Authors: Scott Hildreth,SD Hildreth
DYING TO SURVIVE
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Scott Hildreth lives in Wichita, Kansas.
At one point in time, he was a child.
Someone paid attention.
And life was grand.
Pay close attention to them.
They grow up to be adults.
The really heinous people we see on the news?
The serial killers, murderers, rapists, and complete ass-hats of society?
Yeah, they were children once.
And no one paid attention.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead, are coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 by Scott Hildreth
All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the author or publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use the material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the author at
. Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.
“Brandon, when are you expecting you’ll receive the new Tag Heuer Professional series?” the elderly man asked as he peered through the glass of the display case.
Dressed in business casual attire, the elderly man stood from his position of leaning over the top of the display case, looked at the jeweler, and smiled.
“Well, they should have been here by now. Let’s say next week for sure. You won’t be disappointed, that new bezel they’re using is quite a compliment,” the jeweler responded from behind the counter.
“Alright. Well, I’ll stop in next week then,” the elderly man smiled and turned to face the door.
The door buzzer sounded, indicating the arrival of a new customer. As the elder man walked toward the door to leave, a young man in his early twenties walked in the jewelry store. Dressed in slacks, a crisply pressed dress shirt, and wool blazer, the young man appeared to be a young business professional.
Immediately, the young man walked toward the display case that was marked with the
insignia. As he placed his hands on his thighs and bent over to gaze through the display case, he smiled.
. I’d like to see it again, please,” the young man said as he pointed through the glass at the watch on display located in the corner of the case.
“You’ve had your eye on that watch for some time. You recognize quality, that’s for certain,” the jeweler said as he walked toward the corner of the case.
The jeweler reached into the case, removed the watch, and held it loosely in his left hand. With his right hand, he reached into his apron, removed a cloth, and polished the watch before handing it to the young man.
The young man looked at the watch admiringly. In the last two years, he had frequented the jewelry store, admiring watches and saving money. Finally, he had reached a financial point that he was able to purchase this watch, and was ready to do so.
“Try it on,” the jeweler motioned toward the young man as he spoke.
“I’ve tried it on several times sir,” the young man responded as he admired the watch.
“I know you have, several times. Try it on again. A man with a quality timepiece on his wrist is a man that exudes success. Let’s see it on that wrist of yours, son,” the jeweler leaned over the counter, pushed his glasses up his nose, and smiled.
The young man carefully slipped the watch over his wrist and snapped the clasp. As he rotated his wrist to admire the face of the watch, his mouth formed a slow smile.
“I’ll take it,” the young man beamed as he spoke.
“Excellent choice. You’ve been eyeing it for years. Beginning today, your life will change. You’ll feel like a success, and you’ll become a success. Mark my words, son. Twenty years from now, you’ll be one of Wichita’s most successful business men. What are you studying?” the jeweler asked as he walked toward the cash register.
“Psychology. I’m going for a doctorate,” the young man responded as he reached into his jacket pocket.
“That will be sixty-one sixty-nine, forget the change,” the jeweler said as he looked up from the register.
“Sixty?” The young man drew a slow breath through his nose and exhaled out his mouth.
“It’s the stainless steel, not the two-tone,” the young man responded as he held the handful of hundred dollar bills he had saved in his right hand.
“Oh, you haven’t been in for a while. Rolex had an increase. They do it about every ten years. They just increased it by almost a thousand dollars. It’s awful I know. Let me grab the box and warranty paperwork,” the jeweler responded.
The young man removed the watch from his wrist and stretched his arm toward jeweler.
“You no longer want it?” the jeweler asked in disbelief.
“I want it. I can no longer afford it. Maybe in six or eight more months,” the young man said as he reached back into his wool blazer, placing his cash in the inner pocket.
“Put that watch back on your wrist, son. Today you’re starting a successful life. I don’t have a layaway plan or any form of loaning programs, but for you? Hell, you’ve been coming in here for years. Put that watch on, give me whatever you have, and when you get the rest, stop in and give it to me. Deal?” the jeweler smiled as he spoke.
The young man stared at the jeweler, uncertain of what to do.
“Well? You better hurry up before I change my mind,” the jeweler chuckled.
The young man slid the watch over his hand and onto his wrist. After he snapped the clasp in place, he reached into his jacket pocket and removed the money he had saved.
“There’s fifty-two hundred,” the young man said as he handed the jeweler the money.
“Let’s call the difference a thousand, sound good?” the jeweler asked.
The young man looked down at the face of the watch, back up at the jeweler, and smiled.
“Yes sir,” the young man responded as he looked up and into the eyes of the jeweler.
