Okay, so I have a great idea for a book. It’s a suspense/murder & mayhem type of story. The plot revolves around a relatively average woman, mother, and wife; hell, I think I’ll make her a comic for extra dramatic flair. Her life is moving along quite nicely, not perfectly, but she has no major complaints. Then one seemingly innocuous month drives her to the edge of sanity and she goes on a deranged killing spree. The month will start out very well; she’ll have a wonderful, busy weekend away from the kids doing what she loves best, comedy. But slowly, things start to unravel. It starts with her younger child’s birthday party. She thought it would be lovely to host 7, 9 year old boys to McDonalds, a movie and a sleep over. Little did she know that these boys would, in a group such as this, turn into demon children; spitting over theatre railings, aiming at the grocery store vegetables 4 stories below, running across busy streets en mass despite screeches from our heroine/villain. The “sleep-over” portion of the night was an exercise in quelling screams and scratching fights that would have tried the patience of Mother Theresa herself. She somehow manages to survive this night, but must spend much of the very next day preparing a Thanksgiving meal for 11 family members with one oven and a history of over-cooking turkeys. She knows she’s over-extended herself, but it’s too late to back out now! Once again, she pulls through until her realization that she has booked the dog in for her rabies shots the very next day almost pushes her over the edge. How could she forget how much the dog hates needles and how much she hates making her dog have needles? How?! Life gets back on track for a few days, which tricks her into complacency! Next thing she knows, the weekend is once again upon her and this time it’s her older child’s 13th birthday (oh how she despairs her January fertility!). But this time, it’ll will be 7, 13 year old girls to Mandarin – where she learns that at 13, you must pay adult prices for the buffet! $24/child! The credit card happily does not get rejected, but there will be only money enough to feed 3 family members for the rest of the month…who shall go without? Hmmm. Then (will she ever learn?) a sleep over. Surely, though, 13 year old girls will be so much more manageable than 9 year old boys! It’s surprising how wrong a woman can be. She was unaware just how high in the decibel range young girls can hit when shrieking. It was 4 a.m. before the house was silent and our heroine/villain can be found muttering and rocking herself back and forth, back and forth in a dark corner of the kitchen. Saturday dawns, but can she rest? No! The family must dress up and drive out of the city for a family wedding. Was it fun? She can’t remember. Although she didn’t drink (though the temptation was there), the night remains largely blank. This clearly is the beginning of the end for our beleaguered woman. Although the week that follows is mostly one of calm, the damage is done, until the next weekend arrives and she must pack the family up once again for yet another wedding out of town. The five hour drive in the pouring rain should have been the sign she needed to turn back, but she is beyond help. And because she is cheap as well as quite probably demented, she decides the whole family should share one hotel room. This does not help matters. On the Saturday night, the night after the wedding (where she managed to fool everyone with a smile and a hearty appetite!) and the night before her husband’s birthday, the stars seem to align and push her to an abyss from which she will never return. Because not only does her husband wake her up from a sleep only minutes old by sleep-walking to the hotel door where he turns on the lights and wrestles with the locks with such violence our heroine/villain nearly has a heart attack right there and then, but her young son reacts by yelling out in his sleep “Tell me who you are! Tell me who you are!” needless to say, another night with no sleep. The birthday cake she later bakes for her husband is not a pretty one, but his fear of her is real, so he says nothing. How does this story end, you might ask? The end of the month brings Halloween and the ensuing pursuit of the perfect costume which may well be her denouement, when she ultimately goes out of her mind and wreaks havoc on the world. It’s good for her that there is much fake blood around that particular night, so as to cover her tracks. Although the extra hour of sleep afforded by the clocks turning back just after midnight on Halloween might just save her after all. Read the final draft to find out!