January 19, 2016


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: “Grave Clouds for the variant where the weather is simply miserable at graveyards and other creepy areas, and which is possibly a sister trope to this. See also Evil Is Not Well Lit…”
Current Event: http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/afterlife/scary-graveyard1.htm

Niaria Xiong-Walker squinted, trying to see through the gathering mist that apparently hung over the cemetery every night. She said, “How can mist hang over this place EVERY night? Fog’s a function of temperature, humidity, and dew point.”

Seth Bakhsh stood near an obelisk, pitted from ages of lower-than-water pH acid rain that drizzled from the Rochester, NY sky on a regular basis, giving it the dubious distinction of the being the American city with the most rainy days and its unofficial slogan, “If it rains, it’s Rochester”. He said, “It’s the oldest municipal graveyard in the US and has 400,000 dead people in it. Don’t you think that all those ghosts might have an effect on the weather?”

Niaria snorted and said, “They don’t even act as creeped out as you are doing in my parents old village in Nigeria! You’re a wimp, Seth!”

He snorted just as loudly, “I prefer to think that I’m prepared for all eventualities – even ephemeral ones.”
Shaking her head, she tapped her tablet computer and plugged in a cord. “I’m going to see if there’s any truth to the old wives tale that cemeteries are always foggy and creepy at night.”

“How many have you tested?” he asked. He usually ignored her scientific researches in favor of tapping her fascination in anime movies by presenting her with the latest rerun of her favorite Miyazaki film.

“Sixteen,” she replied.

“What?” he stepped from the obelisk, saying, “This isn’t the first time you’ve done this?”

“Duh,” she grabbed the tip of the cord and pulled, a long sensor extended, glowing blue.

“What’s that?”

“A data staff. It collects information and feeds it into a program I wrote.”

“So you can detect monsters?”

“Nothing so solid. Ephemerals. Like you said.”

“Ghosts?” he breathed the word – and his breath fogged in front of his face. “How come it’s so cold here?”

She shook her head, “Because the temperature’s low, dummy.”

“No – I mean it wasn’t cold a second ago and now I can see my breath.” 

She looked at her tablet then back up at Seth, “The data confirm your sensations.”


She looked around, scowling. “But there isn’t any reason…” As she said the words, something congealed out of the fog. It wasn’t humaniform, more like a lizard-like; possibly saurian, large as the obelisk.

Seth said, “It’s coming out of that gravestone...”

“It’s a monument…”

“Whatever it is, I think it has big claws.”

Names:   India, Hmong, English-Scottish; Hebrew, Pakistan

No comments: