October 9, 2012


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: Demons (mean ones) released/summoned/etc.
Current Event: just type: summoning demon 2012

Dauda Shagari stared glumly out at the falling snow. He said, “You never had to grow up with snow.”

His father, hunched over his laptop as he tapped yet another diatribe against the forced reunification of African tribes and families, didn’t look up as he said, “You never had to grow up with famine and internecine tribal warfare or people coming into your house wanting to chop you into little bits with a dull machete.”

Dauda mouthed the standard rejoinder, bobbling his head back and forth.

“And don’t think I can’t see you mocking me,” Dad added, looking up abruptly. He smiled faintly to take the sting out of his words.

“I’m not mocking you!” Dauda cried.

“Could have fooled me,” Dad said, returning to his work. His accent was carefully schooled Midwestern, though when he was upset, it drifted back into difficult to understand Nigerian English.

Dauda sighed. Somebody pounded on the front door of the house the University lent Dad in exchange for teaching a few classes in Hausa for the Global Language Department and a few in Emerging Africa for the College of Diplomacy and Global Politics. Plus a few African Religions classes – which Dad hated because his family had been Christians for five generations…

Dauda leaped from his perch in the window seat and raced to the door, flinging it open. David Lurvey laughed and held out two sets of cross-country skis. “Come on out, the snow’s perfect!”

“It isn’t even…” Dauda began.

“Go out, son! You’ve been inside all day. You need some fresh air.”

Grumbling, Dauda bundled up in his winter coat and called out, “Someday you’ll acknowledge that I’m fifteen and can make my own decisions, Dad.”

“I acknowledge that you can make your own decisions. They aren’t always the ones that are best for you,” Dad called back as Dauda slammed the door.

He said to David, “This from a man who makes his living intentionally antagonizing a New World Order.”

“Yeah, but he’s the only Exile I’ve ever met in real life,” said David. They both laughed as they headed across campus to the edge of the frozen marsh. Instead of heading for their usual starting spot, David nudged Dauda to one side, saying, “We’re gonna take this trail instead.”

“What? That just leads to the old boathouse.”


David hurried past him. It was obvious that others had passed here recently; fresh footprints in the snow. “What’s back there?”

“You’ll see.”

Dauda snorted. It wasn’t like David to be secretive, but he followed along anyway. He heard the voices before he saw the boathouse. He grinned, “There’s a party down here?”

“Sort of,” David said as he leaned the pairs of skis against a board that had been nailed into the trunk of a tree. He went to the door and slid it aside. “Go on in.”
Dauda frowned and stopped walking. “Why do you want me to go in there?”

“Why wouldn’t you just go in?”

“‘cause this is weird,” he said.

“Why’sit weird?”

“Because you NEVER act like this.”

From the darkness beneath the bowed roof of the boathouse, came chanting voices followed by a group of college students who walked toward him. A girl he’d never seen before said, “C’mon, kid. We’ve got a surprise for you!”

Someone rammed him from behind, knocking him over. Another voice cried, “We have a sacrifice for the demon! An African virgin!”

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