One night, after I’d fallen asleep, my husband landed on a horror site and spent hours devouring short stories. For some reason, he immediately wrote an über brief horror story that went like this:
I returned home from work. My wife was not in her usual spot, which was strange because she’s been dead for two years.
That’s it. I know. I know. It’s not half bad.
My question to you is: Should I be worried?
Think about it. My husband’s sitting in bed, reading on his laptop in the middle of the night, when he, a non-writer by trade or hobby, suddenly decides to pen a horror story – one in which he could feature any number of vapid or unsympathetic victims – but I, his devoted, albeit it snoring, wife, ends up as the corpse. Dead for two years, already. Like he’d been thinking about it for awhile.
I’m starting to understand why Edgar Allen Poe died alone on a park bench.
After all, we have three cats. At least two of them are jerks. Couldn’t the story have gone something like:
I returned home from work. Magellan, my cat, was not in his usual spot, which was strange because I put his ashes in that urn on the fireplace two years ago.
Okay, so Stephen King already covered that territory in Pet Semetary, but there were other options. For example, bosses. Lots of people despise their bosses. My husband, for one, does not, but, as far as I know, he doesn’t despise me either, so why not take this approach:
I returned to work. Mr. Jetson was not in his usual spot, which was strange because I bricked up that wall myself two years ago.
Or Hubby could have envisioned a situation in which we had a child. Dead kids are super creepy. And imagined spawn – well, you can write almost anything about them without scarring them for life or being arrested.
I returned home from work. My young daughter, Ashley, was not in her usual spot, which was strange because her corpse has been chained to a pipe in the basement for two years now.
Am I wrong? Way spookier than the dead wife scenario. By focusing on the daughter, we’re allowed to imagine that little girl from Poltergeist – all precious and blonde talking to her television – just before her eyes turn black, her mouth stretches into a Edvard Munch scream and thousands of spiders rush over her lips in a black river of legs and bodies. And no one freaks out because everyone knows it’s not about our rugrat; we’d never name a child, Ashley. Not when we could call her Shatner Gallifrey Pants.
How about a neighbor? One of ours revs motors for hours on end in our shared, echoing, back alley as a hobby. Why not him? Is there a better way to vent your frustration about slowly going deaf without anyone getting hurt?
I returned home from work. My neighbor was not in his usual spot, which was strange because I buried him and that damn Corvette engine under the rose garden two years ago.
It’s been a few months now. I try not to worry. I avoid those shows watched by suburban, middle-aged women about suburban, middle-aged women who are murdered by their suburban, middle-aged husbands, who have twenty-one year old mistresses named Bambi. I bought Mace. Magellan is my now my food taster.
Hubby hasn’t written any more horror stories.
But I have.
I returned home from work. My husband was seated in his favorite chair, which was strange, I explained to the hit man, because I thought you offed him two years ago.