Justin Tadlock

Greg Campbell

You know what? I forgot to blog last night. I remembered putting together a draft, but I forgot to post it. So just read the next chapter in my novel. I think it’s a pretty good chapter. I’m starting to get some ideas now about where to go with the storyline. So, be prepared for a story that’s all over the place.

CHAPTER 4
GREG CAMPBELL

On the other side of town, back away from Hillhock lane and those perfectly lined houses following the perfectly lined street with their perfectly manicured lawns, lived Greg Campbell. Greg had been going down the wrong road in life lately. He had started selling home-grown marijuana out of his single-wide just to make enough cash to afford the trailer payments. He drove his wife out of the shabby mobile home with his outbursts of anger. She took the two boys and the girl and moved in with her mother, four trailer lots away. But now, Greg had gotten himself in more trouble than he even he could handle.

It was a bight, yet windy Tuesday morning at the Paulk Trailer Park when Greg heard the knocking. That annoying tap, tap on glass.

“Fuck off!” He rolled over in his car seat, almost in the fetal position.

“Mr. Campbell, we’re gonna have to ask you to step outta the car,” a burly police officer said with a bit of politeness and little caution. Both he and his 5’6, 120 pounds-soaking-wet partner kept a hand over their holsters. They were ready to clean up some trailer trash, given the opportunity. They did have permission to put a bullet through every major organ of his body if he was in any way uncooperative.

“I said fuck off!”

The holster buttons popped loose simultaneously.

“This is your last warning…We are gonna ask you to step outta your car.”

Greg let an eyelid slide open. Then another as he noticed a girl in his passenger seat. What the Hell was he doing in his car? Who in the Hell was sitting beside him?

Leslie Reynonlds, who the Creek Hill Journal would describe as the loving 16-year-old daughter of Sam and Jessica Reynolds in their late afternoon Special Edition, was sitting upright, inches from Greg’s half-opened eyes. She had been slit straight across the throat, a wound that had since bled out. There was no sign of life within her petite teenage frame.

“Just step outta the car, with your hands up.”

Greg started to quiver. He became cold. Sitting up and turning to the officers, he once again closed his eyes, and put his hand on the door handle.

Every resident of the Paulk Trailer Park had gathered around, hanging 20 yards or so away, to watch the cuffing of a murderer. It’s not often you get an event like this in a small town. A murder. “Leslie Reynolds was murdered by Greg Campbell,” passed through the lips of the crowd. “He must’ve raped her first,” came through the whispers.
There was Tammy, his wife, standing with Jimmy, Chris, and Beth, his 10, 8, and 5 year old kids. Brian Creek looked right into his soul with his dark brown irises as Greg opened the creaking car door. Suzy Wood was jabbering away with a crowd of robed women, ages ranging between 13 and 50. “Murderer. Rapist. The Son of a Bitch should burn in Hell.” Paul, Jesse, Raymond, and Bruce, his Saturday fishing buddies, shook their heads in shame.

One foot on the ground, trembling.

Todd Langley spat his chew on the ground in disgust at the thing stepping out of that old Mustang. Drake Ackles, holding a baseball bat, was ready for action in the instance the police couldn’t handle the killer. Brett Lindley puffed his green-labeled cigarette. Nancy stole a hit from him. All of them were the very essence of trailer trash.

Foot number 2 touched the dirt, sliding a little under a few scattered rocks.

Mr. Worthington held tight his shotgun, one hand gripping the handle with a finger ready to pull the trigger, the other wrapped completely around the barrel. House slippers and sports bra, Vicky stood by her 3 shirtless toddler girls. Jason Rogan revved his engine in the distance, keeping 2 eyes on the rapist, while his girlfriend’s, Jenny, head slowly comes up from his lap.

“Hands in the air. Nice n’ slow.”

“You sick son-of-a-bitch!”

“Burn in Hell!”

“You’re gonna pay you sick bastard!”

“Rapist.”

“Murderer.”

“Killer.”

The cries came louder and more confused as Greg stood, knees wobbling, hands in the air. Dried blood had stained his hands, his denim shirt, and his blue jeans. It crusted underneath his fingernails. His hair was matted on his head, with a spike here and there. His, still half-opened, blood-shot eyes peered across the trailer trash of the Paulk Trailer Park community.

“I’ll kill you mother fucker!” Sam Reynolds was struggling against a barricade of officers. The crowd began to grow uneasy as they held him back.

“Let em’ get em’!”

“The bastard deserves to die!”

“Let em’ fuckin’ go!”

Kneeing the dirt, Jessica Reynolds let her tears stream onto the ground as she held onto the husky legs of her mother, Josephine. Josephine just patted her on the head and let out her own silent sobs.

“Hands on top of your head!” commanded officer Burlap, now progressing past his polite phase.

Rapist. Murderer.

“I didn’t do it,” was all Greg could offer.

“Sure pal. Hands on ya head!”

Greg put his dirty red-stained hands on his matted skull.

Why is this happening to me? Someone set me up? Why? I’m not a murderer. I’m not a rapist. Why does my head hurt? What did I do last night? The whole town’s here. They’re going to think I did this. But, I didn’t do it. Why? Why? Why?

A million thoughts ran through Greg’s mind as the skinny officer frisked him, and then some. Taking his left arm down behind his back the officer cuffed it, then pulled the other down and linked the two.

“Bastard!”

“Rapist!”

“Murderer!”

“Molester!”

“You’re gonna pay!”

“Burn in Hell!”

“Okay, everybody, just stay calm,” Burlap tried to take control of the crowd. “We’re gonna take him down to the station.”

“Let em’ go!”

“Ole Sammy should have his go with em’!”

“The son-of-a-bitch deserves to die!”

The barricade of officers surrounded Officer Burlap, Greg, and the skinny officer as they placed him into the patrol car.

Blue lights flashed through the dust that was kicked up from all eight of Creek Hill’s police department cruisers. Greg couldn’t look out of the window. He couldn’t cry. He only looked down at his blue jeans and his work boots.

“BASTARD!”

“CHILD MOLESTER!”

“KILLER!”

“MURDERER!”

“SICK SON-OF-A-BITCH!”

The shouting could be heard as the cars drove off, and the crowd pursued on foot with shaking fists, baseball bats, shotguns, and an assortment of blunt objects ready to be used for weapons.

Greg Campbell. Murderer. Rapist. Best friend to Jude Taylor. Forty-seven years old. Caucasion. Six-foot-one. Skull tattoo on his upper right arm. Cross tattoo on his upper left arm. He was now labeled. He was now processed. He was a murderer and a rapist, no matter what happened from here on out.

Why would anyone want to set me up? Who would set me up? There’s no way I’m getting out of this one. Look at my blue jeans. They’re so bloody. I’ll never get that stain out. Why am I being punished? What happened last night? When did I even see Leslie Campbell? How am I going to afford a lawyer? God, help me.