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Movie Review: Wind River
Wind River is a 2017 American neo-western murder mystery thriller film written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. The film stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker and an FBI agent, respectively, who try to solve a murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Gil Birmingham and Graham Greene also star (Wikipedia).
Plot: Cory Lambert is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in snowy Wyoming. When the autopsy reveals that she was raped, FBI agent Jane Banner arrives to investigate. Teaming up with Lambert as a guide, the duo soon find that their lives are in danger while trying to solve the mystery of the teen’s death.
Trailer: Wind River
It has been a while since I have seen a movie that didn’t involve or revolve around war, super heroes fighting a war, a talking raccoon, or a space ship. This is just good old fashioned story telling about a murder that is going to be tough to solve. The story pits a jaded fish and wildlife expert with a green FBI agent with no field experience against the backdrop of the Wyoming landscape, which becomes an essential character in story.
The purist in me loves the elements of literary storytelling as it pits man vs nature as the story opens with a young Indian girl running for her life. The temperature is below zero, she is barefoot, and the weather is so cold her lungs explodes. A true warrior like her people, she ran six miles in that weather to escape a group of men who used her simply because they were bored.
The plot thickens as we come face to face with man vs society with the same white men who feel entitled to take what they wants simply because the local officials have no jurisdiction on the federal drilling site where they work. One weekends, the band of brothers ride into town and pick and young Indian woman for their amusement. Cody Lambert’s daughter has been the victim of such a crime, having died several years before under similar circumstances.
Cody is not your typical hero in this story since he is face to face with his worst enemy – himself. In order to bring peace to his own heart and in his own head, he has to help solve this murder. It is not redemptive in the sense that he finds his daughter’s killer, but he is able to bring closure to his friend, who is the father of the young woman from the opening scene. A young woman, who was friends with his daughter. In the process, he also saves the life of the FBI Agent, and possibly his soul.
Wind River is a great date night movie with enough action to keep you entertained, as well as enough slow spots to jump up and grab a beer without missing too much. I give this movie four strokes of my pen on a scale of five.
I enjoyed it. I hope you will as well.
Share your thoughts and feedback here.
The Office Wife, Issue 3
The Office Wife, March 11, 2017, Issue 3, Olivia Gaines
Manigault Hurley, R & D
A quiet Tuesday morning ensued as Vicki made coffee in the breakroom for whichever members of the board who were in the office that day. Although the suggestion box requested, almost daily, the purchase of one of those machines with the little pods, it was not economical to purchase so many expensive packages, to make one cup of coffee at a time. Besides, the pods left a medicinal taste on her tongue. It wasn’t as if she were a coffee purist, but there was no reason to ruin a good cup of Joe, with a plastic cup of ground nonsense.
Speaking of nonsense, Vicki checked her inbox to find five invitations for lunch from Konnie with a K who had an unnatural fascination with personal organizers and Washi tape. Twice in the last two days, Vicki found stickers with Washi tape in her office mail box. Konnie was like a naughty little cat who liked to leave dead treats on your pillow. There was something odd about the young temp in a not so good way. The Washi tape felt like little dead bodies in coils of bright colors left for her to see every other day. To make matters worse, somehow, Konnie found out today was her birthday.
A roll of Washi tape with little balloons and cakes sat on her desk with a card, when opened spit out a puff of multi-colored confetti. It was all over her desk. By the time lunch rolled around, Vicki’s futile attempts to rid herself of the meddlesome colorful dots only resulted in confetti in her hair and stuck to her neck and face. Taneeka, her office best friend of only a month, sent her a text message with an image of her face, frozen in laughter.
Vicki’s phone binged. It was another text with an image from Taneeka.
This image was of her nose, taped upwards, Miss Piggy style with a bright strip of Washi tape. It was comical. However, it wasn’t as comical as the image of Manigault Hurley, standing in front of her desk dressed like a character from Monty Python.
“Allow me, Ms. Lawrence, to take you to lunch on this special day of your birth,” he said with his lips pressed together as if her were holding in a wad a slobber and a chunk of peanut butter in his cheeks like a deranged chipmunk.
