The Story of Us

Prologue || 

✮ Chapter One: The Weekend ✮

Word Count: 3055

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Friday evening 

If there was any part of Riley that thought her parents were using the ‘sending her away’ argument as an empty threat again that’s certainly not the case anymore as Riley sulks at the back of a bus as it leaves the airport she just arrived at.

The worst part about it was that Riley was packed and sent off in a matter of days. Part of the punishment was that Riley wasn’t even allowed to see her friends before she left.

With her head resting against the glass window Riley stares out and watches as the view fades from city to country and if she wasn’t so bitter about the forced lifestyle change then she might of actually enjoyed the scenic drive.

The bus pulls into the station - if you could call an old wooden bench with a sign that reads ‘bus station’ a station. Riley gets off the bus with her duffle bag slung over her shoulder. When her feet hit the dirt road beneath her Riley sees nothing but trees and wide open fields. Awkwardly she stands there not knowing what to do but once the bus pulls away Riley spots a hardened looking man resting again a car just up the road. With a heavy sigh she treks over to him.

“Riley,” He nods once she approaches.

Grandpa,” Riley says in a mock excited voice.

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The Gruesome Murder of Laura Ackerson

Laura Ackerson (27) had been missing for over 10 days when her remains were found in an alligator infested creek in Texas, on July 24, 2011. She had been dismembered and authoriries were able to recover her head, torso, and part of her limbs. Her cause of death couldn’t be determined with certainty because of the condition of the remains, but the autopsy showed signs of asphyxiation and a possible stab wound to the neck.

Laura had been in the middle of a nasty custody battle with her ex, Grant Hayes III, over their two kids, who were 3 and 2 years old at the time. Grant was an aspiring musician, drug addict and had a tendency to use and manipulate women. During his relationship with Laura, he was abusive and openly cheated on her with other women, among them Amanda Smith. The extent of Grant’s deceit was so, that Laura believed they were married (they had a ceremony and all) and she only found out he’d never signed the marriage license when he sent her a picture of his wedding to Amanda, ending the relationship between them for good.

Grant, who had temporary custody of the children during week days, and Amanda were going through financial trouble because he’d spent most of her inheritance recklessly. On top of that, Amanda became pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl a month before Laura went missing. The upcoming court date didn’t look good for him, especially after the appointed psychologist had reported he exhibited “illogical disturbed thinking” and seemed to want to erase Laura from their kids’ lives. On the other hand, Laura was trying to improve her life, starting a business and doing everything the court requested of her.

On July 13, 2011, the last day Laura was seen, she was lured to Grant’s apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina, with the pretense that they were going to let her have the kids for a few days. What happened after, we can’t be sure, since Amanda and Grant had different versions, blaming each other.

According to Amanda, Grant said that Laura had tripped and hurt herself and he asked her to take the kids out so he wouldn’t see their mom like that. He later confessed to her he’d killed her and forced her to help him dispose of her body by threatening their daughter. They traveled to Texas, where Amanda’s sister lived, and threw her dismembered body in the creek. The sister, however, testified in court that during the visit Amanda told her she had “hurt Laura bad” and that she was dead.

Grant played the race card as much as he could and then said Laura had signed a contract in which she agreed to give him full custody of the children in exchange for 25,000 dollars. Indeed a document with two different handwritings stating as much was found in his apartment, and although an expert said part of it had been written by Laura, all the people who knew her said it was impossible she’d give up her kids, especially considering all the changes she was making to get custody and the fact that Grant was broke. According to Grant, Amanda got angry at the agreement and accidentally killed Laura, and he just helped her cover it up to protect her. He finished by saying that “Laura got herself killed”.

The couple was tried separatedly and given the amount of evidence against them, they were both found guilty. Grant of first degree murder, and he got a life sentence without parole, while Amanda will spend 13 to 16 years for second degree murder, as long as her conviction isn’t extended by some added charges that were filed last year. In 2014, these upstanding lovers divorced.

This tragic story is told in the book Bitter Remains, by Diane Fanning.

it’s beautiful out today
i wish you could take me upstate
to the little place you would tell me about
when you’d sense that I’d want to escape

texas is a land-locked state
it’s a little bit far away
from the water, from the home that I’ve wanted to make it
somehow, in the city, you make it there and you make it
anywhere, anywhere,
but i’ve been anywhere and it’s not what I want
I wanna be still with you

you keep your socks on in bed
keep our hearth warm
“see the trees’ shadows lie in black pools in the lawns”
you’re the breeze in my austin nights
you’re the breeze in my austin nights
you’re the breeze in my austin nights  

An aspiring writer who dreams of leaving town but stays for the sake of her little brother Connor and her overprotective father Shawn, Creek (Sarah Ramos, Parenthood) pulls double duty at the Midnight diner and her family’s gas station. She meets Manfred at the restaurant on his first night in town and immediately takes a liking to him. Seemingly the most normal girl in town, she eventually finds out her single dad is harboring a deep dark family secret. “It starts as a very innocent teenage crush sort of relationship, even though they aren’t teenagers, but they develop a deeper connection by sharing their flaws with each other and by discovering each other’s dark side,” Arnaud tells Yahoo TV. “They also come together when they find common enemies to fight. They are both self-deprecating and reluctant to fall in love, but in spite of themselves, they do.”


Photos I took during a flyout I did with PHI’s Stat Air 2 in Cedar Creek, Texas, before I moved away. I miss those guys - we don’t do anywhere near as many helo requests in the NYC area. There’s nothing quite like landing a Eurocopter in the middle of a highway and loading your patient in.

Ride of a Lifetime (Part 2)

Part 1 

Summary (AU): Lucas Friar is the New York City bad boy who gets sent to live with his grandfather in a small town in Texas after a prank gone too far at his high school. When his grandfather forces him to work as a ranch hand at a local farm, he meets the owner’s daughter, who offers to give him riding lessons. As they get to know each other better, they soon discover that she can teach him more than just how to ride a horse, and he can teach her about not taking life so seriously all the time. 

Chapter 2: Meet the Neighbors

Grandpa Joe’s house sat old and tired at the edge of town where the main road forked off into the middle of nowhere. As the pickup truck turned onto the dirt path that led up to the driveway, Lucas had faint flashes of the hot summers he spent running around the front yard with his cousins when he was a kid. He had loved it here for the sole fact that it was quiet, simple, and absolutely nothing like New York. But as the truck skidded to a stop in front of the white farmhouse that desperately needed a new paint job and numerous repairs, all thoughts of fond memories disappeared and Lucas was left with the feeling of dread that had been eating at him since the day his parents told him he would be living here. 

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