My neighbor was burning his yard last night.
I have no idea why. My desk faces the front door, which has two windows flanking it, so I was able to observe tiny fires popping up all over his yard. It looked like the beacon lighting scene from Return of the King, except in miniature. More than likely he was burning anthills (this is the South – it’s what we do here. Poison is for wimps.) But maybe there’s something more sinister going on. Could be he’s discovered small openings into the depths of hell. The fire I see is coming up from below and he’s trying to keep the demons from breaking through. Or maybe he’s signalling the aliens to begin their invasion. The most interesting part of what he’s doing isn’t what he’s up to, but why. ‘Why’ is the driving force of good stories. The ‘why’ is what drives me to keep turning pages until all the questions are answered. I have ‘why’s in my head all the time.
– Why do zombies want to eat people? They’re dead, so why do they want to eat anything?
– Why do fictional law enforcement officers show up with eleventy-hundred heavily armed people as backup, but always, somehow, end up facing the big bad alone? Where’d all those people go?
– Why do the really good ideas only pop up when I’m in the shower or driving on the interstate alone?
– Why won’t the faeries come out when I’m watching?
– Why does the rising sun always seem to be positioned at just the right spot so my sun visor can’t block it, no matter which way the road is leading me?
– Why can’t I find the end of the rainbow?
Feel free to share your ‘why’s. I can’t guarantee we’ll find any answers, but sometimes the fun is in the asking.