Notes On Wake Up, Little Susie
Once I gave into the idea, I knew the classic "killer with a hook" tale had to be a part of the scare. But that didn't seem enough. So, in giving into a silly story, letting themselves be spooked, Ralph and Susie ended up in a situation where they received a much more real scare. Still, they gained something as well, I think, besides hard-won wisdom.
Fitting in an incident that reflects the title of the contest was a whimsy of mine, one I'd considered even before I had the final idea for this story. It just fit naturally into the second incident. All in all, it makes for an odd story, especially with the final bit of humour at the end. I did try to stay true to the spirit of the song, although no doubt most readers will note the many liberties I took with the details.
Which raises another question. Once I wrote this, I was forced to ponder the issue of whether what I had was a "derivative work", one I could not legally post without permission from the Copyright owners of the original song. I concluded that this was an original work, for several reasons. First, I did take many liberties with the details. The song suggests they'd dated before: "we goofed again". The story makes it fairly clear (I hope) that, although Ralph is in love with Susie, this is their first date.
The song includes no such adventures, and the major plot device of the song, falling asleep during a boring movie, is a very minor plot point here, used just to set up the real plot. Finally, I could change the title, remove the last line, and cut the reference to four o'clock, make no other changes, and any relation to the song would be unclear, while I'd still have much the same story. I'd lose only the humourous line at the very end, and the resonance the song lends the story.
And, yes, it's a crazy story, hardly a contest winner. Still, it was fun, and I hope a few of you reading the contest entries found it fun. If so, that's enough.