Angrily tossing the comforter off of his body, Avon rolls out from under the blanket and guides himself out of the bedroom, his body refusing to tire out, keeping him from falling into a badly-needed slumber. Toes pressing against the cold wooden floorboards, Avon’s mind only directs his body toward one thing, the clutter of overturned furniture and scattered belongings throughout the home taking a backseat to the need for a cup of coffee.
Through the darkness, Avon stretches his hand toward whatever remotely resembles a coffee pot, hoping his fingers would eventually stumble across what he looks for. In a moment of surprise, Avon’s knuckles brush up against something smooth, the reaction of whatever was grazed being to ring with an almost clattering-like sound. Pulling his hand back, Avon presses his knuckles to the fabric of his shirt, staring in the direction of what made the sound, unable to see it.
Taking a single step back, Avon continues to peer into the darkness, almost inviting whatever it is concealed behind the vail of uncertainty to present itself. Now in a standoff, Avon takes a step to the side, pressing his hip against the counter with his head slightly leant to the side, the window just before his face allowing the moonlight peering through blinds to cover his face.
Holding his breath, Avon pulls his hand to his chest and presents it forward, his arm gradually stretching further out into the unknown. With his knuckles pressing against the source of the sound, the clattering begins once more, this time, striking much less fear into Avon’s heart than it had the first time. Now unphased, Avon reaches through the thin uncertainty and wraps his fingers around what he takes into his hand, a simple ceramic plate being held in the light before his face.
Rolling his eyes, Avon reaches back into the darkness and fumbles around for a short moment, finally pulling a coffee pot and accompanying mug into his hands. His finger pressing down onto the button, Avon leans over the counter, patiently waiting for the machine to warm up, using his mug to fill the contraption with water. Filter loaded with grounds, Avon starts the brew, patiently passing the time by looking out into the quiet street just ahead.
Anxious, Avon’s paranoia returns, his breathing getting heavy as he recalls the sights of the van speeding off into the night, the imagery remaining plastered in the base of his skull. Looking to the palm of his right hand, Avon presses the tips of his fingers toward the base, dragging them along his skin to create a rubbery-sound. Closing his eyes, Avon listens to the coffee begin to drip into the pot, his mind recalling what the touch of the rubbery garden hose felt like in his hand.
As coffee continues to dribble into the pot, every new drip takes on a different sound, the thud-like pitters no longer resonate from within, now replaced with a splashing drop. Recalling the sounds of the water splashing over the stairway and asphalt-covered drive, Avon continues to dive further into the memories he would otherwise wish to forget about.
With a soft grunt, Avon pulls his eyes open and stares at the lip of the sink, its porcelain finish illuminated by the moonlight, time being rendered nothing of importance on the man’s mind. Letting the air leave his lungs, Avon lets out an almost whistle-like hum while the machine beside him audibly spurts out the final droplets. With a nod, Avon takes the pot off its place on the machine and pours himself the cup, taking the beverage without any sweeteners or flavors.
Leant against the counter, Avon presses his hands against the mug, feeling the warmth flood his upper body as the smooth drink runs down his throat. Feeling himself calming with every breath that leaves his lungs, Avon stares off at the dark interior of the house and flips on a light, bathing the living room and kitchen in a sudden yellow glow. With a nod, the man places his drink on the counter and begins walking around the adjacent rooms, returning everything to their original positions.
Cushions being returned to the couches and chairs being stood upright once more, Avon glances toward the end of the table he typically prefers to write at, the empty space ahead of his chair caused by the seizing of his laptop as evidence. Reminded of the situation he remains in, Avon loses the motivation to return the house to its normal state, allowing a few loose papers in his hands to fall to the floor, spreading out upon impact like a sad supernova.
Shaking his head, Avon returns to the kitchen with a few candy wrappers in his hand, stepping on the pedal of the garbage can before dropping the trash in. Returning to the living room with his cup of coffee only inches away, Avon suddenly has an epiphany, his head slowly staring back at the can he had just emptied his trash into before his eyes widen.
Disarming the alarm system, Avon exits the home through the front door and hurries down the small staircase to the stone pathway below, feet carrying him to the corner of his driveway nearest the two-car garage. As if he were in the desert and the trash can held the only source of water for miles, Avon reaches for the lid and throws it open, allowing the hard plastic cover to slam against the iron garage door exterior.
Looking in, Avon finds a perfectly clean, yet-to-be-used garbage bin looking back at him, not a bag of trash, nor an amputated finger in sight. His eyes darting back and forth, each end of his neighborhood street coming into view, Avon runs back into the home, closing the door behind himself and flipping the lights off. Hands spread against the back of the door, Avon fights to regain control of both his composure and his breath, head instinctively darting to the calendar on his fridge.