“Thank you Mr. Hurley, but I can’t today,” she tried backing away from the offer.
“Nonsense,” he said, leaning back rubbing his little flat stomach. “It is your birthday. If you don’t have plans, and based on that lunch bag, I can only assume you don’t, then allow me to treat you to a lovely lunch at my club.”
He was right. Her lunch bag held left over take out from the Chinese restaurant around the corner from her house, which always had too many onions, which gave her horrific gas. She didn’t want to eat what was in her bag any more than she wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon finding discrete places to poot.
“Come, it will be grand. My driver will take us over to the club, you can order whatever you want, and I will have a lovely cake ordered just for your special day,” Manigault told her.
He seemed like a nice man who reminded her of Grandpa Lawrence. She hoped he didn’t have the same sense of humor though. Her Grandpa Lawrence, for fun, enjoyed taking his teeth out in church to make lewd gestures with his tongue to the ladies in the choir, but he never followed up on any of his suggestive behaviors. She prayed Manigault was the same way.
“Sure, it would be nice to join you for lunch on my birthday. I am certain you are going to make this a day to remember,” she responded.
“No, I am going to treat you to a good meal,” he told her with an expressionless face.
Vicki was just crossing into the three-month mark at American Conglomerate. Thus far, based on what she’d seen, clicks and grouplings were formed, but Manigault stood out from the crowd. He was a man of what appeared to be impeccable breeding, ridiculously good taste paired with a reputation without flaw. From what she could gather, his private life, was indeed very private. His desk held no personal photos, momentous, only documentation of his life at American Conglomerate.
“Perfect, I will meet you downstairs at my car at 11:45, please don’t be late,” he cautioned.
Vicki looked down at her watch. It was 11:15. She had thirty minutes to prepare herself for what she knew was going to be a drawn-out conversation on his bug collection from New Guinea or worse, a long-winded montage on the down fall of the black man. This was usually followed by an invitation to make her life easier by offering her a key to his love pad downtown, or worse, a tiny ranch house in the Valley right below Rancho Cucamonga. Suddenly her appetite waned the same moment her desk phone rang. It was Taneeka.
“Hey!” She said to Vicki.
“Hey back,” she said slowly.
“Happy Birthday,” Taneeka said quickly. “Drinks on me after work if you can make it.”
“If it is close by at a local watering hole and on my way home, I could sip on something to cut the edges off my glitter infused morning,” she replied.
“Just don’t sip or suck on anything during lunch. I heard old men give you bugs,” Taneeka joked.
“I think he is just being nice, considering he knows no one else on this floor or team is going to do anything for my special day,” Vicki mumbled.
“You never know,” Taneeka said. “No seriously, you never know, he could be taking you out to set you up for the old rope a dope.”
“As in…a surprise on my desk when I get back?”
“No, he is going to show you that an old stove still has a hot pipe,” she told Vicki.
“Just when I started to like you a little,” Vicki chided.
“Well, hurry up. Manigault hates it when people are late plus, I am dying to find out what this lunch thing is about,” she said.
“Okay…whatever, have fun at my painful expense,” she said before saying goodbye and ending the call.
At least I get a decent meal out of it. Hurrying to the ladies to room to take care of her necessities, she washed her face, fluffed her hair and applied a little lipstick before heading to the first floor. Manigault had said driver. She failed to ask what his driver would be driving. Once she stepped out of the door, she quickly saw.
The classic Bentley was manned by a very large Asian gentleman who remined her of the James Bond villain with the bowler hat that could decapitate a man. I wish I could remember the villian’s name. Her fingers involuntarily went to her neck, caressing the soft skin. The door was opened for her as she tugged a little on the red dress she chose to wear this morning, even considering it was bordering on too little for her curvy body. The dress made her feel pretty even if on the inside, she felt like sludge. The three-inch heels added a bit of height to her frame, as she slid her bottom into the car seat first, swinging well-toned legs around to face the front. Manigault appeared to be pleased. It was more of a move to protect her modesty from the eyes of the driver. He didn’t need to see the hot red lacy undies.
