Recently, I caught up with Mr. Baxton, my MC’s dad. I cornered him outside his accounting office when he was leaving for home. Leigh, my MC, knows nothing about this interview. I beg you not to tell her or she’ll never tell me her stories again.
Here’s a transcript of our actual conversation:
Me: Mr. Baxton, I, uh… work with your daughter at school. Do you have a minute?
Him: (frowns) Is something wrong?
Me: No, I just want you to know that I adore Leigh.
Him: (smiles) That makes two of us. We always talked about… (the smile slips off his face)
Me: About what?
Him: (clears throat) My wife and I, we… always talked about how we should have named her Moxie.
Me: (nods) How are things going at home?
Him: We’re not actually at home. We’re in a hotel because our yard turned into a black nightmare.
Me: I know.
Him: Our yard is just like the Hendersons’, only none of us are back from the dead. How does something like that happen? Sarah coming back. Our yards. All of it. It’s like something out of a book, not real life.
Me: Have you seen Sarah?
Him: No, but I’ve heard enough about her around town since no one can stop talking about it. I have seen her parents, and they’re… confused and grateful and… I can’t even think what this must be like for them.
Me: (pauses) Do you believe in magic, Mr. Baxton?
Him: I don’t know. I was raised to believe in the practical and the predictable. I’m an accountant, after all. But my grandfather, he believed in magic, which is why I hardly ever saw him when I was younger. My parents didn’t want him around me, I guess.
Me: But a part of you still believes in magic?
Him: My grandfather left me some of his things when he died. Some of it seems to work, but the rest of it…
Me: Please don’t use that book, Mr. Baxton, or anything related to dark magic.
Him: (looks at me sharply) How do you know about that? Did Leigh tell you?
Me: (takes a step back) She’s told me some things. I need to go.
Him: What did any of this conversation have to do with Leigh? What did you say your name was again?
Me: I need to go.
My comment about the book completely slipped out. Leigh said it was called Resurrection: Dark Magic to Bring Back the Ones You Love. I remember her horror when she discovered that book, and I honestly hope her dad never decides to use it…
P.S. The picture is of Aaron Eckhart, the guy who plays Two Face in The Dark Knight. He’s about how I imagined Ken Baxton to look.
P.P.S. Thanks, Joe! That was fun!