Carson Buckingham was born a while back. As a child, she excelled in finger-painting, rendering an amazingly accurate reproduction of Picasso’s “Guernica” on the right index finger of a playmate. Unfortunately, the piece was destroyed when the teacher demanded that “all hands be washed sparkly clean” before snack time. Buckingham was so devastated that, to this day, she breaks out in a cold sweat at the sight of graham crackers and orange juice.
But, undaunted, she moved on to other areas of interest. In elementary school, she kept to herself, sneaking into the high school chemistry lab during play periods and creating explosions and smoke of various colors and corrosiveness.
Permanently banned from the inorganic sciences by age seven, she took up cooking, spending her play periods in the home economics room, creating explosions and smoke of various colors and corrosiveness.
The following year, the chemistry teacher and the home economics teacher spoke with Buckingham’s guidance counselor, recommending that, since she showed such promise, she be sent, as the youngest intern in history, to the underground weapons testing site in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
Only too glad to comply, her father sent her packing. “Maybe now I can get the damned house rebuilt once and for all!” he was heard to mutter.
In New Mexico, Buckingham distinguished herself when, on her first day, she completely confounded the security system. Being a short, easily frustrated person, she couldn’t reach the keypad to punch in her access code, so she kicked the console several times, causing a total blackout and system lockup throughout the entire compound, not to mention the activation of launch codes. Seven weeks later, when the Microsoft technical experts could get the doors open once again, she was ejected by Bill Gates personally.
Having a deep sense of pride, even at age eight, Buckingham didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of going home again. She wasn’t sure she’d recognize the place, anyway, since, when she last saw it, it was pretty much a charred frame with doors. So, she sang ho for the open highway, and hit the road.
After a year or so, she was apprehended and sent back to school, where she worked hard for four years and finally entered high school quietly and without fanfare.
In high school, her inquiring mind was ready to explore the theater and she was one of the youngest members of the drama club to be cast in a leading role. Her first, and unfortunately, her last role the Monster in “Frankenstein;” during which she was booed off the stage. It all happened during the famous cigar-smoking scene in the blind hermit’s hut, in which the Monster goes berserk at the sight of a flaming match. Buckingham, in her zeal to make the Monster’s fear credible, roared and waved her arms about to such an extent that she ended up setting fire to the table, the set, and the blind hermit (played by a high school senior who could, from that point forward, forget about the modeling career he was previously so well suited for).
Acting career at an end, Buckingham immersed herself in reading and later, writing. She began an underground newspaper at her school, which was wildly popular until she was ratted out by the senior whose modeling career she’d ruined.
She graduated from high school as the class Maledictorian (no, that’s not a typo). In her parting speech, she used so many words that the audience had to look up that, when she was finished, they had no choice but to applaud, even though she had just spent twenty minutes telling them all to . . . well, it’s probably better left unrepeated.
Buckingham spent a short time in college, where the professors all clubbed together to buy off the Dean to give her a diploma and get her the hell out of there.
Professionally, Buckingham has made her way in life doing all manner of things, most of which involve arson. She is currently employed as a freelance writer on a work release program. In her spare time, she studies forensics, in hopes of applying her new knowledge to eluding the authorities more effectively the next time.
She is originally from Connecticut, but now resides in Kentucky—and Connecticut is glad to be rid of her.
The answer is—next to nothing.
Allison Pilch discovers that what initially seems idyllic carries a horrific hidden cost.
With neighbors she hears but never sees, a creepy room that she keeps locked, and a new boss with a disturbing affliction; Allison will have her sanity stretched to the limit.
Oh, and let’s not forget a steadily growing, but inexplicable dread that arrives out of nowhere…