Day Seventeen: Your Personality on the Page
Today’s Prompt: We all have anxieties, worries, and fears. What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears.
I’m not alone with the fear of being buried alive, which can be thought of in many different ways. The recent earthquake in Nepal would have made many of us think of this horror. It is because of our fear that news reports show us of the one lucky survivor, pulled out of the rubble alive that allows us to concentrate on the hope that if it happened to us, we might just be lucky too.
In horror fiction this is not always the case. The first time I was made aware of my fear was when I was very young, watching the TV series, Armchair Thriller, in which a man drugged his wife and built a brick wall to encase her while whistling the song, Greensleeves. the combination between the horror of his action sand the gentleness of the song still makes me shudder.
Later on in life I discovered the works of Edgar Allen Poe where again I was confronted with my fear of being buried alive in his brilliant short story, The Black Cat and the Tell-Tale Heart
When I was studying for my MA in Creative Writing, I knew I wanted to use my fear of being buried alive in a short story and so I returned to Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories as well as the brilliant buried alive horror film, The Vanishing (1988) not the remake!
For the longest time I had trouble getting my protagonist into a trunk without the reader shouting “As if!”
In this version I had my protagonist called Dan, running away from a group of homophobes and hides in an abandoned house in Blanche Street.
A shout from the landing below, sends him running to the windowless room at the back. He trips, loses his shoe and stumbles onto the trunk, hidden in the shadows. With no time to think, he climbs inside,scraping the skin off his back as he pushes his body down. Holding the lid with one hand, dan peeps through the crack. He watches as the group pile into the room
“He couldn’t have jumped.”
Letting out a sigh of relief, he’s fingers give way, the lid slips down as the lid clicks and locks firmly in place.
From here on in there were lots of flash backs which became quite weary to read and so I had to go back to the drawing board. The main problem was that I was trying to shoehorn a story into my Blanche Street tales, when what I really needed to do was to break free. It was around this time I was reminded of a story my tutor and mentor, Dave Swann told me. He had been on one of those haunted walks round Brighton, where the spooky host retells tales of Brighton’s murderous past, including the infamous trunk murders of 1831 and 1934. Dave mentioned a more recent Brighton murder but was told that those murders were not to be discussed on the tour. It was then an idea began to really take shape.
I started off by creating a character who was isolated from anyone who might care or miss him, as was the case with many of the victims of notorious serial killer, Dennis Nilsen. Being buried alive is one thing, knowing that no one is coming looking for you just rack up the terror all the more.
Next I gave form to the murderous couple, Janice and Nick.
To read the story, Please click the link via Inkitt on my Facebook page.