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 note...my 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.
What scares the bejesus out of you?