The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon

The Platinum Ticket by David Beynon
Shortlisted for The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize

Sunday, 24 May 2009

I don't cotton to that book-lernin'


We've all heard about book-learning but here's a different take on it.  After my failed attempt at the good old Creative Writing MFA (silly me including a really good genre story in the application package) I had pushed the idea from my head...for a while.  I came across the above program and I must say it bears further investigation.  I'll keep you posted.  

In other news, the helicopter traffic has diminished and the police presence about town has subsided to the usual small-town level.  Sadly, a little girl's body remains missing and one wonders if now she'll ever be found.  Of course, since our town appeared to be the disposal site for four days (and might still prove to be) our kids have learned about the fate of Victoria Stafford and that her body is missing.  These are conversations that parents should never have to have with a six and eight year old.  

How do you explain that there are sick, sick people in the world that not only murder children, but dump their bodies to avoid being caught? 

Well... you do the only thing you can - You tell them there is no explanation for it.  That sometimes a person's brain is wired so differently that he or she becomes capable of doing the unthinkable.  But you also take the opportunity to go over every little safety lesson and every stranger warning you've ever had.  You tell them that if an adult in a car asks a kid for directions that they must yell and run because only a predator asks a little kid for directions.  And that it doesn't matter what they look like - old or young, man or woman - a creep through and through.  And if they aren't a predator, then they are an idiot - but still yell and run away.  

Lost puppy - what kind of creep asks a little kid to help look for a puppy.  

Free Candy?  That's the oldest one in the book, Creep!   

Mommy and Daddy were injured in an accident and they told me to fetch you.  Oh, yeah?  Where's the cop and what's the secret code word, Creep.

Yes - I have told my children to call such people creeps - you know, because they are.  I have also told them to run.  If grabbed - to bite, kick,  punch and scream for all they're worth because we've told them that if such a person gets you they will hurt you and kill you.  

Should I need to tell my little children such things?  In a perfect world - no.  But we don't live in a perfect world and I'm willing to sacrifice a little of my children's innocence if it will help them survive an encounter with just such a monster.

I look forward to a cheerier post next time.