Tag Archives: Cheese Biscuits

Report 19: The Clown

Sir,

An eventful day today, both enlightening and frustrating. First thing, I got a call from John Cheveyo. They had apprehended the Sad Man, he told me, and invited me to the interrogation. I set out before Tom and Gladys even had breakfast going, so I ran by the Stop n Go on the way, to get that cheese biscuit I’d promised Oscar Melmoth I was going to have. Edna had heard of my hospital stay, and quizzed me quite thoroughly about my cardiac health before selling it to me.

Another recipient of her heart-wise caution this morning was Cecil Murden, the one-eyed, one-footed chainsaw sculptor I’ve heard so much about recently. Quite the character. I think Edna may be sweet on him. She made a great show of checking the Biscuit List (her hand-written weekly tally of how many biscuits her regular customers have consumed in a given week), and made sure that Cecil hadn’t hit his personal limit of two. Cecil had a heart attack a few years ago, it seems, so Edna put him on limited rations.

Cecil took her attention with a sort of mock annoyance. But that’s how he reacts to everything, apparently: mock annoyance, mock interest, mock humor… It’s like he’s having a very personal joke on the world, all the time, no matter the subject. In a less charismatic man, it would be off-putting. But there’s always a twinkle in his eye, and a certain gruff charm to the performance, so you walk away feeling like he’s let you in on the joke. Even though he’s done no such thing.

I’ve met men with that sort of demeanor before. Some carry it better than others, but usually they’ve seen horrible things. If that’s the case with Cecil, he didn’t let on. But considering that he once traveled with Oscar Melmoth, I can only assume the worst.

He confirmed that service, by the way. He was proud of it, in point of fact. Said it was the only honest work he did the whole time he was a Merchant Marine. I told him I’d like to know more, and we made plans to meet for dinner. After that assault on my mind last night, I want to find out everything I can about Oscar Melmoth.

At any rate. Cheveyo met me at the door of Ranger HQ. He didn’t look good. Dark circles under the eyes, a cut up at his hairline, a hard set to his jaw… The Sad Man had obviously put up a fight. I shook his hand and moved to go in, but he shook his head.

“We’ve got him at Wakiza’s.”

“What the hell is Wakiza’s?”

He shook his head again and motioned to his truck. “Let’s go.”

Once we were moving, he opened up a little more. “Sorry for the silent treatment, Clint. We’re dealing with some sensitive stuff here. This guy, your Sad Man… He’s kind of important here on the Mountain.”

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Report 18: His Heart’s Desire

Sir,

The headache started almost immediately. A slight throbbing in my left temple that began the minute I entered the grounds of Melmoth House. It would get worse.

But first, Robinson. He met me at the gate, as arranged. “You can’t drive up to the house,” he said. “Oscar will know. He always knows.” So, the gate. I parked the car safely off the road, and we walked by flashlight. He looked ghastly in that light, older and more haggard than he’d seemed earlier in the day. If I hadn’t been distracted by the headache, I might have taken more notice of it.

As it was, though, I just wrote it off as one more horrorshow element of an evening that seemed full of them. Melmoth House is quite the imposing Gothic manor at night, looming dark and mysterious against the night sky. The place even has a hedge maze, which is where Robinson lead me first. “A shortcut,” he told me. I didn’t see how that was possible, but with the throbbing in my temple, I decided not to argue.

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Report 4: Three-Biscuit Rule

Sir,

The ransom demand for Alexandra Melmoth’s safe return has thrown my view of this case into turmoil. Why the ritualistic knife wounds on the Phillips boy? Why leave his body in such a remote location? Why the finger? If it was to inspire fear in the family, surely sending them the digit directly would have been more effective. And considering their reputation, who would have attempted to scare them in the first place?

All of this was racing through my mind as I awoke from my disturbing dream to meet Sheriff Patton at Melmoth House. The formerly-tantalizing smells of the Opa Lodge’s Continental Breakfast filled me with dread this morning, and I rushed past the dining room, head down and gorge rising in my throat at the memory of the Horrible Noise. Instead, I stopped for a quick breakfast of coffee and a cheese biscuit at a convenience store called the Stop N Go.

The biscuits are apparently made fresh every morning by a little old woman named Edna, who dutifully rolls out the dough each day and wraps it around handfuls of cubed cheddar. Heart-stoppingly delicious. At least, they were for Edna’s husband Frank, who had two every morning before heading out to tend the fields. After he passed, Edna sold the farm and used the money to open the Stop N Go. Amazing the things people will tell you while you wait for fresh coffee to brew. That coffee wasn’t great, but the biscuits and the company were. I promised Edna that I’d be back for more, and she warned me that she had a strict three-biscuit rule.

“No more than three a week for anybody,” she said. “I won’t have another man’s death on my conscience.”

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