His eyes throwing their attention toward any random spot with writing on it, Avon eventually comes to find relief when his unorganized scramblings hobble toward one day in particular. “Trash day” Avon reads aloud with relief, a sigh escaping his lips as his wife staggers into the kitchen. “What are you doing!?” Penny asks in a gravelly-tone, the man having slid against the fridge to the floor, now sitting in the middle of the kitchen with a smile on his face.
“I couldn’t sleep” Avon responds, still unable to wipe the smile away from his face, still breathing happily, “figured I’d come in here and put everything back the way it was.” Flipping the lights on, Penny reminds the man that not a single light is on in the home, a statement Avon takes no concern in. Shaking her head, Penny takes a seat beside her husband on the kitchen floor, Avon wrapping his arm over her shoulder and giving her a kiss on the forehead.
“We’ll be okay” Avon says aloud, holding his wife’s head close as she closes her eyes, hoping to fall asleep with her husband’s arm as the pillow. “I know” Penny replies, the man looking toward the moonlight just beyond the kitchen window with a smile.
= 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 =
Frustrated, Beau takes a stack of folders in his hands and slams it against the surface of his desk, his partner remaining unphased just ahead of him, continuing to read through reports as if nothing had even happened. “You should get control of your anger” Jake quips, Beau’s eyes trailing toward the man, his posture speaking to that of a man annoyed with his current predicament.
“Keep your eyes on your own work” Beau quips, pulling a folder from the unorganized stack and reading the contents contained within. Shaking his head with a smile, Jake does as instructed, continuing to search throughout the various pieces of loose documents in hopes of finding something of value. Resting his elbow atop the desk, Beau continues to cycle through the hill of evidence without any luck.
“Those papers aren’t a woman, Beau… You can’t just look at ‘em and leave” Jake jokes, Beau letting the one paper already between his fingers fall back to the pile, hands pressing against his face. “We already have the guy, I don’t see why we can’t call him into the station and grill him” Beau explains, Jake stating the case already previously stated multiple times before.
“We have nothing to question him about other than that his story doesn’t line up” Jake explains, “unless we can say for certain that he had done what he’s accused of, we've got nothing of value.” Hands leaving his face, Beau presses his fingers together and lets the side of his hands slam into the desk, his eyes firmly resting upon his partner.
“He said a truck caused the crash, the air was foggy and the crime was over before he even hit the bottom” Beau explains, “how can any reasonable man not, at the very least, find that irrevocably suspicious?” Shaking his head, Jake admits that he doesn’t know, but still refuses to pin anything on the man. “There was a truck found at the scene, it could have been foggy and this killer may work fast” Jake explains, “there are still open holes that we haven’t filled yet.”
Returning his hands together atop the mountain of documents in front of him, Beau asks his question once more, arguing it to be potentially case-changing. “Why can’t we bring him in and ask him the questions ourselves?” Beau recites, “we’ve got holes in the case- let him fill them up for us!” A piece of paper already resting between his thumb and index finger, Jake relents, allowing the document to fall back to the surface of the desk, giving Beau what he wished for.
“Let’s bring him in then, kid” Jake responds, leaving his seat and picking his jacket up off the back of his chair, an enthusiastic Beau following the man shortly thereafter.
“I’ll be back shortly” Penny says to her husband, leaving the man’s side in the middle of the psta section of the grocery store, Avon left behind the end of the shopping trolley. With a shrug, Avon glances back toward his list, eyes trailing down the long receipt, fingers pressed against the paper to extend the length of it, allowing for every listed item to fall before the man’s eyes.
Heavily focused on planning his route around the store, a looming fear comes over the man in an instant, the hairs on the back of his neck rising while his hands slowly lower to the handles for which the cart is steered from. Not wanting to turn his head, Avon continues to keep his face forward, eyes planted firmly on the end of the hallway until his pupils dart to each corner of his eyes.
One hand removing itself from the lengthy sheet of paper, Avon begins to return his palm to the handles atop the trolley, turning his head slowly to look back at whatever is prompting this unnerving reaction. Confused when he turns around, Avon lifts his eyebrow, eyes finding a stranger standing in the middle of the aisle, a trolly of his own before him, simply staring at Avon with a disgusted look.