“I’ll keep the box and paperwork until you pay it off. You’re set to go. Enjoy that watch,” the jeweler said as he walked around the display case and extended his right hand.
“I don’t need to sign anything? Any form of guarantee to pay?” the young man asked.
“I trust you. This will be the beginning of a long lasting relationship,” the jeweler stood with arm extended.
As the young man shook the hand of the jeweler, he felt successful. This, in a sense, was his first business transaction. His first of what he hoped would be a lifetime of many.
“Thank you,” the young man said as he turned to face the exit.
The jeweler nodded and smiled.
The young man walked to the door and pushed it open, hesitating before he stepped outside.
“Hey son, you got the time?” the jeweler chuckled.
The young man looked down at his wrist.
“Ten minutes after ten,” the young man responded over his shoulder.
As he walked toward his car, for the first time in his life, the young man began to believe that this was the beginning.
And that he would become what his father insisted he would never be.
TAKE TIME TO SMELL THE FLOWERS.
Walking up the sidewalk toward the front door, Ryan’s nostrils flared; attempting to detect a hint of the honeysuckle he often enjoyed as a child. Frustrated at the lack of scent, he turned the doorknob, pushed against the unlocked door, and entered the home.
As he walked into the kitchen, he greeted his mother. His mother had become closer to him since he had become an adult, and he cherished her thoughts and expressed opinions. Still dressed in her nightgown, she prepared her first cup of morning coffee.
Somewhat preoccupied and counting the minutes until he was going to leave, methodically he walked to the refrigerator and pulled open the door. As he mentally prepared an inventory of the contents of the refrigerator, the frustration began to build inside of him.
“Your slacks look nice, Ryan. Are they new?” she asked admiringly over the top of her freshly prepared cup of coffee.
“Yes and thank you mother,” Ryan responded as he sorted through the objects in the refrigerator.
Frustration began to turn to anger. It had been eight days since he last abducted a woman, and a newly chosen victim would be needed for the game he intended to play. Preoccupied with the thought of the woman he had been stalking; he realized what he was searching for in the refrigerator did not exist.
“At what point in time, mother, did you make a decision to exclude plain cream cheese from the list of necessities?” Ryan asked as he stood in front of the refrigerator holding the flavored cream cheese in his hand.
“It tastes good, try it,” his mother responded as she walked to the breakfast nook.
“I care not for flavored cheese, mother. We’ve discussed this.
I prefer the plain. Pineapple is a wonderful fruit, and I am quite certain it belongs in a kitchen. Where it does
belong, however, is in my cream cheese,” Ryan said as he placed the container back into the refrigerator.
The anger began to build.
“The honeysuckle looks fabulous. I was disappointed at the lack of scent as I came up the walk. Maybe it was the breeze this morning,” Ryan mumbled as he sat down at the table beside her.
“It goes through stages. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t,” she responded as she sipped her now cooling coffee.
She preferred her coffee piping hot whereas he preferred his to be flavorful, and had no concerns regarding temperature.
They sat quietly at the table, facing the flower garden. As he nibbled at his bagel, he looked through the window at the flowers. Spring has always been his favorite time of year. The honeysuckle in the yard had been there since he was a young boy. The scent remained something that was calming to him. He had not lived in the home for thirteen years, and at times he missed it more than others. Spring was one of those times.
“I love the flowers, mother,” the words escaped his mouth before he realized that he intended to speak.
“You always did,” his mother held her coffee cup as if her hands were cold, her palms against the porcelain.
Ryan recalled the scent of the flowers as a child, and the comfort they provided him as he grew up.
“How’s business?” she turned and asked.
“Investing? It’s risky, mother. It’s risky. I have been fortunate. I must go, I have to migrate to the office, my day awaits me,” Ryan said as he pushed his chair from the table.
“Resolve the issue with the cheese, mother,” Ryan added as he began to walk away from her.
Simple things aggravated him.
She did her best to jokingly furrow her brow, a light smirk covering her face as she did.
“It’s good, you should try it,” she tilted her head to the left and turned to face him.
“I love you. I’ll see you in a few days,” Ryan said as he kissed her cheek.
“I’ll tell your father you stopped by,” she said softly as she turned to face the window.
“The cheese, mother,” Ryan reminded her as he placed the coffee cup into the sink.
“You should try it,” she repeated as he turned to walk toward the door.
Ryan became frustrated at the thought of the flavored cream cheese, and her efforts to force him to try it. New things, to him, were difficult to accept. Stepping onto the walkway provided a hint of the honeysuckle and a moment’s satisfaction from the scent filling his nostrils. As he opened the door of his car, he looked around the neighborhood.