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Scene 1:

At an inner-city self-storage facility, I’m the only person in the lot when a nondescript panel van pulls in. I’m busy unloading the now empty bins of holiday decor, set to go back into storage, when a guy climbs out of the panel van. Nothing strange here, right? We’re at a storage facility after all.

Then dude strips off his sweater and shirt (it’s 40 frickin’ degrees outside) and tears into a plastic bag. He pulls out a brand new disposable coverall – the kind of thing painters use. And he puts this on. So… seriously? A disposable coverall?

Now… I’m sitting there thinking, do I really want to go into a deserted storage facility with some dude who just dressed up like Dexter? Maybe I should just, oh… wait out here, in the parking lot where there are cameras, and a casino parking lot across the street.

Of course, instead, I hurry inside, cursing my overactive writer’s imagination. Because, y’know… I did just finish reading a serial killer novel. And I am in the process of researching a new thriller. And I did just finish writing another thriller – that features a creepy dude stalking a woman. And I am doing final edits on a very creepy thriller with a serial rapist.

Yeah. Not like my brain is predisposed to think creepy things, instead of… hey, maybe dude is hauling a bunch of dirty stuff and doesn’t want to get his clothes yucky.

Scene 2:

On the way home from said storage facility, I’m driving up the street and see a big, burly, scary looking dude walking along dressed in full camo gear and acting a little strange. No big deal. This is the city. There are strange folks around.

Except this dude has a gigantic Bowie knife strapped to one hip. And he’s marching along, stopping every now and then to make angry-looking gestures.

And of course, when I pull up to park, dude is coming up the street right behind me. Do I get out of my car? With angry-looking, knife-wearing camo-dude right there?

Once again, cursing my writer’s imagination, I get out of the car. Camo-dude ignored me as he continued up the sidewalk.

Scene 3:

Back home… you can damn well bet both of these scenes were noted, jotted down, and filed away for future possible use, because… well, damn, I couldn’t make that kinda shit up.