=== okay young lady, remember all of those murders awhile back? (and he went on in more detail) === yeah, I think I was only about ten at the time, but I remember; why? === well, his purpose was not what was told the rest of the world on tv… he was a snivelling little hateful, greed-filled man with a singular talent learned of reading people’s weaknesses and then he used others after totally fucking each up in their own destroyed heads to take revenge on people with money for his own benefit; it was easier than knocking off liquor stores for pennies compared to what he could get in this scheme; and freezing in abandoned canyons was what he hated most; a sociopath – that was what was in his eyes – nothing. he was a thief with an elaborate ego – dangerous combination; never met him but he sent something he wrote to a production company I co-owned; it was returned to him with a form letter; did the same all over town, sending scripts and songs to others; he couldn’t handle the rejections; so he used those weaker than himself and manipulated them into killers for vengeance – his; preaching the evil of those with money. i turned up on his list. that’s why the gun. === oh, okay. === okay? === no, I didn’t mean okay, but it explains why. === but you asked for what! (he started smiling; it was forced though) === told you, it would explain why. === and so you did. === always? === I already finished the question and answer portion of this day; no more. === okay. but do you always have to take that thing with you? === told you… === shhh; it’s really part of the same. === that’s a technicality. === you’re not answering me. === I’m not going to. === okay, let me tell you something, then. === what? === see, now you’re making fun of me. === tell me. === early that January we were out in Death Valley camping; that day we were letting our dog run out at Devil’s Racetrack, when we came upon a bus and this little opel cadet station wagon – there he was with these others; mostly girls – they smelled horrible; all of them; and his eyes! you remember what I was telling you earlier about when your knees give way? === uh=huh. === well, they did; not a word between had been spoken, I just fell to the ground; mind you, I got up quickly, but the initial shock of his eyes was what caught me. anyway, Duchess, our Doberman, leapt in btwn the two of us – she was going to take him, unprovoked – you know how dogs sense evil more than we can? === yeah, my own is my best friend. === yeah, she was our nanny growing up; she was kind and gentle for the most part, but you didn’t hurt her babies – us – or she’d risk her own life… well, anyway, my father heard the commotion from the truck and then we all heard his shotgun go off – it was overhead… kind of like how you gave warning earlier – it was meant but not yet fatal. The man tried to calm his own intrusion, but those eyes… Duchess wrapped her body around me and sat there growling at him. My father came running up, gun cocked, all of the girls ran towards the bus; I heard him holler out: don’t even try; and they all stopped before entering. === he did that because he thought they were going for weapons. === yeah, I got that but it was their faces: like they were excited by the ordeal and all of them were smiling and then they started praying, for that man I’m pretty sure, and telling us he was of peace – but Duchess – no! i trusted her: none of them were at peace. that little guy stood there, hands in the air; Duchess and I ran back to the truck and got in; even though I was only ten, my father had taught me how to drive cuz we were always out in the middle of nowhere, I guess for my own safety – I mean he never let me drive other than lessons… === go back, you’re going off track. === oh, yeah – sorry; to remember it so clear, it’s upsetting, I ramble. === I know, you’re rambling now. === yeah, well, I put the truck in drive and floored it – it spun at first cuz of not enough traction, but then evened out and was able to coast in to where my father now stood, and he jumped onto the back bumper and held on while I drove off… anyway, I never saw a picture of Manson until years after the killings; and when I did… I fell to my knees again – just from sight of that man in the newspaper; that’s how evil he was. I since have thought that we should have contacted the authorities; could have saved everyone. — yeah, but what would you have told them, a bunch of hippies freaked your dog out and then prayed? — well, no, I mean, that he was evil. — authorities wouldn’t have done anything about it. — how do you know? — I know, sweetheart. — oh, okay, I guess, but still… — come on; I better get you out of here so you can go back to your grandparents home and dress for dinner; where you going? — the derby. — the derby? — uh-huh; they like going there; …meeting some friends. — who? — I don’t know, why are you so snoopy all of a sudden? — i don’t know. hey?! — what? — you wanna do one more trick with me before we get out of here? — what! — it’ll be fun? — it will? — uh-huh. come on: here’s what we’re going to do — see that gully? — yeah. — well, it’s only about a ten foot drop down, and soft at the apex where you’ll be jumping to… — who said… — shh. listen, don’t interrupt. I’m gonna take you on a couple test runs down from over there so you’ll know placement and timing of when you’re going to leap… — off the bike? — yep. — are you upset cuz I won the tree climb? (he started smiling, stopped talking and just stared at me) cuz if you are, that would be a poor sport and besides, it was fun, wasn’t it? — yeah, it was fun, now are you going to listen to me? — I’m listening! — okay then, let’s go practice… pay attention and remember the path we take and count out the distance to yourself and pay attention to the speed I show you, okay? — okay.
(to be continued)