A week ago, I posted this short personal tale to my Facebook page:
As I got into my car to drive home last night at 2 am, my proximity sensor warned me something was close behind my car. I checked my mirrors, checked the rear camera, but nothing. I started to back out, and the proximity warning screamed. I checked again. Nothing. Backed up veeery slowly, the warning shrieking the entire time.
I drove home. I pulled up to my gate, set well back from the road, under large trees between empty fields, in the total dark of a feeble moon. Proximity warning goes off. I check the mirrors and camera. Proximity sensor indicates something big and very close behind.
I have to get out and open the gate.
My normal-person-brain came up with a perfectly rational explanation for the false positive, a bug stuck on the sensor. But my writer-brain pointed out that bugs usually stick on the front of a car, not the back, and it offered a whole slew of thriller, dark fantasy, horror, and UF explanations for something I couldn’t see in mirrors or camera but was following close behind my car at a place I’d predictably need to stop and exit my safe car.
I got out and opened the gate, because I am a brave person. Writers have to be braver than normal people, some days.
Oh, and I lived to post this story today.
I had initially meant just to emphasize the weird directions my writer-brain was apt to run. I love summer nights, I love my rural setting, and it’s kind of silly to think of all the folkloric creepies as a first option.
I got a lot of responses, however, on the creepy factor. Which makes perfect sense, because creepy factor.
I messed around with my bumper and sensors the next day, and I started getting different warnings. I eventually worked out that my car had been struck while parked — not hard enough to dent it, as it’s fairly resilient, but hard enough to damage two sensors. One was pointed at an interior piece of bumper until I jiggled it to a different position, ending the perfectly legitimate proximity warning.
So friends who warned that they were no longer coming to my house, be at ease, the gate is less haunted than previously imagined.
Of course, this does nothing to address the other local tales. If you do want my house to be haunted, I have a couple of good ones. But for now, at least, you can get through the gate unmolested by vengeful spirits or serial killers with hook hands or whatever.
In other news, I’m back from Ecuador! and will be sharing that fantastic travelogue soon. We spent a week backpacking in the Andes and another week on the Galapagos. It was AH-MAZE-ING.
And this past weekend my cosplay group “…And Sewing Is Half the Battle!” took Best Group Craftsmanship at Anime Central with our costumes from Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, which was great fun (and if you haven’t seen the new series, I do recommend it). Not gonna lie, playing Evil Queen Suzie is fun.
Back to work!