Book magic · Bram Stoker · Frankenstein · imagination · Mary Shelley · movie magic · Robert Louis Stevenson · The Classics · Werewolf

Scaredy Cat

I never run at night.

Why, you ask?

Because I have an extremely overactive imagination, that is why.

I think it all stems from a childhood obsession with the classic horror stories. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein both repulsed and attracted me in turns.  How could I not be enthralled by such an incredible character? Or feel empathy for his plight and fear?

Bram Stoker’s Dracula- another fascinating creature! Immortal, infinitely cruel , yet somehow tender? How could you not be entranced by his weirdly romantic, yet macabre story?

The infamous Jekyll and Hyde, indelibly written on my brain before I hit junior high.  Always wandering the elementary school libraries in search of monster novels I haven’t yet read. The Werewolf, King Kong, The Mummy. Loved them all. Classic horror, gothic horror- could not get enough of them. While other kids were delving into Sweet Valley High, I was devouring Edgar Allen Poe.

(I was also not allowed out much, and we didn’t have cable. A girl has to have a hobby,and it gets really hot here in the summer)


For some reason the picture reel in my head for the books I loved and most remakes always revert to the black & white films. Somehow the movie magic was a little more mysterious in the old silver screen films, the women just a touch more dramatic and glamorous. Maybe the imagination had to be more engaged when watching the old reels.  CG is fun to watch, but it doesn’t really leave much to the imagination.

I highly suspect that “Elvira- Mistress of the Dark” plays an integral part with the black and white movie love. I may not be old enough to remember a time before color TV, I’m just old enough to have seen several movies and shows in black and white- and those were Elvira’s favorites.

One night she had shown the movie “Nosferatu”. Made in 1922, and which I only saw once. However, something about that damn movie haunts me. I am pretty sure that movie is the basis for my imaginary nemeses “The Shadow Goblins”.

If I had to hazard a guess it would be any one of these little gems that did it:

You have to admit, for 1922 that was some insanely well done makeup. That imagery had to have scared people shitless back then.

Now here is where it gets weird- I have never searched out and read stories, books, comics nor willingly watched any zombie themed movies.  Something about them, the very notion or idea of them freaks me the fuck out.  When “I am Legend” came out, I watched it in Imax with the hubby and spent the next two weeks trying to burrow under him in my sleep. (I couldn’t not watch the new Will Smith movie. Lesson learned- still haven’t watched the Brad Pitt “World War Z”, and I have no future plans of doing so. Zombies are creepy as shit already. FAST zombies? No thank you.)

I did, however think that watching the spoof “Zombieland” would not be a big deal. HA! I was treated to about a month of recurring dreams that featured the Zombie Clown. That was fantastic, let me tell you.

Now you have the background into the weird phobia I have of running in the dark- which was supposed to lead to a very short story. Tangent.  One of these days I will find one and stick to it.

The other day I was running on a beautiful springlike-summer morning around a golf course.  Not a soul in sight for the first mile or so. As I was running and the heat was starting to sneak its way into the day- I had the thought that this would be a gorgeous run at night.

You know, if I wasn’t a giant chicken of the dark. Which naturally led me to think of all the creepy things that could be lurking in the dark. Like shadow goblins. By themselves they are not strong enough to subdue a human, ya know.  However, they do have gardens with flowers that bloom only at night. Those flowers emit a sleep-inducing toxin into the air.  Any unsuspecting jogger would be breathing hard enough to inhale enough of that toxin to immediately be put to sleep. Once asleep the zombies eat your brains.  The shadow goblins get the rest.  Rather neat ecosystem they have going, but one I don’t want to be a part of. So I will continue to run during the daylight.




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