Kicking up dirt with each passing mile, a car veers down the quiet back roads that have been swallowed by lucious woodlands in every direction. “We’d be better off out here if we actually knew where we were going, Avon” a woman lovingly calls out to her partner, sat beside him as he takes the vehicle through winding passageways. “The sign said this was the way into town- you’re just impatient” the man replies, “you’ve never really been good at that.”
“Are you trying to say I need to work on my patience?” the woman remarks, a quip Avon sarcastically responds to. “No, Penny” the man assures, his eyes returning to the woman for the moment the opening is afforded to him, “I’m saying you should work on learning how to read signs.” With a wink, the man looks back toward the road ahead, his enthusiastic face falling into a state of disappointment as his foot eases onto the brake, slowly guiding the vehicle to a stop.
Shaking his head, Avon throws the vehicle into park in the middle of the road, considering it safe to do so in light of having not seen another vehicle for what feels like hours by this point. Unclasping the buckle of his seat belt, Avon emerges from the car with his hand placed against its roof, half of his body remaining within the car’s confines. “Is that helping you?” Penny jokes, a thick layer of fog just ahead keeping their progression from moving forward.
“Not as much as I’d prefer it to” Avon replies, returning to his seat and pulling his car onto the side of the street. “I don’t want to take any chances on these roads” Avon explains, lending his decision support, “racers wouldn’t navigate an oval in fog… Neither will I.” With a sigh, Avon rests his head on the back of his seat, head dropping to the side to face Penny, who sits similarly to himself.
“I think we’re gonna be a little behind schedule” Penny mutters, swirling her fingers around each other. “We’ll make due” Avon responds, flashing the woman a smile whilst wearing a tired expression on his face, a full night’s worth of driving beginning to take its toll, “we always do.” Closing his eyes, the driver allows the dark insides of his eyelids to prompt his breathing to calm, hiding his disappointment in the situation at hand with composure.
“New town… New job… New people… We’re moving up in the world” Penny quips, receiving a chuckle from the man for her efforts. “Not as much of a new job as it is a hobby becoming a career, Pen” Avon replies, “and I’d put a lot of money on Remedy Hills being a bit smaller than Boston.”
“Fine, I’ll stand down” Penny responds with hidden laughter, head falling onto the man’s shoulder as her eyes close as well, “a lateral move at worst.” With a laugh, Avon repeats the prior statement, ‘lateral move at worst’ as he wraps his arm around the woman, making due with the cramped space. A minute passes, the couple remains tucked away in the front seat of their vehicle, taking a break from the sleepless night of the journey from the prior evening.
Out of the fog, the noise of an approaching vehicle grows nearer, the cracked windows of their car doors allowing for the sound of rubber stretching over asphalt to call for their attention. “What a brave soul” Avon chirps, watching the faint light of a large truck’s headlights begin to emerge from the thick clouds, the driver behind the wheel careful in their navigation through the winding, maze-like paths afforded to him.
“Keep going buddy, you’re almost there!” Penny cheers with a motivated, yet tired voice, watching the headlights continue forward until the truck’s body slowly emerges from beyond the unseen. With a thunderous slam, the headlights of the oncoming vehicle are suddenly thrown to the side, the sound of metal slamming into metal ringing throughout the tight roadways suggesting a massive crash to have just occurred.
Shouting expletives, Avon and Penny adjust to the events they had just watched unfold, the truck having vanished seemingly in the blink of an eye. Coming to his senses, Avon throws open his car door and bursts into a sprint, the site of the crash leaving behind little more than some twisted metal and shattered glass. His eyes looking in every direction, Avon suddenly overhears Penny’s voice, the fog disappearing almost on command as his eyes dart back to her.
Now with a clear scene to inspect, Avon’s head turns on a swivel, his eyes finally coming across a broken guardrail, the wound in the safety precaution leading to a steep drop into more undeveloped woodland. Hurrying to her husband’s side, Penny joins the man in peering over the edge, eyes stumbling across the view of two mangled vehicles crumpled into a heap at the very bottom, covered in dirt and debris.
Without a word, Avon drops to a seat, pushing himself over the edge until his feet make contact with the leaf-covered hill, the summer having begun to fade into autumn. Inch by inch, Avon slithers away from the asphalt, sliding down the wet leaf-covered hill before touching down at the bottom. In a sprint, the man hurries toward the site to check on the well-being of the drivers involved, Penny remaining at street level above, calling for the police.