“Thank you for joining me,” Manigault told her.
“It is I who should be thanking you,” she said sweetly.
He only nodded, pulled out his phone, and began to make notes in a pocket note book as they drove to the Lakeside Country Club in Burbank. The drive was short, his body was tense as the car came to a stop in front of what looked like the main entrance. His glasses came down from his face.
“Wait for me to come escort you,” he said.
The driver opened his door first. Manigault inhaled sharply, exhaling what sounded like frustration as he stood, leisurely walking around the car to open Vicki’s door. A well-manicured hand reached inside the car asking for her to join him. Luckily, she’d just gotten a mani and pedi herself as her hand slid into his, coming out of the car, to stand at his side. He wrapped her arm into his as they made their way into the main building.
Vicki learned something new about Manigault that day. She found out that he was Hollywood royalty. Everywhere he turned, people were bending over to almost kiss his ass. He held his head high, walking as if he didn’t see any of the little people as they passed making their way to a private dining area. This pushed Vicki to do the only thing she knew to do, play along. Whatever was happening here was in the now. She was being audition for a role she wasn’t certain she wanted to play.
Over lunch of rock crab claws, something drenched in champagne, and a dollop of mashed potatoes, she said nothing as they ate in silence. On occasion, she would look up at him in well placed intervals and smile. His face did not move the first time she did it. The second time she smiled at him, she added a wink.
It got a reaction out of him.
Brief, but small, Manigault’ s eyes smiled back at her.
Three young men, all waist staff, were gawking at them all throughout lunch. Someone snapped a photo which infuriated Manigault to no end, who raised his hand, and three managers materialized like ghostly apparitions awaiting his bidding.
“My lady friend and I value our privacy. Whoever it was who snapped the photo, I know you will assure me it will not be seen anywhere?” He asked the manager as he got to his feet. He held out his hand for Vicki to come to his side in a show of outrage by the staff’s actions.
“Of course, Mr. Hurley, we will take care of it,” the manager lied.
Vicki held his arm, lips pouting out like an upset child, looking at the manager. In a childlike voice, she asked him, “Manigault, they are not going to sell our pictures to the papa-pazzi are they?”
“Paparazzi dear,” he said to her.
“Oh yeah. Pappa-prazzi,” he said trying to mimic him.
Manigault looked at the manager, “See that they don’t.”
Vicki, to add fuel to the fire, pushed up on her right breast with her hand, as if to shift its attention toward the door as she took Manigault’ s arm squeezing it for support, she held her head high and walked out the door. She added a bit more swish to her hips, stomping her feet like a runway model until they reached the car.
Bottom in first, she swung her legs around as the driver closed her door. She waited patiently for Manigault to entered the other side of the car, turning to face her with a gigantic grin on his face. Vicki shuddered. In three months’ time, she’d never seen him so happy.
“Mr. Hurley, you do know that photo is going to be everywhere by 6 am. It will be all over social media and every one will be trying to figure out who I am,” she said to him. “It never dawned on me that you were the Manigault Hurley.”
“One and the same. I love my job at American Conglomerate and I am very good at it. I allow my family to handle the Hollywood stuff and I make public appearances with unknown pretty girls on my arm to keep the family’s name in the papers,” he said.
He’d told her enough, she understood.
“How many country clubs do you belong to?”
“Unfortunately, four. I visit one each week,” he said. “I love the months with five weeks because then I get a break.”
Vicki started to smile.
“Why are you grinning?”
“Because, if I get three nice wigs, I get a free lunch at an exclusive country club for the rest of the month,” she said with a wink.
“You’re good,” he told her with a larger smile.
“I thought you’d get a kick out of my Papa-pazzi comment,” she grinned.
“That was a nice touch,” he said patting her hand.
The drive back to the office passed in silence until they reached the front door of American Conglomerate. Manigault touched her hand.
