Why I don’t get to write the ad for Craig’s List

Midlife Sentence | Craigs List

For Sale: Large, rustic-looking headboard with a story.

Well, not really a story, story, as in: lovingly-hewn-of-ancient-willow-by-handsome-woodsman-for-his-beguiling-bride kind of story. Nothing so dramatic. There is a story, just a tad humbler. I’ll get to that in a minute.

Said headboard is a handmade item, with slight imperfections and irregularities, and I’ll be honest, it’s a bitch to dust. I think it’s willow, or some other bendable kind of wood with the bark left on, although I’m no expert. This is just to say that no ancient árbol actually gave its life for the thing. It’s likely from a perfectly modern tree that’s fairly common and easy to grow back and not in any way extraordinary.

So, you can forget any notion of its being infused with druid spirits or anything.

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How I came to be spending the night in the death house and WASN’T SCARED ONE BIT

Midlife Sentence | Haunted

I love scary stories. Love, love, love them. Until they get the better of me.

The only time I ever got in trouble for reading anything I wasn’t supposed to was in the fifth grade. It was a loaned copy of The Amityville Horror I kept hidden under my pillow until I could finish it. The night I did, I woke up my parents around 2 am to tell them I couldn’t sleep.

They were astonishingly unsympathetic. And I still get creeped out by flies on the window.

I’ve always thought I could write a satisfyingly scary story, except that if it was any good I’d probably lose my marbles a little. The process is the problem. I get this little nugget of an idea, and then I mull it over for a long time before any writing happens. I’ll think about it while driving, or washing the dishes, …. taking a shower … or waking up at 3 am and its pitch black and I’m sure I’ve heard something ….

I have a fairly decent imagination, you guys. I don’t trust it not to freak me out. I won’t stare too long down a dark hallway. Is that the vague outline of a misshapen midget axe-murderer, or a coat on a chair? I can’t listen too intently to silence without wondering if I’m hearing a faint scream for help.

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