Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Pearl-Ann Gooding said she enjoyed mys tories.
That was nice. She’s a good teller.
She invited me to tell a scary story at a graveyard concert she was producing.
That was scary. I don’t tell scary stories.
The concert was scheduled to start at midnight.
That was perplexing. I don’t stay up that late at my age.
She was donating the profits to the Storytellers of Canada Youth Scholarship Award.
That was pressure. She was planning to make a profit. People want something for their ticket money.
So I said I’d be pleased to tell a story at her concert. That kind of logic is typical of me.

I thought of all the scary stories I know.
That didn’t take long. I don’t know any.
And found a song about worms
And a story about worms
A wormy story about complicated grieving
The kind of story a psychologist might tell.
That was a good fit. I’m a psychologist.

The story was 2 minutes long.
That was short. Pearl-Ann wanted 20 minutes.
I added the song.
That stretched it to 4 minutes.
I added some characters.
That made it 8 minutes.
I added a sense of place through description.
That took it to 12.
I converted the story ending to a point in the rising action and added a whole new ending.
That stretched it to 16 minutes.
I added suspense.
17 minutes now, maybe more.

It was a dark and stormy night.
Six black-clad tellers assembled at the Wainwright Cemetery.
Railroad tracks were very near.
Midnight came and the concert began.
5 long trains rumbled by.
Rain poured down for 2 full hours.
And yet …

60 spectators bought 20-dollar tickets and sat out in the open
Sat through it all and clapped when we hoped they would.
Sang along when we told them to sing along.
Don’t tell me that science can explain everything!!!!

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