Petrol Stations at Four in the Morning and their Resident Vampires

Not feeling particularly inspired today – stilled bogged down with annoying novel formatting.  Worse, had a bit of a blow to the old writing confidence, as well.  All shall be good, though.  Shall keep on trudging, as do we all.

In roughly five hours, along with Mum and Dad, I shall be departing Brisbane in an overloaded Picasso Citroen on an arduous, two-day car ride south – we’re visiting sister Erin in Melbourne.  I’m not sure how regular blogging shall be over the next few days, may not have time at all.  If that’s the case, shall be back on Doll Thermometer next Tuesday evening, hopefully.

Always loved long car rides like this.  We used to do quite a lot of them.  Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide – we drove to them all.  Tomorrow we’re leaving at three, but it was usually around one or two in the morning that we’d leave, I think.  The early departures were to ensure we’d reach our destination with time to do a little something while it was still light.  I suppose.  Or so, as young kids, we’d spent a good chunk of the travel time asleep, and therefore sufficiently occupied.

In doing long car rides with family, particularly when we were quite young, frequent petrol station stops were a must.  Petrol was usually not the priority in making these stops – no car requires that much fuel.  These stops were generally bladder and snack related.  I remember climbing back into my designated car seat while it was cool and still black in the early morning, leaving the car park – don’t remember which trip, it’s probably an amalgamation of many.  Had a freshly bought lemonade in hand – it was always so special, having soft drink before eating breakfast – and swore to myself I’d stay awake for the sunrise as I sipped.  Lost my bottle cap a few times in the dark.  Usually couldn’t reach it if I spotted it.  Not if I wanted to keep my seat belt on.

A long car trip,  more specifically a stop at a petrol station in the early morning, will make an appearance in a far-distant novel.  It’s a vampire story, and I shall say in self defense that it was conceived in 2004, before the vampire/twilight mania that still unfortunately engulfs us exploded.  This ongoing mania means I’ll have to wait until ten years after it’s settled down to get this story out.

The opening chapter is set at a remote petrol station at about four a.m., and Annie wanders out behind the petrol pumps and darkened playground while her family’s in the shop, entranced by the massive freight trucks, their blinding lights and the low rushing hum as the bulky vehicles trundle back out onto the empty highway.  There’s a shed down behind where a few of these trucks are parked.  Guess whose shadow Annie spots hidden behind said shed in the sudden glare of headlights, sapped of strength and in general not doing so well.  And guess what he collects from her in a discarded Coke bottle.

I do like my vampires.  Generally refer to them as the Funky-Hatted Vampires, as no vampire should ever be without a funky hat.  All vampires are musicians, too.  Did you know that?  And guess what, here’s the best part – not one of them sparkles.  Stick them in sunlight, and they’ll definitely scorch.  I guarantee it.


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