Today on Horror Month I am kicking of the blog tour for Jeremy De Quidt THE WRONG TRAIN! This a story about a boy who gets the wrong train and gets of at the next stop to realise it isn't a station and he isn't alone. The stranger starts to tell him scary stories to pass the time-but are these just stories?
This is defiantly a great read for Halloween! Don't read them at night if you want to sleep.
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Beth asked me ‘Where do you get your spooky inspiration from?’ and I said I’d tell her, and I’ll be honest - it probably isn’t what she or you might be expecting.
If you read Chris Priestley’s or my mate Peadar O’Guilin’s posts for Beth earlier this month - both of whom write scary stuff - you’ll see that they liked strange and disturbing stories from an early age. It was what they sought out as soon as they could. Most people who write scary stuff seem to be the same.
I never read one scary book, not a single one.
And I’ll tell you why.
Some people almost get born being able to catch a ball, or draw a picture, or dance or run, that’s their thing. I got given something else.
I got given nightmares as my thing.
From an early age, maybe five or six onwards, my nights were filled with dark dreams and terrors. Not just one or two nights, but night after night after night. It only took the simplest thing to fire them up - a picture in a newspaper or something on the television. That was all I needed. It was a real worry for my parents - they’d be woken up by me screaming blue-murder in the middle of the night and there was nothing they could do except sit with me till I calmed down, and then leave the light on. But the light left on didn’t really help because left alone I could fill the darkness just beyond it with enough evil and terror to last until morning.
They said I had ‘a dark imagination.’
At school people would say ‘Did you see the vampire film last night?’ and I’d say ‘Yeah.’ Had I watched it? Had I heck. I wouldn’t have slept for a month if I’d watched it. But I didn’t need to watch it. I knew what it was about and that was enough for me, I could fill in all the details and a whole lot more all by myself. Dark imagination, you see.
Some of those dreams I can still remember to this day - the reflection in a mirror of a dead Spanish lady, a cowboy staked by his wrists and ankles to the ground under a hot desert sun - I can remember the smell of that one too. And dark, filthy stables stacked one on top of the other where they hauled the screaming horses up by ropes and pulleys - I can remember the sounds of that one.
Eventually I grew out of it.
I think I was in my late teens, the dreams just stopped coming and if they did come they didn’t bother me - maybe like Peadar’s chilli sauce, I’d just got used to the taste of the chilli and it didn’t burn anymore. But when I want to write something frightening all I have to do is walk back down those paths and I can remember exactly what it felt like. Can dip a pen in it and write it down on a page.
So, there you are. That’s the truth. That’s where the inspiration comes from.
But I don’t do it unkindly. I know there are lots of people who really enjoy a small scare, and I’m always happy to oblige - but I’m always careful of what I show them.
It’s like opening a box of chocolates and with a dark smile offering them round and saying “go on, try one of these.”
It's late. Dark. A boy rushes to catch a train, leaping aboard just before it pulls away. Suddenly he realises that it's the wrong train. He's annoyed of course, but not scared...Yet. He gets off at the next station, but the platform's empty, and it doesn't look like any station he's seen before. But he's still not scared...Yet. Then a stranger arrives - someone with stories to help pass the time. Only these aren't any old stories. These are nightmares, and they come with a price to pay...Scared yet? You will be.