I am positive that near death experiences have inspired countless works of fiction and non-fiction. I just never thought this would happen to me.
In my case it started out innocently enough; I woke up one morning with pain in my abdomen, severe pain, but even at that I didn’t think too much of it because until then I had been fine. I tried to go about my business as usual but the pain prevented me from doing this so, reluctantly, I went to the emergency room. The doctors there were very concerned and immediately began a series of test. It turned out that I had a severe case of pancreaticitis caused by a dysfunctional gall bladder. They told me that if I had waited a few days, my pancreas would have ruptured and I would have died. A sudden shock to my pancreas would have sufficed as well.
After being admitted to the hospital, I was told that I could not eat or drink anything until my pancreas was cleared of all the poison in it; to reduce my pain and allow me to get by without food or drink, they started me on a saline IV and Morphine drip. Essentially I went on a 4 day stoner because that is how long it took my pancreas to become stable enough to let the doctor go in in remove my offending gall bladder.
During this time, I was in and out of dream states almost to the point of hallucinating. It was during one of these sessions that the oddest thing happened; a vision of a car that I owned years ago came into my mind. It was a car that I had totally forgotten about, or so I thought. What is more, the car was parked outside my then residence like it was always parked and to make things even stranger, a series of memories of this car continued with different views of the car parked in that spot. Some views were from the side, some from the back and so on. After I returned to full consciousness, I remember this event and began to wonder why I still remembered this car and where these images were stored in my brain.
It took me several weeks to fully recover from this illness and during that time I was haunted by this question. My mind mulled over a lot of possibilities but not being a doctor, I had no clear explanation and maybe a doctor would not have one either. Then several ideas struck me: What if the brain really was like a computer and what if the brain could get clogged up with “files” like these memories of my old car? What if this overload lead to debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease? What if we could go in and clean out these files like you do on your computer? Would that make your brain function better like deleting files on your computer makes it run faster?
At that point I had written my first two Detective Anderson mysteries (outlined in my blog posts I’m sorry, what did you say? and When a friend drives a story, but is not the story), now I wondered how all of these questions could involved Anderson and his team?
Well, throw in a “mad” scientist scorned by the local academia who is killed in a mysterious car wreck and then toss in the sexy owner of the Miami Dolphins (circa 1970) who pays Anderson a fortune to find out what really happened to him, then you have a wild rambling mystery that borders on science fiction. The story also introduces the hugely successful Anderson Detective Agency and a partner for Anderson.
And though the title of the story is one word, Images, at 19,324 words, it is the longest story that I have written to date.
Here is the On Borrowed Time book trailer that hints at this mystery: