Tag Archives: Stephen King

Crushing Monsters

I was reading Salem’s Lot by Stephen King for my October ambience read and was struck by a couple of things. First, I noticed how tiny the size of the font used in the paperback is and how old and squinty my eyes are. Second, I noted what traditional vampires King’s monsters were, compared to the mutations that have hit popular culture since his book was published in 1975. And thirdly, (and here Mr. Wordtabulous would point out that I have exceeded the ‘couple’ of things I referred to in the first sentence, couple meaning two and not three, but Mr. W. doesn’t read this blog so pbbbbththhhh,) there is an interesting spiritual bit in the battle between Callahan, the priest, and the ancient vampire, Barlow. I suppose I need to warn you there could be spoilers here, but honestly, the book is over thirty-five years old. Consider yourself warned. Barlow has the boy, Mark, in his grasp and is facing off against the priest. Callahan, crucifix in hand, is all full of righteousness, and is literally glowing with the light of his convictions. Barlow is sly, and offers to release the boy and face Callahan “mono e mono” if the priest cast away his cross. To save the boy, Callahan agrees and tells Mark to flee. Mark does. Callahan suddenly becomes afraid to give up the cross, but even before he can throw it away, the light of  it starts to dim until it is nothing but an ordinary piece of metal. The symbolic cross wasn’t saving him, his faith in God, in “the White,” was what channeled that devastating power. When Barlow challenged him to let go of the cross, the priest became momentarily confused about the source of the power and he stopped channeling. And then bad things happened. End of spoiler alert.

Okay, I do understand this is fiction, but this vignette does make me wonder what, exactly, I am channeling. As a Christian, I believe in a Creator with infinite power, and a Savior with the juice to transform humanity so that they can enter the kingdom of heaven, as well as a Spirit surrounding and filling me with that love and power all the time. Instead, I seem to be channeling a lot of anxiety and wimpiness. This has got to stop. I am going to try on some power and faith and see what little monsters I can crush beneath my boots.

Advertisements

Learned! + Spooky Book Faves

Mr. Clean Magic Erasers may not be magic, but when my bathtub is gross, they are close enough.

People who mock you are annoying but you shouldn’t knock them down.

Even a person who is making progress on the path to becoming a better person fantasizes about knocking someone down occasionally.

Just because nobody is listening doesn’t mean you don’t have something important to say.

It isn’t all about you.

 

Seasonal Stories

I have always loved spooky tales: Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Sleepy Hollow and The Dark is Rising as a young person, and then Stephen King and Dean Koontz in college. I love the Harry Potter books but Twilight? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I read them–I read them like crazy and then had a latter day goth romance hangover for two weeks afterward. It is just that this time of year, I get a hankering to read Harry Potter all over again, and I will never need to read any of the Twilight books again. One Stephen King book I haven’t read is ‘Salem’s Lot, and it is on my shelf. I think this October its time has come.

One of my new author favorites is Kat Richardson, who writes a detective series superimposed over a supernatural story line that starts with Greywalker and develops with each subsequent book. After dying and being resuscitated Harper, the protagonist, discovers she can see “The Grey,” the world between this and the next. It is populated with ghosts, echoes, energies, spells, vampires and other supernatural creatures which are very distracting and often dangerous. Her journey of discovery of this new world can be as bewildering to the reader as it seems to Harper, which becomes part of the charm of the series. She is a strong and gritty hero without being overly masculine.

The cable TV show “The Dresden Files” was one of my guilty pleasures on the SyFy channel a few years ago. Urban wizard Harry Dresden solves mysteries and tries to keep ahead of the bill collectors and murderous supernatural creatures while sorting out his own romantic quandaries. I love a self-deprecating hero who doesn’t take himself too seriously, and both the TV and the book series by Jim Butcher offer laughs as well as action and tension.

We are halfway through October, and there is plenty of time to pick up a spooky read from a new author or old favorite.
Enjoy! (Mwa-ha-ha-ha!)