A Nightmare Worthy of Stephen King

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I’ve been reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing.  We’re talking the author of Carrie, and The Shining here. That Stephen King. I don’t like horror stories, so I don’t read Stephen King, but how scary can a book on writing be, I wondered. It appears it was just scary enough.

I always read myself to sleep. So last night, lulled into slumber by the horrormeister himself, I had a nightmare. I dreamed I was writing a book. And it wasn’t just any book, it was a story worthy of Stephen King.

A teenage boy, probably 14 and immature for his age, starts to lose weight. As time passes his skin becomes transparent. Brown moles pepper his back and bony chest. His mother doesn’t seem to notice. He becomes listless and won’t leave his bed.

Nobody knows that a mutant life form inhabits his mattress. When it was small it survived on the flakes of skin that sifted down through the layers of padding. But now it has grown long tentacles that search for nourishment and moisture. As the boy sleeps, the frond-like arms brush over his skin, licking up the sweat.

At first that’s enough. But the organism forms an attachment to the boy. It waits in the darkness for his body to sag into the bed. Then it waits longer until his breathing indicates sleep. It quivers and moans until it can send it’s tendrils up and feed.

How disgusting! I am totally grossed out. But that is the story I was writing in my dream. I watched my own process, imagining the most awful scenarios to move the plot forward. I agonized over specific words and replaced them with more graphic ones. By the time I woke up I had a fairly complete short story. (The ending is positively gruesome!) And I assure you, I jumped out of bed and turned my mattress over to make certain it was all a product of my overactive imagination.

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That dream taught me something. The imagination is a remarkable tool and it’s unlimited. Before the dream I told myself I could never write a horror story. Obviously, I was wrong. Not only can I write such a story, I can write it in my sleep!

Inspiration comes in strange ways. I don’t believe I would choose to use my creativity to produce terrifying scenarios. But the novel I am currently writing has some dark chapters. So does life.

I think I’ll leave On Writing to the daylight hours. I’m sure I have a copy of Little Women around here somewhere. One Stephen King inspired nightmare in this lifetime is enough!

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lyonsharon1@msn.com
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 14:36:55

    I actually was engaged in your dream story….maybe you should pursue the storyline….but i wouldn’t read because I, too, do not like horror stories or movies.

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  2. shanemac
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 16:13:07

    The moral of this story is, don’t read Stephen KIng, even ‘On Writing’, just before going to sleep. But Sherry, your horror story looks really good.

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Nov 15, 2013 @ 17:49:55

      I have no stomach for it! I don’t know how it is that a writer can be scared by their own story, but the scenes that were coming to mind, even as I was writing the blog post, terrified me! Fear is not my favorite emotion.

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  3. Jan
    Nov 15, 2013 @ 22:42:02

    Ohhhh, creepy and eerie!!! Amazing what you can come up with in your sleep (and remember the next morning). Well, at least you know if you ever needed/wanted to go into horror, you are certainly capable :-).

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    • writingforselfdiscovery
      Nov 16, 2013 @ 01:17:22

      It’s very strange…now all I can think of are horror storylines. I made a comment to my mom, “What bride would carry a bouquet of flowers that she didn’t like?” and all of a sudden I’m thinking of a frightening story about a bride that did just that! Stephen King is a bad, bad influence!

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  4. Jessa Walters
    Nov 16, 2013 @ 00:00:33

    eeew gross, mom!!!

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  5. Diane Struble
    Nov 16, 2013 @ 04:37:22

    I never read horror stories either, but your dreaming of one struck me as really funny. I had one a few weeks ago, but fortunately forget them as soon as I wake up.

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  6. Jan
    Nov 17, 2013 @ 21:44:37

    I kinda want to hear the rest of the story, especially that gruesome ending–and I don’t like most horror stories either! 🙂 Ack

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