like that? Because you really should be with
someone who cares about you and won’t ask you to change your lifestyle too

His jaw dropped. It was almost a line for line comment from the chamber maid massacre. The maid asked this of the hotel manager the scene before she stole a butcher knife from the kitchen and sliced his visiting ex-girlfriend to shreds. Good lord! Melissa had gone round the bend. Too Cuckoo land. She was secretly in love with him and now was working up to getting rid of the competition. MADISON! He had to think of something fast.

“Uh…well…..of course you’re right, Melissa. And…uh….no…I don’t love Madison. I….uh….I should find someone who won’t try to change me. Promise I will. Yes….exactly. I won’t be changed. Never. Uh…excuse me. I’ll be right back.”

He slipped into the living the room, making a beeline for the phone. He had to get the police here at once before Melissa cracked up on him. He picked up the receiver but the line was dead. The storm? Or had Melissa cut the line. Good lord what now? Madison and her stupid cellular phone. She could get help. Hopefully it had not broken when it hit the floor before. Madison said it was fine but who could tell? He had to reach her make the call for help. Now more than ever. Because he just realized he made a serious mistake. He left Melissa alone in the kitchen, with the butcher knife!

“Byron. I saw you eying the movies… I’m not a slasher. I have no plans to kill you or Madison. The line has been dead for the last half an hour… I think the electricity will be next. I’ve got a bunch of candles ready for warmth and light… unless you wanted to take advantage of the shelter?” she asked him gently. She moved easily back into the kitchen with a soft sigh and took the froth building up in the pan as a sign that the milk was warm and the cocoa was ready. She then pulled down three mugs and filled them each before adding whipped cream and a little more cinnamon on top.

Melissa then took one of the mugs out to Byron. “I’m not going to pursue anything you don’t want. I promise you that.” she said softly. “No hard feelings. I’m in a good place and I don’t want to ruin that.” But he hadn’t heard a word of it. She realized that as she turned around and saw that he’d run off…. Fabulous. She’d really made a mess of things.

January 31, 2007

Byron Forbes was at an impasse. With the sudden arrivial of Melissa into the mix things began heating up to a boil. He watched the two ladies going at it, surprised how heated the conversation became. It seemed to be reaching the boiling point quickly. He tried to calm them down with repeated unsuccessful attempts to inject himself into the discussion.

 “Now Melissa I…Now Madison I’m not sure that…Is the snow getting….But Madison….Surely Melissa that’s understating….Really Madison there’s no need to be…” And so it went.

 He stopped speaking as the two shot thinly veiled barbs back and forth at each other. Obviously, reason did not apply. That became increasingly apparent as his Byron’s eyes darted from one woman as they spoke. It was rather like watching a competitive tennis match. Madison served up a stinging remark and Melissa returned a witty down the line volley retort. Madison hit a harshly stated verbal cross court passing shot. Melissa flipped a well stated drop shot return keeping the ball in play. It was an amazing scene to behold. If Byron were not witnessing it for free, he would have paid money to observe this. The two women were fighting over him. And what a furious action packed battle it had become. All that was needed was mud and bikinis. Or perhaps loincloth skirts and clubs. Too the winner went the spoils. He assumed he was that prize. He moved away slowly to avoid getting personally embroiled.

 Byron was not certain how that sat with him. Too be reduced to a mere bit of prime feed for two squabbling hens to war over was not the most flattering of prospects. Still, being the object of two womens attention and perhaps desire, now that Byron enjoyed.

 But alas like all good things the show came to end as Melissa interjected reason into the discussion.

 I think that is an excellent suggestion, Melissa. We can discuss this later. It appears from what Melissa is saying about the snow fall, we shall have plenty of time talk the matter over and perhaps reach a reasonable conclusion.

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