And so it was that we recently traveled to Pecos, New Mexico. (The beloved faithful readers of this blog are fully aware of such an adventure, as I have babbled about it for several posts now, to the point that I’m sure some of you are all “so you can drive a car and read a map, we’ve got it, move on”.) I knew in advance that I wouldn’t know many of the folks slated to jointly arrive at our destination, but I trusted our Beatific Hostess had carefully tossed her salad of invitations.
We ended up at a lovely family vacation enclave (not my family enclave, we don’t have that kind of coinage just lying around) high in the mountains (still don’t know the name of the mountains, I should probably look that up someday). This beautiful and serene private resort, that my family does not own, goes by the name of “Hidden Valley Ranch”. (I am totally not making that up, even though I often make things up at Bonnywood. I realize that my veracity is always in question. Such is the curse of spending far too much time in my head and not actually socializing with real human beings.)
At said ranch, we were forced to socialize, Well, at least I was. (My partner can talk to anybody about anything at any time. It’s a superpower that I don’t have. Instead, I generally hover in the background, take voluminous mental notes, contemplate how said notes can be transformed into whimsical blog posts about nothing, and pray for the availability of alcohol.)
Hidden Valley Ranch did not disappoint with the octane fluids. They had copious crates of the Devil’s Juice, begging for plunder. I felt it my duty as an American to support the law of supply and demand. Within mere seconds, I was best friends with everyone in that hidden valley. We laughed, we cried, we braided each other’s hair and pinky-swore that our newly-minted relationships were rock solid and would never die.
Shortly after the bonding ceremonies, which may or may not have involved peyote (it was New Mexico, folks, things happen), certain questions started wafting my way.
“So, you’re a writer?”
“What do you write about?”
“Are you going to write about us?”
Me: “Actually, I hadn’t really…”
“Wait, aren’t the two of you staying in that one cabin way the hell away from everybody else?”
“We probably couldn’t hear you scream. Aren’t you worried about getting killed?”
“Does it get cold enough at night to preserve your bodies for the crime scene investigation?”
Me, getting a little bit desperate due to all the pressure: “Well, I suppose I could write a murder mystery…”
“Oh my God! That would be perfect. Who will you kill first?”
“Don’t kill the cook first, we need to eat and nobody else knows how to work the coffee pot.”
“Am I wearing the right outfit for a murder mystery? Hang on, let me run back to my own cabin that isn’t in the Death Zone and change into something more meaningful. I’m so excited!”
This all happened on the first day.
As the week progressed, the momentum built until, despite my hesitations, knowing that I am a Procrastinator Extraordinaire, the planets aligned, and it was cemented that I would write an entire book about a crazed serial killer picking off the wanton croutons of the Hidden Valley Ranch salad. I quietly wept inside and plucked another bottle of vodka out of those copious crates in the storage facility behind the main lodge.
So, yes, dear reader, I have a murder mystery to write. This means that, over the coming months, you will be subjected to ludicrous and questionable snippets from yet another book that I haven’t finished. In other words, same as it ever was.
Categories: The Stories