Dan is going to be the author of scary books


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Halloween is six weeks away.  The writer’s mornings have become cool and crisp and, as a friend of mine in the north would say, ‘summer’s back is broken’.  Between novels, I enjoy experimenting with shorter form and style.  This time around, I want to write a scary book, tis the season.  The first draft of the horror story is in the first person and I am assured that the narrator is not at all someone who would speak in my style.  We will see how the scary story plays out.

This is not my first scary story. At ten years old my first attempts at writing complete stories were blatant rip offs of the H.G. Wells Morlock scene, which I had read, and John Carpenter’s movie The Fog, which I had not seen. The latter being the most original of the two as my version stemmed from the movie trailer and, rather than the pirates of the movie I would watch years later, incorporated what I can only now describe as a Lovecraftian monster. I even made a real book out of the fog story as part of a sixth grade class project, with illustrations, binding, and wallpaper glued to a cardboard book cover. The story made an impression on my fellow students and teachers (an impression that was entered into my permanent record).

Another project we had later that year was to create a class yearbook. Each of us was assigned another student to interview and from that information, we placed an entry on each of the topic pages. The page that has always stuck with me was the prediction page. The prediction page was a career forecast. We did not tell our interviewers what to write, they were to come up with the prediction from their own accord. Many of the predictions were expected for children of the seventies, girls were going to be mothers and boys were going to be sports stars and truck drivers. I have kept a copy of that yearbook all of these years, a fading stack of stapled paper printed on an old ink mimeograph, because of what my interviewer predicted for my future. I have held onto to the copy as one holds a paper from a fortune cookie or a horoscope they wish to be true. Though the genre is not that specific to me and my path has covered half the planet on the way here, I took what the other student wrote as a matter of destiny. Now the prediction has become fulfilled, ‘Dan is going to be the author of scary books’.