Okay, so you’re a psychopath.
And you’re good at it.
You’ve never been caught.
But now your hair is graying.
You’re too slow for a knife.
And you can’t swing an axe like you did when you were young.
It’s time to start thinking about retirement.
Where better than Shady Groves…
As I drove home from work a couple of days ago, I listened to All Things Considered on NPR. This isn’t unusual, I do it all the time. They often have thought provoking interviews and stories, but an interview on this particular broadcast really set my fiction writer’s mind atingle. Melissa Block interviewed Bryan Gruley about a series of articles he authored for Bloomberg.com about sex between nursing home patients with dementia.
Admittedly the thought of ancient men and women having sex with strangers is kind of icky, all that saggy skin and everything associated with it. But that’s not the point. That visual made me wonder about psychopaths―geriatric psychopaths. They have to go somewhere when they’re old and gray. And what better place for a predator’s golden years than quiet, comfortable Shady Groves.
So in Shady Groves there is a resident psychopath, just one more forgotten old man―or woman―among dozens. He’s the one that is invisible because he’s so nice and thoughtful and calm and exhibits such textbook dementia. In fact everything he says and does is textbook. No one ever questions him or sees him or suspects him. Yet he is the one who slips out of his room―yes, he disarmed that annoying alarm on his bed―each night to rape, brutalize, and finally, mercifully, kill the unsuspecting residents of Shady Groves.
Shady Groves (kind of a generic name for a nursing home) is located on a side street on a large, well-manicured lot. It’s a pleasant setting chosen to inspire calm and tranquility before the residents take their final sleep and move to Shady Acres, their “forever home”.
The problem is that an increasing number of residents are dying unexpectedly. And while this doesn’t set off a lot of warning lights for the staff, it does pose a problem for the corporation that owns both the nursing home and the cemetery. Yeah, Shady Acres is a cemetery. That’s a real forever home. But many of the residents, or more likely their families, haven’t committed to final internment at Shady Acres and that’s a potential for the corporation’s cash flow.
To take this scenario further, certain questions need to be answered, such as:
- Why haven’t the police been notified?
- How long can the corporation keep the murders under wraps?
- Who will discover the nursing home’s awful secret?
- How will the psychopath be stopped? Or will he ever be stopped?
So there you go. From an NPR interview about sex in nursing homes to a fictional scenario about murder in a nursing home. The idea of a nursing home turning into on big love-in no longer concerns me. Not with a psychopath in residence.
See what you can do with this. How would you write the story?
Let me know.