Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Birth Day


PHOTO BY RUTH RADER

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


I posted an idea for a horror story on an Internet message board this morning. As usual, I made fun of the little town where I've spent the past six months. Because I think that this dust dot on the Oregon map is just plain strange.

People drive slowly by in pickup trucks and never say anything. I mean, not a word. No wave, no toot, no "Hi, how are ya?" Nothing. And there's a siren at the fire station that often blows at three o'clock in the morning for no discernible reason. This town also has its own water source. I drink as little of it as possible.

Anyway, I came up with an idea for a story I think would work nicely in a Stephen King movie. Especially if it was filmed in THIS town.

Since this is Earth Day, I would rename this odd little hamlet Birth Day. [For those of you who don't know, there actually is a town in Oregon called John Day . But that nice community is nothing like THIS one is.]

The story idea:

A guy finishes eating a breakfast sandwich from the local fast food joint. Then he whips the Styrofoam packaging out the window and roars off in his old pickup truck. The blue smoke from the exhaust pipe sends a signal that he's on a mission to add another emission to the local atmosphere.

The wind blows the package into a ditch. And it lays there, like just another piece of lost litter, until a rain shower falls on it later that night.

As the package floats in the rising water, it undergoes a terrible transformation. And a horrible curse upon the Earth comes to life in Birth Day.

Summer is coming. And the next time that you are tempted to throw a plastic jug, an aluminum can, a Styrofoam package or a dirty diaper out the window...STOP! And remember my story.

I saw enough of the above-mentioned items on the side of the road when I hitchhiked across the Country last year. Don't make me look at them again this Summer.

Stephen King and I thank you.

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