“May I help you, sir?” Avon asks, refusing to show fright, however, also refusing to back away from his ground. “You’ve got a lot of balls coming to Remedy Hills with a pen in your hand” the stranger replies, his eyes widened, spread to an almost ghostly-extent. “It’s actually a grocery list” Avon responds, playing equally dumb as he does sarcastic, watching the look of disgust on the stranger’s face grow more sour.
“Do you think you’re funny?” the stranger asks, finally changing his stance, slowly moving his cart forward as Avon grows more defensive, ready to throw hands at a moment’s notice. “I think I’m rather amusing at times, sure” Avon replies, watching a feigned smile come over the stranger’s face, “more importantly, I think I’m rather able to lay you out where you stand if you keep getting too close for comfort.”
With that statement, the stranger stops his progression, the front of his cart practically right next to the back of Avon’s in terms of proximity. “You and your wife don’t belong in Remedy” the stranger explains, Avon’s smile lighting up the store as he shrugs off the suggestion, assuring the man of his false assumptions. “I’m only making myself more comfortable here every day” Avon explains, “so if that threatens you, my suggestion is that you back away slowly before I make you regret it.”
“Is that what you told that truck driver on the road a few days ago?” the stranger asks, Avon’s eyes narrowing as yet another smile breaks through his lips, the stranger refusing to show the fear in his body. “No, that’s not, because I didn’t kill him” Avon responds, “but the problem for you isn’t that I’m innocent of such a crime… It’s that the police in your town’s own department think that I’m capable of it.”
Getting more comfortable with every second the conversation carries on, Avon begins to get enthusiastic about the debate, having found his opponent to be without the skills capable of standing a chance. Moving one foot in front of the other, Avon slowly approaches the stranger, who backs away until he no longer can, pressing against the shelves of the store’s aisle until Avon’s nose can nearly touch his own.
“If I were you, I’d be very afraid of making an enemy out of me” Avon explains, “if you make me feel like I need to take matters into my own hands, I’ll be a suspect in a murder I will very much deserve to be a suspect in.” Lip quivering, the stranger continues to pull away, his feet pressing against the bottom-most shelf as his hands try to push him further up the structure to something resembling safety.
Turning his head to the side, the stranger watches two men stand by the pair with their hands in their pockets, his hope having been restored. “Mr. King, we’d like to ask you and your wife some questions back at the station” Jake explains, Avon’s face turning toward the pair of officers standing in the aisle, hands releasing the collar of the stranger’s jacket, allowing him to run off.
“How much of that did you hear?” Avon asks, his confidence turning to defense, Jake promising the man that they heard every bit. Looking back to Beau, Avon watches the man’s face turn sour with disappointment, having disliked the accidental confession of innocence. Seeing this reaction from the younger cop, Avon’s enthusiastic smile comes back over just as Penny returns to the aisle, inquiring of any issues.
“We just need to answer some questions back at their hub” Avon replies, giving Jake a nod, the older officer looking back to Beau, who turns around with his head shaking, the exit of the store being the first sight taken by his eyes.
“Can you behave yourself?” Jake asks, he and Beau standing outside of a pair of interrogation rooms, Beau promising to go in with as level-headed of a mind as he can. “I’m serious here, Beau” Jake responds, Beau adjusting his posture to appear more professional, “we’ve already got the guy thinking we want him behind bars, there’s no reason to make him feel like the system is rigged for him to lose.”
Hands held out, Beau promises to remain professional, reminding Jake that he wouldn’t have been let on the force otherwise. “I don’t think the person that assigned you to this department expected a case like the old one to pop back up” Jake replies, “I know you’re close to it, which is why we’ve kept it under the radar, and I want to make sure you will keep it that way.”
“For the third time, I promise to remain professional” Beau responds, a nod of approval coming from Jake, who turns to enter the room with Penny in it. Watching Jake close the door behind himself, Beau’s eyes travel back to Avon, seeing the man sitting at the opposite end of the table, awaiting the first sight of an on-duty detective. His composure kept in check, Beau pushes the door to the interrogation room in and stares at Avon before anything else.
“You gonna put the smoking gun on me now, or is that gonna happen after I leave the station?” Avon asks, leaning forward with a smile, “y’know… As a free man.” Understanding himself to be subject of an attempted lure, Beau calmly steps up to the table and has the seat opposite Avon. “Why were you coming in so early in the day?” Beau asks, hands folded atop the table, watching Avon get settled into his chair, attitude dropping to one more cooperative.
“I like to wake up early in the morning” Avon replies, keeping his answers as impossibly rearrangeable as he can, “it was preferable to travel during the early sunrise than it was just after the prior sunset.” His head nodding, Beau opens a folder beside him and pulls out a collection of notes, Avon peering away instinctively, intriguing Beau.
