I should stop thinking. Really. Because when I think, I end up with all these random thoughts that go streaking across my consciousness, making me stop and say “Hey, that could be interesting,” but acting on that thought means shoving something in my project queue to the side to make room for the newcomer, and then it gets pushed aside, and so on and so forth until my hard drive is littered with small manuscript fragments and nothing at all gets done. Still, some of them stick, and I felt like sharing. So here’s a few random sentences that might provoke the imagination of those reading, or might ferment and turn into something useful one day.
- A doctor attempts to treat a patient complaining of assorted chronic issues. Upon testing, it’s discovered that the patient has only one real problem: He’s dead.
- An elderly gentleman moves into a Florida retirement community. Keeps mostly to himself, seems secretive and standoffish. Maybe not to the level of Clint Eastwood’s character in Gran Torino, but similar “get off my lawn” mindset. No one thinks it’s odd that other residents in the community are dying; after all, it’s a senior resort, that sort of things happen. But the newcomer’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, and when one of the other residents sees something she shouldn’t, she becomes convinced that someone – or something – is stalking the sunny resort.
- A team of “professional ghost hunters” who make their living on shockumentaries and exploiting hoaxes prep their next big project by inviting several unstable individuals to help “investigate” a supposedly haunted location. They go to great pains setting up the “hauntings” and tailoring the experiences to their participants/victims… but become the subjects themselves when it’s revealed the house is actually haunted.
- (I’m sure someone, somewhere, has already done this one, but it flits back to me from time to time and I can’t get rid of it, so…) A police detective expends great effort and personal energy – sacrificing his struggling marriage, abandoning his children and endangering his career – in the hunt for a killer. The problem is, he is the killer. Permutations include a) he knows, and is self-destructing his life to protect his family, b) that old standby, dissociative identity disorder, with or without the murderer personality being aware of the primary, c) possession, demonic or otherwise, which is just “B” with supernatural trappings. This one has even gotten itself a name, in my head; Anima Squared.
- The Apocalypse is coming. The end is nigh. But instead of fire and brimstone, great beasts and worldwide war, it’s more of a bureaucratic affair; filling out ledgers, making tallies of the “naughty and nice” folks, and performing evaluations for those who remain in the “undecided” camp. A low-level demon and Heaven’s finest (and potentially only) lawyer are sent to Earth to make sure all the proper forms are filed… but have problems completing their mission, primarily because they discover that they like Earth the way it is, and don’t particularly want to see it destroyed. In my head this comes out being something like Christopher Moore and John Grisham having a really weird baby.
- Worldwide rainstorms begin. Thunder and lightning of the deafening and blinding level. Earthquakes. Volcanic eruptions. Forty days and nights of this lead to a drastically reduced and survivalist human culture. And then the earth really moves. Geological features begin getting up and walking about, revealing that the Earth itself is actually living entities… and they want their home back.
I’m sure none of them are really all that interesting – especially not when presented as Cliff Notes versions as above – but they stick in the back of my head, and might trigger someone else’s internal word-grabber. Just felt like sharing.