‘Daddy, I had a bad dream.’
You blink your eyes and pull up on your elbows. Your clock glows red in the darkness — it’s 3:23. ‘Do you want to climb into bed and tell me about it?’
The oddness of the situation wakes you up more fully. You can barely make out your daughter’s pale form in the darkness of your room. ‘Why not, sweetie?’
‘Because in my dream, when I told you about the dream, the thing wearing Mommy’s skin sat up.’
For a moment, you feel paralysed; you can’t take your eyes off of your daughter. The covers behind you begin to shift.’
“Sometimes, a curious streak of fancy invades an obscure corner of the very hardest head, so that no amount of rationalization, reform, or Freudian analysis can quite annul the thrill of the chimney-corner whisper or the lonely wood.” – HP Lovecraft
If you’re a scaredy cat and alone for the week like me, you really should avoid reading things like that.
(Thanks to Longreads for the story, and its link to Aeon magazine, exploring the creation of horror stories and urban legends for the digital age – essentially a discussion on the crowdsourcing of our worst fears, and a lesson in writing and storytelling.)