THE NIGHTLY CHILL
By Steve Arviso
Grand Ghoulish, Part 6.
FIGHT THE DAWN!
As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.
The Nightly Chill is the unstable experience of the mind and madness of Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Mon-Fri. Ish.
- WHERE STARS COLLIDE
- GRAND GHOULISH, PART 6
- TRACK OF THE NIGHT
The magic I find in horror, as with comedy, is that it allows me, as a writer and as a consumer of various media, to reinterpret very real, very personal fears.
When you’re a kid, every shadow and dark room is something to be afraid of. There’s a monster in every closet, under every bed. But as you get older, those monsters fade away. And all you’re left with are all these feelings and thoughts and fractured memories you can’t scare away with a light or a prayer.
When I’m on stage performing a stand-up routine or reading a bit of poetry, I’m in control. I choose to put myself in a position where anxiety is the norm, where everyone really is looking at me. I reinterpret all my thoughts and feelings into something productive, something that allows me to express myself while not feeling that sense of guilt that comes when someone asks how I’m doing and I get to talking. Bad feelings used to make people feel good. And we all get to escape this shitty world for a few minutes, together.
Horror does the same, but with monsters and magic bullets. You put a face to your fears and nightmares, and you slay it. You confess a sin, and watch some twisted version of yourself burn righteously. You read or hear or see someone else dealing with the same demons, and you don’t feel quite so alone anymore.
There’s comfort and catharsis to be found in horror. A peace of mind that comes from sharing nightmares and dreams. A laugh to be found in the weird, the strange, and the profane. And perhaps there’s even more in surviving the experience, together.
WHERE STARS COLLIDE
GRAND GHOULISH, PART 6
A titillating tale of twisted romance by Steve Arviso.
The house was little more than a modest four-bedroom home condensed into a cramped four-and-a-half thousand square feet. The Brazilian walnut flooring was several years old by now, and the wine cellar too small for even a moderate day-drinker. Sure, the view of the crystalline waters of the Pacific from the third-floor master suite was every bit as breathtaking as it was majestic. But, it could be better. In fact, Harold hardly noticed the view because he was preoccupied with the massive, intimately detailed nude oil painting of Sophia hanging over her bed.
“My father-in-law used to be one hell of an artist,” Sophia smiled, strutting through the doorway in somehow less clothing than the painting.
“Your father-in-law painted this?” Harold replied, turning to Sophia, seeing she was somehow wearing less than the painting, and then immediately dropping some fifty pounds worth of photography and lighting equipment that he had still been holding for some reason.
“Yeah, but he’s dead now.”
Harold stood there in the bedroom of a mostly-naked married woman, among the several gym bags and rather expensive and broken light bulbs at his feet, a man at war with himself. On the one hand, he was an artist being paid to do his job. It hardly mattered that Sophia was a mature woman wearing only bits of tissue paper, floss, and a smile. The sort of haunting beauty many years removed from that painting, yet preserved by the carefree lifestyle of comically obscene wealth and the skilled hands of a well-compensated surgeon. But on the other less-skilled hand, Sophia hardly seemed to mind that Harold was gawking at her thighs and pondering aloud as to how soft they must feel, perhaps like very expensive toilet paper lightly scented in lavender.
“I thought you were a professional, Mr. Photographer?” Sophia said, seating herself on the foot of the bed.
“Yeah. Me, too.”
“Harold, I’m teasing.”
“I’m sorry. I think maybe this was a mistake.”
“Well. You’re married, for one.”
“Are you still on that? Oliver’s paying you to do this. He gave you a deposit, didn’t he?”
“Harold,” she groaned, rolling her eyes. “The mostly-naked woman on her bed is paying you good money to take photos of her. So quit being such a chicken shit, and whip your camera out.”
Harold nodded. “Yes, Ma’am.”
To be continued…
TRACK OF THE NIGHT
Pet Sematary (1989) by Ramones
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YOU ARE NOT ALONE
THE NIGHTLY CHILL