I’ve never been an easy man to scare.
As a lover of the horror, both literary and celluloid, I’ve seen every premise play out a thousand times, in every possible setting, with every possible spin applied to them. And yes, this has desensitized me to some degree. Zombies, Werewolves, Vampires, all old hat to me. Torture porn: A laughable bit of exploitive nonsense, good for a cheap thrill perhaps but by no means an actually visceral experience. I loves me some ‘80s slasher films, but more out of a lingering sense of nostalgia than any effect they might genuinely have.
And don’t get me started on ghost stories. Especially the ones where the cameraman can’t keep his damn camera steady.
I have nerves of steel, I suppose. Whether I might want them or not.
With that in mind, people are often disappointed at how tough it is to make me jump or squirm with fear. Halloween-based pranks inevitably fail, I simply lack the nervous disposition required to fall for them.
Still, when she claimed she could terrify me beyond belief, I tried my best to keep a straight face.
I loved her, after all. She was the woman I wanted to spend my life with, and laughing out loud at her heartfelt wish to give me a genuine moment of terror during the run-up to Halloween would be pointlessly hurtful, something I could never be. Not toward her, at any rate.
So I smiled, and I nodded, and told her “I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I’m sure it will be great.”
And then I went on with my life, confident that whatever she might have planned would roll right off me.
She’d do her best, I knew, and when she did I’d genuinely appreciate the effort she put into whatever plan she had. It would be an expression of love, after all, that she wanted to share Halloween with me in a way I could appreciate, and I’d love her all the more for having gone through all the effort.
Even if I wasn’t particularly frightened by the results.
Three days later, I came home to find her crying, holding a pregnancy test…