“Ms. Vicki, you are a very astute young woman. I trust the details of our day will be kept in confidence?”
“Mr. Hurley, in my current position, everything I see, touch, feel or understand goes to my grave.”
“So, this is safe with you?”
“It will be as safe as the three wigs you hide under the driver’s seat for the next few Tuesdays,” she said, as she opened her door and stepped out into the Burbank sun.
Vicki did not see Hurley for the remainder of the day, but at 4:45, she’d trained her body to hold on, to make that last stop to the ladies’ room before she headed out at 5:10 each day to sit in traffic trying to get home. She returned to her desk to find a cupcake along with small black box on her desk with a diamond ring, nothing flashy, but classy in all the right ways. It had a simple note in bold script.
Keep it in your drawer for our once monthly first Tuesday outings. Enjoy your birthday. – Hurley
She’s passed the test. Whatever the test was, in Manigault’ s eyes, she’d passed it with flying colors. Once monthly outings. So once a month, on the first Tuesday, she was having lunch or making the rounds with him. Uncertain, yet sure as the corn on her left toe aching when it rained, she had just become something special and significant for Manigault.
Oddjob. That was the Bond character’s name with the bowler hat!
She’d been given an odd job herself. Once a month she would wear a pretty dress, don the ring and escort him on his rounds to ensure he got his name and the family brand on a social network site. Eyeing the ring a final time before securing it, she stood up and stuck it into the office safe for the next first Tuesday of next month. However, right now, she was ready to have a drink, celebrate her day of birth first with Taneeka, then her friends at home.
Vicki shrugged. Technically, Taneeka would be the third person she celebrated with since Konnie had been the first. Either way, it sure beat spending her birthday alone. In her heart, she knew much of his private life, he’d spent that way. If lunch or an outing once a month took some of the pressure off him to be a certain something for his family, she could do that for him.
Everybody needs some body.
She had just become a somebody for Manigault Hurley.
Oddly, I am okay with that.
Check out the new Amazon Author Central Pages at Audible (for Audio Books) + a couple of tips — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog
Originally posted on chrismcmullen: AUDIBLE AUTHOR PAGES Author pages created via Amazon’s Author Central now automatically feed into Audible.com (an Amazon company for audio books). You can see a screenshot of my Audible author page above. When I visit Audible’s home page, https://www.audible.com it shows me a few best sellers, but doesn’t offer any obvious…
In this entry into Zelda’s dairy, Scott arrives at Zelda’s office to steal her away for a quiet weekend. However, he failed to tell her the getaway was with his family.
The laughs are plenty, the moments tender, and the love overflowing as Scott & Zelda are just steps closer to their happily ever after.
Annihilation in movie theaters now.
Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X – a sinister and mysterious phenomenon that is expanding across the American coastline. Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscape and creatures, as dangerous as it is beautiful, that threatens both their lives and their sanity.
Based on Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac.
It was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later).
Okay, so I went and saw this movie. I was eager. Excited and ready to watch it.
Thirty minutes in I wanted to shoot everyone in the film. Natalie Portman is supposed to be ex-military. She is already secretive, and gets more so during the movie. However, many of decisions made by the characters are stupid, especially since they know they are dealing with an extra -terrestrial life form. I won’t say that self-preservation is primary to human nature, when most of these characters have death wishes.
The movie, although visually stunning, appeals the eyes but not to the grey matter.
Look forward to hearing your thoughts on this movie.
A Bear Shifter
Heather Simmons is excited to start a new job in Alberta, Canada, as a glaciologist. But when a minor accident leaves her trapped on a hiking trail overnight, she finds herself facing a burly mountain man and a pair of grizzly bears. From that moment forward, things could not get weirder.
Isaiah Arthur knows instinctively that Heather is his mate the moment he scents her clothing before heading up the mountain to rescue her. The sensation is confusing since she is obviously human, and converting a human to his species is strictly forbidden.
A rogue shifter takes Heather’s transition out of Isaiah’s hands, however. Isaiah is left with no choice but to take her home and find a way to inform her of her unintended fate, while fighting the intense need to make her his as soon as possible.
