Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sometimes I Scare Myself

A suspense writer spends a lot of time researching and imagining worst case scenarios. This is always great for the book and writing stories that keep people on the edge of their seat, but in real life, I prefer NOT to be on the edge of my seat. At all. Especially at the grocery store. 

So, here's what happened. I headed out to my local grocery store at 8:00 at night, which, you know, is generally no big deal. But when I got there, my normally stuffed-with-cars store parking lot was nearly empty.

Very strange.

When I went inside, I seemed to be the only customer. Where was everyone? The teens that hung out to get Kong Kones and the people who shopped after work were conspicuously missing. I wandered the store, every squeak of my shoes on the tile echoing in the deserted aisles. It was weird, like one of those movies where something bad always happens to the one person who didn't get the memo about danger lurking and is all happy-go-lucky until the killer appears and chases them around the frozen section.

With that thought in mind, I might have crossed a few things off my list and just hurried to the front of the store. But when I was checking out, the bagger didn't offer to accompany me to the parking lot to help load my bags into my car. Another strange thing because they ALWAYS do that. Why wouldn't he want to go out in the parking lot? Was there something he wasn't telling me?

I put on my brave face and walked out to the dark parking lot alone and started loading my car with the groceries, but I kept an eye out. You know, just in case. Then, I kid you not, a black sedan sped into the parking lot and screeched to a stop just two spots away from me. To my credit, I did not scream, but threw the rest of my bags in the back and jumped in my car.

This, my friends, is the downside to being a suspense writer. Trips to an empty grocery store become sinister! Black sedans are always bad! And you have to drive home with a jolt of adrenaline rushing through your veins and explain to your husband and children what happened. Oh, the mortification of sitting through the head-shaking. The repressed laughter. The "my mom is so weird" looks.

All because I'm a writer and sometimes I scare myself.

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