No I never told her. I just said Marcia was busy. Marcia was busy with work every day I visited for three months until Mom passed away. And all that time I was still her little baseball star. It hurt. It felt so bad to lie to her, but I couldn’t take it away. I had been letting her smoke in front of me for weeks already, I knew about the compromises you make.
But I want to talk about something different, Doc. Worried I might be going a little crazy. You see, my mom’s mom, she also died from lung cancer when I was just little. I remember though she would always tell us kids the craziest stories. When Bobby Elliott vanished, she said he’d been taken by vampires, and that fire off Fifth Street, It was a demon or a sorcerer or something. I didn’t really think much about it, I was so into baseball.
Anyway, I was going through, ah, hah, sorry, I was going through mom’s old stuff I found grandma’s diary or journal or whatever. Every story she told is in there, and a whole lot more that were not so kid appropriate. Maybe it was the place I was in, but all of a sudden it wasn’t all so easy to write off. Maybe grandma was just an unsung hero of fiction-writing, but her writing dovetailed perfectly with all the weird things that go on in this town. Every unexplained occurrence suddenly made sense, and usually it became five or 10 times more gruesome in my grandma’s lurid style.
I – what? Ah ha ha, no no, no of course not. It’s just, it’s just weird that’s all. I think- that’s probably all the time we have today right?
Chester Wilkes worried that he didn’t belong here. First he was reading weird stories about his grandma, now he was in a poorly lit alleyway in San Diego plotting to raid what was apparently some kind of monster breeding and fighting facility. What concerned him even more was that the guy who’d recruited him online, Ed, seemed to know barely more than he did. What’s worse, one member of their already laughably small attack party was a no-show. Maybe that guy had the right of it.
At least the other two members seemed to have a little bit more experience under their belts. Rick repeatedly referred to a supernatural ability he had to stun people by touching them, and Mort claimed that he was possessed by a ghost that allowed him to investigate the building from a distance. Chester had chosen to take these claims at face value.
Chester himself had few skills outside of swinging a baseball bat. He broke somebody’s wrist with it inside the compound, but after that, he didn’t do much with it. Soon after that, the foes were regenerating dogs with beetles for eyes that the group had to set on fire and hold in place with spears. Then the leader of the compound arrived with a whole group of guards and killed everyone. Everyone except Ed, of course, who managed to get away somehow.
So moments after discovering this crazy world that he never would’ve believed existed, Chester was dead. I was a little surprised, after all of the trouble I’d gone to making this character for a game I was trying out and giving him an interesting backstory. On the ride home I was thinking about how to tell Alice about Chester’s untimely demise in the most entertaining way possible. I noticed a sign saying “no merge lane” and said “huh.” Then I saw that in fact there was no merge lane. Merging onto I-40 here, one had to go directly into traffic. A car in front of me was stopped completely trying to find a way to get into the fast moving traffic. My car was still ramping up to highway speeds on the turnaround. Oh crap. I didn’t actually have to slam on the brakes. A heavier press than usual was enough. I inhaled to breathe a sigh of relief until my car lurched forward and bumped into the one in front of me anyway.
The car in front of me had no damage at all so they checked in with me and then just drove off. I drove my car into the blocked off merge lane trying to ignore the hideous sound of scraping metal. Then I spent the next 30 minutes trying to find my phone while a woman from the car behind me sobbed and repeatedly demanded that I explain why the car in front of me had been stopped. No one involved was injured.
It didn’t take long to determine that it was my tail pipe that was dragging in making the horrible sound. Some very helpful police officers tried to help me get lifted up again, and then they suggested that it would survive the rest of the 15 minute drive home even if it would sound terrible. It did sound terrible. I was glad to make it home.
Two days later my neck is sore and my car is at a repair center, but otherwise I’m fine. My amazing 16-year-old car might not make it through this, though, simply because it probably has such low value that it may well be totaled by even a small repair fee. When I was thinking about what blog entry to write today, Alice pointed out that Chester died and my car got rear-ended both in quick succession on Friday the 13th. So naturally, I had to write an entry about it.