Finally a Synopsis for my new book: "A Cabin In The Hills"
Synopsis for A Cabin In The Hills
By Marc Meyer c 2021
Ex army ranger William Turner is embarking on his final mission. A mission that will erase him finally and completely from the face of the earth. This will not be any ordinary suicide mission however, Turner would make sure there would be no gun to the head or fall from a balcony. Over the years he became a reluctant tenant, residing at his his son’s modernized cabin in the high ground of Tennessee along with his son’s new wife Suzie and their two children.Try as he might, William, Will or Bill, depending on who was addressing him, could not shake the loving memories he had of his son Philip’s first wife Janet, who passed away suddenly in a tragic car accident. Janet somehow managed to make everyone feel as if they were part of a family unit, despite her English roots and inability to prepare a family meal beyond the soft boiled eggs, toast and coffee she made for Phillip each morning before he left for work.
Phillip’s brand new wife Suzie and William, on the other hand, hated each other practically on sight. Suzie had a way of picking quarrels with William for no apparent reason and William found himself defending his habitual behaviours to her on an almost constant basis, a recipe for trouble that would finally reach it’s limit. Despite this, initially at least, William thought Suzie was a good mother to his two grandchildren and an excellent cook. Though he had come to view her as something of a mortal enemy, he knew he was was going to have to put up with her in order to keep the peace. A task that would eventually prove impossible for them both.
The story of a cabin in the hills takes place in the future. It opens with William Turner overhearing Suzie’s demand that his son Phlilip place him in a state run nursing home, removing him once and for all from the household while putting the least amount of strain on the family’s finances. To William, still young looking and vigorous in his mid seventies, albeit with dwindling savings, such an action would constitute a fate incontrovertably worse than death. He was also aware that Suzie had an iron will and usually got her way. William had been mulling over the prospect of death by his own hand for some time but it was ironically Suzie who ended up bringing it to the forefront of his mind. These days he thought about little else.
Although William wished for his exit strategy to take place in as short a time remaining as possible, he would have to be meticulously careful as to it’s execution. On the one hand he hoped it could be accomplished without his grandchildren thinking that his demise could have been anything other than an accident. On the other, he wished to leave the planet once and for all in grand style. To that end he envisions a series of elaborate and adventurous schemes, ones he feels confident will guarantee his demise without the possibility of any debilitating injury or escape.
The first real attempt presents itself at a local museum where William becomes employed as a part time janitor. As night close in, William manages to hide in a subterranean floor until all of the staff have left, managing to abscond with the curators keys to the building in the process. A very high end Bugatti sports car worth two million dollars is on display in one of the upper floors. William manages to get instructions from a demonstrator who informs him not only how to gain access to the locked vehicle, starting it up with a keyless entry but also reveals a scenario in which he would go about exiting the car from the building should he be inclined to make off with it. William, much to his dismay, did manage to start the car, driving recklessly out of a loading dock onto a side street and up a local highway overpass. People leaped out of the way as William floored it onto a bridge with the idea of jumping the car over the guardrail at top speed. It was over a fifty foot drop to the highway below. If carried out properly with no mishaps, William knew it would constitute certain death.
Ultimately William’s plans foil when the car shuts down remotely once it is reported stolen by a night watchman and William is arrested. He is then escorted by the police to the curator to decide his fate, telling everyone who would listen that he was was “just testing out” the vehicle including the police and was subsequently fired from his job on the spot with the curator threatening to press charges should he ever set foot on the premises.
Having failed at his first attempt, William siezes upon another idea for a venture that would take him to the other side of the world. It begins with a letter from an old army buddy he met while stationed in Okinawa during the Korean war. The buddy, having known William’s aspirations for some time, entreates him to meet at a familiar haunt. From there he takes him to a seedy apartment, hatching out a plan in which he secretly educates Bill about the legendary Osaka suicide forest at the base of Mt. Fuji called Aokigara meaning “Sea Of Trees”.
The Aokigahara is a wooded area known for it’s particularly cruel and gruesome past, where long ago sick or aging family members who could no longer look after themselves were taken and left to die. Spirits were believed to inhabit the place which only made it more intriguing to William, who never believed in ghosts. Unbeknownst to his buddy, William and his now deceased first wife had already scouted the place out on a dare many years before they were engaged but William remains tight lipped about the whole affair which is nonetheless described in the book. The army Buddy sets him up in a swank hotel complete with a local forest ranger who’s intention is to lead him into a remote spot, at which point the ranger would take off leaving William to kill himself at the bottom of a deep ravine in the dead of night.
William decides to embark on the mission, telling his family he is going camping with friends but his plans are once again foiled when the area of the forest he is near becomes threatened by wildfire. His son, hearing about the fire near Williams location on line, flies out to rescue him in a friend’s private plane with the help of the forest ranger.
Once they finally reach home Suzie greets William with a violent slap in the face and a screaming tirade about how he almost put her husband in mortal danger. Suzie reached her breaking point but before she can cause any real damage by insisting he move out of the house into a squalid senior living facility, William happens upon a lovely woman about ten years his junior named Sylvia. The woman recently published a bestselling book about poisonous plants and decides to include William’s hometown on her book tour and give a talk.
In addition she happens to have been an old high school sweetheart of Williams. Having read about her event in the local paper, William cannot resist attending her talk as it happens to cover at least one of his topics of interest. Upon seeing each other and reminicing about old times the two form an immediate connection and begin to see each other on a regular basis.
The reader could be forgiven at this point for thinking that all of the travails William has encountered up to this point will suddenly vanish, resulting in a happy ending. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth.
Everyone in William’s family, especially William considers Sylvia quite a catch, until an old boyfriend of her’s shows up out of nowhere, attempting to persuade her to come and live with him a thousand miles away in Canada. During the short lived courtship, Suzie, the daughter-in-law and William’s love interest Sylvia form a bond and Suzie persuades her it would be best that she not hook up with William. William spies the two of them having lunch together and seething with anger decides that a murder suicide will be the best solution for all concerned. At the end of the book he waits until both women are in the cabin, positioning himself outside and begins shooting the place up whith a hunting rifle.
A robot the family names Gus, referred to as a “house bot”, is introduced at the beginning of the story as an additional character. He is a prototype, purchased at great expense by William’s son Philip. He is brought into the household to do chores, prepare light meals and protect the family from intruders. It is Gus in the end who, with the aid of Suzie’s hand on a remote device, winds up taking William’s life by sneaking up behind him and killing him. The story closes with William paying a brief ethereal visit to his closest friend and family members, once in the form of a warm hand on the shoulder, then of a bird before his transition into the afterlife.