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THE STALKING MONSTER – HIDDEN EVIL
Jean Riles, at age fourteen, found herself alone. Which is how it had been her entire life. Nothing new. At a very young age, way too early in life for anyone, she quickly learned how to survive in a cruel world. It has always been assumed people were supposed to be compassionate, especially your parents. She believed this, but was quickly proven wrong by the atrocities she had endured in her adolescent life.
Jean never had the mindset of other kids. She wasn’t sure what her deal was; all she knew was she yearned for more. She often found herself alone talking to an empty room as she relived her past. It was the tomb where all the evil she had endured had originated from. Families have secrets, some so horrific if the world knew they would never believe them to be true. Her mother and father, Roland and Leslie, were heavy drinkers. They were also into swinging. Free love was the ‘in’ thing of their age. Having multiple partners was the, ‘make love, not war’ era. This was the one secret people knew all too well. Jean’s mother had showed up at her school on many occasions so drunk she could barely walk. Her mother’s bullshit made Jean the trash of the school. Children, like adults, were evil, so evil at times Jean wished she could die and escape the horrid life she had been born into.
A memory Jean was unable to escape was how her mother came home from the airport one day drunk off her ass. She decided to greet soldiers who were coming home from a tour in Vietnam. Her mother bragged how she and other’s would spit in the soldier’s faces while calling them baby killers. Her parents hatred for the military came from when Roland was thrown out of the Navy for lighting a stray harbor cat on fire, burning it alive. He would also bring aboard contraband of graphic magazines, portraying men raping and torturing women. Illegal in the States back in those days, but, so was everything Roland did. Jean was sickened at all the stories she had heard, but none as much as the one her mother told the day of the military homecoming. Leslie, still on her high about her bad behavior at the airport, bragged about her back street abortion just a few weeks prior. There’s no real way to know how or why her brain worked as it did. In her mind, she couldn’t make the connection or see her own hypocrisy of having killed her own baby, yet screaming ‘baby-killer’ at the soldiers coming back home from hell. Jean had often questioned (to herself) if Roland was even her real father. On many occasions she had prayed for him not be.
Roland was born a troubled individual, as was his twin brother, Glenn, who never came around unless he was low on money for drugs. One day after school, Jean came home and Glenn was the only one there. She remembered him grabbing at her. Glenn went as far as to throw her on the floor and ripped her shirt off. Jean fought him and ran out of the house crying. She ran into the nearby woods where she stayed for the next four hours in hiding. When she finally made it back home, her father took off his belt and beat Jean until he drew blood. He made it very clear she had better not say a word to anyone about what had happened to her. The following week she wore jeans everyday to school to cover the bruises. Jean thought, if ever a back street abortion would have been for the better, neither Roland, nor Glenn, should have been allowed the chance at life.
By the age of ten, Roland had become a problem, leaving his parent’s home for the solitude of the outdoors, where no one would, in his words, ‘fuck with him,’ or so he thought. It wasn’t uncommon for Roland to sleep many nights in the ditches of Ames, Iowa and it earned him the nickname, gutter rat. In his early teens he wore his dirty blonde hair slicked back with more than ‘a little dab’ of Brylcreem. He tried for the ‘clean-groomed’ look, with his high cheek bones and, had he chosen a different path in life, it would have made him the town pretty boy. Though too young for it, he found a back alley ink guy and had etched on his forearm a tattoo of the numbers ‘666’ and he proclaimed how badass it made him feel. His first sexual experience came at the age of fourteen, when his father shared a hooker with him. That, to Roland, was bad ass.
Roland, on many occasions, would bring home a ‘piece of strange’ and engage in loud raunchy sex within earshot of his wife and daughter. Leslie, remained silent and would often watch from time to time. She generally let her husband do whatever it was he wanted, even when he was violent toward their own daughter. On many occasions, Roland, would use his daughter’s body as an ashtray. Jean still wore the horrid scars as proof and a grim reminder. There were times when she would be sitting at the kitchen table with homework assignments, Roland would walk by and either put a cigarette out on her shoulder blade (where it was less conspicuous) or, dump his ashtray over her head. Roland would always smirk after his hateful actions. In some sick way he got off on abuse, no matter who the victim was. The smell of cigarette smoke always made Jean sick, even later in life. It was why she didn’t bat an eye when, in the summer of 1966, she saw her father’s picture plastered all over the television stations. They all told of a massive man hunt for her father, Roland. It brought her a little bit of peace as she knew his days of terror would soon be over. Jean knew he would turn back into the gutter rat he was known for as a kid because, indeed it was where the police eventually found him. The big bad 666 murderer cowering away and hiding from real men with guns and badges, in a dirty ditch. Sad to say though, she knew it would be too late for the two women he raped and murdered . However, it was the confession he gave later is what really shook the town of Ames, Iowa.
The Murders of 1966
One hot summer night in late June, just outside the town of Ames, Iowa, Roland Riles sat patiently in the parking lot of a secluded gas station off US Highway 30, as he waited for his next ‘opportunity.’ Roland had always been an opportunist and he wanted the good life, even if it meant at the expense of others. One little piece of the good life Roland managed to get on his own, was his 1957 Ford Fairlane. Having saved every nickle of his pay from the Navy, it was the one thing he could afford to give himself as a treat, after having been given the boot out of the service. Now, many years later, as Roland sat in his car, he took a long drag off the cigarette he held between his long gaunt, nicotine yellowed fingers. A nervous tick of his which he was unaware of. Sweat pored from his forehead as he nervously looked around the area.
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