July 25, 2017


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. Regarding Fantasy, this insight was startling: “I see the fantasy genre as an ever-shifting metaphor for life in this world, an innocuous medium that allows the author to examine difficult, even controversial, subjects with impunity. Honor, religion, politics, nobility, integrity, greed—we’ve an endless list of ideals to be dissected and explored. And maybe learned from.” – Melissa McPhail.

Mary Olson-Kensington squatted down beside the spot, examining the gravel and asphalt with a large magnifying glass.

“You look like a fool,” said Abbas Farah, “and a living cliché.”

Mary looked up at him and made a face, “Just because something’s cliché doesn’t mean it’s not legitimate.”

Abbas grunted and squatted beside her. “Fine then, what do you see?”


Abbas spit into the ditch. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Without moving the glass, she turned to him. “You think this is a Sherlock Holmes toy?” He leaned back, suddenly wary, nodding slowly. “Like with you, I don’t just see that zit to the left side of your nose you’re trying to hide, I see…not what you’re thinking exactly, or even what you’re feeling…I can see something both more and less…”

“You’re talking like you’re crazy! There’s nothing outside of reality! I’m real, and that dead thing in the road was real, too!”

She nodded then swung the lens back around, looking at the road. “I can see strangeness here. Something natural and unnatural as well.” She looked up at him. “You ever hear about a Chupacabra showed up as roadkill in Mankato about twenty years ago?”

“I couldn’t – I was wasn’t born yet. Neither were you!”

“I know, but Dad told me about it when I was doing a science report on cryptids. It was killed near here.”

“That was twenty years ago! There won’t be anything left of it!”

“Not of its body, but DNA traces can remain, and anything supernatural leaves a resonance echo. That’s what the magnifying glass does. I can see resonances.”

Abbas shrugged, “How’s that help?”

“We need a Chupacabra on our side!”

“This one was dead! How’s that…”

“Where’s there one, there will be another. We need a Chupacabra.”

“What’s so important about them? They’re just one more weird animal…”

“Chupacabras have the ability to…sniff out? That’s a good way to describe it…the animals have a gift for sniffing out inter-dimensional portals.”

“And the importance of that to you?”
“I’m going to jump this dimension to do some research in a parallel line.”

“What are you planning…”

“Here it is!”

Names: ♀ Minnesota ; ♂ Somalia  

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