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Scary Stories

Why is it that whenever I read a book written by one of my friends that is classified as frightening (the book, not the friend), does my power always go off, leaving me in total blackness and terror? Seriously, I am determined to hate both Jeffrey Savage with his Dark Memories, and now Dan Wells with his I am Not a Serial Killer, for providing me with moments of total and complete, mind numbing, scream-your-throat-to-raw-hamburger terror.

I hate being afraid. Seriously. Hate. It.  I don’t watch scary movies. I don’t read scary books. And I determined a long time ago that I would never WRITE anything scary.

Which is why yesterday is so baffling to me.

My brother called me with an idea for a book, one that I’d already considered and cast away because it wandered into the realm of scary, and I don’t write scary. I told him I don’t write scary and confirmed it with him several times throughout our conversation because I wanted to make sure he understood I meant it. Then we hung up.

And the idea banged around in my grey matter while I did dishes, while I vacuumed, while I got dressed, and while I sorted laundry. You see I told him that IF I were to write the story, it would have to be different from all the things that have been done before. It would have to be a YA book because I just don’t understand adults, and it would have to start out well enough to snatch the reader immediately. I gave him a long list of rules for such a book and all the things that would have to go into it.

And my mind couldn’t let go of how I could write the story and make it fit into all those rules. I called my brother back an hour later and gave him a brief synopsis of a storyline that would work.

He laughed that it only took me an hour to hammer out the storyline.

I hung up.

And wrote the first chapter.

It’s a great first chapter. It’s a great story.

Curses. I guess I do write scary stories after all.

The bad thing? The REALLY bad thing? Mr. Wright was out of town last night. I put the Wright brothers to bed and reached my hand out to turn out my bedroom light. My hand froze over the switch, hovering and shaking as though I were battling some unseen force (this force I like to call my personal irrational fear).

The personal irrational fear won over common sense. I slept with my stupid light on. I guess I write scary stories pretty well, because my first chapter scared the snot out of me.