Doing his part, Avon checks in the front seat of the accident-causing vehicle to find its interior unoccupied, not a soul at the driver’s wheel nor one in the front seat. Confused, Avon brushes it off as something with a reasonable explanation to be found further down the line. Racing toward the truck, Avon leaps onto what remains of its boarding platform to look into the little that remains of the passenger’s side window.
“Do you need-” Avon begins to call out on instinct, staring into the driver’s seat before stopping himself mid-call, jaw hanging at what he finds awaiting him. “Are they alive!?” Penny calls out, her husband unable to answer just yet, staggering away from the truck before walking around the hood of the car. “Avon!?” Penny calls out, her husband disappearing behind the skeleton of the vehicle, looking toward the ground with fear.
A trail of blood leading from the driver’s door and across the grounds, Avon stares in horror as he follows the trail with his eyes, losing sight of its whereabouts as it leads deeper into the thick forest. “We’re gonna need some help out here!” Avon shouts back upon his attention being called for a third time, swallowing the fear that follows him.
= Remedy Hills is created by Zachary Serra, all rights to the series belong to Zachary Serra and his entity of Pacer1 from the start of Season 1 onwards =
“I just want to forget about it, that’s all” Avon answers his wife’s question, placing a heavy box atop their newly-furnished kitchen countertop. “You can’t just tell me what you saw?” Penny replies, naturally curious toward her husband’s withholding of information. “No, I don’t want to tell you what I saw” Avon responds, slightly overwhelmed the moment his wife asks for a reasoning.
“Because what I saw is not something I’d want in the back of anyone’s mind, especially yours” Avon replies, returning for the doorway of his new home, surprised when he stumbles upon two men in overcoats approaching his door. “Can I help the two of you?” Avon inquires, watching the men casually reach into their pockets and remove a leather-covered casing.
“I’m Jake Mansoor, this is my partner Beau Donovan” the man introduces, “we’re investigating the crash you two reported. Do you have a second to answer a few questions?” Confused, Avon stares at the men silently for a moment, Penny walking onto the front step in the time between their introduction and her husband’s response.
“Detectives?” Avon replies, “I’m sorry, I thought this was just a car accident?” With a nod, Beau responds in kind, glancing toward the man’s wife before leaning in, proceeding to explain their presence to the man in a whisper. “I think deep down, at least the three of us saw the same thing down there” Beau replies, “I’m fairly certain you’re well aware that this isn’t just a car accident.”
With a nod, Avon looks back toward his wife, assuring her that everything is fine and directing her back to unboxing. “Can you please recite your story for us?” Jake requests, watching Avon lean against his car with his arms folded. “My wife and I were stopped on the side of the road because of the fog, and we saw the headlights coming on and then they disappeared” Avon begins, immediately interrupted by Beau upon conclusion.
“There was no fog in the area, sir” Beau remarks, Avon shaking his head with a loss to a reply adequate for the man’s suspicions. “There wasn’t any fog when the cops came, but there was when it happened” Avon explains, not lending favor to his cause when answering Beau’s following question. “When did the fog lift?” Beau inquires, Avon letting out a sigh before replying with his fishy, yet truthful response.
“Just a few seconds after the crash happened” Avon responds, watching Beau glance toward Jake out of the corner of his eye, visually expressing his disbelief in the story. “And you said the crash came from the side?” Jake follows, “like a straight-up side-swipe?” With a nod, Avon pushes himself further into a hole, Beau quick to lend skepticism to his claim.
“There was no road opposite the barrier… Just a small hill” Beau replies, “also, there were no tire tracks in the mud… So none of that checks out.” Hanging his uncoupled arms, Avon tells both detectives to stop their efforts. “Have the two of you just come here to get me to incriminate myself?” Avon questions, his inquiry matched with one of Beau’s own.
“Is there something you can be incriminated over?” the on-point cop questions, watching Avon’s look sour, his head leaning in as he responds with a sturdy declination. “No, detective” Avon replies, watching Beau remove a pad of paper from his pocket, taking down notes as Jake continues the questioning. “Did you remain on the road or did you climb down once you saw the crash site?” Jake asks, the man in question giving the same false response he had offered to officers prior.
“I stayed at the top of the road with my wife” Avon responds, quickly called out on his lie by Beau, prompting the man to look toward the heavens with a smirk before dropping his head into the outspoken officer’s direction. “We’ve got tracks in the dirt that I promise match your shoes at the hill leading to the scene” Beau responds, “stop feeding me nonsense.”
