WHERE IDEAS COME FROM

Last night I had go out for a bag of ice.

I live in a very small town. We don't have a place to buy ice. Not at 9:30 PM anyway. We have to drive in to the next town to do that.

Trust me, I'm going somewhere.

There is construction being done on the one road that connects where I am, to where I'm going, so it's down to just one lane for a little less than a mile. This has been going on for weeks, and rather than have some poor couple of guys out there with those SLOW/STOP signs 24/7, they put up a portable traffic light at each end. Now, I don't know how it all works, but based on the wait time, the lights appear to run on a timer.

The light goes green on one end and stays green for a certain amount of time. Then it goes yellow, then red. The light on the opposite end doesn't go green automatically at that point. Instead, they both stay red for a good five minutes or so. About three times the length of time it would take for a line of cars to drive down that one lane stretch of road at the minimum speed limit.

That means that if you hit the light as it turns red, you're looking at about ten minutes of wait time. Which doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're sitting at a red light, it feels like forever.

Keep in mind, these time-frames are just estimates, I've never actually sat there and timed it all. The OCD side of me really wants to, but in the end it sounds like a lot of work, so I've never gone that extra step.

So anyway, I'm heading back home with a bag of ice in the car and I hit that red light.

So I wait.

In the dark.

And the darkness was quite thick last night. This is, after all, out in the relative middle of nowhere.

The only light you have out there it what's coming from the moon and the stars, and of course, your headlights and that of the red traffic light. If there are other cars out there with you, that adds to the light, but it's all mostly ahead of you and behind. To the sides, stretching out into the farmland, is a deep blackness that your eyes cannot penetrate.

Me, I'm waiting at the light and looking out of the passenger window, watching the fireflies dance and flicker out in the dark. The radio had crap on, and I had nothing to plug my phone into the car stereo, so I just sat and stared out into the night.

It didn't take long for me to wonder what was out there in the dark, sitting out there just beyond the light, watching me.

As that thought hit me I began to imagine various scenarios, and soon I had a good idea for a short story.

Will I ever write it?

Maybe. Possibly. I'm not going to write it now, I can tell you that.

But the idea is there, it's on paper, just waiting for me to do something with it.

I have quite a few of those sitting around.

I'll do something with them at some point.

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