by Felicia Donovan
The other day I had a rather bizarre run-in with a complete stranger in the middle of a store parking lot. The episode all began as I tried to allow a car that was turning from a side aisle, to go ahead of me. I waited and waited for the car to go, but when it was clear (at least to me) that they weren't going, I moved forward. I parked. They parked two spaces away.
As I exited my car, the driver, a woman around my age, approached me quickly and proceeded to launch a tirade of nasties that were so foul, even I was left speechless. Trust me, after years of working at a police department I'm not easily shocked, but she was launching everything she had. She stormed off into the store. I turned back, wrote down her license plate and proceeded into the store where the litany of swears continued every time I crossed her path in an aisle. She would turn her tall, thin body away from me and quietly launch yet another attack. At one point I tried to engage her in dialogue, but clearly she too caught up in her own misery and anger to listen. "A wretched soul..." Shakespeare would say. I finally left the store ahead of her fearful that my car would be keyed.
The episode has been on my mind ever since. I honestly do feel sorry for her and her anger, but after several days of reflection I decided the whole incident would work well in my current project.
"Careful, or you'll end up in my next novel."
That's what is printed on a sweatshirt my good friend gave me for Christmas one year.
This woman was a total stranger from out-of-state whom I'm likely never to cross paths with ever again. I don't feel particularly emotional about describing her in as much detail as I can (of what I recall amidst the verbal colonoscopy ), but it brings to mind that as writers, we are a unique lot because we have the capability and opportunity to share stories with the rest of the world based on our own experiences. That's pretty powerful. Hopefully we protect the innocent, but what about the guilty? Have you ever felt compelled to use your writing talents to seek revenge? Serve justice for an injustice? My Black Widows certainly know all about that and would be the first to not only admit it, but to do so with pride. What about you? 'Fess up now, Everyone!