Very recently, I found myself caught in the middle of the woods, in the dark, with the Fiancé and our friend “Rufus.” Yes, Rufus. I stress this because I feel that his alias choice contributes to the description of the cast of characters.
So, there’s Rufus, The Fiance, and me, the dark fiction writer, in the already dark woods at night. Yeah…
Horror movies have been on the brain lately and my writer’s brain took me to a place where I understood what it was like to be in the position to get yourself killed because you think you’re just being paranoid. Seriously, monsters don’t exist and that thing darting back and forth in the edge of my vision is just a moth. It didn’t bother me to let my head go there. Yes, I was-nervous, but that was part of the point. I absolutely loved the opportunity to put myself in the place of one of my characters. However, to my companions I became “The Cue.” As The Cue, it was my job to say things like, “Does anyone else think we’ve been walking for a really long time?” and, “Um, I’ve seen this movie and whatever happens, we asked for it wholeheartedly.” If you’re looking for just the right idiot to kick off a horrific string of events, I’m your girl! The only comfort I could give to my companions after that was to remind them that I also happened to be the “ethnic girl” and that I’d be the first to go. Just the fact that I didn’t get decapitated the second I stepped out of the car said that they’d get plenty of time to run.
It seemed that the second I pointed that out, I started to get clumsier. I started doing things like tripping over vines and twisting my ankles on rocks. I had somehow morphed into the Chick Who Can’t Run. I always thought I’d do at least better than her. After all, I have small breasts.
Is there any moment more sobering than the one in which you realize how cool you truly aren’t? I never thought I’d be the fastest gun in the west, the sexy super-spy, or even the life of the party, but coming in at the bottom of the totem pole of coolness? I grew up in the woods. Given the situation in which we found ourselves, I should have been a bit more useful. Instead I found myself jumping at every sound and working to convince myself that the root over which I’d tripped was not a dead body.
That said, I had a ton of fun. I came out of the experience unscathed and with a greater appreciation and understanding of all of my characters, not just my heroes. Oddly enough, I also came out of it with a greater appreciation and understanding of my imagination and the power of my own mind…things I often take for granted.