Today I’m going to tell you the story of a story. I guess the first thing you should probably know is that I’m kind of weird. I have what some people would called “an active imagination” and what other people would call “severe mental problems.”
The other thing you should know is that I work at Wal-Mart. For a long time, Wal-Mart used to sell cheap knock-off paintings for around thirty buck a pop. Most of these paintings were terrible, but other than that they were mostly okay other than that. But there was one that gave me the creeps every time I walked past it. It wormed its way into my soul and sent chill bumps up and down my spine.
The painting looked like this:
No, I’m not kidding. This isn’t the exact painting of course, but it’s close enough to give you an idea of what terrified me. Just two wooden beach chairs sitting on an empty stretch of sand, facing the sunset.
But there was something….wrong with the painting, something in the perspective maybe, or the way the wash of pastels piled up together, or….something.
And since I’m a writer I started to think, “Hey maybe there’s a story in this.”
I got out my notebook and wrote down the words, “The Beach Scene” and a brief thought about a man driven mad by a seemingly innocuous painting.
But the story needed something more, something deeper. It wasn’t good enough that the painting be haunted, I had read too many stories in that vein already. But I thought back to my childhood and a story I had read called “Von Goom’s Gambit” in which a man discovers a series of chess moves that, when observed by his opponents , drives them utterly insane.
And from these humble pieces I crafted a story that I call, “The Beach Scene.” Like the painting that inspired it, the title is hardly evocative of terror, but if you look closer you’ll find that there is something more there, something utterly unnerving. It is a tale of madness and murder that will suck you into itself and change the way you think about insanity.
If that sounds like your cup of tea then I invite your to check it out in the Amazon Kindle store for the piddling price of 99 cents.
And while your there, don’t forget to check out my other short story Derelict, which has just passed four thousand downloads, and is still available for free.
As always, I hope that you will enjoy both of these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.