The North American governing body, the Arcadian Council, is not amused by the rare turning of a human, and chaos ensues as Isaiah races against the clock to bind his mate to him forever before someone steps in the way and takes the opportunity out of his hands.
Okay, Okay, I get it. You are attracted to her, but these people had sex in almost every chapter. Don’t get me wrong, it was hot and steamy, but there are a couple of points I have to make on this one.
He is six feet four and big. She is petite. So petite in fact that when she shifts into a bear, she is the size of a cub. Look at this image and allow the size difference between these two people to marinate in your mind.
Granted, big men, like to make love to petite women, however, some of the acts described in the book made me cringe. I mean it works, but the rate that man was going at Heather, she shouldn’t be able to walk. Especially going at it morning, noon and night. Yeah, think of Ariana Grande and Side to Side.
She would have been so sore, had he been as big as she intimated in the book.
That was my first issue.
My second, was the plot or lack thereof. It seemed like the plot was about her being scratched by a bear, as in werewolf folklore which forced her to become a bear, the very next day.
Then there was the war between the clans over water rights and beer making.
Our hero is friends with Austin from the warring clan, whose cousin was the rouge bear that scratched our heroine Heather.
Did I mention the bears communicate telepathically. However, the rouge bear with a penchant for scratching human women to force them to shift, isn’t that bad guy that comes for Heather. It is Austin’s cousin, Antoine.
WTF is Antoine? Where did he come from? Why is he so angry and wanting to snatch Heather and bite her?
Yeah, they bite and draw blood when they select a mate to bind them forever to each other, which becomes another plot point. Isaiah won’t bite Heather during sex because he claims she is mentally compromised in her heated need for his bear love stick. However the bite is the one thing that can stop the Bear Tribal Council from squirreling her off to kill her to protect their secret bear shifting lives.
In the end, she bites him.
The whole book could have been over by Chapter 12 if the cub had just bitten the big bad bear.
My rating for this one is kind of low.
I gave it three stars because the writing is good. It is the use of some common language which drags you out of the moment and makes the reader cringe.
The sex scenes are hot and frequent, and it kind of made me understanding the whole shifting genre. It was an interesting read.
Get it here on Amazon. Share your comments as well.
by Derek Haines on Just Publishing Advice: Createspace is coming to an end If you have published paperback titles using Createspace, it is time to think about moving your books to Amazon KDP. (Kindle Direct Publishing) There have been many problems with Createspace over the years. Most of the problems have involved unfair electronic payment options […]
On a rainy night in Georgia, Ezekiel Neary lights a fire in the old hunting cabin in the mountains where he, his two brothers and father would come to get away from it. Healing from a gun shot wound, the post traumatic stress has left him less than fit for human company. Company was more than he bargained for when a naked pregnant woman in labor shows up on his doorstep.
The roads are washed out and Aisha Miller has no choice but to run from her captor or risk bringing her child into the world in a dark cabin. Praying, she runs wildly through the woods, ending on a washed out road. The only glimmer of hope is a blue mailbox, partially rusted, halfway sticking out under the sparse moonlight.
The lone cabin sits on a hill, with two large windows looking down on her as if to pity her circumstance. Half crawling, the contractions are one minute apart and she prays that the figure in the window will be a Godsend versus the nightmare she just escape.
Join me as we head to Georgia for a new twist in the happily ever after of Ezekiel and Aisha.
It had been three days since he’d left her in the raggedy termite-eaten shack. Three soggy, wet days later, the fire was waning, but the rain was not. The last lonely embers sat in the fireplace beginning a slow death of the last log of dry firewood. If she didn’t move soon, it would also be her fate. I am not going to die here. My life is not forfeit.