“Okay, I lied” Avon quickly replies, assuring the officers that such a lie was the only one he told, “everything else I’ve told you- as unbelievable as it all sounds- is nothing short of the truth.” Forcing the point of his tongue into the corner of his mouth, Beau asks Avon the obvious question left to raise. “Why did you lie?” the man asks, tapping the tip of his pen against the top of his notepad.
“Because then I’d have know-it-all’s like you breathing down my neck” Avon responds, his face inching closer to Beau’s with each syllable until Jake places his arm between the two. “That’s enough” Jake replies, taking a less-provocative route toward the questioning, keeping his hand suspended between the men until Avon returns his back to the side of his vehicle.
“We can’t arrest you for any of this unless we have probable cause, and that’s at the very least” Jake explains, “I don’t have a problem not trying to trick you into believing otherwise because I think you’re an intelligent man.” Clearing his throat, Jake- two decades-or-so older than Beau- lifts his arms into his pockets and faces Avon fully, leaning in and whispering a follow-up question.
“Tell me what you saw when you got to the bottom” Jake asks, Beau standing back with a snarky grin on his face. Looking into the corner of his eyes at Jake’s face, Avon gives into the man’s persuasion, leaving his answer simple, brief and vague. “I saw a long trail of blood leading somewhere I didn’t want to look” Avon responds, his stance on the matter convincing Jake enough to take it easy on him, “and since I didn’t want to look… I didn’t go look.”
With a nod, Jake backs off of the man as Penny walks out to the front step once more and calls out her husband’s name. “Are you almost finished?” Penny inquires, Avon looking toward the detectives, who nod to themselves as Beau flips his notepad shut. “We’ve got all we need for now” Jake calls back out, giving the nod to Avon, allowing him to return to his unpacking.
“Thank you for your cooperation” Beau calls back out toward Avon as the man returns to his home, earning a side-eye from the citizen as he returns to the newly-purchased sanctum. Ascending the steps, Avon directs his wife back inside, telling her not to pay an eye to the officers now returning to their vehicles. Stepping through the door, Avon places his hand against the doorknob and keeps it there, staring through the entrance of his home without the intention of closing it.
The engine in the cruiser outside roaring up, Avon stares at the younger man with the cocky smile on his face, Beau looking back at the new homeowner with a wink and nod. The vehicle disappearing behind a mirage of shrubbery and other lawn-related flora, Avon shuts the door, locking the knob immediately thereafter before moving on with his day.
“Beth Ovorre?” a male voice calls out, his inquiry toward the name of the woman stationed behind a desk at the back of her store following the chimes of the old-fashioned doorbell. “Whom may it conc-” the woman replies, looking up mid-sentence before stopping herself, head tilted to the side in confusion. “Avon King?” the woman responds, the man ahead of her losing his lost expression in favor of an enthused one, his arm extended in a greeting.
“It’s nice to meet you!” Beth replies, “I heard you were moving to Remedy Hills, but I didn’t expect to see much of you.” Amused, the man expresses his liking for how small the town is, considering himself lucky to have found a home nearby. “Not a whole lot to do around here, so you see the same faces fairly regularly” the woman explains, hands placed upon her hips, wondering what business the man has in her neck of the woods.
“Yes! So sorry!” the man blurts out, explaining that the day had been longer than he’d like for it to have been, “I’m actually trying to get ahead of my stay a little bit… Trying to find out first-hand thoughts on everything out here.” Intrigued, the woman assures the man that she’ll be able to answer any question he has for her in short order. “Give me five minutes to insert some of these check-out dates and I’ll throw you on a pot of coffee” Beth assures, returning to her desk.
“You’re the librarian?” Avon asks, watching an amused expression come over her, expecting such a response from most of those new to town. “Not typical for a college-grad to be working a job like this, huh?” the woman jokes, her light-hearted humor putting a smile on the man’s face. “I typically expect the young, pretty post-college women to be partying at bars when the evening comes to a close” Avon responds, “checking books back into their library pockets is a new one to see.”
Gesturing a bow toward the man, the woman takes pride in being a rarity, thanking him for the compliment. “Feel free to look around, help yourself to a few pages of a book if you please” Beth offers, Avon returning her bow with one of his own. Looking throughout the building, Avon finds shelf upon shelf adorned with vintage, hard-cover books as far as his eye can see, not a single book out of place from the alphabetically-categorized order they should be in.
Marveling at the proper order the pieces of literature have been placed into, Avon loses track of time, five minutes passing in what feels like a singular minute to him. Still at her desk, Beth watches the man roam through the building at every step, taking humor in how stolen by the collection he is. “Find a few thousand that you like?” Beth quips, ending the man’s introspective journey with a well-timed jest.
