The Octopus in the Basement and Other Childhood Scares
Posted by World Weaver Press Guest Blogger
I wasn’t exposed to a lot of ghost stories as a kid — or even as an adult — possibly because I was already terrified enough of the aliens I knew were spying on me through the diamond-paned window at the top of the stairs, just waiting to steal me away the moment I was alone in the dark. In the back of my mind, there are at least a dozen distinct memories of getting out of the shower, finding myself alone in the upstairs of our house, and curling into a ball on the floor, hiding under my towel from the nebulous idea of these things coming to get me. And then there was the octopus in the basement, of course, which to my credit, was not a story I had imagined, but one inflicted on me by my two older brothers. Needless to say, between my own overactive imagination and my brothers doing their job as brothers, I kept myself firmly grounded on the first floor of the house unless I had a parental or sibling escort.
But the most terrifying story of them all was the story my parents told me about an old man, whose sole job it was to stalk little children. He was WATCHING me, 365 days a year, just waiting for me to misbehave. And once a year, he came to our house to dole out these accumulated punishments. I remember getting up in the middle of the night one year, on the night he was supposed to arrive, and being terrified to walk by the window to use the bathroom, because if he saw me — if he knew I was out of my bed — it would be a strike against me. I cowered in my doorway, then darted across the hall, imagining his eyes following me. And knowing he was downstairs, just waiting for a naughty little girl to leave her room, I shivered and shook until I was back in my bed, my eyes shut tight so no one would know I’d ever left it.
If my parents wanted to devise a way to keep me in my bed on Christmas morning, they certainly succeeded. Santa Claus scared the bejeezus out of me until I was a teenager.
But then again, so did the octopus in the basement.
Amalia Dillin began as a Biology major at the University of North Dakota before taking Latin and falling in love with old heroes and older gods. After that, she couldn’t stop writing about them, with the occasional break for more contemporary subjects. She lives in upstate New York with her husband, and dreams of the day when she will own goats — to pull her chariot through the sky, of course.
About World Weaver Press Guest BloggerWorld Weaver Press invites many guest bloggers to join us in our discussion of fantasy and science fiction. Opinions expressed by guest bloggers are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of World Weaver Press, its staff, or authors.
Posted on October 20, 2012, in from the authors of WWP, Haunted October, horror, World Weaver Press and tagged Haunted October, octopus in the basement, santa claus, speculative fiction, World Weaver Press. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.