This “Behind the Story” blog is one of the hardest I have ever written. It is due to the fact that, for me, “The Lady in the Coat” is more than just a story I wrote. It is a well of mixed up emotions surrounding death: anger, sadness, longing, love, despair, devastation, revenge – you get my drift.
But before we get in to all of that, let’s rewind a bit.
Like every writer out there, I suffer from writer’s block. It sucks. It is one of the most frustrating feelings in the world. And one day many moons ago, I spent the majority of my day sitting at my desk, trying to come up with a great idea for a story. Guess what? I got nothing. Zero. Zilch. I was very frustrated that I hadn’t had a productive day, but knew that I had to perk up because my family and I were going to a restaurant for dinner that evening.
So there we are, driving to the restaurant. I’m looking out the passenger window, being nosy, and I happen to see a lady in a light rain coat walking down the street. I kid you not, the first thing that came into my head was ‘The Lady in the Coat.’ I quickly whipped out my phone and wrote a few brief sentences down so I wouldn’t forget my idea.
I didn’t forget my idea, but it turned into a story I didn’t expect to write, if that makes sense. Initially, I thought that The Lady in the Coat would be just that – a lady in a coat that is shady and very intriguing. Nothing at all like I ended up writing. In saying that, the writing of “The Lady in the Coat” was very organic and natural. I remember writing the first sentence and that was it. I bled.
It took me a while as I was writing to realize that The Lady in the Coat is a symbol I used to represent Death; and how Death unfairly takes the people we love from us – sometimes with no warning, rhyme or reason. Even if Death does give us warning or something similar – it doesn’t stop Death from being a selfish piece of work. So, yes, The Lady in the Coat represents Death. English teachers will have a field day!
Okay, Isaac and Axton often express their hatred, anger, resentment, and the want to inflict revenge on The Lady in the Coat because of the lives she has taken and the ones she will continue to take unfairly. This is precisely how I felt at the time having just experienced a death in my life. I wanted to hunt down Death and kill it. I wished I could have killed Death before it took my loved ones.
Unfortunately, Death cannot be outrun.