The chain around her ankle was loose now that she’d lost a great deal of weight in the past month. A coldness seeped into her bones from the minimal heat generated by the last log of firewood warmth. As well as being skimpy on wood and coal, her captor didn’t feed her very much. The little food he did leave for her dining pleasure in her estimation, wasn’t fit for a dog to eat. The scraps were all she had to sustain her body and she rationed as much as she could, as often as she could. Most days she didn’t want to eat the constant diet of French fries, high sodium, and fatty foods, however, she was eating for two. Her captor had tried to better her meal choices once he saw the changes in her body. The bastard hadn’t been back in four days, and it had been raining for three.
The constant downpour for three days straight did not appear to be letting up. The leaky roof dripped rain onto the cold wooden floor which held craters of cracks and crevices allowing in varying insects and on one cold night, a black snake which came in from the rain to warm itself by the fire. The snake didn’t stay long. The shack was too cold for it. She too was cold. Naked. Cold. Scared. As much as she didn’t want to admit it, for the second time in eleven months, fear of her pending death in a shack in the butt crack of a mountain in Georgia sat beside her like a silent friend.
A pain shot low and deep across her belly.
“No, no, no,” she wailed as another pain hit her, crumpling her body. An involuntary moisture seeped from her body causing another wave of dread. Dirt-covered hands reached between her legs to feel where the pressure was building. In the low light of the shack, in her hand, she saw the yellow mucus.
The mucus plug has come out.
This was about to happen.
This is happening.
I will not die.
My life is not forfeit.
“Father, hear my prayer,” she said softly, setting to work to free herself.
The handful of yellow mucus she rubbed around the chain on her ankle, adding enough lubricant, with some effort, to wiggle the chain off her leg. Free. I am free. She stood, trying to get her legs under her, grateful, that when she’d been alone, meticulous exercise routines were enacted to maintain her muscle tone, just in case this day ever came.
She was naked as a newborn babe, but her newborn was not going to arrive in that cold prison where he’d kept her. On a hook on the wall hung an old, weathered rain slicker. Grabbing the fabric, she shook it hard, attempting to free it of any guests which may have taken up residence in the material. Pulling it over her head, she yanked the unlocked rear door open, stepping barefoot onto the splintered back porch. Grateful the arrogant prick didn’t bother to lock the door because he never thought she’d get free, she stepped off the porch and made her way around the house.
The rain hit her in the face like so many of her bad decisions which, thus far, had led her to this fate. My life is not forfeit. Cold fingers touched her belly, gripping it low as she set out at a steady pace, running down the hill on the driven pathway. Uncertain of where she was running. Not knowing where she was going. Not really caring. All she knew was that she had to get away.
Branches slapped her in the face as she ran through the dense foliage of the woods where the driven path came to a muddy end in a deep red clay pool. She lost her footage, slipping, protecting her belly by landing on her side, her face in the dirt, her skin soaked. Turning, scrambling, struggling to get back on her feet, the aggressive rain washed the dirt from her face, but the hood kept her head dry. The pain in her feet was all but ignored since they had gone numb some time ago; she got back up and continued to run downhill. Downhill meant a road should be coming up soon. The pains in her belly were intensifying, signaling she was almost out of time.
“Hold on, Baby,” she said, breaking through the foliage into a clearing.
I made it to the road.
The heavy rain was blinding her since there were no trees on the road to slow its torrential downpour. The sliver of moonlight which lit her way in the night gave no indication of city lights, a nearby residence, or a direction in which to turn. Closing her eyes, she dropped to her knees.
“Father, order my steps,” she prayed.
Rising slowly, a pull to her left suggested she go in that direction. Hands clutched around her belly, which was moving, squirming, and ready to release its incubating inhabitant; she knew she would be in trouble if she didn’t find help soon. A pain shot low, forcing her to stop running. She leaned down, holding her knees, trying desperately to catch her breath. Then another pain hit her a few minutes later.
The contractions were growing closer and closer together.
If her water had broken, she didn’t know. Everything was wet. The poncho had holes in it, but her head stayed dry. That was important. A wet head could mean death before she even had a chance to meet her baby.
Move, Girl. You have to move.
She picked up her pace, running a bit further only to discover more sections of a washed-out road. The gap in it was too large for her to clamber over in her current state. As fast as the water was washing down the mountain, the last thing she needed was to be swept away in the downpour.
