Writing | Rage | Story Origins | Waiting for the Defibrillator to Charge

A teenage homecoming in a strip club takes a malevolent turn.

Story Origins

Waiting for the Defibrillator to Charge

"Waiting for the Defibrillator to Charge" is based on a true event, albeit one I've twisted the crap out of to fictionalize (and jammed my discordant ideas into it as well--things such as enlisting in the Armed Forces, high school chemistry, Nerf guns, and as the title suggests, heart attacks). While I'll freely admit to spending a lot of time in strip clubs in my past (I was nineteen, once), something has come up which makes me want to point out this story never happened to me. When this story was first published, one of my cousins was absolutely convinced I'd lived it and was basing it on family history (which I was, only not in the way he'd envisioned), and wouldn't believe me when I told him it wasn't about me.

You see, another cousin of ours was once a stripper, and the event that inspired "Waiting for the Defibrillator to Charge" did happen to her and a fourth member of my family. This event couldn't have happened to me because my cousin who was the stripper died when I was only fourteen (and I was way too young to get into a strip club), however, it was my reaction to hearing that family story which simultaneously disgusted, haunted, and angered me so much that I had to write it down. In a way, I suppose "Waiting for the Defibrillator to Charge" is wish-fulfillment. The fourth family member who was involved did not respond in the same manner Mike does in the story. I wish he had, but he didn't. I also wish he hadn't kept telling his story over and over again at the Sunday night dinner table, seeing absolutely nothing wrong with it whatsoever.

Pilot Pocket Book 9

This story originally appeared in issue 9 of Pilot Pocket Book in 2012.

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