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grn_bt.jpg (687 bytes) Epilogue
grn_bt.jpg (687 bytes) April 14, 1995 - Friday

It was a warm April afternoon when Ryan finally visited Tiffany at her grave site. The first time he had done so since her death. He brought with him a picnic lunch to eat while he sat along side her tombstone.

There we no other people at the cemetery this time of the afternoon. Ryan was by himself. The cemetery was located behind the New Windsor Baptist Church in the middle of the country side. There was no sound of the city or passing car traffic to disturb the serenity of the place.

Ryan and Tiffany were alone.

As Ryan approached Tiffany’s tombstone, he felt the tears start to well up in his eyes. He looked into the granite of the tombstone, not ever having the chance to read it before.

TIFFANY LYNNE CUTTER
November 21 1973 - March 30 1995
"Taken so young, taken so early, may God bless you in the Kingdom of Heaven"

"Hello my beautiful angel." Ryan whispered and he opened up the blanket and spread it down next to her grave. The wind blew ever so gently through the trees as if somehow, Tiffany were answering him back. Ryan sat down on the ground with the picnic basket and closed his eyes to smell the sweet spring air. The birds were singing in the background as the breeze continued to blow. The sky was a bright blue, not sharing itself with any clouds today.

"We never got a chance to do this." Ryan admitted. "Take a picnic that is. There were so many things we never got to do." Ryan opened the basket and brought out a bouquet of flowers. He set them gently in front of Tiffany’s tombstone on the ground. "These are for you Tiff, I knew you always liked flowers."

Ryan listened to the silence again.

"It’s over now Tiff. Do you know that where you are?" Ryan asked. "He’s dead. The man who killed you and made your last days a kind of living hell is dead. It was Jarrod Mayfield. I can’t believe it was him all this time. I know wherever you are, you are not with him. He’s in hell, where he belongs. It’s sad really. The kid was in hell all of his life with the garbage his mom was feeding him all his life about ‘scarecrow’ murdering his father. In a way, I feel sorry for him. But not remorseful. Jarrod was seriously disturbed. I will miss the person I thought he was. I thought he was my friend, and yet the whole time, he was planning to murder my father, and Alan’s wife.

"You’ll be happy to know that Alan is doing okay under the circumstances. He has his children. A small piece of Nora around to fill his days of mourning. I think he’ll be okay. None of us know where to go from here. The world has moved on yet again. Westminster is a different place now. Nothing will ever be the same. Especially since your gone now." Ryan stopped to wipe away the tears that were falling from his eyes. "I miss you Tiffany. Thoughts of you haunt me every day and every night. Thoughts of what could have been."

There was the slam of a car door in the distance. Ryan looked around, but did not see anybody.

"I wish I could hold you again." Ryan said. "I need you. My father is gone too, and I feel like I have no one right now. Well, that’s not entirely true. I have Alan, who has sort of adopted me as a second son. Although I feel he’s more my best friend now than anything. We’re helping each other now Tiff, now that everything has been taken away from us." Ryan leaned his head into the hard granite of the tombstone and took a deep breath. He was holding back the tears.

The soft sound of footsteps approached. "I thought I might find you here." Alan said softly. Ryan looked up at him and half smiled. "You okay?"

"Yeah, just visiting."

"I don’t have to ask if you miss her, do I?"

"I do, deeply."

"I know exactly how you feel Ryan."

"I know you do Alan." Ryan said. "This is the hard part, isn’t it? Moving on. I don’t think I can do it."

"Yes you can Ryan!" Alan insisted. "We’ll find a way. Life goes on. Tiffany will always be a part of you. There will come a day when you will look back at the memories of your time together and it won’t hurt like it does now. And I know it hurts Ryan, believe me, I know."

"It’s such a long way from now. I will never love again, like I loved Tiffany."

"No, probably not. But you will love again Ryan. It may take a long time, but you will." Alan said kneeling down in front of Ryan and Tiffany’s grave.

"Is that how you feel too?" Ryan asked. "Will you ever love again too?"

"I believe someday I will, yes. But no one will ever take Nora’s place, as no one will ever take Tiffany’s. Don’t worry about that now Ryan. You need time to heal. We both do. Not just from our losses, but from the whole ‘scarecrow’ experience."

"My God, why did this happen?"

"I don’t know. We probably will never truly know outside of Jarrod’s disturbed motives. But it is over now Ryan. Take some comfort in that."

"In a sense Alan, in some ways, ‘scarecrow’ will live in us forever."

"Yeah, I guess it will. I’m not going to stay long, as I’m sure you’d rather be alone. I needed to track you down as I have news."

Ryan sighed. He knew what was coming. "Okay, hit me."

"I just talked to Perri a little while ago. Adam is dead, confirmed."

"I figured as much."

"Yeah, he didn’t have a chance." Alan continued. "It is time now however, to face the music."

"You mean the Feds."

"Yeah, unfortunately. Perri tells me that they are anxious to talk to us about what we knew."

"We’re in trouble, aren’t we?" Ryan asked.

"No, not trouble. At least that’s what Perri says. The Feds want to know about Jarrod, and we were the closest people to him. They also recovered John Myers’ body out of Alumni Hall."