“What’s with that?” Beau asks, Avon looking to him out of the corner of his eye, gesturing for the man to specify his question. “What’s with the head tilt?” Beau asks, Avon shrugging his shoulders at the recitement of the question, left arm placed atop the back of his chair. “I don’t want to give you any reason to think I’ve planned some sort of answers out to make myself look innocent” Avon responds, his answer surprising Beau, “my story may sound crazy- but it’s true.”
His jaw opened, Beau points his tongue to the corner of his mouth, just beyond his K-9 teeth as he reads what’s been written on the paper. With a nod, Beau returns the paper to the folder and approaches the door, tossing the folder onto the table just overlooking his room before returning empty handed. “Not a big note guy?” Avon jokes, having turned his head to find the man’s empty hands, Beau returning to his seat, expression unchanged.
“You can face me now” Beau replies, Avon looking back at the man with his smile fading, an apologetic expression coming over him. “You can use the notes, I didn’t mean to make you feel like-” Avon begins, cut off by the man conducting the interview, Beau assuring the man opposite him that the decision was made purposefully. “If you don’t need a cheat sheet, neither do I” Beau responds, hands unballing from a loose fist and being placed firmly atop the empty table.
“First question… Tell me your story again” Beau replies, Avon feeling like he and the officer are on a similar page for the first time since their unpleasant introduction.
“And that was where your involvement ends?” Jake continues, Penny assuring the man of the accuracy in her story. “Avon went down, looked at everything and then told me not to follow” Penny responds, blonde-highlighted hair falling over her shoulders and ending somewhere beneath the surface of the table top, “so I called police and he climbed up the hill as I did so.”
“And all of this happened in the fog?” Jake asks, his pen tapping against the cold table’s surface, allowing the clicking sound of plastic tapping to run through the room. “No, the fog started lifting pretty quickly once Avon reached the break in the barrier” Penny clarifies, “before that, he was just walking into the fog without really knowing where he was going.”
With a sigh, Jake places his head in his hand, elbow propped up on the table as he runs the cap of his pen over numerous lines of dialogue transcribed onto the paper before him. “Has he told you anything about that day since then?” Jake inquires, lifting the cap of his pen from the table, pressing it against the tip of his thumb, “preferably what he saw down there?”
Her lips puckering into one direction, Penny shakes her head in declination. “All he said was that it was something he wouldn’t want me to know about” Penny replies, watching Jake’s head nod, “if it’s as bad as you’ve led me to believe it is, then he’s probably right.” With a deep breath, Jake nods one more, using the cap of his pen to tip the folder shut, allowing the light manilla cover to return to covering the papers.
“Where did it lead?” Beau asks, Avon’s face lowering the moment the question is asked, his hands having been laid-flat against the table much like Beau’s has. “I don’t know” Avon responds, Beau’s face showing the expression of frustration, a gesture which Avon had come to expect. “I’m not kidding” Avon remarks, Beau’s face lowering into one of intrigue the more Avon speaks, “I know it led away from the truck and into the woods… Deep into the woods.”
“You didn’t look for where it led?” Beau asks, “you didn’t think there was a chance this guy was still alive and needed help?” His head lifting from the table, Avon looks Beau in the eyes, both men beginning to understand exactly what Avon follows up by putting into words. “We both know there was too much blood running down there for that guy to have lived” Avon replies, holding back the grimace of horror that threatens to loom over his face, “I didn’t want to look.”
Nostrils flaring, Beau struggles to find other routes to lead the conversation toward, looking Avon in the eyes, and finding nothing but genuinity in them. “Was it difficult to go back to unpacking like nothing had ever happened?” Beau inquires, Avon’s head shaking in refusal. “Why not?” Beau asks, watching the unamused smile coming over Avon’s face, his obvious efforts to keep his sadness from coming over his expression remaining obvious.
“I didn’t see where that blood trail led” Avon responds, looking off into the corner of the room with his head still shaking, “no matter what I saw at the scene, I kept reminding myself that I didn’t have to see wherever that trail led to.” Eyes lowering to his own hands, Beau becomes the first of the two to remove his palm from the table, returning them to his side before picking himself up from his seat. “You’re free to go” Beau says, not giving Avon another look as he leaves the room.
“He’s literally the only person we can pit at the crime scene” Beau explains, Jake’s confused response bringing need for clarification. “I thought you just said your opinion was changing?” Jake asks, Beau assuring the man his opinion has shifted. “I’m not certain he did it anymore, that much is clear!” Beau replies, leaning back in his seat as his hands dance through the air with his every word, “but there’s only one guy we can put on that ground at that time, and guess who that is!”
