Wednesday, October 12, 2016
"That what you fear the most could meet you half way."
- Crazy Mary - Pearl Jam
Whew. Pretty damned dusty in here. Sheets on all the furniture. Feels like I'm revisiting an old cabin I haven't seen in ages – familiar, but a little disturbing as well.
A lot's happened since I last visited. Wrote a new novella, "The Last Firefly of Summer" and released it at Scares that Care convention over the summer. My live reading there scared the hell out of the audience (and I enjoyed that immmmmmensely), and the reviews on it at Amazon are still coming in hot and heavy with praise. I'm glad people are enjoying the tale.
I'm still working on the sequel to Samson and Denial and the title for that is The Crimson Sisters. Feedback on what's done so far has been promising and I think you'll all really enjoy what Samson has been up to since leaving the City of Brotherly Love.
I've got pages and pages of notes on a new novel that... is going to be extremely disturbing to say the very least. I've got a title for that one too, but I'm not sharing publicly yet. But it'll be worth the wait, I promise. Your nightmares will thank me for it later.
We're in the season of Halloween and all around, the leaves are already starting to turn. The air is brisk and the chill gets under your skin and into your bones, whispering that it's going to be a cold winter.
I recall an October when I was young – probably about 11 or so. I was still at the farm I grew up on in Maryland and it was night time. My father had gone out hunting that night with his hounds and my mother and I didn't expect him back until 11 or so. It was long before smart phones and weather apps and there was an impending storm that none of us knew about. (Guess my dad didn't catch the weather that night on the evening news either).
So, like any loving mother with affection for Halloween and horror movies, we sat down in the living room and she (well... I suppose my mom didn't sit down just yet. This was pre-TV-remote era, so she probably stood or kneeled and changed the channel to do the surfing) found the movie Halloween. Not wanting to miss any of the movie, my mother avoided popcorn - there was only Jiffy-Pop back then and that shit takes too long to make. I'm pretty sure she ran downstairs to the kitchen and brought back some kind of Little Debbie snacks.
My mother and I had yet to see the movie and was pretty damned excited about it, even though I knew being aired on TV would edit out the "good parts".
So there we were, curled up on the couch in the living room, watching the horror Jamie Lee Curtis was dealing with unfurl on the mammoth floor set TV and my mother and I were in our glory. This was some good shit as far as horror went.
Jamie was getting the shit choked out of her by Michael Myers and she grabs a crochet needle and stabs him, blood spurting out of his neck. HOLY SHIT! My mother and I were on the edge of our seats when...
All of the lights went out in our house. Power knocked completely out.
As you may imagine, this real life event coinciding with what we were in the middle of watching couldn't have been more perfectly timed. I think both of us made a yelp in the darkness.
But then, from outside, we heard loud, angry sizzling. There was snapping and fireworks going off at the end of our driveway and though it was clear now, we hadn't realized the storm had hit full force. The electric lines had been hit and a line was down, spitting fire and hell as it wriggled with a deadly, raging life of its own.
Dad got back home and not long after, a group of repair trucks from the power company were lined up along the road. I was ushered off to my bedroom that seemed much darker than I remembered it ever being. I watched through my window for a long while before crawling beneath the blankets and drifting off into a sleep void of Michael Myers and electric lines trying to kill people.
The next morning I remember standing at the end of our driveway, waiting for the school bus. There was a shallow hole about the size of a dinner plate completely burned out of the old asphalt there. Even young, I remember being completely amazed that was even possible. The air still smelled crispy and burned and I could hear a new humming noise from the round electrical box at the top of the pole.
I back-stepped to the other side of our driveway, keeping my eyes on the line in case it decided to jump free and attack me.
It was a few more years and a move to Pennsylvania before I ever got to watch the rest of Halloween with both of my parents and somehow, in between seeing the first part and finally the ending, the movie had lost a bit of magic in there for me. Maybe it was because of that damned electric line. I think, looking back, it was because that real life thing could kill me. Myers was just a made-up fear on screen. Don't get me wrong... it wasn't that I didn't enjoy watching it. It's just that real life fear outweighed the fabrication of imagination.
I think I'm still trying to get that back, though I don't know if I ever will.