I can’t go back. I can’t go back.
Tears started to well in her eyes.
I can’t believe He brought me this far…to leave me here.
Wiping away her tears, she stood in the rain looking around and surveying her surroundings when she spotted a glimmer of hope. A blue mailbox. A neon blue, half rusted mailbox which stuck out in the all the dark, wet nastiness of the night.
“Thank you, Father,” she said aloud.
A mailbox meant a residence. A residence meant potential safety. The mailbox was old, but not too rusted, which meant someone had been maintaining it. She turned towards the red dirt road which sat beside the mailbox. Gratitude shot up her leg at the dirt smoothness of the road versus gravel being used to stop the erosion of the driveway. The gate, which blocked the road, was fortunately unlocked as her cold, tired hands pushed at it, the metal squealing as the space widened just enough to get her body through the opening.
She closed it back once inside.
Follow the road. Follow the road. A voice repeated in her head.
Picking up her pace, she knew time was almost up and she needed, no had to make it to that front door. Whoever was home would be in for a big surprise when they answered the knock. She prayed whoever was inside would be able to lend her a hand.
A sharp pain hit her again, buckling her knees.
My life is not forfeit.
My life is not forfeit.
She began to crawl.
She crawled until the pain subsided, then she was back on her feet. In her head, she counted one one-thousand, two one-thousand, three one-thousand, four… continuing to run as best she could. She lumbered part of the way, cried the other part until she rounded the bend coming up the hill. A small cabin sat as if it were looking down at her, encouraging her to continue to its safety, the two front windows appearing as oversized eyes staring down, encouraging her to come to them. To her joy, one of the eyes had a little something in it which moved as if it were pacing.
“Thank you, Father,” she said again.
Running as fast as she could move, the lactic acid burned in her legs and her feet had no feeling, but that figure in the window propelled her forward. She reached the front porch, gasping for air as another pain hit her low. She growled in pain. A small balled up fist tapped at the door.
She hit it harder, banging it with the remaining shards of energy she had left, creating the familiar rhythm of “Shave and a Hair Cut.”
Warm air hit her face as the door opened, revealing a cozy fire and the smell of fresh bread and something delicious to eat. Her mouth watered at the scents, but pressing matters were at hand.
“What in the hell?” the dark figured asked as she pushed her way past him. She moved in front of the fire, pulling the tattered poncho overhead to reveal a dirty, scarred and nude pregnant body.
“Help me,” she said, dropping to her knees. “I have been kidnapped and held against my will by one of the Macklemore brothers. I don’t know which one, but the cops in these parts are lowdown bastards so don’t think of calling them for any aid. My contractions are two minutes apart. I escaped. I ran from wherever that shack is that he kept me locked in for the past…”
A contraction hit her again, forcing her body to fold over as she lay on her side. It took some effort, but she rolled over to lie on her back on the floor, her woman parts pulsing and pointing at him. The dark hair on a tiny head pushed out of the ever-stretching hole and the man had not moved.
“…ten maybe eleven months. Close the damned door! Stop staring at me and help me deliver this child!” she yelled at him.
He jumped, closing the door and running to her side.
“I need to boil some water,” he said, finally finding his voice.
“No, you need to come behind me, sit me up so I can push this child out of my baby maker,” she said with her hoarse voice.
The stranger moved behind her. The strong stench coming from her unwashed body could have been enough to gag a mule. Her hair was matted and filled with moving things which would infect everything in his home, but first thing was first. She was having a baby in the middle of his floor.
He held her upright as she bent her knees.
“On three, breathe then push…one, two, and three,” he said.
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Ellen is an unruly 20-year-old anorexic girl who spent the better part of her teenage years being shepherded through various recovery programs, only to find herself several pounds lighter every time. Determined to find a solution, her dysfunctional family agrees to send her to a group home for youths, which is led by a non-traditional doctor. Surprised by the unusual rules, Ellen must discover for herself how to confront her addiction and attempt self-acceptance.