Harold watched after the Ford 150 drove away. He stood and stared at the young woman and started to think what he was going to do about her. Harold didn’t even consider calling the police. Instead he opened the front door of his house and called loudly to the girl in distress.
“Come here young lady. You need to get out of the cold or you’ll freeze to death!”
The young female looked towards Harold with a confused and frightened look. She wiped the snowflakes off her hoodie and walked awkwardly towards the door that Harold was holding open for her.
“Thank you so much Mister. You may have saved my life. May I come in your house?
“Step into the living room and make yourself at home,” Harold replied.
“Thanks. Hey, I should introduce myself. My name is Whisper,” the strange young woman said as she found a place to sit on Harold’s yellow and orange patterned sofa. Whisper admired the brass antique lamp to the left of the sofa. The full décor of Harold Peyton’s living room had the ambiance that could only come from a man who appreciated fine art.
“Could I interest you in a cup of Tim Horton’s coffee or perhaps a mug of hot chocolate?” Harold asked. “By the way, Whisper is a beautiful name. Who gave you that name?”
“My grandma came up with it if I remember correctly,” Whisper replied.
While standing in the hall, Harold now had a good opportunity to observe Whisper. Her hair was blonde highlighted by orange streaks. It presently looked wet and tangled. There were still some snowflakes in her hair. Whisper’s make up was smudged and smeared from her tears. Whisper had a gold rod piercing through her nose. She wore orange lipstick and had a pentagram tattoo on her left forearm. She was not very attractive and was slightly overweight giving her somewhat of a pudgy look. Harold thought that Whisper resembled a naughty, terribly neglected little elf.
“I would love to have a hot chocolate, sir. What’s your name?” Whisper asked.
“My word, where did all my manners go? With all the excitement going on, I failed to recall that I haven’t told you my name. It’s Harold, Harold Peyton.”
“Could I ask a big favour of you. Mr. Peyton?” Whisper asked sheepishly.
“Oh, you don’t have to call me Mr. Peyton. I’d like it very much if you just called me ‘Harold’. What would you like me to do as a favour to you?”
“I would like to take a shower and get myself cleaned up,” Whisper asked as her face reddened with embarrassment. “But I would like to drink my hot chocolate first, if you don’t mind.”
“Of course, you can my dear,” Harold answered. Harold wondered why he had called Whisper ‘my dear’. After all he didn’t even know this girl yet.
“Did you bring a clean change of clothes to put on after you wash up?”
“Yes, I have some clean clothes in my duffle bag,” Whisper replied.
“I just asked in case you didn’t have a fresh change of clothes with you. I still have all my daughter’s clothes in a closet in her bedroom. You appear to be about the same size as she was and her clothes would probably fit you.” Harold’s countenance suddenly looked very pained.
“You said ‘was’ Harold. What happened to your daughter?”
“Today is the first anniversary of Erica’s passing. While getting a ride home from a party her friend’s car was involved in a head on collision. The driver of the other car was inebriated. Erica’s friend suffered severe injuries but survived. Unfortunately, my daughter did not survive the accident. As soon as he finished saying this, Harold Peyton sobbed, and his body began to shake uncontrollably.
“Sit down in your Lazy Boy, Harold. I’ll make myself a hot chocolate. Would you like something to drink too?” Whisper asked.
“Yes, I would like a cup of coffee if you don’t mind making a pot,” Harold replied starting to regain his composure.
“No problem. I see that you’ve got the good stuff, Tim Hortons. It should be ready in a few minutes.”
After setting up and turning on the percolator Whisper returned to the living room.
“I’m very sorry to hear about you losing your daughter. It must be very painful for you.”
Yes, it is, but I should be an old hand at grieving by now. My wife Clarissa divorced me five years ago,” Harold said, causing another tear to trickle down his cheek.
“That’s terrible, man. Two major losses in five years! No one should have to suffer that much.”
“I agree, but it happened to me. It is what it is,” Harold said taking out a handkerchief to wipe away his tears.
“But I’ve told you enough for now about my problems. What happened to you out on the street. Who was that guy that pushed you out of his truck?”
