clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Iced Up

At left, picture from NOAA in 1949 off Alaska.

It isn't quite that bad here; but, it's close.

My river has iced up. Like the sea in the picture at left, it is still there and still moving but to look at it, you'd never know.

It'll warm by the weekend.

I ate some leftover fruitcake tonight with my coffee as I moved into my library. I like fruitcake and I like leftover fruitcake most of all. I'm really the only one eating it around here so getting my paws on leftover fruitcake isn't a major coup.

I'm thinking of the small towns I've lived in. I'm thinking how the families all inter-marry - the ones whose offspring don't bolt in disgust.

I've found the kids who stay home to be surprisingly mercenary. "If I stay, then the business will go to me."

I've never heard my peers say something like "I'll stay because I like the summers" or "I think the picket fences are just great" or "The band in the gazebo on Wednesday nights just makes me feel like home."

The motivation has always been something else: dad's business; mom's acreage; sometimes the wife's family's business. There's some of that, too.

Anyway, I was thinking about zoning and what it takes to be a zoning commissioner and how corrupt the little town was when I came to school.

I realized I had all I need for a good string of murders in the little small towns I've known. I have good material for a fellow who comes "home" - probably back to his collage town - and knows the world's business better than the corrupt locals.

Five pages of quick notes later, I have something to explore.

My own little town in Kansas is having a little corruption problem because of business practices which have been prevalent but none of which actually stand the light of day. There's always that moment in local government when someone finally keeps asking "why" until the story has to make sense. Sometimes the stones turned over getting to the answer are more unpleasant than anyone really thought.

Mix a couple family relationships in there and we've got a good stew pot for fiction.

So, no shortage of ideas. I have a short story about a character who might work in my new aim. I never liked the story much and I need to age the character by forty years; but, I've got an idea.

Is there ever anything as dangerous as an idea?

An idea with a gun.

Stay off the ice. The water's moving quickly underneath and it isn't nearly as solid as you might think.

Oh, and where's your hat and scarf?

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