Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Little Book of Horrors

I have been spending a little more time over on Pinterest and with the recent changes - they have been recommending a ship load of writing prompts / memes and inspiration and it was there I stumbled across this pin...

The original pin is here
I followed the pin to tumblr (HERE) and wowsers - a whole treasure trove of writing inspiration for the average horror fan!

Aside from sending shivers down my spine - I sat with pen and paper late yesterday afternoon and out flowed a furious explosion filling three pages based on those two lines.

She swung high on the ancient wooden swing set, the creaking of never before oiled hinges grating as gravity pulled the swing into a backward fall. Momentary silence. Then it squealed as she swept forward through the air. Her pale white hair fluttering behind her like a leaf on the wind.
Beside her the empty swing rocked forward sharply, picking up pace and falling backward from the sky. Then forward once more. 
The small blonde girl turned her face toward it and smiled, "Mummy says I don't have a sister!" she spoke earnestly. "Why did you lie to me?" she added plaintively. 
"I didn't lie!" exclaimed a raven haired girl, sitting upon the empty swing. 
The two girls swung higher still, their hair contrasted like the keys of a piano, trailing behind them. Following the peal of their laughter as they talked. 
"Mummy went crazy one night and after she drank every last drop from that box, she walked unsteadily to my room. I cowered in my bed, afraid to move. Scared she would yell at me again." 
"But MY Mummy said," the smaller of the two girls interrupted once more. 
"She lies. She has always lied," said the bigger girl in a hushed voice. "She even lied to the policeman after it happened. She told him she found me like that. I was standing right there watching her lie to him."    

A little story, based on those two sentences, meandered down a dark path and after much scrawling and crossing out on the third page, I put my book aside lest I keep myself awake at night.

This little exercise made me wonder - how do writers of horror and crime turn off after they have written. For me - when I attempt to write something horrible, it feels as though I am exposing a dark side of my mind. I feel like I am stripping myself to the core and standing before you in all my natural glory. I am afraid to let go of the normal and really lose myself in the story. Gosh only knows what people would think should they discover my stack of writing books, filled with snippets like the above (yes I admit the above is relatively tame... it was the words that followed that made me feel eerie.)

Had mummy found me like this?
Except I remembered distinctly the look on her face as she staggered above me. Her too hot breath singeing my face. A fine spray of spit landing in my eye as she hissed at me, "You are not my daughter. You don't even look like me."
Before there was nothing. Sweet oblivion. No more pain. No more warmth. Nothing.

I am a relatively kind and caring person - yet I am able to write words that freak me right out. Perhaps they are not polished nor publishable (is that even a word?) - but something continues to lure me back into their tale of woe. I guess it could be likened to watching a horror movie and that need to watch till the end to see who the murderer was / who escapes death, even if every hair on my neck is standing up and I am only half seeing what is on the screen before me, peeping behind my hands (seriously that will totally save me should the bad guy jump out of the TV screen!) scared to watch on, but fearing I will never have closure if I don't!

Together we sat in the dark. In silence. Until lights of red and blue pulsed a pattern on the walls around us. 
"You were there too." 
What do you think? Is it possible for writers to jump genres? Personally I am still on the eternal search for the genre that "fits" me. I have attempted historical based on true life, dabbled in romance, explored fantasy worlds and a splatter of horror on the side (okay horror minus the blood and guts... perhaps these excerpts are more suited to the paranormal thriller style - is there such a thing?)

Tell me - what's your preferred genre?  

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