“That would be Tony. He’s a real piece of work, man. He pushed me out of his truck after I told him that I wouldn’t have sex with him. Tony just figured that I owed it to him. He called it ‘taking it out in trade’. He said it was only fair because he let me sleep on his couch for a few nights.”
“Why did he drop you off in front of my house?” Harold asked.
“For no particular reason. Tony and I had been having a wicked fight for about fifteen minutes before he drove the truck down your street. Tony told me that I was giving him a migraine headache when he pushed me out on the road. We were just driving around in circles. I really don’t have any place to go anyway,” Whisper explained.
Episode 34 Aleister Richter
The man that Tony Barrows had assaulted at the party on Beliveau Road called himself, Aleister, which served as his preferred street name. His real name was Zach Richter. He liked it better when people referred to him by his alias. Two of Aleister’s friends rushed to pick Aleister up and carry him out of the house once they realized that the people at the partywere calling the police.
The two men who carried the limp body out of the house were the same two people who had bullied Herbie Schultz in elementary school, Hartley and Kerry Popovich. Hartley picked Aleister up by the head Kerry took hold of the victim’s legs. The two brothers, Hartley and Kerry were fortunate that Kerry’s old Ford Temple was parked near the back door of the house. They only needed to drag Aleister’s limp body a few feet. It also helped that Aleister was underweight and was very light to carry. Hartley opened the back door of the white 1994 Ford Temple while he and his brother slid Alister’s body along the back seat of the car.
Hartley climbed into the driver seat while Kerry rode shotgun. As Hartley turned the key in the ignition. he heard some moaning sounds coming from the back seat of the car.
“I don’t believe it. I think Aleister is still alive!” Hartley said.
“That’s great. But right now our immediate problem is to drive away from this house before the cops arrive. Step on the gas, Hartley,” Kerry ordered.
It’s cold out. This old car is going to need a minute or two to warm up so that I can get the engine to turn over,” Hartley countered.
“Fortunately, the night sky was now pitch black. If anyone leaving the party saw them, it would be nearly impossible to identify the car and its occupants.
Kerry and Hartley had known Aleister for about two years. They met Alister in a downtown pool hall where they went to try to score some weed and acid. Aleister was fairly well known in this area of downtown Winnipeg. One could say that he carved out his own territory. Aleister was just a year or two older than Kerry and Hartley. He was a sociable type of character and invited the two brothers over to an apartment on Furby Street that he shared with his girlfriend. Aleister sold Kerry and Herbie a few buttons of peyote, some acid and a seven- ounce bag of Purple Kush. That was a better-than-average sale for Aleister, so he thought, “Why not celebrate with my new customers? Who knows? They may even become my friends.”
Aleister had not always lived in a rundown apartment on Furby Street. His parents were both successful professionals. His father was a lawyer his mother was a veterinarian. Aleister was brought up in a large attractive home in the suburb of Tuxedo where all successful people in Winnipeg resided. Aleister loved both his parents, but soon discovered that they didn’t agree on very many issues and often had heated verbal arguments. When Aleister was just a young child he was very upset about his parents so-called disagreements. He was worried that one day they would divorce and would no longer look after him. Eventually his parents did divorce, shortly after Aleister’s fourteenth birthday. It was almost a relief for him when his parents finally went through with the divorce. As it says in the Bible, “What I have feared has come upon me,” a rough paraphrase from the book of Job, Aleister felt very insecure despite the fact that he lived a somewhat of a privilege childhood. He had a beautiful spacious bedroom all to himself. He always got the newest and coolest toys. Both his parents treated him well, but he was scared when they had fights.
So what did his parents Hugh and Deborah fight about? It was not one of the most common issues many couples argue about such as money and sex. His parents thought they were doing very well in both these areas.Their arguments were more about intellectual, political and religious issues.
Hugh Richter considered himself to be a very intelligent man who believed in God, was trying to live a good moral lifestyle and as a rational conservative thinker.
Many of Hugh’s disagreements with his wife were over political issues. Although they had both lived in Canada for several years, they both had spent their developmental years living in different cities in the United States. Hugh had grown up in Houston, Texas and Deborah’s formative years were spent in Portland, Oregon. Hugh’s parents were both committed Republicans and were devoted to their local Baptist Church. Growing up in Portland Oregon, Deborah’s parents were liberals, tried-and-true Democrats who believed that Bill Clinton was the best president that the United States ever had. When it came to questions of religion and spirituality, Deborah’s parents were basically atheists, although they would occasionally take up an interest in new age teachings. They would tend to follow the latest flavour of the month as their newest guru, but their pattern was to move on to a new spiritual movement leader as soon as they got tired of the previous one.
