DJ Mansker lives in southeast Arizona. By day, DJ puts her twenty plus years of experience in the trenches of social work to use in the protective services. By night, she is a closet novelist and wait staff to her cat Trinidad. As a member of several local and national writers organizations she continues to hone her writing skills as she works to complete her first novel.
Yikes! This storm is just about overhead. Agh! There goes my electricity. Oh, this pounding hurts my ears. What am I saying? This pounding is destroying my roof. Who knew water could actually feel like concrete? It’s like I’m being stoned. I’ll never repair all the divots and dents. Irreparable damage. This could be it for me, my last hurrah, my last hours as a humble confession booth. Okay, maybe not so humble. But I could still be reduced to a soggy plank of rubble floating down some muddy ravine.
How can something so good for the desert be so bad? Look at that! A metal storage shed is floating down the middle of the street. Wait, what’s that, “Confessions Only a Dollar”? Hey, that’s my sign, ripped right off my roof, torn from my moorings. And the awning from across the street is going with it. This can’t be good. Duck! It’s a dust devil. No, there can’t be dust in this deluge. It’s a miiicrrrrrooo buurrurst. Mommy.
Whew! At least that much has passed. But this pounding . . . whatever possessed me to get a metal roof? It’s like some medieval torture device. Like some metal helmet strapped to my head and beat with mallets. I’ll end up deaf if this doesn’t stop soon.
I can see the water spilling over the curbs and sidewalks. My footings are now underwater. I wonder if it’s true what they say about drowning? That it’s quiet and painless. My eyes are dimming. My drapes are waterlogged and pulling me down, too heavy to make a run for it. But where could I run? It’s the same all over. If I could just call for help, but there’s not a soul on the street, no lights, no traffic, nothing. Abandoned. Alone. Left to splinter and drown. Days from now, children playing on the banks of a culvert will pick up pieces of my shattered framing to draw stick people in the mud.
Oh no, now the hallucinations begin. I think I see someone coming this way. But who would be out in this storm of biblical proportion? It’s not real, just the shadowy outline of a human figure. Some apparition from a horror movie made anthropomorphic by backlight from a bolt of lightning.
Ha! My eyes decieve me. It looks like Stephen King coming this way. How ironic would that be? The crown prince of horror out in a storm like this. Oh, were it only true—the questions I would ask, the snappy banter we could pass. A dream come true. Why, with one short intense meeting, I could send my writing career spiraling into the stratosphere. I’d ply him with compliments, ingratiate myself with my extensive knowlege of his work. He’d be putty in my hands, grateful for the respite from the storm.
Comfortably harbored from the squall, we could sit out this tempest in my little teapot on the corner. I’d be famous.
I would share the collective wisdom of my eye to the world and all it’s foiables. He could spin that vision into his next great novel. We’d be bigger than Martin and Lewis, Gilbert and Sullivan, Rogers and Hammerstein, Sodom and Gomorrah. Uh, maybe not.
Oh my! It’s true. It is him. I can’t believe it and he’s coming inside. What do I do? Should I speak first, wait for him to say something, or just blurt out a passage from Salem’s Lot or The Shining? Yea, that’s it, The Shining. This is my big chance. I’ll never get another opportunity to hobnob with anyone so influential in the world of literature. Where should I start?
He’s slipping out of his waterlogged raincoat. He’s so close I could ring it out for him. I can read the tread from his boots in the silt on my floor. I’ve never been so close to greatness. And all because of a desert monsoon. Oooo, such serendipity from the chasms of destruction.
I wish this pounding would stop. I can’t hear what he’s saying. Is he trying to talk to me, or have I already gone deaf from the beating? Will he, too, be deafened by his turn as a human clapper? I’ve got to step up now, before it’s too late. I must take advantage of this horrific downpour, turn this day from a disasterous defeat to a literary victory.
There’s a lull in the storm. Now’s my chance.
Oh, no! Wait! Mr. King, wait. I’d like to . . .
Oh great. Just great. He’s gone. No, wait. He’s turning back, he’s looking this way.
Quick. Think. Do something fast. I know, I’ll quote one of his most famous lines from The Shining. Where’s my curtain? Let me pull it back just a bit. (If I had teeth, I’d flash them right about now.) Ok, he’s looking right at me, at my ever so slightly ajar curtain . . . this is it. Now! “Heeere’s Johnny!”.
Yikes! Another flash of lightning. Uh, where’d he go? He’s gone. Just like that, in a flash he’s gone. Oh, nooo. Was he ever even here?
Rats! Isn’t it just like the desert to drop a bomb of a storm then disappear with the stealth of a Nighthawk jet?