EXCERPT FROM Mother Hubbard Has A CORPSE IN THE CUPBOARD
Anyone who’s read a Callie Parrish Mystery knows I’ve never written a thirteenth chapter. I’m not superstitious, but I, Calamine Lotion Parrish, have not and will not write a Chapter Thirteen. It started with my first book when I thought about buildings with no thirteenth floor and why that might be.
When I was a child and went to Charleston or Columbia with Daddy, we rode in elevators, and he let me press the buttons. I didn’t realize there was no floor called the thirteenth. I thought they just left out the number between twelve and fourteen because there was something evil associated with thirteen. I believed the thirteenth floor existed, but it must have been a place of secrets. That fascination with hidden doings behind closed doors and the slight fear triggered by those thoughts probably account for my enjoying horror stories along with the mysteries I’ve loved since my first Encyclopedia Brown and Nancy Drew books.
This time, I have a really good reason for being scared of thirteen and refusing to write a Chapter Thirteen. I just finished reading The Thirteenth Child by David Dean. I’m telling you: When I got to the last fifty pages of that book and what happened on Halloween, I wet my panties. I’m not kidding. Problem was where I was reading. In bed. I was snuggled all cozy under the blankets reading when my bladder protested being full of Diet Coke, and I was too scared to get up and go to the bathroom by myself.
All one hundred and forty pounds of my full-grown dog Big Boy slept like a puppy on the rug beside the bed, but by the time I woke him up to go with me, it was too late. Of course, then I had to go to the bathroom for a shower, to the kitchen to put the wet things in the clothes washer, and to the linen closet for dry sheets. After we did all that, Big Boy wanted to potty, so I took him outside. He thought we’d go for a walk, too, but I only let him hide behind the oak tree and do his girl-dog squat to tee tee like he always does. Made him come right back into the house. Feeling a little guilty about refusing to walk him, I gave Big Boy a banana Moon Pie. His vet doesn't like for me to feed him my favorite--chocolate--so I have to keep two boxes in the cabinet at all times.
I’m not telling anyone why David Dean chose The Thirteenth Child as the title of his book. Let ‘em read it, and find out for themselves. I will say it was a good decision, and I’m going to visit that book again. I might read it in the bathtub next time so that I won’t have so far to go if it scares the—oops! I’d better not go there.
NOTE FROM FRAN RIZER: Thanks to Callie for blogging for me this week. I thought with Halloween upon us, it would be nice to hear what she thought of David Dean's new book, but please excuse her references to bodily functions. I try to control Callie, but she says and does as she pleases. There's a great Halloween scene in The Thirteenth Child. Check it out, but you might want to read near the bathroom. .