Throwing her hair into a messy bun, Beth stereotypically throws a pencil in to hold the gathering together, standing from behind her desk and approaching Avon with two cups of coffee in her hands. “I’ve never seen such a collection of books so well-maintained before” Avon exclaims as he takes the first cup into his hands, the handle pressing between his fingers. “I’m glad you appreciate books as much as I do” Beth replies, the man turning to her with a smile.
“I’m glad the people that come in here appreciate them as much as you seem to, too!” Avon remarks, the woman humored. “Yeah, this place is empty most days… Which I don’t mind by any means” the woman responds, “but it typically comes down to one of the elderly wanting to return a book in favor of a new one or school children coming in on an assignment.”
“The elderly I’d expect to take books out with care, but the kids?” Avon replies, looking toward a still-amused Beth. “The girls will come here to see the woman that sneaks them candy through the fence when they’re at recess” Beth explains, “and I’ve been told that I’m reasonably pretty before, so the boys are even easier to get to cooperate.” With a smile, Beth looks toward Avon, who nods to himself.
“If only I were a pretty girl in my mid-20’s” the man jokes, “I’d be on top of the world!” With laughter, Beth nods, pleading for Avon to keep dreaming of loftier aspirations. “You’re not too far off from the top of the world” Beth exclaims, walking back toward her desk as Avon follows her lead, “you’re one of the most-notable re-tellers in literature today.”
Shrugging off the accomplishment listing, Avon admits to just re-telling the stories of others through his own narrative. “I’ll get creative when there are gaps in something I can plug well-enough to stop from water leaking through” Avon explains, “but the rest of everything is always about imaging.”
Following along, Beth asks him to illustrate, challenging his ability to describe their conversation in different lights. Agreeing, Avon begins to unravel the descriptions he’d use for a horror-focus narrative, painting the importance of the way objects and scenery are described rather than the actions of those around them.
“I’d mention the dim light radiating from your desk-lamp, how the bulb appears to be on its last legs- though has likely appeared in such a way for years by this point” Avon begins, watching the smile form on Beth’s face as the warm mug presses to her soft lips. “If it were a drama, I’d paint the picture of how they reacted” Avon exclaims, adjusting course as Beth listens in with a raised eyebrow and focused sight, delight coming across her expression as the narrative is pushed onwards.
Chest lifting with each breath, the steam from the warm beverage rises from within the cup, curling over the brim and running across her face as Beth settles in with a smile. “I could take the story from the perspective of a narrator to my own” said confidently, “I’ve always liked switching courses when offered the opportunity, this would be no different… Just a change of pace from what people have come to expect from me.”
Clearing his throat, Avon leaves behind the possibilities at his disposal to the past, knowing what he wishes to do going forward. “So that’s why you’re staying in Remedy Hills?” Beth asks, eyes narrowing as she tries to read the man’s change in expression, “because you want the telling of the story to be solely your own?” Looking away, Avon stares into the quiet, yet bright streets of the town’s main road with a smile.
“Partially” Avon says with assurance, “I suppose you could say that’s a partial reason for it.” With an inspecting nod, Beth sets her drink back atop the table, feet lifting onto her desk as one leg crosses over the other, her next question already pre-selected. “What’s the other reason?” she asks, watching the smile come across the man’s face, Avon having waited for this question to be asked since before he loaded the first box out of his old home.
Without needing to put his answer into words, Avon allows a short smile to break away from behind his lips, Beth’s head nodding, her assumptions having been proven correct. Leaning to the side, Beth opens a drawer and removes a book entitled ‘Remedy’ from within her desk, the book one of many removed from the almost missable space in the wooden contraption she refers to as a desk.
“You knew right away, didn’t you?” Avon asks, the woman extending her arm toward Avon with the book still in her hands. “It’s not every day your whispered-about little town welcomes a big-time author” Beth responds, “but when it is… It’s always for a reason other than the clear lakes in the summer.”
“I should have come around before autumn got underway” Avon says, graciously accepting the book, Beth having been pleased at her correct assessment. “Have people come to expect this kind of thing? Avon asks, standing from his chair with the book under his arm, “someone coming in to write about the story that never was?”
Her eyes bouncing from one side of her head to the other, Beth replies with a contradicting ‘yes and no”, standing from her seat alongside the man. “We’ve come to expect people coming for the story, but not exactly staying for it” Beth responds, following the man to the front door, “you’re not gonna be welcomed in with open arms for at least a little while.”
