So, I was supposed to write a Top Five for something that dealt with the horror genre. Top Five books? No, too easy and nothing exciting on my end. Top Five writers? Nope, too many I enjoy to only name five, and then there would be King being one, the obvious, boring pick, but a true pick. So I decided to go with Top Five scenes in books I've read. These aren't necessarily the Top Five favorite moments or anything, but these are the moments in books that stuck with me. Really left an image and an emotion. These aren't really in any particular order.
Let's start with Aaron Dries' House of Sighs. The title may suggest something ghostly, but let me tell you this book is packed with riveting scenes. Truly horrifying moments. The scene that seems to stick out for me the most is the bus ride/shotgun scene. A lazy, ordinary day filled with ordinary folks and then wham! Violence presented in such a powerful way by Dries' pacing and wording. Talk about painting the page. Wow!
In Wrath James White's The Resurrectionist, the character Dale does some really fucked up shit. This book is, especially for its wide/bookstore release, EXTREME. And while there are numerous scenes that stay with you, the scene/scenario that really pops out are the "afterwards." He rapes people and then erases the whole thing, making it as if it didn't happen. They know something happened, but it kind of didn't. He violates, kills and then gets away with it. These people have no idea what really awful things he's done. Invaded their private worlds. It's like those Lifetime movies where the person – usually a female – is so drunk she passes out and wakes up wondering if she was raped, feels pain between her legs, but doesn't know for sure. The Resurrectionist is worse, because the people are violated and killed, remembering nothing of it when they are brought back.
Boy's Life by Robert McCammon is a classic, wonderful escapism horror/non-horror coming-of-age adventure. The scene with the bees stays with me. A country area church is filled with people on Sunday. All ages and types. There are a few mischievous kids, and that's about all the terror you'd find in such a place. Being in a church is supposed to be safe – unless you're watching a movie where the showdown leads the protagonist to a church. So when Cory sees the nest and the wasps fly around, I almost thought he was imagining it. Then it becomes real and the tone of the scene changes so drastically in moments. I had a similar incident when I was younger. I was attending a cookout at a lake when I stepped on a bees' nest and was stung 35 times. Luckily I wasn't allergic and my parents (who wound up getting stung too), dunked me under water after they caught me down by the lake because I was running my ass off.
Ray Garton's Live Girls is one of the best vampire novels. Plain and simple. Going in, I was thinking it would be a cool vampire book. After all, Dean Koontz had blurbed it. But then I was introduced to heavy, X-rated horror. The blowjob scene really, really stuck with me. It is described in such detail, the pleasurable act itself suddenly changed into something sinister, yet Garton keeps it sensual. A guy getting a blowjob, a vampire sinking her fangs into the tender flesh, drinking him, the pain and pleasure mixed for the man, and then the blast that combines blood and semen, both suckee and sucker getting what they want. That had been my first experience with such X-rated horror.
Okay, with such intense and extreme examples above, this next one may surprise you, but it comes from Stephen King's Bag of Bones. Guess you can't guess what scene stuck with me. No, that wasn't it. It's the scene where Mike Noonan is standing at the top of the basement stairs, staring down into the gloom. He's alone. It's quiet. He knows something's down there, but doesn't want to believe it. I don't usually find books scary. They don't put a chill to my flesh. This scene did. It brought back memories of when I was afraid to go into the basement of my parents' house. And when I did, how I hurried up the stairs as fast as I could so nothing could grab me between the wooden steps.
There you have it. My "sort of" Top Five memorable scenes/moments in horror fiction.
HorrorTalk would like to thank David for stopping by and sharing with us these memorable horror scenes, and be sure to pick up his latest novella, A Mixed Bag of Blood!
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