Okay, so you’re driving from here to there and it’s 3 a.m. You’re cruising at 70 mph past a small town you never heard of and have no idea why it’s where it is. It’s the kind of town the phrase, Roll up the sidewalks at 9 p.m., was made for. It’s all dark but for scattered streetlights. You barely know it’s there until you spot a lighted second story window. With nothing on the radio but way past their prime Oldies, Country music, or some talk show host whose only agenda is to make spurious accusations with the intent of dissing someone in power, (you know who I mean) you wonder, Who the hell is up at 3am? And why?
Could it be as simple as a parent up with a child sick with a common cold, or maybe the kid discovered the Halloween candy his/her parents hid six months ago and decided to make up for months of lost candy time in one day? Maybe it’s not so simple. The child is dying and the parent is sitting up desperately trying to thinking of a way to save the kid. And to keep yourself awake as you blithely motor by, you wonder, “What would I do to save my child?”
Of course you’d take a second job, (if you could find one) or a second mortgage, (if you could find one) or set up a website to solicit donations. Who wouldn’t? But what if money wasn’t the problem? How far would you go off the grid, out of the box? If that old cliché’ A Deal with the Devil was a viable option, would you? There are other possible deal options. A lesser demon trying to gain some sort of street cred by recruiting humans to his/her/its thrall. Aliens who need humans to carry out some ambiguous (to you) plan. A sorcerer or witch with an agenda. (see below)
If the only way to keep your child with you was to have him or her changed into a vampire, would you? Did you see the movie Let the right one in? Think carefully. Maybe it’s a vampire kid who’s sick. He got hold of some tainted blood from a drunk methhead and it was screwing up his natural vamp immunity, and his mother is up practicing her Just say no to drugged up humans speech. Or maybe change the child into a werewolf? At least he/she could go out during the day.
That 3 a.m. lighted window could be as simple as a wife waiting up for her husband whose plane was late. The question of whether or not she has a gun beside her to blow that philandering bastard away when he walks into the bedroom is a question that will have to wait for the early morning news from the police blotter to answer.
And by the way, why are you driving past that window at 3 a.m?
What if it was a sorcerer or witch that made your kid sick then conveniently made himself (I’ll go with sorcerer, but witches can have the same magical problems) available to cure him/her. Cures like that of course don’t come free. Where’s the story in that? At some future date he will need your help. Of course you agree. It’s your kid and he’s not the Devil, after all. He calls. You go. He wants you to kill somebody. And he’s scared. You try and cry for another deal. No new deal. You allow him to convince you that the woman he wants dead is an evil, scheming, murdering bitch, so to keep your kid well, you agree. Besides, you got royally screwed over 15 years ago by your BFF/evil, scheming bitch and the thought of bashing in the head of an evil, scheming, murdering bitch has a certain appeal. So, putting aside any flashes of rational thought and downing a couple of whisky neats, you go see this monster all dressed up as a hot babe and…. This is where you have to decide whether you’re going to take the high road or the low road, the road less taken, the sorcerer’s way or the highway. And that will determine what exciting, dramatic, humorous, emotional journey comes next.
What if there’s a lonely person in that room who’s tearily writing a suicide note, though she’s convinced nobody will ever read it, or care if they do. The window is beside her. It looks out on a cold lonely landscape just like the one she has inside her. Then she sees a car drive by, the first in hours. And for a moment her despair lifts, there is someone else in the world. She presses her face to the window and her eyes follow you in that car as you turn off to stop at an all night diner, though you weren’t planning to. Suddenly, filled with a strange purpose, the woman dashes out of the room, races down the steps, jumps in her car and speeds to the diner where she parks next to your car. Inside, she sits at the counter next to the only customer, you. It takes a while, but, beginning with a simple smile and a “Hi,” a conversation begins. Where it ends is up to you.
What if two lovers are in the room? They keep the light on so they can always see each other. In a tangle of sheets they lay panting, not a care in the world, just basking in the afterglow. A car drives up. Someone gets out, enters, climbs the steps to the room. This person has a gun. Neither the lover in the bed nor the lover hiding behind the door have a gun. Yet, the car is found two days later in the all-nite diner’s parking lot. It’s owner is nowhere to be found. At least for a week or a month or a year or….
What if you are in that room? Why, good or bad, would you be up at 3a.m?
Whoever is in that lonely room, thanks to Jazz Tales streaming on KUVO 89.3 in Denver www.kuvo.org – Sunday nights at 10p.m. Mountain Time – Weird Nightmares episode. Check it out.
Please watch out for my new adult, young adult e-novel, Ancient Mariners. It should be available by end of August.