The Mysterious Stranger

February 27, 2012

I’ve always loved those tales when a mysterious stranger blows into town, promising secrets revealed and offering to change everything. Wherever the geography, thick, blanketing fog rolls in and an invitation is made. But turns out there’s a price to be paid; the Mysterious Stranger knows this cost.

Can the Mysterious Stranger be trusted? Is he who he says he is?

Maybe. Maybe not.

In my urban fairy tale, King Perry, narrator Vin Vanbly is one of these unusual wanderers, a man who decides to intervene and change everything. At the end of Chapter One, Vin asks his new friend, “Are you ready to get kinged?”

If he says ‘yes,’ Perry’s life will never be the same.

In books featuring the Mysterious Stranger, he’s never the narrator. Otherwise, we’d see that he’s probably pretty ordinary, considering which fast food he wants for lunch, how he wishes he had better foot support, occasionally worried about paying his rent. While we want to understand him/her better, we also still want the Mysterious Stranger to remain mysterious. We want to see the amazing magician saw the lady in half; after the show we don’t want to see the two of them smoking cigarettes while txting, sharing a bag of Funions.

By the end of King Perry, readers knows quite a bit about Vin. (And we definitely know how often he thinks about food.) We witness moments of his self-doubt. We better understand his unique flavor of love. Yet there are details he does not – will not – visit in his own brain, so by the time we reach the last sentence, the reader still questions who he is and how he lives.

What happens next? Who was that masked man?

The Mysterious Stranger shrugs.

He shuffles out of town, taking the fog with him.

One Response to “The Mysterious Stranger”

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