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Kristin Dreyer Kramer
Kristin Dryer Kramer has been writing for as long as
she can remember - and she became the president of her very first writers' group
at the age of eleven (other members included her cousin and vice-president,
Amber, and their two cats, Misti and Muffin, who served as mascots).
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A native of Western Michigan, Kristin now lives in
Massachusetts with her husband, Paul. She's a freelance writer and the
editor-in-chief of NightsAndWeekends.com, an entertainment web site that
features reviews of
music, movies, books, and board games - as well as some short fiction and
humor. She's currently looking forward to the publication of her stories in the
Nudges from God - Obadiah Press (December, 2002)
Serenade of the Stinkweed - Bandal Publishing (January, 2003)
Rite of Passage: Backpacking 'Round Europe
- Lonely Planet (March, 2003)
Chocolate for a Teen's Dreams - Simon and Schuster (June, 2003)
Romancing the Soul
Kristin can be contacted at
Visit her site:
To submit a story to NightsAndWeekends.com's upcoming anthology (working title,
Movie Mania), visit http://www.nightsandweekends.com/anthology
DRIVERS' TIME WARP
I've spent a lot of time behind the wheel. Way too much time. And every trip
has always been a gamble, considering my tired, old car has seen 168,000 miles.
But I happen to be married to a guy who used to live 400 miles away - in a
different country, no less - so I really had no choice.
As I spent more and more time in the car, I became intrigued by a little
phenomenon that I like to call Drivers' Time Warp. You know that feeling when
you've just been cruising down the road for a long time, and you suddenly
realize that you have no idea how you got where you are? Somehow, you've
navigated your way around corners and in and out of lanes, but you
have no recollection whatsoever of actually doing the driving. That's DTW - and
it used to scare me. That is, of course, until I figured out the actual cause.
Now, it absolutely horrifies me.
What, I wondered, could possibly be happening to me when I totally lose all
track of where I've been? Could it be that I'm so caught up in singing along
with the radio (so loudly that drivers around me collide and children start to
cry) that I go into autopilot? Am I actually slipping into little mini comas,
driving without crashing to my death by nothing more than sheer
Frankly, I started to get a little nervous. What if my autopilot decided one
day that Montana would be a nice place to visit, and I snapped out of it only to
find myself somewhere in Missouri? What if I slipped into another mini-coma and
awoke to find my car haphazardly parked inside a McDonald's Play Place?
But, in reality, it's even worse than that.
Along my journey to seek the truth about DTW, I met a man named Bardolph
Schmidt*, who's an expert in the paranormal. I was skeptical about the
possibility of him knowing much about DTW (he didn't really look like he knew
how to drive), but I was waiting for my iced mocha to be ready, and he seemed
eager to chat (you know the type). So I humored him and told him
about the research I was doing, and his gigantic, bespectacled eyes lit up (or
maybe that was just the glare from his glasses - but he seemed pretty excited
"Oh, yes!" he exclaimed, doing an excited little dance. "I know all about
that!" I couldn't believe my luck! In fact, I was so excited that I almost
forgot about my coffee - and that's not an easy thing for me to do.
DTW (though he called it something else, but it sounded really scientific, and I
wasn't exactly taking notes) is a sure sign of alien abduction. Schmidt
explained that people in cars are often an easy target, since they' re encased
in a big metal box. They pick you out, and zap! There you are on their space
ship. They do the tests they need to conduct (though
sometimes they just pick you out because they want someone to play video games
with them, explained Schmidt, who claims to have been abducted thousands of
times), and then they erase your memory and put you back in you car. Often,
however, they fail to put you back at exactly the same time as
when they took you, so it's like you jump ahead in time. That, Schmidt told me,
is DTW (this theory can also be used to explain déjà vu, but that's another
"Hold on a second, " I told him. "This happens to me a lot. So you mean to
tell me that every time it happened, there had been aliens poking around at me?"
"Or just playing video games," he added, nodding. "Actually," he continued,
"sometimes they even get the timing right - so it's happening even more than you
think." He also noted that it only happens when you're alone. Apparently,
aliens only want one test subject at a time.
I thanked Schmidt for his help, and then I left, coffee in hand, and walked the
streets for a while (I figured it was much safer than driving), pondering what I
had just discovered.
Ever since my little conversation with Bardolph Schmidt, I've been terrified of
driving. I refuse to drive alone. So if I have to drive somewhere, I make sure
I get someone to ride along with me. I almost got in serious trouble because of
it the other day. The neighbor kid's mom called it "kidnapping" - but I
desperately needed to get to the grocery store, and no
one else was around.
I guess, when it all comes down to it, I'm not really all that scared about the
poking and prodding. It can't be that much worse than most medical
examinations, can it? What I'm really afraid of is the video games. I really
hate playing video games.
I guess I'm going to have to start taking the bus.
This man only exists in my head, in case you were
© 2002,200 8Kristin Dreyer Kramer