I have been a scary movie, thriller novel, haunted house, walk around the graveyard after dark, kind of person. Pajama parties with my girlfriends, staying up most of the night watching scary movies and telling ghost tales, was a real treat.
The stories would vary from one pajama party to the next but one of our favorite stories was about the teenage couple parked out in the country, making out and they hear a noise outside of their car. The girl finally gets scared and demands to be taken home. When they arrive at her house and open the door to the car, they find a hook in the door handle. The killer that had been stalking and killing teens out at lover’s lane had an artificial arm with a hook attached as a hand. They had only escaped by inches of being killed! We would find ourselves laughing until we cried if we accomplished scaring ourselves.
It’s all about the flight-or-fight response to the experience. That flood of adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine, but knowing I’m in a safe environment. After all, who really wants to be stalked, threatened, chased, or grabbed by an unknown assailant?
In my writings, I try to leave plenty of room for my readers to allow their imaginations to fill in the gaps. I want them to feel the fear when the main character knows she’s being watched. I want them to know the desperation in her minds when she knows she’s injured and will probably die. I want them to understand how a person feels when they are about to die. However, I don’t want to describe each and every emotion. I want each reader to project his or her own fears and emotions into the scene.
Tears streaming down the tall blonde’s cheeks, she tried to scream through the duct tape that covered her mouth. Her arms stretched out before her, wrists taped together with a nylon rope connecting her to Michael.
“Make all the noise you want; no one is going to hear you out here.” He smiled to himself. He felt the rope go taunt. He stopped and looked behind him, finding the woman flat on the ground. “Get up!” he yelled.
In the Genes:
I opened my eyes to blackness, a black abyss of fear. I dared not move, fearing what or who would reach out of the darkness and grab me. Like a child fearing the monster under the bed, I feared the monster in the room. I could hear the steady, soft snores of it sleeping. The monster had returned while I was asleep. I slowly turned my head in the direction of the breathing. My eyes still could not see anything. I wasn’t sure if the room was totally dark or if my brain had shut my vision off in order that I wouldn’t see it.
Happy reading on this spooky Halloween night.