Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.
Most of the books I write aren’t very scary. Yes, I write about banshees, bloodsuckers, shifters and more, but my stories fall more on the humorous and sexy side. Not to mention ending with that crowd favorite: the Happily Ever After conclusion. Yet although I never wrote one, I used to love a horror story. I used to love to be afraid.
I ask you. What’s better than to curl up in bed at night to read with only the one bedside lamp to cast a glow into the darkness? How much fun is it to jump in fright at that part in the movie when the killer strikes from behind to strangle the poor girl who unknowingly let him inside the house? (Why are those girls always so dumb?) Still, I watch. Admit it. We all love a good thrill. That’s what Halloween is all about, right? Getting scared out of your wits?
Then a few years ago I realized nothing really scared me any longer. I yawned at the goriest films ever made. I cocked a bored eyebrow at the alien in the late-night television show. I sat outside drinking wine right after the report of a wild mountain lion terrorizing my neighborhood came on the news. (Seriously! That’s a true story!) Nothing, but nothing frightened me.
Until my daughter turned fourteen.
The night my daughter came down the stairs, in full makeup and high heels with an all too expectant smile on her face was the night I learned what true terror was. You got it. That was my daughter’s first date.
Don’t get me wrong. Her jeans weren’t too tight, all the important parts of her body were covered, her makeup was tasteful and the heels were only a couple of inches, no stilettos. But that didn’t matter. Oh, no. When I opened the door and saw the animal she was about to share a movie with, my heart froze. Never mind that he was an honor student. Never mind that his dad was driving them. Never mind that they were meeting at least three other couples at the movies. This five-foot five inch hairy-legged creature was a monster. This evil incarnate was taking my daughter away from me.
That’s when I recognized that awful sensation in my gut. Biting back the warning I wanted to shout, I plastered a smile on my face and waved goodbye as she strolled down the sidewalk with him. And I knew. I was once again afraid.