Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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The Stranger in the Dark Suit

The man that has been haunting Tyler’s nightmares for the past several days takes the same bus as him. Inspired by current events from COVID-19 and a writing prompt. 


Tyler jolted awake, with sweat on his chest. The breeze from the overhead fan barely cooled him down. It was that weird time in March where the weather couldn’t make up its mind if it wanted to be hot or cold, so Tyler simply slept with only the fan. 

“Fucking stranger again,” Tyler whispered, keeping his voice low as not to disturb his lover.

Tyler placed his arm around his partner, falling into a calming embrace to ease his mind away from the recurring nightmare. It was always the same theme. Tyler would be running away from a tall man in a dark suit, like something from the 1920s, and every time, this stranger would catch him and graphically kill him. The locations and deaths would vary, but the figure was persistent. Tyler’s partner had shrugged it off as him playing too many video games, but Tyler felt there was something more to the cause. He thought it might be a result of anxiety from his new job and the world crisis. 

The next morning, Tyler got on his regular bus to work at the downtown luxury hotel. The day had an eerie vibe, but the past several days had felt ominous. He figured he would eventually become accustomed to the new reality of living during a pandemic virus outbreak. On the positive side, he was grateful his work got deemed essential, although he couldn’t work from home.

The bus was empty save for one man near the back dressed in a black suit with a matching fedora. Tyler froze in the aisle when he saw him. He couldn’t help but stare. It was the stranger from his nightmares.

“Take a seat,” bus driver ordered. 

Tyler snapped back to the present. “Sorry.”

As Tyler took a seat, he could’ve sworn the man winked at him, like he was trying to say, “Yes, it’s me.” Tyler faced the front of the bus and browsed his social media feeds to forget. The news was the same – doom, gloom, and blame. He switched over to his camera to spy on the stranger in the back who was starring soullessly ahead.

The bus announced Tyler’s stop. It was a few blocks away from the hotel, but he was at his favorite coffee shop. He wanted to help keep them in business. As Tyler got off, so did the stranger.

“Be cool,” Tyler told himself. “He’s not following you.”

Tyler stepped inside Clarity Coffee while the stranger walked by. He let out a sigh of relief. Tyler kept his social distance, got his to-go-coffee, and made the journey to work.

Downtown was quiet. Most everyone was working from home after all. As he crossed a street, he got a feeling he wasn’t alone. He looked behind him and saw the stranger in the dark suit.

“It’s just a coincidence,” Tyler assured himself, “but to be sure…”

Tyler turned the corner down an alleyway. He looked behind but didn’t see the stranger. Tyler turned back forward. The nightmare stood in the center of the alley with his arms crossed, and his eyes fixated on him. Tyler turned around and ran, but he ran right into the stranger.

The stranger lifted Tyler from the throat. Tyler screamed, but everyone was hiding from the invisible threat terrorizing the world.

“I’m only going to warn you once,” the stranger spoke with military firmness. “Tell anyone that the hotel you work at is haunted–especially reporters–and I’ll make your nightmares of me a reality.”

The stranger dropped Tyler, who collapsed to the pavement with fear. When he looked up, the man had vanished.


This short story was inspired by current events and the following writing prompt: “You have a recurring dream of being chased by a mysterious man in a dark suit almost every other night. This morning when getting on the bus to work, you see him sitting in the back and make eye contact. He winks at you.”

Wood Willow Art Moves Performance

In collaboration with Humankind Hospitality and the Oklahoma City Arts Council, I recorded a live-performance of Wood Willow outside OSO Paseo in Oklahoma City for Art Moves. Art Moves is an Arts Council OKC initiative that provides free arts events in downtown OKC each workday from Noon-1:00, however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the format has changed to streaming for social distancing and to let people stay inside.

If you like live-streamed concerts, be sure to check out the awesome people at Ponyboy and Factory Obscura for more shows. Want to know more about OSO Paseo? Here’s my story I did on them shortly after they opened.

Learn more about Art Moves and support them at https://www.artscouncilokc.com/art-moves/

Thank you for watching and thanks to my supporters on Patreon for helping to make Uncovering Oklahoma possible, especially during this time! This video is going to be last with Art Moves for the time being as they’ve shifted to having the artists stream at their own homes.

Illuminations with Yatika Fields

I’m excited to share today’s debut installment of Oklahoma Contemporary‘s new video series, Illuminations, with an interview on Yatika Fields about his journey as an artist, the colors of nature and the joys of ultramarathon running.

I was hired by Oklahoma Contemporary to shoot and edit the video. There are more episodes to come. Be sure to read the full blog post on their website.

Sergio’s Italian Bistro

Doing traditional Italian dishes with a personal twist, Sergio’s Italian Bistro offers fresh food in Downtown Norman, making sure every item is different from everybody else.

As we stay home to stop the spread of COVID-19, Sergio’s Italian Bistro now offers evening delivery in Norman, curbside service, and online delivery through Postmates, Grubhub, Uber Eats, or Doordash. For the latest news and offers, visit Sergio’s Facebook page.

I filmed this story before the pandemic hit the state. I had planned to go back and get some b-roll of the cocktails, but that’s when dinning rooms got shut down. This was the last story I had saved. Website traffic has plummeted as people aren’t/can’t go out. I’ll be doing articles to keep things going and maybe a video when possible or appropriate. I’ll be figuring things out on a day by day basis as that’s all I can do.

You can visit Sergio’s Italian Bistro at 104 East Gray Street in Norman or online at SergiosItalianBistro.com

Susan Herndon & The Bella Counsel Art Moves Performance

In collaboration with 84 Hospitality and the Oklahoma City Arts Council, I recorded a live-performance of Susan Herndon & The Bella Counsel inside Empire Slice House in Oklahoma City’s Plaza District for Art Moves. Art Moves is an Arts Council OKC initiative that provides free arts events in downtown OKC each workday from Noon-1:00, however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the format has changed to streaming to promote social distancing and to let people stay inside.

Learn more about Art Moves and support them at https://www.artscouncilokc.com/art-moves/

Thank you for watching and thanks to my supporters on Patreon for helping to make Uncovering Oklahoma possible, especially during this time!

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