Maybe it is that "killing me softly" thing. Women love reading suspense novels. And all of us here love writing them. The woman in jeopardy story always has us on the edge of our seats. In today's novels, we try to make our heroines strong and independent but willing to let a man help them out now and then as long as he knows they are strong and independent. (And that drives him crazy at times.)
I have a suspenseful story to tell you. When my husband and I were first married and living in an apartment in Atlanta, Georgia, he worked the night shift for years. One night when my daughter was four or so and safely tucked into bed, I took a shower upstairs in the bathroom off the master bedroom. When I got out of the shower, I heard what sounded like someone rattling around downstairs in the kitchen. My heart beating rapidly, I wondered what to do. Should I call the police? This was before 911and our phone was downstairs. I thought, no, I can't get to the phone in the kitchen. And I had no weapons. The noise was growing louder and louder. I thought about running to a neighbor but I'd have to get my daughter up and the prowler might hear us. Finally, I decided I'd just go downstairs and around the corner and try to see who was in my tiny kitchen. I grabbed the first weapon I could find--a big old umbrella. My plan was to sneak downstairs and stab the intruder with the tip of that big, clunky umbrella or at least open it in his face and then run screaming toward the front of the house. Well, I came downstairs and tiptoed toward the kitchen at the back of the building, all the while breathing hard and so scared I was afraid I'd faint right there. Thankfully, I had left all the lights on in the kitchen. When I rounded the corner, umbrella held like a sword, to my surprise I found no one in my kitchen. I looked around, knowing there was no way anyone could have passed me to get to either of the doors out. Then I heard the rustling noise again, followed by a little sqeaking noise. I looked down and that's when I started screaming. A tiny mouse ran right by my bare feet! I did try to use the umbrella on him, but he was too quick. I did the only thing I could. I quickly opened the back door to the patio and shooed him out! He left pretty quickly because he was as scared as I was.
Talk about suspense. I will never forget that night or how I had to face my worst fears--a three inch intruder.
That is why I love suspense. It's that feeling of what's going to happen next? Who's after her and why? Will she live to find happiness with the man who's willing to fight for her? That's the fun of writing suspense and that's the joy of reading suspense. And sometimes, it's those little fears--those tiny as a mouse fears--that drive the real terror of a good story. But even now, when I'm alone and afraid in the house, I know I have a handy supply of sturdy umbrellas to use as weapons.
I guess I'm not the only one with such a tale to tell. I'd love to hear other stories of brave heroics (umbrellas optional :)