[caption id="attachment_3646" align="alignleft" width="247" caption=""It doesn't know we're here...""][/caption]
This was a most difficult topic to decide upon which character to write about. My first thought was to write about the fabled Sasquatch. Unfortunately, there was a sighting, so that canceled that notion. Then, because I was listening to “Synchronicity 2” by The Police, I decided to write about Nessie. You know the lyric, “…something crawls from the slime at the bottom of a dark Scottish Lake”. Sadly, a Twitter news alert came through that there was yet another sighting there, too. Delete, delete, delete.
[caption id="attachment_3648" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Nessie"][/caption]
Stymied yet again, I simply stared at the monitor while I awaited the muse. Eventually, she brought me something terrible, but incredibly useful. Glancing out the front window, I happened to notice perhaps the ugliest dog that I have ever seen, which sparked a memory. Here in the Americas we have this urban legend about wild reptilian dogs that attacks goats and other farm animals. They are called El Chupacabra. Just when I started getting all excited, juices flowing, fingers flying over the keyboard as if not really touching them, beautiful elegant prose singing across the monitor…the muse tapped me on the shoulder. She was pointing at the television and shaking her head from side to side, wearing a most disappointed frown. There, on a cable tabloid news show, a farmer in Texas was claiming that he had recently killed two of the creatures on his farm. It was then that I quoted the great John Hammond from Jurassic Park when he uttered arguably the most eloquent line ever heard on the screen, “Damn!”
(editor's note: the writer had planned to post a photo of the Chupacabras, but since every one was so freakin' ugly, he decided against it. You're welcome, by the way)
[caption id="attachment_3650" align="alignleft" width="229" caption="I miss the West Wing"][/caption]
I knew in the back of my mind, were I to fail to decide on something to write about, that I had a couple of go-to characters that I could use: honest politicians being one of them. However, I felt that there were some others; I simply needed to keep my nose to the grindstone until I figured out what they were. Eventually it came to me: the flying monkeys in the classic film, The Wizard of Oz. Those things scared the heck out of me when I was a kid. Even now (Anyone else hear Manilow singing just now? "Even now"?), should I start to reach for the DVD in order to put it inside the shopping cart, it is the first thought that comes to me. I don’t remember exactly just what is was about them, but I have yet to forget them, even after all of these years.
Have you had enough of my futile attempts at humor?
Alright then, perhaps a moment of seriousness is in order. There are but two fictional characters that stay with me. Linda Blair’s demon-possessed Regan MacNeil from The Exorcist and the creature from the film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Unnamable.
Being the church-going fellow that I am, nothing gets any worse for me than the works of the devil. I have mentioned many times across the blogs this year, and should be firmly on record, as having scared myself with The Exorcist on every occasion. Other than reruns on television with edited versions of the film, I had never really seen it until about ten years ago when I bought my first DVD player and began snatching up special editions of DVDs as fast as humanly possible, and much to my wife’s chagrin. I have seen this film another two or three times since then and it never fails to ruin my sleep for a couple of days. One might ask why I continue to put myself in such positions. You can ask, but I don’t have a good answer for that. Dropped on my head as an infant?
While I'm at it, I have a chilling anecdote which I have shared before on the blog of Wicked Writer friend, Carole Gill. The first time that I watched the film, I did so over a couple of days. I had an hour or so between the time that I got off work and the time when my mother would bring my young children home from school. I was across the living room from the television, sitting on a couch. Beside me there on the right was a large table and upon it sat a large potted plant. On the second day when little Regan's transformation was complete, the DVD froze and that nasty demon-possessed girl stared at me. During this moment while I was waiting to see whether the film would resume or not, one of the plant's leaves slid down the wall, making the most audible of rubbing sounds. I turned toward the sound with a jump that I'll not soon forget and yelled at the plant, "Don't do that!" Here's what I was staring at:
[caption id="attachment_3651" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption=""Your momma knits socks that smell!""][/caption]
The other film that I mentioned is one of those that I came across by accident in a video store. (What’s that, you ask? A video store? A topic for another week, perhaps.) Anyway, I had read some Lovecraft during that time and thought that I would give it a go. There is nothing creepier than laying awake at night, waiting for sleep to come upon you and suddenly imagining a terrible apparition or monster coming at you while you are unable to get away. That is precisely what I recall about this film. The characters investigate this house that had a terrible legend and they could not get away. See for yourself just how horrible it was:
[caption id="attachment_3653" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="I've got a name for it!"][/caption]
Well, that's my list. What might be on your list? We have seen many films this week, some gruesome and some laughable due to the passage of time. Sometimes the scare is real and fresh. Sometimes the scare feels all-too real but is decades old. Tell us what scares you this or any other Halloween.
Contest: My friends, now that I've got you all creeped out, I'm hosting our latest contest. Once again I'm offering an e-book copy of my first novel, Dance on Fire. I guarantee that it is much scarier than flying monkees, but not nearly as frightening as a demon-possessed Regan MacNeil. I hope you'll ask for it and give it a chance.