Bad Start to a Good Day

Outtakes 247

Bad Start to a Good Day

By Cait Collins


Long weekends don’t always translate to a good start on the first day back to work. I have a bad habit of putting my keys on a dresser, in a coat pocket, or on a table instead of putting them in the Jadeite bowl on the counter by the front door. My carelessness results in a mad search for keys when it’s time to leave the house. This morning the keys were in their proper place, but when I parked my car at the office, I dropped the keys in my purse and got out of the car. The beautiful morning was shattered when I rounded the front of my vehicle and attempted to get my purse and computer from the passenger side.

I had no keys to unlock the door.

My Disney cast member key ring was safely tucked inside my purse and my purse was sitting on the front seat of my KIA. Thank goodness I remembered to grab my badge and display my parking pass before I got stupid.

God bless our security team. They could not unlock my doors, but they did provide me with a few numbers for locksmiths. Their recommendation was a company called Pop-a-lock. I called and was told a locksmith would be at my location in 20 minutes. While I was making arrangements for someone to come help me, the security guards kept an eye on my vehicle.

I was impressed when the locksmith arrived when promised. He opened the door in no time and presented me with a very reasonable bill for his services. One of our security guards patrolled the parking lot until I had paid the bill and was on my way to the building. I felt like I was really special because of all the kindness shown to me. Best of all, no one lectured me on being careless. I guess they realized I felt stupid enough.

This story really has nothing to do with writing except to introduce the possibility of a character. Imagine the heroine having an off day. Her car will not start. It’s getting dark and she’s waiting for a mechanic to try and start her very uncooperative vehicle. She’s alone and a little uneasy even though she’s inside her automobile with the doors locked. The parking garage is almost empty; her level is deserted.

A shadow falls across the rear window. She reaches for the canister of pepper spray on her key ring. The sound of a knuckle tapping on the driver’s window startles her. “Ms. Carson?”

She turns toward the voice and heaves a sigh of relief. “Are you okay? I got a call from Mr. Griffin saying there was a woman alone on this level.”

Our heroine cracks the window. “I’m fine, Mr. Porter. My mechanic should be here any minute.”

“Glad to hear help’s on the way. I’ll wait here until you’re on the road.”

“Not necessary, Mr. Porter. I’ll be fine.”

“I know that. But let’s not take chances.”

What if there’s a stranger lurking in the shadows? What if the heroine is truly alone? What if no one is concerned for her safety? And what if no one is aware she has a stalker?

Sometimes in the process of writing a work we overlook a character that only makes an appearance. But that presence has profound impact the story.

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