As an author, I often think of things that are fodder for another novel. Unexpected incidents, events that take a bizarre twist, things that take you by surprise – all of these can become the seed of another made-up tale when an author begins to write.
I love thinking up fantastic stories, but no matter how hard I tried, I could never have dreamed up the implausible fantasy that were the first nine months of this year. I would challenge the best-selling authors of the world to create a plot with so many disconnected yet integral parts.
Here’s the plot line for a novel that’s more truth than fiction. It’s called 2020.
A virus creeps up on the world and morphs into something unimaginable. Wearing a mask becomes routine. A trip to the grocery store or the barber shop is scary. Shelves sit empty where toilet tissue, paper towels and even bread once were. Having a drink in a bar is not only dangerous, in many places it’s illegal.
Protests erupt after police kill several people who were perhaps perpetrators, perhaps victims, but undeserving of their fate at the hands of a few bad officers. Those protests become riots where people apparently unconcerned with Black lives or civil rights appear on the scene. Buildings are burned, gutting businesses that serve minority communities. City leaders do nothing to stop the mayhem until things really get bad and it’s too late.
Toss in the contentious race for the White House. A bombastic narcissist who’s beloved by millions runs against an “old white man” who seems flustered and confused. But millions more want him because they want change. They want things to be “normal” again, but in 2020 what’s normal? Nothing.
In our novel, have we introduced enough? Should we make it even worse? Of course. On top of everything, forty-six days before this contentious presidential election, a liberal Supreme Court justice dies. Can the Republican president and the Republican-controlled Senate push through a replacement before the election?
Stay tuned. The end to this novel has not yet been written, but I can tell you one thing for sure. It promises to be just as bizarre as every other thing this year has been.