I just love a good spooky story. Horror/slasher books and movies give me a legit high. No blood needs to be spilled honestly- even a simple, disquieting short film will have me yearning for more.
When I was growing up, my dad would gather us in a dark bedroom and feast us on tales of headless horses (not horsemen!), eerie forests filled with the sounds of moaning spirits and vengeful ghosts. At the end, he would bid us a chirpy goodnight, leaving us slightly stunned in the murky twilight. It was highly unsuitable for our young impressionable minds, but that was half the thrill. Every shadow seemed ominous – dark and waving in the night breeze, ready to sprout some claws if y
ou looked closely. My sister was younger and less aware of paranormal possibilities, so she usually drifted off quicker into that deep, comfortable sleep. I was however still half awake, my heavy eyes still aware of every flickering corner of the bedroom. Both terrified and exhilarated, but vowing to beg for another story the next night.
Growing up, I practically devoured every horror book I could lay my hands on. A proud lover of fiction, the presence of an alternate, imaginary world filled with all kinds of terrible beasts, fueled my imagination. I eventually progressed to other genres as well, but never strayed too far from the mother ship of fantasy and horror. Birthed from that fountain, grew a love for writing – something, anything that could capture even an iota of the creative web in my head. I wrote for my school publications- short, hurried essays which gradually matured to more nuanced pieces as I grew into my job as editor of my medical school paper. Ideas and emotions connected by gossamer tendrils, I loved to throw my words into the air, and see what kind of catch they yielded. Sometimes my audience was rapt; often times they were indifferent and both were equally instructional to the fledgling writer in me.
Even today, a good 10 years later, I still draw inspiration from this illusive world of fiends and fiction. And every time I feel the urge to write a piece, I can still hear my dad loud whispering those scary tales to us in the dark. His voice, his cadence and his natural flair for letting us fill in the blanks. He’s a main part of why I am able to write. Because the best stories my dad told were the ones he let me dream.