The Ditch


Lots of writers and artists have stories about that moment that they became a writer. This is my moment:

I used to walk home from babysitting jobs when I was a kid.

It was always dark and in those days we didn’t have sidewalks, so you had to walk along the side of the road and in some cases you had to jump over a ditch ( if there was water in it ) or step down into it ( if there wasn’t roadkill in it ) to avoid cars.

At this time girls were going missing around Seattle- the missing girls all had long dark hair, like me. It was a scary time.

So to comfort myself on those lonely walks, I would play in my head, over and over again the cold open to the TV series, ” The Night Stalker ”

Here’s a clip, so you’ll get the idea:

So as you can see I may have looked like I was on the wrong track because as I walked along I could hear Kolchak saying something like:

After a long night of playing board games, watching TV and popping corn Anita, Babysitter to the unbabysittable made her way along the dark road to her house.
She hated kids but she loved comic books and records, that night she had made an extra dollar and had big plans for her night’s earnings.

Too bad she never got spend that money.

( This is when the monster of the week would make it’s appearance.)

Sometimes though, as Carl would say, The Monsters just don’t appear on TV sets.

One night as I was walking home from a babysitting job a car was coming up behind me, so I jumped the ditch and kept walking.

The car pulled up along side me and I saw the dome light go on. A man and a woman were in the front seat. The woman rolled the window down. ” Hey. Want to party? ”

I kept walking.

” Come on, want to party?”

I stopped. I walked to the edge of the ditch and I said:

” You don’t want me to get into your car. I could be anybody. Anybody at all.” I said, thinking about the missing girls with long dark hair and Carl Kolchak and his monsters.

The looked at each other, they looked at me. I heard the woman tell the man, ” What a freak.” The light went off, the window went up and as I walked the rest of the way home, in my mind’s eye something crawled up out of the ditch and followed me.

I’ve been writing about it ever since.

5 thoughts on “The Ditch

    • Sometimes I think I was in the right place to scoop up ideas for stories and there are other times when I think I’m lucky to tell the tales at all!

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