Dear Mr. Kolchak,
You don’t know who I am, but I’ve been following your career. Not the public side of it, although the articles that make it to print in newspapers across the country are fine. You’re a talented newsman, no matter what you write about. I know that your editor at the INS forces your hand. It’s understandable why he wants to play it safe. I don’t really blame him. Or, at least I wouldn’t if you weren’t so good at the other thing. You’ve really a natural calling, and, well, thank god. Thank god, because there are so few people willing to do what you do, and fewer still who do it as well.
You’re probably wondering how I know about this shadow vocation of yours. I can’t say, of course. I’m confident that you’ll appreciate my need for circumspection. I also hope you will accept my word of honor that I’m not only aware of all you’ve done, but am sincerely thankful and much relieved at your continuing success as a vanquisher of the highest order. This is the truth.
And I’m not alone.
I’ve been tasked by the others with writing this letter. I’m not sure why they chose me, other than I’m decent with a turn of phrase. The reason behind this missive is clear enough: we’re all afraid–terribly afraid–that you’ll burn out. It always happens. Please don’t worry, though. If anyone is capable of overcoming the risks associated with this way of life, it’s you. How do we know this? Why, you’re the best we’ve ever seen. Here’s why.
- You’ve got style. Not sartorially speaking (although I dig your seersucker suit and that hat, which is a controversial opinion in my circle), but, well, in the way that you do things. You have aplomb. It sets you apart. If you were more reputable, it might even be called charm.
- You have the kind of bravado that opens doors. Too many of those thresholds lead to dangerous places. Oh, well! One cannot find vampires and zombies by staying in the office counting column inches.
- You’re tenacious, sometimes to the point of foolhardiness. When it comes to hunting the supernatural, there’s a fast-moving line between being stubborn and being dead. But you walk it well, my friend. Keep up the good work.
- You know that resources are for the resourceful. If anyone fully uses his contacts, both to and beyond the law, it is Carl Kolchak.
- You understand that research is your best life-line. Killing the undead requires study, dedication, practice, and fidelity to certain strange or mystical laws. Straying beyond a certain point is lethal. Which brings me to…
- The need to think on one’s feet, while staying more-or-less on course. You know when to take seemingly ridiculous chances, and when to adhere to the plan at hand. Smart, ballsy choices save lives.
- You’re a regular habitué of some pretty shady, scary places. The pursuit of werewolves and ghosts doesn’t exactly take you into the light. You spend considerable chunks of time in dark, closed-in, fetid spaces, following and fending off depraved, insatiable, murderous creatures.
- Hunting evil comes first for you. You’ve no personal life to speak of, and we are sorry about that. Life is a series of choices. Thank you for constantly making the correct ones, Carl Kolchak.
- You’re perfectly ordinary. Are you a superhero? An Olympian? A world-renowned expert on anything? No, no, no. Your actions are proof that anyone can make a positive difference in the world.
- Other people’s opinions don’t matter to you. Law enforcement and government officials think you are, at worst, insane, a murderer, or both. The best you come off is as a charlatan. I won’t mention how your co-workers feel…You persist.
- You persist. Through everything. You trudge past your own ignorance and unbelief only to meet up with that of others (who, unlike you, rarely change their minds), live with a sketchy reputation, are willing to look foolish and misunderstood, and put your life at risk for the greater good of humanity. All for little to no thanks.
We hope this letter stands as proof that your courage and selflessness have not gone unnoticed. You are appreciated, Carl Kolchak. You are necessary. You are the nightstalker. For the love of all that is good, please stay true to your principles. Don’t stray from the light. We need you. Desperately.
This post is part of the 2017 Reel Infatuation Blogathon, which I’m co-hosting with Ruth of Silver Screenings.
- Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)-Starring: Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Jack Grinnage, Ruth McDevitt.