Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Author's word - Death and the Maiden


  Death and the Maiden is one of the short stories in my anthology Red Shadow and Other Stories. I wrote it twenty years ago in an effort to cure myself from my fear of the dark. It worked great. Two days after having completed the story, I walked into the forest and stayed there for several nights. I didn’t have a campfire or any light. It was late fall and completely dark. I remember thinking that someone quiet could stand or sit or hover a step away from me, or above me, and I couldn’t possibly know if he/she/It did…

  But in a strange way, it didn’t really matter anymore.

  I scared myself completely shitless writing the story, but when I was done, I could write other scary stories (among them Alarums of Reality) without scaring myself shitless. I recommend such a catharsis for everyone.

  I could also walk long walks in the night on roads with no streetlights without constantly turning my head and tying my neck in knots.

  My fear was never crippling or anything like that, but it did bother me to the point that I decided to do something about it, to confront my fears, in all areas, really. You can say my fear of the dark inspired me in a backwards kind of way, doing so in more ways than one.

  To everyone scared shitless after having read the story; my insincere apologies.

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