By Tamrie Foxtail
It’s October and that of course brings to mind innocent looking pumpkins carved into faces both fierce and funny. Then there’s the witch, perched on her broomstick (wouldn’t that get uncomfortable?) flying in front of a huge full moon. Personally, my favorite is the black cat, especially when it shows up in cute kitten form, witch’s hat perched on its head as it pops out of a pumpkin.
For writers, especially those of us who write paranormals, October is so much fun. Now tell the truth, doesn’t your mind throw out a few more creepy “What ifs…” once those skeletons and pumpkins show up?
Of course Halloween’s not the only thing that gets my “What ifs…” going.
For those of us who have day jobs other than writing, our work environment can sure toss the ideas out there. The library where I work has a community room that we rent out for parties, etc. We take turns going back to lock up if something ends after hours. Not too bad on a Saturday afternoon. After dark? Whole other story.
When you lock up after dark you have to unlock the front door of the library, walk through the back office, through a dark supply room (the light switch is on the far side of the room, don’t ask me why.)The flashlight beam bounces off puppets we use for the childrens’ hour, craft supplies, and a few things no one could think of a better place to store. Finally, you come to the light switch. Don’t really need it now. There’s the door to the community room, at last. You go inside, make sure everything is in order and the outside door locked. Yes, it would be much easier to come in through the community room to begin with. If the door could be unlocked from the outside. Now you have to make the return trip to the front door, with a brief stop to set the alarm. Now all of this usually takes just a few minutes, no big deal. But those “what ifs…” always seem to show up when I’m locking it up at night.
Now you might expect the “what if someone’s hiding in the dark?” scenario but the one that always seems to hit me over the head is “what if I just vanished? No one sees anything. No one hears anything. There’s no sign of a struggle…” This is usually followed by “What if other people have vanished from here over the years?”
That thought usually keeps the ideas churning for the drive home. I know my muse is trying to tell me something, but so far nothing seems quite right.
So how ‘bout it? Where’s the innocent place that, under the right circumstances, has you asking “What if…?”
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