December 27, 2011


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: forbidden rooms

Thirty years after the infamous McMartin Preschool Incident, Tayna Hopewell’s parents buy the land the day care once stood on to build a golf equipment shop. Everything is past and even though she finds out about the lot’s history through a Google search, she doesn’t say anything.

They aren’t opening a day care!

Tanya who lives in Alondra and takes classes as a high school senior at El Camino College wants to be a forensic scientist after she graduates. Her parents are “golf semi-pros” and while she supports them now that she’s “grown up”, she loathes the sport and avoids it at every chance.

On the eve of a big semi-pro tourney at the nearby Alondra Golf Course, and shortly after the excavation began, Tanya NEEDS to escape her parents! They’re driving her CRAZY!

She lights off along Manhattan Beach Boulevard, jogging toward the beach and some much-needed alone time. When she reaches the excavation site, she sees that the gate is still standing open and she figures her parents own the land, so she has every right to check things out.

A warm breeze is wafting off shore a mile or so away and even though the sun is sinking toward the horizon, she’s comfortable poking around the site.

It’s not particularly interesting until she gets to the back of the lot. It’s been built over more than once – before the infamous daycare (demolished in 1985) it was a housing development, since then The Strand Cleaners which went out of business. Now her parents are building a two-story building; the ground floor will house Hopewell’s Pro Golf; the upper story was unrented yet, but there were plenty of people interested.

At the back of the property, Tanya nearly pitches into a narrow hole in the ground that runs under the fence to the property behind their land. As well, there’s evidence of the trenches running toward Manhattan Boulevard. Scowling, she looked into the hole, though she can’t see a thing. She takes out her cell, flips it to “flashlight mode” and aims it into the hole.

She still can’t see much more than the far side of it. Muttering, she unrolls her towel, lays it on the ground and lays down, scooting to the edge so she can see over it clearly.

The flicks on the flashlight, holding it ahead of her and pointing down and looks carefully.

At the bottom of the trench, at the edge of the cell phone’s light reach, she clearly sees a pile of bones.

Heart pounding, she remembers that there was a buried trash heap under the property that they’d found evidence of even during the trial in the olden days. It’s probably just animal bones.

That’s when she sees it. To one side, barely visible now, staring at her without eyes, is a small skull.

A small HUMAN skull…

No comments: