Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Guest post by Gregory Carrico, Author of Children of the Plague!!!

In the darkest corners of lower Manhattan, a battle like no other rages. The city is home to a hidden group of survivors of the nanite plague, and a brother and sister born to defend their race. With a touch that can destroy nanites, Lanni, sister of Alex, is their last chance. Can she save her brother? Can she protect mankind's only hope? Or will she be responsible for the destruction of the last humans on earth? It's going to be another long day...

What scares a horror author?
Want to know the scary secret of writing horror? Come closer. That’s it… closer. A little more… Now listen carefully.
Alright, I guess that’s less scary in text than in person. I was going to say something like:
“The fundamental role of all horror is to scare people,” but that even bored me, and I wrote it.
Sure, it’s a lame secret. It is very un-profound, and everyone probably already “knows” it. Like many simple truths, it just makes sense, even if we don’t understand exactly why.
Here, take a breath mint and stay close, boys and girls, ‘cause your ol’ Uncle Greg’s gonna talk about some scary stuff, and if you survive, he’ll even tell what scares him.
Still with me? I think most of the normals just clicked back over to Facebook. That’s good. At least one of them must have taken a bath in counterfeit Polo cologne this morning. Whew! Now that it’s just us cool kids, I’ll stop referring to myself in the third person and get on with the scary stuff.
The thing that scares most people, after public speaking, of course, is dying. I think what they really mean, though is “not surviving.” We want to stick around and see what’s going to happen tomorrow, and being dead puts the Kibosh on that real fast. Maybe I’m over-simplifying this, but ask your friends, family, coworkers, or fellow inmates at your asylum what scares them, I can tell you what they’ll say and why. They may not come right out and say “not surviving,” but that’s what they mean.
Like all animals--except lemmings, I guess--we puffed up, technologified Cro-Magnons have an innate desire to not be eaten by other animals. It’s called “survival instinct,” and we are hardwired with it from the moment come screaming into this madhouse.
Looking at it another way, we are born with the gift of fear. Yes, tough guy, you too. So the next time you hear someone say “I ain’t afraid of nothin’,” don’t point out the real meaning of his words or mention double negatives. Just smile. He’ll probably stop surviving very soon.

Since we are all born with fear, it makes sense that so many of us fear the same things. So let’s take a peek at a list of things that scare most people. I’ll put them into nice groups for you.

Shall we start with critters?
Spiders and snakes
Folks will say “I don’t know why they scare me. They’re just creepy.” Balderdash! Spiders and snakes have venom. Venom makes us dead. Dead is not surviving.
Thus: Spiders & Snakes = Not Surviving

Rats, mice, & other rodents
These cute little varmints are too small to fatally wound us, but…
1. They carry disease, which makes us dead.
2. They eat our food, which makes us hungry. And Dead.
3. They have large extended families. We can’t kill them all, so they’ll be back again to make us dead.
Thus: Rodents = Not Surviving.

Dogs & other predatory animals
Come on. They want to EAT US! They are carnivores, and we happen to be made almost entirely of tasty meat. So I’m told.
Predators = not surviving

Flying & heights
This is an easy one. Falling = Landing on hard things that will wound us or, that’s right, make us dead.
Flying and heights = not surving

Other People
I’m going to assume that this hinges on the fact that we can never really know what another person is thinking. They could be crazier than we are, and want to hurt or kill us for reasons we can’t understand. Or maybe we have something they want, like airplane tickets or pet spiders and snakes, so they will kill us and take our things. “We fear what we do not understand,” I’ve been told. And we certainly don’t seem to understand each other a lot of the time.
Thus: People = unknown = not surviving

Other stuff:
The Dentist. Public Speaking. Clowns. Children.
Yes, people fear these things. It may sound silly, but these fit my formula, too. I think I can do this. Here goes…
Dentist = pain = health problems = unable to eat = not surviving
Public Speaking = scorn and ridicule = shunned by society = unable to provide for self = not surviving
Clowns = people (see above), but also = madness = anonymity = can get away with making us dead = not surviving
Children = … I, um… Brrr… Sorry, just got the shakes a little bit. Ok, Whew. I got this. Here goes.
Children = … Look, just keep your creepy little wide-eyed, high voiced, question asking, parasitic, alien spawn, failed cloning attempt away from me okay? OKAY? Have you ever looked at a little kid before? Really looked into their eyes? Then you know what I…

That’s it. I gotta go. It’s almost three o’clock. I have to get out of here before they…

Greg Carrico is a former Dental and Practice Management Consultant, software trainer, and salesdude. Enduring years of torture in the dental and technology industries uniquely qualified him for his new career of writing horror and dark science fiction stories.

When not creating new worlds and plotting their destruction, Greg reviews indie books at his blog, Live the Story (www.gramico.com/blog). He lives his story in Central New York, with his wife and three small canine overlords, who he faithfully serves by trying to educate people about the horrors of puppy mills, and the joys of adopting the dogs rescued from them. You can read about Charlee, the Bichon Frise he and his wife rescued at www.gramico.com/dotherightthing.html.


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