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The Murder at the Blackstone Farm
Urban legends, God I love them. I grew up throughout my childhood, and I can only hope than my own children can too. It’s an enormous to have grown up in a county that has harbored haunted houses, bizarre landmarks, and legendary characters. My old home town has had its small share of Bigfoot sightings, and they’re always fun to hear about. The mere possibility of having something along the lines of a monster in your own backyard was absolutely stimulating. I used to live in a fairly agricultural town, so you would expect there to be a lot of forest space. The walk home from school included a small dirt road through the woods, and then into to my suburb. I always had my eye out for Bigfoot.
Of all the legends in that town, the best I’ve ever heard was The Murder at the Blackstone Farm House. I guess the reason I liked it so much was because the story had a sense of tragedy to it (something that Bigfoot definitely didn’t have). At the time it happened, it seemed like a common murder, soon turned into a cold case. There are a million different variations to the story, but this version has intrigued me for years. For most people, the name “Blackstone Oregon” is synonymous the murders, and nothing else. I won’t lie; it feels pretty good to have lived in a town that’s infamous. You probably think I sound like a child feeling proud about something I have nothing to do with, but none the else, but I still do!
The story begins in the 1890’s with a man named Horace Mack. Mack was an upstanding citizen, hardworking farmer, and a devout Catholic at that. If you asked anyone in town, they would have said he was a man with exemplary morals, and had everyone’s best interest at heart. If he only had one only had one fault, it would be pension for always having his way. One day while in town, Mack came across an angelic, radiant, and absolutely seductive young woman walking into the general store. Her name was Melissa Cooper, and he was smitten at first sight. Ol’ Mack knew that she had to be his.
Now, Mack was a gentleman first, and Romeo second. He couldn’t bring himself to ask her on a date so soon, so he tried a different tactic as he walked into the store.
“Excuse me ma’am,” said Mack. “I couldn’t help but notice that you have the face of an angel! God must have sent you down from heaven above to grace this town with your beauty!”
“Do I know you?” she asked.
“I’d have to say that you don’t. I was simply admiring what pride you must take in your looks!”
“Look, I’ve gotten this type of flattering a million times before and I know exactly where it leads to. I’m not interested.”
Mack may not have had that much romantic experience, but he really didn’t know when to say no. He followed Melissa out of the store, and down the street, telling her nothing but compliments. Her mind wasn’t changing one bit, and shot Mack down over and over again.
“Are we quite done here?” asked Melissa. “I think you may have just used every sappy line in the book on me.”
“Is it so wrong to just think someone is gorgeous?” he replied. She gave him the worst look of pity a woman could give a man, and silently walked away. Mack’s heart was starting to break, so he did something he would only do in times of emergency. “Wait! Have I told you about my latest business venture?” She was still walking away as if she hadn’t heard a thing. “I recently patented a new invention of mine! The Motor Powered Bread Slicer! They say I’ll be sure to make millions!” That perked Melissa’s ear’s right up.
“Is that right? Well, maybe I’ve misjudged you Mr. Map”
“Whatever you say hun.”
Mack had pretty much told the biggest lie in his life. It was the only thing that he thought to do from letting Melissa slip right through his fingers. Soon enough, they really hit it off. Mack kept telling her more and more phony details of his invention, and the dollar signs in her eyes grew larger. He promised that if she married him, they would live a life of luxury thanks to the revenue produced by his invention. She accepted immediately, which made Mack the happiest man in town.
Weeks later they had the ceremony, and began their life at Mack’s farm. To say that she was an uncaring wife would be an understatement. She never paid any attention to Mack, was out of the house constantly, and never cared for his religious and charitable tendencies. Of course everyday, Melissa asked when they would receive their first check for the bread slicer. He would always tell her the same thing, “Good things come to those who wait honey!” Melissa’s fantasies of a lavish lifestyle kept her preoccupied, and accepted her current situation.
Months and months went by, and as far as Mack was concerned, life was pretty good. I only wish the same could’ve been said for Melissa. As more time went on, she became distraught with her husband. She was starting to put the pieces together, and highly doubted the arrival of any money. One day she confronted Mack on the situation.
“Alright Horace, we need to talk.” She said to him. “I’ve been faithful to you for months now, and I haven’t seen any sign of a check so far. Are you sure that it’s even coming?” Mack felt as though he and Melissa were absolutely in love, and didn’t feel any shame in telling her the truth.
“Well darling, it looks like it’s about time I came clean.” he said. “There is no check coming in the mail. I actually lied about the motorized bread slicer. I thought it was the only way I could truly win you over, but we’ve made a humble, yet wonderful life together. I wouldn’t give that up for the world! Don’t you feel the same darling?” She gave him an incomprehensible blank expression and turned pale.
“Yes…” she replied.
“Fantastic! So what were we thinking about dinner for…?” Before Mack could finish his sentence, Melissa had walked out of the house.
She had no idea what to do. The only reason that Melissa married this man was for his money, and now that’s just dust in the wind. She knew that there was no way to get out of this marriage. She’s listened to Mack ramble on about his faith so much, that there was no hope trying to talk him into a divorce. The “sanctity” of marriage for him was too important for him to break. The thought that the man that lied to her wouldn’t even let her out of this marriage was infuriating. To Melissa, an injustice like could not go unpunished, even if she had to do the chastising herself.
That night, she acted like the perfect spouse (which you could call her opposite personality). She thanked Mack for dinner, and for the first time, she actually said grace with him. He was smart enough to see that something was amiss.
“Alright Melissa, what’s going on?” he asked her.
“Why, I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about dear.” she replied. “It doesn’t appear I’ve done anything wrong.”
“You just don’t seem to be yourself lately. I guess I’m just a little curious.”
“Well, my outlook on our life has expanded darling! Our talk earlier made me fully realize how good we have it, and I’m ever so grateful! I love you so much honey!” That put a smile on Mack’s face that could brighten up the room.
That night before going to sleep, Mack kneeled down at the foot of his bed and said a silent prayer.
“Dear Lord,” whispered Mack. “Over the years you have blessed me with a million gifts, and I’m always grateful. I couldn’t ask for a better life, but you have given me Melissa, which made my entire world all the more brighter! I thank you immensely for everything that-…” That was when Melissa stabbed him in the back (pun intended).