Head hung in disappointment, Jake nods to himself, considering his options as Beau reminds the man that there’s only one way to shift any blame. “If neither of the King’s are the ones responsible, we need to find a second person to shift the blame onto” Beau explains, “until we can prove something like that, Beau is still guilty in my eyes… I don’t know how or why he could have- or would have- done it… But he’s the only person that could have.”
“We have to go back” Jake responds, lifting his head from being directed at the ground to being directed toward his partner, shoulders shrugging apologetically. Beau’s expression shifting, the younger man finally accepts the awaiting truth before giving Jake a nod of approval. In silent agreement, Jake pats the top of Beau’s desk before taking his jacket from the back of the chair, throwing it over his shoulders and calling it a night for himself.
Beckoned for by a knock at the door, Avon takes himself from one side of the house to the other, his thumb pressing against the latch on the doorknob to answer who stands on the other side. “Greetings” Beth exclaims, her presence at his door surprising Avon, “I heard you guys were taken down to the station earlier today… If everything alright?”
With a nod, Avon explains that it was nothing more than routine questioning. “I figured as such” Beth replies, “I have to be honest, I was really worried when they came into the library asking where you were the whole day.” With a nod, Avon brushes off the reasoning and simply offers his appreciation for the woman’s help. “What masked guy were they talking about?” Beth asks, her following question surprising Avon and confusing Penny.
His mouth opening without offering up a response, Avon stands in the doorway silently, Penny looking toward her husband as Beth watches on, both concerned and confused. Calling her husband's name, Penny inquires about the masked man Beth is referring to, Avon being forced into refusal. “The officers said they found someone watching over the property and he ran off when they called for him… Officer Donovan- of course- thought the man was me” Avon responds, answering poorly.
“There was a man stalking our house?” Penny asks, her eyes widened, body stricken with concern as Beth begins to worry her concern to only be bound to rise. “That’s what the detectives think, and they’re monitoring it” Avon replies, trying his best to brush off the instance as nothing more than a nuisance. “I’m sorry, are you suggesting that I should have faith in the same people trying to frame you for whatever you saw on that first night?” Penny asks, now concerning Beth.
“Was there something more than a car crash out there?” Beth asks, her eyes trailing toward Avon, the same being the case for Penny, both women now looking to Avon for answers. “Yeah, there was more to that crash… A bit more” Avon responds, watching Beth’s eyes roll with concern, her words demanding the couple get a small bag of clothes ready. “The town is hearing about your encounter quickly” Beth explains, “pretty soon, you’ll have a town full of stalkers, and not just a weird kid in a mask.”
“We’re not letting the locals run us out of town, Beth” Avon explains, suggesting the couple can handle any amount of people that come their way. “Don’t be stupid, I’m bringing the two of you back to my place” Beth explains, snapping her fingers in front of Avon’s face to gather his undivided attention. “Furthermore, this wouldn’t be a little group arguing with you in your front yard” Beth explains, “that story you’re writing? Yeah- it would be a whole town deciding to make you the killer.”
His head shaking, Avon eventually comes to his senses, recalling all of the names thrown into the hat of multiple murders throughout the years, all still associated with such cases for better or for worse to this day. With a sigh, Avon turns to his wife and gives her the nod of approval, small suitcases being loaded with clothes as Beth leaves to make room in her car.
Approaching his computer, Avon unplugs the cords from the wall and loads his equipment into a carrying bag, his eyes catching the confusing sights a few feet away, just beyond the sliding glass patio door. Alone in the living room, Avon steps onto his porch with confusion, eyes widening the moment he crouches down to lift a present left for him below.
Wrapped in a bow with a note attached, Avon looks at the severed finger laid on its side now placed in his own hand. Unfolding the note, Avon reads what has been left for him with horror, his eyes returning to the treeline, where a glowing smiley-face mask disappears into the depths of the woods, taunting him in his worst hour thus far. “Be more careful with discarding your presents” the note reads, eliciting dread from Avon, “it could make all the difference, new guy.”
Standing upright, Avon stares out into the forest as Penny rounds the corner, looking out at the patio where her husband looks off into the night sky. “Honey, what’s wrong?” Penny asks, Avon continuing to look toward the forest unphased as his wife utters the question, Beth just walking through the door as Avon turns around, confident in his posture. “We’re being watched” Avon replies, his wife nearly dropping the handle to the suitcase as Beth lets out a fearful breath.
== Remedy Hills ==