03 November 2008
Here is mistake #1: I picked up a new Stephen King paperback at, of all places, the grocery store the other day. I love him; he's talented, spins a hell of a tale, and he scares the crap outta me. So I haven't read much of his work.
When I was 10/11, a girlfriend had a book of short horror stories at the community pool one day, and I read one titled "One For The Road" by Mr. King. "Salem's Lot" grew out of One For The Road, or so urban legend tells. I read that story sitting on the grass in the sun, surrounded by happily screaming kids and splashes. It almost makes it more sinister, somehow, to read it in the bright light of day than during a dark and stormy night.
I've read about 100 pages into "Duma Key" and although the really scary hasn't started yet, he does an incredible job of building the suspense and giving you hints of what's to come. It is captivating, and I felt immediate empathy for the main character, someone I should not really be able to relate to: he (yes, he) is a middle-aged white guy, survivor of a terrible accident that left him with brain damage and just one arm.
Of course, I was reading before sleeping, and when I finally turned out the light....guess what happened? I heard every little noise the house makes and reacted with terror. We're using a small space heater in the bedroom to warm the room a little, and therefore keep the bedroom door closed. I could swear that I heard it creaking open, could see it moving bit by bit, was certain that there was someone there. I started thinking about Dean Koontz's character Odd Thomas, and the evil spirits Odd can see, bodachs I think he calls them. Scaring myself further, of course.
Eventually, I calmed down enough to doze off, only to be jerked awake when DH rolled out of bed and went downstairs for something. I realized that I was being ridiculous, and that were someone really hiding behind the door, DH would have run smack into them. So I fell asleep, finally.
A few hours later, I was dragged back to consciousness by a dream that had my heart pounding. In the light of day, it seems so silly. I was dreaming about my old non-profit job, and the board of directors. Technically, every board member was my boss, and believe me, they acted like it. In reality, I reported to the chair and vice chair, and as long as they were happy with me, I mostly didn't sweat the details when another board member was angry with me. The chair was very supportive of me, had my back every time.
As with every job you'll ever have, there were a few board members in particular that I wasn't really fond of. I used to joke to friends that two board members would call each other before the board meetings and decide whose turn it was to attack Lucy during the board meeting. Both women. And both of them intimidated the hell out of me, although I was careful to not let them know that. There was The Society Matron, old money and proud of it, who thought the rest of the world existed to serve her, and there was The Old Battle-Axe, a career woman and someone who was angry, bitter, and nasty. She ruled her department with terror and threats, and man-oh-man I couldn't stand her.
The dream ended with one of The Old Battle-Axe's flunkies telling me that she expected to see me immediately, and that I was in for a hell of a meeting. She was mad.
Heart racing, gasping for breath, I sat up in bed and attempted to just breathe for a minute. I haven't seen The Old Battle-Axe for more than a year. Haven't spoken to her in around 8 months. (Thank you, gentle goddess!) And yet, she has apparently retained the ability to terrorize me.
No more. Not ever again.
While trying to go back to sleep, I visulized her shrinking, from oversized and looming over me to smaller and shorter and eventually just the size of an ant. Where she can be squashed if she ever tries to terrorize my dreams again!