Ryan looked up at Alan. "Yikes, was it as Adam described?"

"Worse apparently. Several of John’s bones were broken, including a gunshot wound to his chest cavity. Perri says they recovered a slug from the bullet. It matches the description of a gun that the police have in their custody."

"What?" Ryan asked. "How is that possible? I thought Miller disposed of that gun after John was killed with it?"

"That’s what I thought. That gun apparently has been in circulation for the last twenty five years or so. The police recently confiscated it again out in California, according to Perri." Alan explained.

"Just let me get this right Alan. The gun that killed John Myers, was picked up recently in California?" Ryan asked in shock.

"Yeah, and get this. Originally it was in your fathers name."

"Holy shit."

"There was a major drug bust out in California, a major bust. Perri didn’t have the details, but it was big. That gun was part of the inventory taken from the drug czars." Alan said.

"I would certainly like to know how it ended up out in California twenty five years later." Ryan mused.

"Don’t even worry about it." Alan advised. "Perri said it’s a dead issue. The police know where it came from now, and that’s all that matters."

"Scarecrow."

"Yeah, ‘scarecrow’."

Ryan sighed again. "Okay Alan. I’ll be back at your house in about a half an hour or so."

"Take your time kid." Alan jested. "There’s no rush. The Feds can wait. That’s what we pay them for,"

Ryan chuckled as Alan patted him on the back. "I’ll see you in a little while then." Alan said.

"Yeah."

Alan walked away, leaving Ryan and Tiffany alone again. He lied down on the blanket and stared up into the empty blue sky, remembering Tiffany. The sound of her voice, the wave in her hair, and the sparkle in her eyes. They were the very same color the sky was right at that point in time.

As if Tiffany was watching.

"I hope you are at peace now Tiffany," Ryan whispered. "I love you."

Ryan closed his eyes, and dreamt.

July 14, 1995 - November 6, 1995
Sarasota, Florida

AUTHOR'S NOTES:

This novel, if you choose to call it that took me almost four months to write, which is really pretty quick when you think about it. The book wrote itself. When I sat down in from of a Brother word processor (with a bright orange/yellow monitor) I never intended this book to be as big as it was. It was supposed to be a short story...but as things can get completely blown out of proportion, so did this story. About half way through this book, I finally forked out a little over 2 grand for a then brand new HP Pavilion 486-DX100 (my first real computer) so I could finish this story with MS Word, as that damn Brother word processor was just taking to long to type on.

I worked very hard to try and get this book published, but I had no takers. Plus, it underwent a whole bunch of re-writes. For the avid reader, one would be surprised to know that in the original draft, there was no Todd Matheny or the story of the Alumni Hall haunting, and the original ending was rather cheesy and incomplete. Jarrod did not actually take Ryan hostage, he just blew his head off, and I was not happy with this ending. The major re-write added Todd and his band of followers in the spooked Alumni Hall with the enhanced ending.

I would hope that the avid reader would understand I took a *lot* of liberties with this story. Anyone who lives in Westminster, Maryland or attends Western Maryland College knows that the layout of the college and part of the town is a little out of sorts. When I wrote this book, I was in Sarasota, Florida and had not been in Westminster or the college in several years...my memory of the layout of either was not up to par. When I re-visited Westminster and the college, I saw the conflicting descriptions in the book, but thought "Who cares...I'm the author, I can do whatever I want!". I also came to discover that many of the landmarks I used in this story no longer exist. Yes, at the time, everything you read about Westminster was as I remembers it. Donut World is now Dunkin Donuts, Champs is now Johannson's, and Pizza-To-Go was always the Pizza Hut delivery at the 140 Village.

Inspiration for this story, actually came from the now defunct soap opera "Loving". When that soap was cancelled, they ended it with a major murder mystery in which most of the major characters were killed off. I was thinking to myself during the whole thing..."Damn, I would really like to write my own murder mystery!!!". I figured out who the Loving serial killer was even before the story was half way done. Because of this, I hoped that when I wrote my story that it would not be as easy to figure out. I hope I succeeded! :)

For those who are wondering..."So...what happens next?", I don't know. Right after I finished the major re-write of Scarecrow, I started its sequel....tentatively called "Spider". Ryan, Alan, Perri and Ron (and to some degree, Mike Wagner) return for this story with a mix of some new characters. The outline of this story is pretty much done, and I only wrote the first chapter. As a small teaser, I will say that the primary basis for this story was started in the epilogue above in which Alan tells Ryan that the gun that killed John Myers was discovered out in California after a major drug bust. Its specifically how that gun got out to California and who sent it there that begins the "Spider" story. It turns out that Ryan's dad, Geoffery has a few more ghosts in his closet...even from the grave. I started this story back in 1995. I put it down to take a break from writing and never picked it back up. I started programming instead! :)

So...I am going to ask you, the avid reader....would you like to see the sequel to Scarecrow? Its not a murder mystery. In fact, its something quite different, but just as interesting! I might be inclined to start writing again (if I ever get my programs out of Beta) as I *really* like writing. Perhaps with a little push, I might finish writing it. Let me know! :)


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