I’m going to tell you something I don’t often repeat.
I love nightmares.
Oh, a dream about swimming in a lagoon by a tropical island has its place, but rarely do those dreams stay with me. Like an orgasm, the moment is wonderful, yet fleeting.
All my life, I’ve had nightmares. I’m sure you’ve had your share, too. The difference with me is, at a very young age, I made peace with those nighttime visions of terror. As soon as I learned to embrace them, to dissect the patterns of horror that my own subconscious conjures, I became a different person.
Facing the monsters of my mind opened the doors of creativity. I’ve always loved a scary story or movie. Fear is just as exhilarating as joy. Our bodies react similarly when in the throes of each. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not exactly Pinhead extolling the pleasure of pain, but I do love that chill that races down my spine and the hyper-patter of my heart when I’m confronted with my deepest, darkest nightmares.
is a way of bringing those sinister, lurking creatures into the light,
and giving others that same jolt when they read my work. By the time I
was ten, I was actively seeking out every horror movie and book I could
get my hands on. I wanted to do what the men and women behind them did.
So I looked forward to my nightmares and grabbed them by the neck,
dragging them into my waking world, spilling them onto the blank pages
And as I got older and immune to the horror of werewolves, vampires, monsters and fictional slashers prowling summer camps, I was left with one thing that still terrifies me. You see, I was brought up a Catholic, was even an altar boy for four years, and the things I was taught, the things I was told are certifiably real and itching to latch onto my soul, still trouble me when I turn out my light.
Just think of it. Aside from apocalyptic upheavals like floods, pestilence and the final ride of the horsemen, here are just a few concepts guaranteed to freeze your blood:
- Eternal damnation in hell
- Speaking of hell, how about the devil himself?
The one thing they all have in common is a desire to consume your soul. These aren’t concepts spun by fiction writers for fun and profit. This is what potentially awaits us just beyond the veil of everyday life. When the day is done and your body can no longer carry on, your soul is all that’s left to you. Now imagine all of the malign forces drooling to snatch it.
I know this is why so much of what I write concerns, at its core, the tenuous hold we have on the essence that is us, and the darkness that waits for us beyond. There are endless theories about life and death and the soul and good and evil. What if all I learned in school and church is correct? What is my fate?
I hear the scrape of nails on the wood floor behind me. Everyone in the house is fast asleep. The only light is the soft glow of my laptop screen.
Please be the cat.
In : Guest Posts
Tags: fear horror nightmares dreams authors books writing
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