Dropping the Apples


I sat here in my quiet, peaceful home yesterday, watching the rain fall and shut down all the social media. Five hours later I shut down that sequel file of MrPerfect.com.  I was writing the set up to where the crazy son decides to hunt down and kill the person that killed his father. His father was a serial killer and really deserved to die but the son just didn’t see it that way after finally learning how his father died.

Later I started feeling guilty about making these two men so very sick and deadly. I have never thought about actually harming a human. I’m not saying I wouldn’t defend myself, my family or my home. To the death if needed. I couldn’t feel too guilty about the father, as he is already in print. He deserved to die and if I say so myself, I killed him in a most fitting way.  Now comes the son. I’m finding him to be even sinister.

Last night as I laid in bed, plotting the next few chapters, I started to wonder how dark and horrible I could make the son without my readers start to worry about me. It dawned on me that of all the thriller, suspense, murder mysteries I have read I never thought the author was also a wacko but just someone with a wonderful imagination. Someone like me that is writing about something fearful to them.

I’m a few weeks shy of my sixty-fifth birthday and I still get creeped out when in a book or movie someone is being stalked, someone is sneaking around a dark house either being hunted down or being the hunter.  I’m going to blame this on my older brother.

When I was about eight or nine years old, my older brother told my mom he was going down to the farm and ride horses with his friend. I thought he had left when my mom asked me to go down to the cellar and bring up some apples for the pie she was making. I went to the cellar and picked out the number of apples she had told me she needed. I flipped out the light and turned into the stair well to make the trip back up the stairs. Several steps into my climb, someone reached around my face, placed their hand over my mouth, then drug me back down the steps and into the cellar. Apples went flying everywhere. I was so scared I couldn’t breathe. I don’t even remember if I tried to scream or fight. The next thing I remember was being set free and I took off up the stairs like a scared rabbit. I ran into the kitchen, with no apples, terrified. My mother was looking at me like I had gone mad. She was about to ask where the apples were when tears started running down my cheeks. My brother stepped into the kitchen bending over with laughter. It had been him!  He had heard my mom tell me to go get the apples. He had run down to the cellar and hid under the stairs. He got yelled at for scaring me and making me drop the apples. He had to go pick them up before he went to the farm.  My mom told me it was alright, he was just trying to scare me.

Well, he did a great job of that! I was almost thirty years old before I could go into that cellar and not think of that day. For all those years,  I would step into the area at the bottom of the stairs, reach around the corner and shut the light off, then take off as fast as I could go, up the stairs. On the other hand, maybe it was that experience that made me like scary books and movies.  A way of proving to myself I was brave. Writing about being scared could also be a way of proving to myself that I’m brave and can survive, even if I do drop the apples!



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