Imagination is a curse.
What’s that, you ask? Did the indie author just call imagination a curse? Isn’t a vivid imagination a writer’s bread and butter?
Sure it is. But bread comes in a variety of types, and butter is perishable.
Sometimes imagination is a slice of warm sourdough dripping with whipped butter, taking me on an amazing journey that I’ll be forever grateful for and eager to relive.
Mmm, warm buttered sourdough…
And sometimes it’s chunky rancid butter spackled onto a stale Dutch crunch roll, curdling my tongue and leaving bloody gouges on the roof of my mouth.
Gouges that take several days to heal, and then I have to deal with that annoying flap of dead skin until it finally falls off.
A vivid imagination is all roses and scented oils when I get something good.
When the perfect plot twist manifests.
When the ideal line of dialog materializes from nowhere.
When a new character comes to life and demands, demands to be written on the page.
But then, then I see a penny on my car seat.
What do the non-writers, or the ‘mundanes’ as I like to call them, think when they see a coin?
I’ll tell you. They think, “Huh, that penny must have fallen out of my pocket.”
What does someone afflicted with VIS, or Vivid Imagination Syndrome, think?
I’ll tell you. And in this particular case, since it actually happened, I can tell you in iron clad detail:
Huh, someone broke into my car and left a penny on the seat.
But they were careful to hide the fact of the break-in, leaving the windows and locks intact. How did they do that?
And why? Why so careful to hide their criminal trespass?
It must be a trap!
Is that penny radioactive? Are they trying to kill me with buttock cancer?
And who? Who would want to kill little ol’ me, a beloved indie author with almost no readership?
The Missus? Is she trying to kill me? She does have a key to the car. But we’re happy.
Or are we?
Maybe it’s a government organization. They have the resources to break into a car undetected. But why me?
Is it because I’m destined to save the world, become a world-renowned hero who parlays that fame and recognition into the Presidency of the United States? And they, whoever they are, want to prevent that?
If not that, could it be my involvement with that shadowy writers’ collective, [REDACTED]?
Or is it [REDACTED] because they finally found out I’m working undercover for [ALSO REDACTED]?
Or is this whole radioactive butt-cancer penny just a red herring to distract me from a car bomb wired to the ignition?
This thought process goes on long enough for the Missus to call me and ask where the hell I am and why I’m taking so long to get home.
Aha! So it is the Missus!
Do you have any idea how long it takes to remove all four tires from your car, inspect the wheel wells, put all four tires back on, check the engine compartment and under the seats for bombs, and then safely dispose of a possibly radioactive penny?
Not as long as you’d think – I’ve gotten plenty of practice and keep tongs, a lead-lined bag, and a penny-holding rack in the trunk for just this sort of emergency.
The rack because you can’t let radioactive pennies get too close to each other – they may achieve critical mass.
And that’s just what I need, a smoking lump of drippy, radioactive copper (and zinc if the penny was made after 1981) in the back of my car.
This is the curse of imagination. Time lost inspecting cars and the like for traps, and money spent on tongs and lead-lined bags that, if I’m really honest with myself, I probably don’t need.
Plus the Missus is usually pretty steamed by the time I get back home.
Is it because I’m late, or because the assassination attempt failed?
And this affliction is not limited to pennies on car seats. Oh no.
When I sat down at the communal computer to write this post, I noticed the seat was warm.
Was it because the Missus had just been using the computer? Or is it because the seat is slowly irradiating my bum?
If they find my body with a shrunken, mostly missing ass, you know what happened.