In the 2016 presidential election, Hugh had some personal reservations about Donald Trump but still voted for him. He would’ve preferred Ted Cruze as the Republican party nominee, but he accepted the fact that the Republicans chose Donald Trump as their leader.
Donald Trump was sort of an acquired taste for Hugh. There were many things he admired about Trump, especially his self-confidence and determination to get things done. He was not completely convinced that Trump was a committed Christian, but he was delighted to hear his candidate espouse many Christian values and beliefs and appeared to be a staunch supporter of the church and Israel.
Episode 31 of Street Dreams, the Police Arrive
Two police officers were dispatched to the old dilapidated house on Beliveau Road. One of the police constables was Bill Noble, a twenty –year veteran of Winnipeg’s finest. His partner on this evening shift was a twenty- four year old female who is technically still in training. Her name was Melissa Parkes and her supervisor thought it would be a great idea if she worked for a while with an old veteran like Bill Noble. Bill had an outstanding reputation for integrity, competence and professionalism. It would be a great opportunity for Melissa to work with someone of Bill Noble’s expertise and experience. There was only so much that a young cadet could be taught at a police training academy. Most of what an aspiring intern would learn would be in the field working in a patrol car with a respected veteran of the force.
Both officers were on St. Mary’s Road when they received the call from the dispatcher.
“Patrol car seventeen. I need you to check out a potentially seriously injured young man who is presently at a house on Beliveau Road. We received a phone call from an anonymous caller reporting a fight in which a young male was assaulted by an unknown individual. Judging from all the background noise recorded during the call, it is believed that a loud, wild party was in progress and got out of control. There weren’t any weapons reported, but I would advise proceeding cautiously. The residence involved has been vacant for about eight months now. The previous tenants abandoned the house and we have been unable to learn the identity of the landlord,” the police dispatcher reported.
“Roger. We’re on our way,” Constable Bill Noble responded.
“Well, Ms. Parks, get ready for an exciting assignment. This could be very dangerous so just follow my lead and instructions,” Bill added.
“I understand sir and will comply.”
“It took Constable Noble and Constable Parks about six minutes to find the location of the house.
“This must be the place,” Melissa Park said.
“How did you guess?” Constable Bill asked sarcastically. “It sure looks like they had a helluva party here.”
The old house must have been painted yellow at some point in the past. Most of the paint was peeling exposing most of the bare wood to the elements. It would’ve been a terribly attractive home even when it was first built, but the extreme lack of upkeep made the house look absolutely ugly. No one even bothered to shovel the snow that would have made a good path from the curb to the front steps of the residence. As Melissa and Bill tried to make their way to the front entrance, they were forced to step in the footprints previously made by the people that had quickly fled the party. The snow must’ve been at least three feet deep causing Bill to feel winded by the time he arrived at the front door. Melissa followed a few feet behind her partner. She didn’t have to catch her breath at all as she was still in excellent physical condition after passing all her fitness tests with flying colours at the police academy. Bill, on the other hand, was forty-four years old and was still a smoker. It didn’t help that he was about forty pounds overweight. His doctor had already informed Bill that he had a mild case of COPD and if he didn’t stop smoking soon life was going to get a lot harder for him in the future. Bill had started taking some measures to stop smoking. He now carried a pack of Nicorette gum 4 mg, the strongest strength, with him and managed to reduce his tobacco intake to half a pack of cigarettes per day. The doctor had also ordered him to go on a diet and to start losing the excess weight he carried. At this point Constable Bill Noble had a hard time imagining how he was going to quit smoking and lose weight at the same time. He could hear Melissa speaking to a few feet behind him.
“This place is disgusting, Bill,” she said.
The snow in the yard made a colourful collage of broken beer bottles, sordid piles of dog turds, yellow patches of snow splattered liberally with several patches of the reveler’s vomit.
