Photo credit: Javair Mansell
We were going somewhere — the library, I think — though why we were driving is a mystery. The library was within easy walking distance of our house, so we must’ve been going somewhere else after that.
The point is, we were driving, and it’s a good thing we were, because had we been walking, we would’ve taken a different route, and I would’ve missed seeing her.
I say her, but I don’t know if what I saw was female. I don’t even know if what I saw was human.
The, um, humanoid I saw standing on the corner of Reisterstown Road and Walker Avenue was wrapped head to toe in rags.
Shiny black marble eyes peered out from between the rags encircling its misshapen head, and those eyes seemed to follow me as I turned the car onto Walker.
Picture a mummy wrapped not in yards of linen, but miles of it, such that its girth rivaled a tree trunk.
“Did you guys see that?!” I asked my family.
My daughter Mara said she had. Her fearful expression in the rearview mirrored my own perfectly.
So maybe I hadn’t hallucinated, unless hallucinations were contagious. Were they?
Did I mention it was a bright and sunny day? It was. Did I mention that ours is a small town, without a convention center or major hotel? It is. So the thing Mara and I saw wasn’t some cosplay character gone astray, and it wasn’t a costumed sign waver for a fabric store. Our town doesn’t have a fabric store.
That night, after we got back from wherever we’d been, Mara and I speculated on what we’d seen.
We decided it was a monster.
My imagination took it from there. The monster would dwell in the non-visible spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. It would become visible when summoned by human desire.
Have you ever wondered where writers get their ideas?
Yeah, me neither.
But were you to wonder, I’d say that thing I saw on the corner of Reisterstown Road and Walker Avenue is what gave me the idea for my next novel, the one I would write after I let go of The Bridge.
It would be a novel of firsts for me: first horror novel, first young-adult novel, and first novel with a cruelly dysfunctional family.
Jennie, the literary agent who wanted a singularly character-driven novel, was going to love it!
To be continued . . .