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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Writing Prompt: 6/24/10: Scared!

By Marilyn Friedman

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Writing Prompt: Make a list of 5 things that scared you when you were a kid. Pick one and write about for ten minutes. Then post it in the comments of this blog!

Comment on this blog! What scared you when you were a kid? If you post your story in the comments of this blog, you could win a free class!


H.M.R. said...

The first time I remember thinking my parents should separate was when I was six. We had just moved to a new house and they were fighting about something dumb like what color the guest room should be. As they raged about the difference between Sandy Beach and Whisper White, I remember thinking I’d better make up my mind quick about which parent I’d live with when they divorced. Like divorce was a given. Even as a kid, my mind always jumped to the worst possible scenario, wanting to see how terribly it would play out. I was scared as I imagined being forced to go in front of a judge and having to tell him which parent I liked better. I went back and forth with this choice for days. I guess I should be thankful that they waited long enough so I never had to choose so obviously between them.

MrGoodson2 said...

I saw a cartoon about a baby kitten that was sucked underground into the sewer system. It was frightening because it was little and helpless like me and it had arrived in a surrealistic world of torrents and weird hostile creatures. The mother cat was looking for it but it was obvious the baby cat would never find it's way home.It was the era of rubber hose animation, making all movement unnatural and stretchy. Plus my young mind didn't know what to make of "looping." Where an animator uses the same animation over and over as a labor saving technique. This lent another nightmare aspect to the cartoon. The inexorable nature of this repetition. If I remeber right, Momma Cat finds baby but then punishes it for getting lost. I was sure of subterranean horror from that day forward.

marshmallowmouse said...

The Devil in the ditch in our backyard may not have scared me so much if my parents had not made ample mention of him after any possible transgressions on my part. His image on the can of Deviled Chicken was a harsh reminder of the wages of puerile sin. When I got burned, I asked, "Is the Devil laughing?" My parents would pretend to listen and say, "Why yes, I believe I do hear him laughing." Their supplications seemed to keep him at bay, but for how long? When would my mistakes and transgressions finally exceed their willingness to plead on my behalf? I was scared of other brand mascots as well, or, in most cases, supplicant to them. I still don't know why the Poppin Fresh Doughboy never made it to my kitchen, no matter how many times I rapped his cannister on the counter in anticipation. My dad would say, "He is probably stuck at some other kid's house. He will come later." The 80s was a boring time for my dad because they took all of the mascots off of the packages, so my sisters had nobody to believe in. It was a decade lost in so very many ways.

Writing Pad said...

Hi Halie--
Great story! I love the parents "raging about the difference between Sandy Beach and Whisper White," especially because those colors sound so peaceful. I love that the narrator's mind "always jumped to the worst scenario" and that she thought her parents should separate at the age of six!

Writing Pad said...

Mr. Goodson,
Great story! I love the baby kitten that was sucked underground into the sewer system. I love that it was helpless like the child. I also love the weird, hostile creatures!

Writing Pad said...

Marshmallow Mouse,
I loved your story! I love that the narrator is afraid of the devil image on a can of chicken. I love that she believed that he lived in the ditch in the backyard and that the parents told the narrator that the devil was laughing!

Erin said...

TV and movies were a source of terror for me as a child, I probably saw too much. I remember watching Unsolved Mysteries and having nightmares afterward, terrified that some wayward wanderer would stop and knock on our door in the middle of the night. Or worse! I also caught parts of The Blob before my dad made me turn the television off, left horrified that something strange and unnatural would make its way up our sink faucets and envelop us all in strange, icky, goo. Then there was Gremlins: Those sweet little adorable creatures that turn into monsters when they're doused with water. The list goes on: The time when I went to go see a movie with a friend of mine and her older sister, and we thought it was a Disney film. The dark opening credits were for Jacob's Ladder, we didn't make it too far after that. But the worst was Howard the Duck. My younger cousin had seen it, so my mother thought I could, too. But I was both confused and frightened by the sight of a life-sized duck in a Bermuda shirt smoking a cigar.

Julie said...

One foggy Saturday afternoon, a house burned down in our neighborhood. Mom had left us with dad for a few hours while she did errands and we were all out in front, raking leaves and pulling weeds. When we spotted billows of black smoke rising above the rooftops, we dropped our tools and ran down the street, following the sounds of sirens coming from the opposite direction. The smoke smelled sharp and dangerous, and an orange glow hovered over the trees. As we neared the house we found a knot of neighbors gathered on the curb, whirling red lights reflected on their faces, watching as firefighters went about the business of putting out the fire. As my dad said hello and made small talk about the excitement, I squeezed through the crowd to get a better view. The house was small, with towering trees on either side and a big, plate glass picture window in the middle; a macabre movie screen to the action inside. I stood, rooted to the curb, watching angry flames devour a wing-back chair, a lamp, curtains.

From that moment on, I was absolutely terrified that our house would burn down. I dreamed about fire, smelled smoke in my sleep and woke up in the middle of the night, certain that I could see an orange glow coming from the living room. It didn’t help that my dad had become captivated with the rustic beauty, warmth and economy of a woodstove. He had placed three of them throughout the house that autumn and used them with enthusiasm, resulting in an orange glow that was not entirely a figment of my imagination. I would wake up at half past midnight, race through the dark hallway and find the living room cast with a flickering light from the still-hot embers, locked safely inside the stove, the holes in the door glowing like an evil little monster.

Writing Pad said...

Hi Erin,

I loved your story! I love that the narrator was worried that "something strange and unnatural would make its way up our sink faucets and envelop us all in strange, icky, goo." I also love that a life sized duck smoking a cigar scared the narrator.


Writing Pad said...

Hi Julie,
Great story!
I loved the specificity of the wing-back chair, lamp and curtains burning in the fire. I love that the narrator dreamed about fire and smelled smoke in her sleep. I also love the description of the woodstove glowing like an "evil monster."