Premonitions. We all have them.
I’m working on a scene in DRAGON VALLEY now, where the main character has had a very bad feeling about her daughter going on a trip to gather some magical herbs that may help save dragons. Maija’s dead husband’s spirit has been walking the halls of her home all night long, trying to warn her about something, but unable to break through the veil. The daughter laughs her fears off the next morning and insists on going with the gatherers.
While I was writing this scene, I wondered if it was too heavy handed. Will people think this is realistic. Then I remembered a story about Bill Linderman. Bill was a world champion cowboy. He won RCA saddle bronc world championships in 1945 and 1950, the bareback bronc riding championship in 1943 and steer wrestling in 1950. He was also the World Champion All-Around Cowboy in 1945, 1950 and 1953. He was the first man in professional rodeo to win three world championships in one season, claim both riding and timed event titles and earn more than $500,000.
To fellow competitors, he was known as The King.
It wasn’t surprising, therefore, that he was voted as an officer in the Rodeo Cowboy Association for nine years. It probably would have been many more years than that had not fate cut this remarkable story short. But I get ahead of myself.
On November 10, 1965, Bill stopped in at the Pig N’ Whistle Bar in Denver, Colorado to have a drink with some friends and visit with the bar owner, Eddie Bohn. Linderman wrote a counter check for twenty dollars and where he was supposed to fill in his address, he wrote, “heaven.”
Eddie and the rest of the cowboys carried him high about the scribbled address and Linderman replied, “Boys, let me tell you something. I’ll be in heaven before any of you guys–and some of you might not even make it.”
Hours later he was on a jet that crashed in Salt Lake City, Utah with ninety-one passengers aboard. Some of them escaped via emergency exits. Survivors say Linderman did also, but turned back to help others and perished.
So it was, a few hours after he proclaimed his home was in heaven, he fulfilled the promise.
In writing, I have often found real life is much stranger than what most people create. So, maybe it isn’t quite so odd that my main character has premonitions about things, and even less odd that others dismiss her fears with a laugh.