Owen is in first grade, mired in learning to read. He brings home a few new books each night, and we spend a chunk of the evening sounding out words. Last night, we read:
Horror-writer dad jumps up and yells "hooray!"
The Boogly came out of the swamp. Chased a kid into his room. The last page:
...and then I woke up.
(dagger to the heart)
Great for a kids' book, but ouch. The one-ending-that-is-never-okay-in-horror-fiction. We read another book (Spooky and the Wizard's Bats) about a wizard who sent bats to torment a poor black cat (Spooky) every night. The cat's former owner, a witch, was delighted, saying she wanted to see the kitty cry. That particular book was pretty scary. Of course Spooky wins in the end, stealing the wizard's wand (which is subsequently tossed in a fire by Spooky's new owner).
So we went 50/50 on sweetly creepy books for kids last night. Here's my NaNoWriMo moment of the day: make sure the ending works. Don't cheat your readers. *shakes fist at The Boogly*
I finished another short with a title nod to Joe R. Lansdale: "The Night they Went to the Horror Show". It didn't turn out like I planned in my head...which has been happening a good bit of late.
Gwen shoved him. “You’re a weirdo, Grant. W-E-I-R-D-O.”
The insult was lost in the slamming of his door. Grant knelt and peered in the window. “Stay here. I’ll be right back.” He tapped the flashlight and started for the dark wall of trees at cemetery’s edge. The old fence was still there, hanging loose on gnarled posts. He tightened his grip on the light, feeling the rubber grooves of the handle press into his hand. His feet scratched through rough grass as he walked. Gwen mumbled and cursed him from the car, but the yellow beam of light in front held him on course. She was eight years too late for that night, for the path, the pond, the old boat…
I'm going to start editing Loathsome again. I promise. (I think I thought of the missing piece.)