Sleepy inspiration

So I was lying in bed early last night, trying to get to sleep because I was getting up at 4am this morning, letting my mind wander in that way it does pre-sleep. I’d just finished off fourth-round revisions on my novel and sent the manuscript off to my critique partners a day or two before. Maybe my muse felt liberated, with the current WIP off the plate, but it started to circle a character idea I’ve been playing with for several months, in various incarnations. No plot, or even plot points, just a character that I thought would make an interesting story base. And then, out of the blue last night, while in my pre-sleep doze, it gave me a first line:

By all accounts, the crash should have killed me.

I should get up and write that down, I thought. But I couldn’t quite bring myself to, for just a single line. My muse, perhaps irritated that I wasn’t biting, said fine, have a few more, then. And proceeded to give me most of the first paragraph. And I wrestled with getting up, wondering if I might just remember it all, before finally deciding maybe I should since I wasn’t actually asleep yet anyway. So I found a notepad and scribbled down the paragraph and returned to bed.

I typed it up this afternoon, with a few extra sentences added.

I wasn’t going to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo, but maybe I will after all…

By all accounts, the crash should have killed me. Instead, I find myself sitting in my new-to-me used car in the school parking lot, wondering what I’ll say to people I haven’t seen in a month; or even to friends who did make it to visit me a few times in the hospital once I got out of the ICU.

Everyone knows what happened, I’m sure. For one thing, it’s a small school, the sort of place where gossip moves faster than Mr. Sykes handing out a detention. Most of the town probably watched the wreck as it was towed down Main Street on a flatbed truck, two pieces of distorted, almost unidentifiable metal. Those who didn’t undoubtedly snuck over to the scrapyard to check it out later, even if they won’t admit it. People whispered behind raised hands, speculating at the cause: I was drunk; I was high; I fell asleep; I just suck at driving. I doubt very much that any one of them has guessed at the real reason, and I’m not about to tell. Even I think I might be a little bit crazy, if I think about it too hard. As I said, it’s a small school; not much happens here. Every little bit of news is grist for the rumour mill, and I’d just as soon they forget about it.

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