The Third and Final book in the Darryl Glenn trilogy. It started at Winston-Salem State University. It flowed through the mountains and valleys of Yellowstone to the hayfields of Kansas. It chronicles the lost loves and life of noted raptor biologist Dr. Darryl Glenn. And now his hometown is under siege. Hold on because once again, Darryl A Perkins takes the reader on a magical ride of mystery, murder, and redemption – all with a comic twist. It may have started at WSSU, but it ends in Bushtown! Nestled in the foothills of North Carolina, Caldwell County is sleepy county where furniture manufacturing and Friday night football are king. That is until it falls prey to a serial killer. Setzer’s Creek will keep you in suspense until the very end!
Everyone knew they would be together. That’s just the way it was. As far back as anyone could remember, when you saw one, you saw the other.
Ever since third grade, Molly Jones was the only girl Frankie Patterson had eyes for and believe me, Molly felt the same way. Frankie wasn’t brave, nor was he a hero, but when Blake Felder yanked Molly’s ponytail on the school bus and made her cry, Frankie lost his mind and popped older and bigger Blake in the nose. Of course he took a beating for his trouble, but it didn’t matter. That single act of valor had won the heart of his lady-love for evermore.
Molly lived with her grandmother who was a retired librarian and a pillar of the community. Mrs. Hilda Gray Jones was tasked with raising Molly when her only daughter Grace, Mollies mother, and Mollies father Ben had both died in a tragic car accident when Molly was seven. Fritz Jones, her husband of forty years, had never gotten over the loss of his only daughter and died in his sleep just months after Grace’s death. Having Molly to look after was a godsend for Miss Hilda Gray - as she was known in the Bushtown community. She would often say to Molly, ”Baby girl. You are the only thing that keeps your old granny sane!”
Molly was the joy of her grandma’s life. Now Miss Hilda Grey just knew that if Molly didn’t ruin her life traipsing after that wild Patterson boy, she would surely become a successful doctor or lawyer. Molly had inherited a quick mind and thirst for knowledge from both of her parents and just like her mother and father, she would continue her education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Frankie Patterson was the only son of Francis and Jake Patterson. He lived in a small two-bedroom house in the Bucko Hollow section of Freedman. Francis was a quiet, unassuming woman, and her only fault according to the local gossips - was in loving that despicable Jake Patterson! Using despicable to describe Jake seemed a little harsh, particularly considering that the vast majority of the ladies in Caldwell County had spent intimate quality time with Francis Patterson’s husband on more than one occasion. Jake was one of the nicest men in Caldwell County provided he wasn’t drinking. Moonshine was his beverage of choice and since his family was riddled with “shine-men”, he didn’t have to look too far for a jar of the white. When he was drinking he would fight at the drop of a hat and being somewhat of a lady’s man; a wink, a smile, or a glance that lingered a little too long on someone else’s woman often got him in hot water. Drunk or sober, he was always kind and gentle with Francis and she had to encourage him spank little Frankie when he really needed it.
Frankie grew up amid rumors that brothers and sisters abound in Lenoir and throughout the surrounding counties. On more than one occasion he had heard, “You just watch and see. He’s gonna be just like his daddy.”
Well, as far as Frankie was concerned, being just like Jake Patterson was all he ever wanted to do. His father had been a great high school football and basketball player and had played for Clarence “Big House” Gaines at Winston-Salem State. Plus, no one could make his mother laugh like his dad. When his dad sang to his mom, or danced and talked “fool talk” to her, she would light up like a candle. And while with a little white liquor in his gut, Jake was as big a whore monger that ever walked the earth; his son Frankie, on the other hand, was a one-woman man and that woman was Molly Jones!
And so that’s the way it was with Frankie and Molly – childhood sweethearts who were destined to be together forever.
Finally, it was the second Saturday in May which meant one thing in Caldwell County – Prom Night! Prom night was the one night that if you played your cards right and didn’t hold back on the I-Love-You’s; a fellow could get lucky. This of course would mean that at least for one night, all those locker room lies could be laid to rest.
It seems that bragging about sexual conquests was a rite of passage among the sixteen and seventeen-year-old boys of Caldwell County. Almost everyone did it - bragged and lied that is - and absolutely no one believed it was true. So when a high school boy quit bragging, it was commonly thought that he and his lady love had finally “did it.”
This wasn’t the case with Frankie and Molly. When Ladonna Hatton got pregnant in the eighth grade and her folks moved to Kansas amid rumors and questions, Frankie and Molly vowed to wait until marriage before “doing it.” To Frankie it seemed like a good idea at the time - back there in the seventh grade, but as his hormones got stronger and Molly got softer, marriage after college seemed like an awfully long ways away. By the end of their junior year Frankie had begged, pleaded and kissed the “do-it” date down to their freshman year when they would be off at college. To all his friends, the fact that Frankie didn’t indulge in locker room banter further advanced the notion that he and Molly were doing it on the regular.
When the girls were talking about whom they wanted to do it with or who they had already been with, Molly never joined in. Instead she just smiled and shook her head when the conversation turned to her and Frankie.
“Girl-l-l-l-l! Frankie been hit’n that since third grade!” her best friend Gloria would say when the subject turned to whose loving who. “She just ain’t one to kiss and tell is all.”
Molly would just smile, shake her head and say one word, “Marriage!”
The fact that everyone assumed they were doing it was amusing to Frankie and Molly. So the second Saturday in May found them headed to Cedar Rock Country Club for Hibriten High School’s Prom.