So I’m walking through the garden, coffee cup in hand, mentally taking note of what I need to move where or replace or remove. I’m looking at the spot where my birdhouse post used to stand but is no more. The 4x4 beam and the birdhouse lay on the path waiting to be restored to an upright position. I’m sure there are House Wrens lurking, annoyed that their home of seven years is a shambles.
Next to the empty hole is a lovely bright yellow tulip that I did not plant. Its delicate petals snugged around itself in the morning chill. I considered digging it out and putting it with the tulips I had planted on the other side of the path. Some squirrel no doubt worked long and hard to bury that bulb, from who knows whose garden. Who then am I to undo that squirrel’s work?
Later in the afternoon, now with a glass of wine in my hand, I strolled past the 4x4 beam and birdhouse still on the path waiting for a lift. But my eyes locked on the ‘onesie’ tulip. What a gift that squirrel had given me. The tulip which I assumed would be like all my others opened with ruffles and fanfare. I could hear the ‘TA DA’ as it surprised me and the other tulips. Those others must be reeling with petal envy.
So when I’m working through a plot, trying to lay a clue or twist, sometimes the story gives me a gift. I've not noticed the odd ‘bulb’ that somehow, through a comment a character made or an earlier clue gets buried. While everyone is assuming all the characters’ motives are equally compelling or each alibi is equally plausible, the clue that looked to be like all the others turns out to be so obvious that once seen, there is one and only one explanation. The denouement in The Station Master happened just so. I hadn't intended for the explanation to include the appearance of a certain person. Her character had stayed quietly off stage but involved until she ‘bloomed’ into the only one who could have done it. Even I was surprised, well a little. It could have gone a different way. Thanks to the ‘squirrel’ in my brain that buried and forgot what turned out to be a double delight!