He takes a hit from the cigarette and let's it out. His Guide waves the smoke away and coughs.
Guide: you know you can't do that when we enter. It's not allowed.
Man: why not? It's not a sin.
Guide: it's a disgusting habit.
Man: I'm not asking you to kiss me.
His Guide shakes his head.
Man: how much longer?
Guide: don't know. I don't exactly have the keys to the door you know.
Man: who does?
His Guide turns to him serious.
Guide: you know who.
The man takes another hit.
Man: so why me?
Guide: honestly, I've been asking myself that same thing. You would NOT have been my choice, but I'm not the one in charge. I just do as he says.
Man: maybe he's losing it.
His Guide looks at him, obviously offended by his remark.
Guide: you will hold your tongue.
The Man looks at him and smiles.
Man: easy Casper, I'm just saying. I'm not a saint. Far from it. Things I've done, I belong more to the other guy you know?
His Guide softens.
Man: why would he want me?
The sky brightens. His Guide looks up and smiles.
Guide: let's go ask him.
The man looks up surprised. The clouds part and a bright pathway fades into view. The man stands up. His Guide walks forward then turns around. The man hesitates.
Guide: it doesn't matter what you've done. If he wants you, he'll reach all the way down to get you. But if you want him, then follow me.
Tears well up in the Man's eyes. He feels happy, safe even. He looks back at his Guide, nods, and follows beside him.
MAN'S BEST FRIEND
Dog: oh so that's how it's gonna be huh? You're just gonna put my treat in a tortilla? Mix it in with the chorizo and egg and butter spread. I see how you are.
The owner moves past the door.
Dog: where you going I'm right here! Come on man let me have it. I've been good today. I didn't pee on your chair or get your pants dirty. I haven't dug any holes. Well actually I did but it's all good look, I can put the dirt back in.
The owner comes back into view.
Dog: yes yes! That's it. Come to Papa!
The owner walks back to the kitchen.
Dog: WTF! are you blind?! What's wrong with you! Just give it to me. I don't care for napkins or sauce! Damn! What do you want me to do? Beg? OK here I go.
The dog starts whining. The owner hears him, waves and nods. The dog jumps up.
Dog: you heartless bastard! How can you be so cruel! OK fine you know what, keep it. I didn't want it anyway. Matter fact, I hate Mexican food. Makes me fart too much. I'm gonna go enjoy my kibbles and bits. It's healthier!
The dog moves away from the door and to his food bowl. He sniffs at the pebbles and slouches.
Suddenly the door opens and the owner whistles for him.
Owner: hey buddy. Look what I made you. Your very own taco with chorizo, egg, butter, bone treat, aaaand, bacon.
The dog jumps and barks. He runs to the taco and gobbles it up. Then he looks at his owner.
Dog: you do love me.
This is where it happened. According to Thomas' testimony, the suspect, Daniel, led the victim, Allison, into the creek below and strangled her. Thomas claims Daniel was having an affair with Allison and didn't want his wife to know. When Allison threatened to tell his wife, Daniel wanted her gone.
Daniel says that never happened. He says he did in fact have an affair with Allison and that she wanted him to leave his wife for her, but at no time did he confess to wanting to kill her. He merely wanted advice on how to tell his wife. Daniel is convinced Thomas is lying.
Problem is, cell phone records trace Daniel's phone to this area at 1:23 am for 37 minutes, the time examiners estimate the time of the murder. When asked about his whereabouts for those 37 minutes, Daniel says he was at home sleeping, no alibi.
Where was his wife? Well that night, Daniel says he told his wife everything. They argued, they fought, and she left. He didn't see her until the following morning.
There are many gaps in this case and even more questions. The detective couldn't make sense of any of it.
WAS Daniel really at home sleeping in the 37 minute timeframe Allison was killed? Is Thomas lying about Daniel? Where did Daniel's wife go that night?
And the most important question, Who killed Allison Krane?
She ran to the bleachers and sat down. For the past two weeks, this had become her usual spot. Her dad didn't understand why. There was no game playing or anything at all. The field was empty.
Dad: mama don't you wanna go play by the slides?
Daughter: no I wanna watch the game.
He frowned. It worried him to hear her say that. He'd always encourage her to use her imagination when making art or playing with her toys, but this was taking it too far.
Dad: mama come on. There's no game. We're not pretending right now. Go play.
Daughter: daddy the game is right there.
He sighed. Now he was beginning to lose patience.
Dad: listen if you don't get down from there, then we're leaving.
She shook her head.
Daughter: no daddy. I wanna watch the game.
Dad: there's no Game! There's nothing there. Stop making things up.
Daughter: daddy that game.
Dad: what are you looking at mama?
Daughter: grandma. She's playing.
He froze. It had been almost a month since he lost his mother. It hadn't hit him fully yet.
Dad: you see grandma?
Daughter: yea she's right there. She's throwing the ball.
He sat next to her watched the empty field.
Daughter: you see? She's always playing a game. She tells me to sit here where she can see us.
Dad: she sees us?
Daughter: yea. Look, she's waving.
He looks up. His mother did play baseball when she was young. After some time, he shakes his head.
Daughter: you're not trying daddy.
He looks again. This time he sees a figure slowly appear. He freezes. There, waving back, is his mother.
Daughter: told you.
THE WIND CLIMBER
The harness hung her off the side of the wind turbine. Yesterday's lightning storm caused minor damage to the blade and it was her job to fix it. She ran the sander over the damaged fiberglass, careful not to crack the surface.
Most people would call her nuts to make a living hanging off wind turbines. It was a dangerous job. One not meant for those with fear of heights. But as a veteran rock climber, for her, it was just another day at the office.
She put the sander away and checked her work. It looked good. Suddenly, a giant gust of wind knocked her off the blade. She swung freely off the edge. She held on tight to the harness as the wind continued to push her around.
Then, the harness loosened and she began falling. She tried desperately to stop it, but the fall combined with the wind made it difficult to do so. Finally she took control and caught herself mid air. She hung there helplessly.
She shook her head. "damn it"
She began climbing back up. The wind was silent for the better part of the day, so it surprised her to see it change so sudden.
Then she saw why and her eyes widened. She pulled as fast as she could, desperately trying to reach the top. She needed to bail, because closing in on her... was the forest fire.