Our assignment this week: Your protagonist blows a tire on a deserted road. When she checks for the spare, she finds the body of a young girl (mid-teens.) What does she do?
My sleuth Lydia McKenzie has found bodies in some unusual places. In my short story published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, "Exercise is Murder," Lydia found a body in the public swimming pool. In my short story "Out in the Cold" for the anthology MURDER NEW YORK STYLE, Lydia found a body in her backyard/alley. In both cases, she could resist getting involved. And I haven't even started in on the books. Amateur sleuths have a tendency to trip over bodies wherever they go, and Lydia is no exception.
Okay, so this is not exactly an assignment that works for Lydia, a New Yorker through and through. She doesn't own a car. She hardly ever leaves New York, and rarely goes anywhere that could be called deserted. So what would be the New York equivalent? I have to think about that for a minute.
And while I'm thinking about it, I might as well tell you what's been weighing heavily on my mind lately. I don't think you had to be a New Yorker to be appalled by the sudden number of YouTube videos uploaded whose genre could only described as "rats on the subway." Anyone who rides the NYC subway regularly can tell you that lots of rats live in the station. If you look at the tracks, they're moving all the time. But I have been fortunate to never see a living creature other than a person or a pet on a subway car. I did hear a funny story once about someone riding on an above ground train that pulled into a station. When the doors opened, a pigeon stepped on. He rode to the next stop and then calmly exited through the doors. I guess he was too tired to fly. But I digress...
If there was any reason to never ever fall asleep on a subway car, it would be just in case this would happen to you:
I have only one thing to say. Ick. And I'm glad I didn't have to ride the subway the next day after watching this video. The subway authorities claimed that it was a stunt and someone's pet rat. Baloney.
And then came another subway rider...
Just like the pigeon, when the doors open he gets off the train. Clearly he is a real New Yorker.
So that's what I've been thinking about this week. What was the assignment again?