The front door of the house was left slightly ajar and a ray of white light was visible. Both Melissa and Bill drew their weapons before pushing the door all the way open. Melissa felt the nausea rise up in her stomach as a foul odor emanating from the interior of the house hit her hard.
“Excuse me, Bill. I think I’m going to be sick.” Melissa stepped back, leaned over the partially broken wood railing of the front steps and lost her supper. The remains of her fast food dinner now belonged to the snow to the left of the steps.
“I’m sorry sir,” Melissa said as she wiped her mouth with a handkerchief.
“Don’t worry about it. It happens to the best of us. I’ve been on the scene of some car crashes that made me flip my gizzard a few times too,” Bill said, as he patted Melissa on the shoulder.
Episode 27 Clarissa Peyton
Clarissa Peyton was a Christian legalist. A legalist is someone who likes to live by laws, rules and regulations. They believe that the laws of the Old Testament are to be followed strictly. The Christian legalist sees the world only in black-and-white terms. There are no grey areas for them and there was no grey in Clarissa’s worldview. It was ironic that some of Clarissa’s beliefs showed a definite similarity with Charles Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest. To Clarissa, people fell into distinct categories such as the strong in the weak. Strong people succeeded in this world and the weak simply perished. Clarissa had little, if any, empathy for other people.
She been married to Harold for many years. In the beginning she was attracted by his wit, intelligence and charismatic personality. Early on in their marriage Clarissa had been struggling with an addiction to Valium. Harold Peyton stuck it out with her until she eventually was able to break her addiction for good.
The first four years Haroldand Clarissa’s marriage had displayed some degree of love. Harald loved Clarissa, but he had to admit that after a few years of marriage he was starting to doubt Clarissa’s love for him. There would be signs of her losing affection for him. He hated the way that she was now pushing him away any time he tried to give her a hug.
When they were first married Clarissa and Harold both attended a conservative Baptist church. Clarissa liked the middle-age pastor and admired his strict adherence to Scripture. For a period of time, Harold too appeared to enjoy going to church with Clarissa, but gradually things began to change for him.
One of his fellow teachers was a Charismatic Pentecostal Christian. Charismatics and Pentecostals believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are still alive and well in our present age. They often refer to themselves as being full gospel and pursue the spiritual gifts such as speaking in unknown tongues, the experience of being slain in the spirit and the believe that healing is still part of Christ’s atonement.
One afternoon, Harold co- worker, Jim Davidson, invited Harold to a Bible study that met every Wednesday night at Jim and Sarah’s house. Jim told Harold that he was welcome to bring his wife, Clarissa with him.
Harold took Jim up on his offer. Starting to feel there had to be more to Christianity than just being saved and then being told to follow strict laws, rules and regulations to stay on good terms with God. What seemed to appeal to Clarissa in their home Baptist Church was leaving Harold with a feeling of emptiness in his relationship with God. It was coming to the point where Harold was starting to stay at home on Sundays rather than go to church with Clarissa. This issue was causing a great deal of friction in their marriage. Clarissa was now telling Harold she thought she married a godly man, but now worried that Harold was starting to backslide in his walk with the Lord.
The next morning Harold informed Clarissa over breakfast that he would be attending a Bible study at Jim’s Jim Davidson’s house that evening.
“You are welcome to join us Clarissa,” Harold said, taking a sip from his morning cup of coffee.
“What’s the name of the church that Jim attends?” Clarissa asked.
“The House of Faith,” Harold answered.
“I’ve heard about that one. Charles Franklin is the lead pastor that church. I listened to a few of his podcasts. He’s a false prophet. His church is one of those crazy Pentecostal churches. Their theology is way off course Harold. I don’t want to see you exposed to their radical incorrect teachings,” Clarissa said as she angrily slapped her left hand on the kitchen table. I want you to start attending services again at First Baptist Church. It also wouldn’t hurt if you started coming along with me to Thursday night Bible studies at our church. Our meetings are led by our pastor, William Prichard.
“No, I think I’ll go to Jim’s Bible study this evening just to check it out for myself,” Harold replied.
“Sure. Go ahead Harold. You’ve become a backslider and I no longer consider you to be the priest of this home,” was Clarissa’s terse response to her husband.