No one can give me a good ol’ crotch-tingling like Stephen King.
Oh wait. I’ve just been alerted it’s called a “spine-tingling”. Well, that definitely explains a lot. My apologies. Although, “crotch-tingler” is definitely more fun to say.
In honor of spooky-horror-season I wanted to pay a little homage to one of my favorite horror writers.
Yes, you all know I have a love affair with Stephen King. I’ll admit it. I’m kinda amazed by him. The reason for this is something Fox Mulder would appreciate.
He makes you believe. And he makes you believe without question. The first book I read of his was The Stand and throughout the entire book there was no polite pondering of, “Huh, this seems unlikely to happen…” from me.
All his stories contain the unthinkable, the odd, the creepy, and I’ve never once scoffed. Like the little girl taking candy from that unusual clown down the street, I’m accepting and grateful with a teeny bit of terrified tossed in. I believe without question.
Cell phones turning people into zombies? Shit yeah. A gypsy and cursed pies? Hells yes. In fact, break me off a piece of that throbbing pie. I’ll eat it. A town trapped under a dome? Well, we’ve all seen The Simpsons move. And since The Simpsons deem it so…
He makes the unthinkable real. Brings it to an acceptable level. That’s an admirable trait.
The question is how he does this.
Lucky for you, I have a semi-cogent answer (drinking doesn’t start until 3pm).
What he does that brings out the horror is incorporating real world things. Life. His stories are in the here-and-now. Wikipedia, Google, Rob Lowe (speaking of throbbing), have all got mentions in his stories. Sure a lot of authors do this…but this real stuff combined with the unreal fixes itself in a kind of this-could-be state in your mind. And then you shit your pants.
Another thing this author does to me that no one has ever done…
…is make me cry tears of fear. I’m not kidding. I’m for real-real. You ever been that scared? The scared where your eyes widen, letting in more light, where you sit frozen, reading, a tear slips from your eye and then all of a sudden your husband has to change the sheets.
Well, I’ve been there. Minus the bed-wetting part, because that’s so very 1982 of me.
Take for example this quote from my most recent King read, 11/22/63. The quote is referring to the fictional town of Derry, Maine…that is quite literally alive.
“…but I can tell you one more thing: there was something inside that fallen chimney at the Kitchener Ironworks. I don’t know what and I don’t want to know, but at the mouth of the thing I saw a heap of gnawed bones and a tiny chewed collar with a bell on it. A collar that had surely belong to some child’s beloved kitten. And from inside the pipe—deep in that oversized bore—something moved and shuffled.
Come in and see, that something seemed to whisper in my head. Never mind all the rest Jake—come in and see. Come in and visit. Time doesn’t matter in here; in here, time just floats away…”
I just pooped my pants.
This town is FICTIONAL, people. But it’s still creepy. Creepy like that one time you saw your dad wearing mommy’s makeup. This place guts you raw. He’s done something with that town that stays with you.
King is damn good. I admire him for his skill, his craft, and his ability to make me cry into couch cushions. C’mon, they don’t call me a pillow biter for nothing.
Now reading is all subjective. King isn’t the only horror genre writer out there – Lovecraft, Poe, even Gaiman – but I’ll admit, I’m stuck with my man. I like my King; so help me out people. Who is your favorite scary writer? This Halloween, turn me on to some new ones.
And by on, I mean Samantha-Jones-on.
Just kidding, I really want recommendations.