“And why aren’t you welcoming me with a cold shoulder and day old coffee?” Avon asks, a charming smile adorned on his face, his feet stepping onto the sidewalk just beyond the doorframe. “Because I’m used to people coming here looking to write the same story time after time…” Beth replies, beginning to close the door in between her response, “...But I’m not used to people coming here looking to write a new one.”
With a smile, Avon’s head hangs low, Beth telling him to check back soon if he needs to just as the door shuts. “Welcome to Remedy” Beth concludes before shutting the entrance and locking the latch below, her dainty fingertips flipping the ‘open’ sign to ‘closed’ before her legs carry her back to the front desk.
Head sunken into his pillow, Avon’s eyelids part suddenly in the middle of the night, the urge to use the bathroom coming over him. With a groan, Avon lifts himself out of bed, telling his wife to go back to sleep through whispers as her body turns, sensing his departure from bed. “I’m just using the bathroom,” Avon says, pecking his wife on the head before descending into his dark, spacious home.
Hallway entrenched in the pitch black at every spot left untouched by the light in the woods every other few feet, Avon continues to stammer further into the home with his sights on the end of the hallway. Groggy, the man wipes away the crumbs from his eyes and turns to face the bathroom, hand held out toward the dark interior before his attention is stolen, eyes darting to his front door, where he overhears a loud thud resonating from his patio.
His need to use the bathroom disappearing, Avon’s actions become motivated by curiosity, his eyes falling onto the paths through his hallways that lead to the front door. Every other few steps pulling him into the darkness of the hallway, the steps that are not taken plunge him into harsh moonlight, every shadow on the way being that of his own until he reaches the main foyer.
Stepping into his sandals, Avon peers through the peephole before jolting back in surprise, fear taking over automatically the moment he finds something other than a vacant front porch. Careful not to make a noise, Avon lets his hand fall from over his mouth, a deep breath leaving his lungs before he prepares himself to lean forward once more. Pressing his eye to the hole, Avon’s mouth falls when he acknowledges what he discovers staring back at him.
A sigh of relief coming over, Avon smiles at the sticky note with a smiley face drawn in pen staring back at him, taking the gesture as a joke by his wife. With a subtle nod, Avon begins to back away from the viewfinder, feeling a sense of overwhelming dread looming over him, his heart telling him to give the slot another look. Doing as instructed, Avon leans in yet again, staring at the sticky note for an additional few seconds.
Carried by the wind, the sticky note loses its grip on the front door and flies off, revealing the sights hidden behind it the entire time. Parked on the sidewalk directly outside his front door, a van awaits the man’s attention, its sliding doors left open to provide the man a look at a figure sat nonchalantly in the cabin. Feet pressed against the asphalt, a figure draped in all black remains before Avon’s eyes, the only noticeable feature to his appearance being an animated smiley face mask.
As Avon pushes the door open, the man having awaited his appearance pulls his legs into the cabin, closing the door behind him as the van speeds off into the night, leaving nothing but dust in its wake. Prepared to run after the van screaming for attention, Avon’s attempts are thwarted the moment he looks down at what remains left for him on his porch, a sick gift given to him by those responsible.
From the end of his driveway to the top of his patio stairs, a trail of fresh blood and gore leads to Avon’s feet, the sights capped off with a severed index finger wrapped in a sticky note. Without rational thought, Avon’s mind tells him to discard the scene in an effort to clear his name, already believing the detectives from earlier to find him guilty. Putting the severed finger atop his mailbox, Avon hurries to the foot of his patio, turning for the flower bed and powering on the hose.
In a lapse of judgment, Avon sprays down the trail of blood, allowing the red, runny liquid to be carried off with the water down the street for a few feet until reaching the gutter. Patio, driveway and lawn soaked, but clean, Avon turns the handle on the hose and watches the water dribble out of the end, dripping onto the dirt beneath his feet.
Shaking his head, Avon places his hand atop his banister and pulls himself up the stairs, unwrapping the sticky note around the finger and reading it beneath the moonlight. “Don’t ask, don’t tell… Happy writing!” the note reads, another smiley face drawn at the very bottom. Staring back toward the end of the street, Avon shakes his head in disbelief, tossing the finger in the trash and the sticky note into the flower bed.
Rubbing his eyes, Avon walks back inside his home and turns toward the street, giving the view outside another glance before his door shuts. In the quiet night, a few seconds of silence ensue, crickets chirping around the neighborhood until the deadbolt locks, calling it an end to the night.
== Remedy Hills ==