A Dark and Stormy Night
IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY.
I expected a knock on the door any minute. Some desperate traveler, eager to unload a treasure map or reveal some crucial bit of information before the ones who were after him caught up with him out there.
Out there on the road. In the dark and the storms.
Or maybe it would be a woman rapping furiously on the door: near tears, with her bodice in a shambles and a pleading look in her eye, asking if a man has been around, perhaps a man looking for a woman in a white dress.
I'd have to tell her no, but she can stay for awhile, get warm by the fire, and then she'd be gone before I even finished, leaving the door flapping in the storm-driven winds.
It was the dark and stormy night. It always brought out the best cliches.
Soon the three brothers would come in, three filthy outlaws, no good bastards that would sooner shoot a man in the mud than help him to his feet.
And not long after them a silent, grim man would come and sit at my bar, quietly drinking until those three brothers would pick a fight with him. Big mistake boys.
I never like having to clean up after that gang. But ugly messes aside, there's something perfect about a night like tonight.
A Dark and Stormy makes even the corniest story work. It takes the cliches, the familiar bits, the things that make you smile with anticipation of their own familiarity and gives them some oomph. Gives them a—
Hang on. Looks like there’s a mob coming up the road. Pitchforks and torches.
You have to be careful who you let into your place, when you see a mob like that coming. They'll burn your joint down, if they think you’ve got a sad-sack monster hiding out in your basement. Hell, they’ll torch your place just to be thorough.
Lots of places some poor misunderstood freak could hide out in round here. A mob like that is not gonna—
Okay. They're headed for the castle.
Like I was saying.
I don't expect it’ll be long before the phone in the corner rings. It's not often that phone ever rings.
Mostly it happens on a night like tonight. And only when a stranger like yourself is sitting here, with an expectant air, patiently listening to me yammer on and—
Well. There it is.
Maybe you should just answer that yourself. Whoever is calling has something important to tell you.
Your story is waiting…