Find the Bad in the Benign
The thing about writing (at least for me) is that you never really stop. As I go throughout my day, doing the usual, some part of me is always watching, noting, filing away.
Example: since I am such a big wimp, I get my dental work done under IV sedation whenever possible. The thing that amazed me from the first about this is how powerful those drugs are. I remember the first time I had it done, the anesthesiologist put the needle in my arm and then attached the heart rate monitor. I was nervous, so my heart was going at about 160 beats a minute. He raised an eyebrow and said: "Hm - let me help you with that." He injected something into the IV and the next thing I knew... sixty beats a minute and pure, unfettered bliss. 'Go ahead,' I thought, 'pull 'em all, no big deal...' Then he gave me the real stuff and the space inside my head exploded into a bright white light. I started making memories again hours later, when I woke up on my couch.
That's all well and good, problem is, I had a moment for one final thought before oblivion and it was 'this would be a hell of a tool for a serial killer...'
Another time I was in a hardware store. It was a Sunday and I needed an extension cord. I was trying to keep my head down, get what I needed and get out. Then, I saw him. He was about six feet five and he hunched forward a little over his shopping cart. His lower jaw jutted forward a bit and he seemed to be wearing a permanent scowl - until he found the garden shears, that is. He held them in his huge hands and scissored them a few times. His eyes lit up, followed by a tremendous, toothy smile of pure pleasure. 'Who's waiting in your basement?' I thought. Then his daughter ran up to him. She looked to be about four, and she giggled as he scooped her up in his arms. 'Stereotypes,' I thought, chastising myself. But then I frowned... after all, BTK was a family man, too...
Anytime I'm driving down the highway and I see a flat-panel van, I have to wonder for a moment what the cops would find if they took a close look with an ultraviolet light.
Heck, even my brother gets in on the act. He was renting a house once and we went down into the basement. He was using it as a music room and I noticed that the walls had been sound-proofed. He'd only been there for a month, so I commented that he'd worked pretty fast to put all that sound-proofing up. 'Oh,' he said, 'that was already here when we rented the place.' I looked at him, he looked at me, and he nodded. 'Yep,' he said, reading my mind, 'I thought the same thing. He probably used it as a kill-room.'
Then we laughed, and took turns playing the guitar. It was a great evening, but before I fell asleep that night, I took a moment to wonder:
Nah. Probably not.
But not impossible...