Rebecca Drake's Debut Guest Blog
It's Called Imagination
by guest blogger Rebecca Drake
"Where do you get your ideas?"
Most of the time, I politely sidestep this chestnut, explaining that it isn't ideas that are hard, but corralling them into an orderly plot. Of course, the truth is that writers don't have to search for ideas, we just think a certain way. It should be a recognized medical condition, something for which we could claim a tax deduction or receive disability.
Case in point: When we met 20 years ago I was so attracted to my future husband that I figured something had to be wrong. I waited for him to announce that he was gay or that he was entering the priesthood or possibly both. Fast forward to the stage where we had keys to each other's places. He lived on the top-floor of a three-story walk-up in New Jersey. Clearly a bachelor's pad, complete with a neon Iron City beer sign in the kitchen. Every room was completely furnished except for the large, wide room you saw as soon as you entered the apartment. It was just a smooth expanse of bare, hardwoord floors with curtains at the windows.
I asked him why, but he just shrugged. Once I saw a half-burned pillar candle sitting on the floor and he explained that there'd been a power outage the night before.
So, one afternon I was happily ridding his closet of disco-era souvenirs to donate to a clothing drive, when I suddenly found a long, hooded, shiny black robe.
In a flash, I knew it all. He wasn't a gay priest, he was a follower of Satan! It all made sense now--the empty room, the candle. This was where he carried out his rituals. He was probably slaughtering chickens on the weekends. My God, he was trying to lure me in to his cabal!
I knew that I would have to confront him, but not over the phone. I paced until he came home, then I took his hand, looked deep into his eyes and said, "I know."
He smiled. "Know what?"
"I know the truth."
"Um, you're going to have to give me a hint here," he said. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I found it in your closet."
"You found the truth in my closet?" He laughed as he said it. Funny man. He wouldn't be laughing for long.
I led him slowly over to the closet. Then I opened the door and whipped out the robe.
I'm not sure what I was expecting, maybe swooning with shock as he saw his secret life exposed. What I wasn't expecting was boredom.
"Yeah. So? Do you think I should give that away?"
"I know you're a Satanist."
"Sa-ta-nist. Follower of Satan. You can stop lying."
This time he did swoon, but it turned out he was laughing. Very hard. "I'm not a Satanist," he said, wiping tears from his eyes, "but I'm beginning to wonder what planet you're from."
Ha, ha. "How do you explain this?" I shook the robe and he started laughing again.
"It's a Halloween costume!"
In the end he had to pull out photos of the costume party to prove it.
Today he likes to tell people that despite 20 years of established trust I could be convinced he was a serial killer in less than five minutes. I say, don't leave the knives out unless you want me to think something funny's going on.
The Lipstick Chronicles is pleased to introduce you to Rebecca Drake, whose debut thriller, DON'T BE AFRAID was published by Pinnacle in September and is available in stores now.
Check out Rebecca's contribution to the blog Working Stiffs.