The other day I was driving and a car cut me off. They just pulled in front of me, making me stomp on the brakes. Then he gives me a breezy wave. I mutter under my breath but shake it off. No big deal.
Not long later, I’m in a long line of cars in the right lane because there’s a sign very clearly stating that the left lane ends. A car zooms up on the left, all the way to the front and then expects to be happily let in. I mumble about rude, thoughtless drivers…but quietly, because my toddler’s in the back seat and I remind myself to set a good example for him.
Later that evening, I’m driving with my husband. We’re merging into a lane and at the worst possible moment, the light ahead turns red and part of our car is still in the other lane. Blocking traffic. Oops, but thankfully there’s no one in that lane. Then, of course, a large pickup truck zooms up and the driver starts honking his horn and flashing his lights at us.
I have no idea what he expected us to do but I can sense my husband’s blood pressure rising and I admit, I feel a burn of annoyance. Just as the light changes, our new ‘friend’ veers to the left, through a petrol station and then roars out back onto the road ahead. If he’d waited another ten seconds, we would have been out of his way.
Bad drivers, people who push in line, being left on hold forever, someone saying something nasty about a friend…all things that ignite that little burn. But usually, being the level-headed, good-natured people we are, they are soon forgotten.
But what if someone did something so terrible to you, you couldn’t forget? What if someone took away your family, destroyed your dreams and ruined your chance at a normal life? I hope none of us ever have to find out, but I did wonder what that little burn of annoyance would turn into under those circumstances.
That was something I explored as I wrote Time Thief and all the action and suspense that went with the story. TimeThief was born out a single image—a woman standing in a busy bank…about to rob it by stopping time. Turned out she had a good reason for robbery—revenge. But more importantly, I wondered what…or who…it would take to make her give up on their long dreamed about revenge.
We all have bad days but if we’re lucky enough, we have someone who gives a hug and makes it better. For me, a wild, exuberant hug from my toddler cures everything!