Saturday, March 15, 2014

Parent-Normal Activity.

Greetings WYMOP fans. I want to tell you a little about my day.

So there I sat this afternoon, working on a story. It’s a good story —  could be a great story—  and it kind of came out of nowhere.
Sometimes, those are the best kind.
It’s a story about an old man whose wife has passed, and he finds something a little surprising waiting for him when he goes into the basement to do laundry for the first time.
A little surprising.
A little strange.
A little scary.
But the story has become more than I meant it to as my character starts, over the course of the story, to come to terms with her passing. Not just “coping” with it, but actually looking at it and how it’s making him feel. Some of what he’s finding out about himself comes as a bit of a surprise to him —  and to me, too, since this is in addition to what I’d intended, which was surprising, strange and scary.
And short. I forgot to mention short. I started this story last week, and it was supposed to be my Friday Fright. Just 1,000 words. No more.
It’s over 9,000 words and climbing, and I’ve really no idea how long it’ll wind up.
So as I was sitting there this afternoon, just happily banging away at the keyboard, I was reveling in the power of a writer’s imagination and the places it can take me without any conscious direction. It’s like the world’s biggest movie screen and adventure ride, rolled into one.
I was happy.
Then I heard a sound from downstairs. One I recognized. Two I recognized, really. The slam of the back storm-door closing, followed by the bang of the back door itself closing.
Wow, I thought. I thought I was all alone in the house.
Then I thought about it. I’d heard the outer door close, then the inner. That meant someone had come into the house. My dad, I assumed, had come home for lunch. Then I looked at the clock.
Lunch or something, I thought. It’s only 10:20 in the morning. A little early…
So I went downstairs to see what was going on. What I found was… nobody.
I was right. I was alone in the house, and though I’d clearly heard someone coming in, there was neither a person on the ground floor, nor even a car in the driveway.
That’s odd. I could have sworn I heard…
Now, if this were a movie, this is the point where we would show a flashback to earlier in the week when I watched two movies: Paranormal Activity, and Paranormal Activity II —  a pair of haunted house movies. Said flashback would include every scene where doors swung all by themselves. Usually when no one was looking. Sometimes they swung open, but sometimes they swung closed. With a slam, or a bang.
A slam or a bang usually preceded something bad happening. Generally to the poor slob who was all alone in the house.
If this were a movie, the scene would cut back from that flashback to a shot of me, pounding up the stairs toward my office.
Which I did do.
It would show me sitting back behind my desk and tentatively tapping at the keys.
Which I did do.
It would show me pausing in said tapping, frequently, to look back over both shoulders. Just  to make sure everything back there was still right where I’d left it.
Which I did do. 
So I sit here this afternoon, unhappily banging away at the keyboard, trapped in the power of a writer’s imagination and the places it can take me without any conscious direction. It’s like the world’s biggest movie screen and scare ride, rolled into one.
I am unhappy.

I’m sure there’s a logical explanation for the doors banging like that. I’m sure my father simply came into the house noisily, only to turn right around and leave quietly. The thought that he has never left the house quietly in my adult life has flitted about my head looking for a way to get in, but I am steadfastly keeping it out.
Away, damn thought. There’s no place for you here.
I’m continuing to work in my little office upstairs, and ignoring any and all sounds I hear coming from downstairs, especially when I’m alone in the  house.
Yes, comes the thought, because that tactic worked so well for the people in the mov—
Away, damn thought. There’s no place for you here.
So anyway, I’ll keep working on scary stories up here in this little office. Because nothing is wrong. And nothing has happened.

So far.

Talk to you later… I hope.

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