Saturday, 25 July 2009

There's nothing to fear but fear itself.

I have just finished reading HAUNTED HEART: The life and Times of Stephen King by Lisa Rogak. It was okay. A lot of what Rogak wrote was nothing new. I think King himself had already revealed a fair bit about himself in his own book: On Writing, and he did it in a much more entertaining way. Love him or hate him (I love him), there is no denying King is still one of the best story-tellers of our time, and his writing skill is up there with the best. Rogak's talent lacks something. Her writing was not punchy enough for me, there was no originality, no obvious flair to her prose. It just read like a drone in my brain. But it did make me think about my own fears. The things that scare the crap out of me. Rogak reels off a whole list of fears that spook the King of Spookville himself. These included:
the dark, snakes, rats, spiders, squishy things, psychotherapy, deformity, closed-in spaces, death, and so on and so on....

So what scares me?

I don't mean just the normal everyday sort of scares: a spider in the bath, a creak in the night, the sound of a footfall behind me in a dark lane. These are all rational fears. I mean real fears, totally irrational and bowel-loosening fears, the sort of fears that come straight out of a book. . .a horror book. . .a Stephen King book.

Here are a few of the things that scare the crap out of me:

Ventriloquist Dummies ~ When we were younger my sister had one of these horrible inhuman things given to her for christmas one year. It spooked me right out with its glassy eyes and its inane toothy smile. I was always waiting for it to wink at me, or grin, or twitch a finger. I was so certain it would come to life one night and murder us all in our beds! I still hate the things now.

Empty Motorbike Helmets ~ Yeah, I know how weird this one sounds! My husband has always had motorbikes and I love them: the bigger, the faster; the better. I have no fear whatsoever of riding on the back of them at the speed of light. It's the skid lids I have a problem with. I simply can not have the crash hats anywhere I can see them when we're not actually wearing them; and the visors have to be shut down and the crash hats turned away from me. I have a real fear that one day I will see a maggot covered skeleton head looking out at me from the helmet!! And...on this hubby has just bought himself one of the helmets with the blacked out visor. Him wearing that, and looking at me, scares the crap out of me too. I need to see it's him in there!

Someone Grabbing My Ankle From Beneath My Bed ~ When I was about eight I had to go into hospital for a few days to have a minor operation on one of my eyes (that was enough to scare me for a start). For years afterwards - and the odd occasion now as it goes - I had this real dread that a doctor in a white coat was hiding under my bed while I was asleep, waiting his chance to grab my ankle and inject a lethal poison into me. Even now I will never sleep with a foot dangling over the edge of the mattress.

I have a few more personal fears up my sleeve - clowns, robots, attic trap-doors, graveyards, dead people sitting in the back of my car at night while I'm driving - but I will leave them all for another day; just incase you're all starting to think I'm really crazy by now!! But then, I can't be the only one.

Can I?

What scares the bejesus out of you?


Alan W. Davidson said...

Greetings, Akasha. I came across your blog through Jarmara's.

What scare the bejesus out of me?
Hmm...spiders really bug me, and when I was a boy, I too was worried about a hand reaching out from under the bed. I also didn't like closet doors left open as the hanging clothes look like people.

Also, encounters with in bars with big buggers spoiling for a fight scares the "you know what" out of me. This happened to myself and cousin in an Oxford pub. The guy had just got out of Reading prison that day and seemed to be looking to go right back in. We called his bluff and calm remained...I guess the creepy part there was that all of his visible teeth were sharpened into points...hmm,sounds like a good character for a story.

Jarmara Falconer said...

Hi Akasha, What scares me... I'm not sure at the moment I have a crazy fear that I shall never see my book in print... I will die before I have completed it. As I get closer to the age of my ancestors' deaths, I fear I'm running out of time too.

I can live with spiders, but hate flies and my other great fear is rats.

I shall have to think some more on this subject, though on reflection there can't be much I'm scare of, if I have to think about it :-)

Hi Alan, great to see you here too.

Akasha Savage said...

Alan ~ Welcome to the Darkside. You're right, that guy in Oxford sounds like a great character to put in a book. I love looking at people and seeing who's 'usable' and who's not! of the good things about being a writer; people watching.

Jarmara ~ I can't believe you've not got a real hidden fear or two; surely everyone's got something that scares the pants off them... or perhaps that's just me with my dark dusty basement of a brain!! :)

Rabid Fox said...

Hmmm. What genuinely scares me? In the neighborhood, I would have to say the stray animals can get my quills up. Walking at night, there's few things that disturb me more than a dog or cat coming at me like I'm a meal. And it's not like I'm the kind of guy who can haul off and kick the critter either. I just see if I can divert it.

Oh, and bugs in my house, crawling on my bare legs in the dark. JE-SUS!

Akasha Savage said...

Rabid Fox ~ I can definitly go with the bugs one. Eeek!

Leigh Russell said...

Oh no - a hand reaching out from beneath the bed - that's a new fear for me worry about. I never thought of that before. I'm going to leap onto my bed tonight, giving the edge a wide berth... with all the lights on... just in case... What else? So many. Dogs, wasps, getting lost, don't get me started, I could go on for pages.

Please come back to my blog and let me know what was said in the Writers' Forum about my book signing, Akasha. I want to know!

Kat said...

Hi Akasha,

I found your blog through Jarmara's also...I like it. It's interesting. And Bathory is one of my favorite villainous figures from history. So your idea intrigues me...

What scares me? Death. The idea that this is all there is. And mirrors at the end of long, dark hallways.

My grandma had a mirror at the end of a hallway between the bedrooms. And I swear I saw my dead grandfather in it a couple of times, just staring at me. My sister saw him too. We used to stretch our arms around the corner to turn the hall light on before walking down there. It was creepy. So creepy...

Akasha Savage said...

Leigh ~ I will pop across to your blog and quote what was written in WF.

Kat ~ Welcome to the Darkside. I agree with you about mirrors, they can be very very spooky. We have one at the top of our stairs and my teenage daughter can see it when she's in bed and her door's left open. She swears she has seen the shadowy figure of a man in it!

Anonymous said...

Someone Grabbing My Ankle From Beneath My Bed

This still freaks me out as a forty-something. Gosh knows, I've stuffed enough carp under there to push out anything malevolent.

Stray animals scare me, currently. But only because my Mum is having problems with stray dogs. I have had so many murderous thoughts go through my head about them, but they're just dogs. I warp between adopting them and killing them. No problem guessing which would be easier.

Vesper said...

Mirrors, yes...