It was late. So late that the skies were at its darkest while waiting for the sun to snake it's spidering fingers over the horizon allowing the twilight of dawn to appear, and while some people would call twelve midnight the official hour, this hour of pure pitch black was in deed, dead time. Gripped tightly within the hands of fear, I could not even slide out of bed to go potty. Fear, yes, big fear...fear greater than being faced by an emerging hibernated bear (Okay, not really, but you get the picture.
While I've never been a fan of gore, grizzly slayings of innocents by some fiendish monster, I have been known to become enthralled between the pages of a book that keeps me glued between the covers of my bed. My clutching fingers, and ears, eyes, nose, and mouth were the only parts exposed to the evils that lurked inside the pages of my book.
Terrified. Completely and totally terrified, sitting there at 4am impatiently trying to finish a book that had me paralyzed from the neck down with a massive dose of fear. The one book that really kept me nailed to the bed was "Moonsong" by Charles De Lint. It wasn't your typical horror, it was dosed with a Fantasy element crossing over into modern day society. We called it Sci-Fantasy back then (still do =P). And it wasn't people being torn to pieces, ripped to shreds that had me frozen in terror. The macabre never much appealed to me. It was this spirit thing that was trying to force his way into a protected house that lay on the borders of "our" world and an alternate universe. "shudder" You KNOW what would have happened if that thing would have gotten inside.
Now, Ms. Kelly at "Housewife Savant" has my mind tossing and turning again. She's picked the post apocalyptic theme for her summer reading this year, and had asked for recommends. And of course, I recommended the one book I recommend to anyone that drops off from the romance reading genre (Okay, but Sookie Stackhouse has totally got to go....ENOUGH already). The book I recommend is called "Swan Song." It's amazing. It's pure art. It's really good. And it brings the question of, "Why?"
Why would I read something that gave me nightmares for a good many night after reading it. Why would I read something that is a prelude to the destruction of man kind?
The appeal is simply this. In this crazy, messed up world...running amok in all it's technology, expansion, and new restaurants (yeah, but no TGIF yet), our inner selves desire a return to simplicity. Where we can feel safe once again. Where the world is truly...truly yours.
I read "The Stand" when I was in my early teens, and can remember putting the book aside and daydreaming of what it would be like to walk into a supermarket and just pick anything off of the shelf. To drive off in a brand new car of my choosing. To just go and be (of course while dodging killer zombies and gross putrid bodies lying all over the road). As I grew older, the appeal changed to that of gaining solidarity with mankind (corny, I know), learning to depend on each other again, introducing yourself to the land, your new caregiver), because the super market doesn't exist anymore. Finally being clean, even though you haven't bathed in quite a while!
Of course the books both go off into the typical "good vs. evil" mode, has its scare points (like I said, "Swan Song" left me waking up in the middle of the night not screaming, that's too embarrassing for quite a while). Read it read it read it.