THE BEST THING about writing fiction is when your work echoes a truth about the strange and fragile nature of human life. When you write horror fiction, as I do, finding that truth can get a little dicey.
Those who have my book already have probably read “Connecting Flight,” and for those who haven’t, I’ll give you a spoiler-free synopsis: An eight-year old boy is stuck in a snowed-in airport with his parents and rediscovers his ability to fly with his mind, and uses it for an opportunity to find freedom. It was the final story completed for The Crawlspace, written in July of this year, and by my judgement (and hopefully I’m not giving too much away here), it’s the perfect conclusion for this collection.
So you can probably imagine my dismay when, at my day job at CBS-5 in Phoenix, Arizona, I saw the first images of the giant, inflatable flying saucer circling wildly and hurtling without course over Fort Collins, Colorado, and how my heart sank when it was reported that a six-year-old boy may be somehow piloting the hulking craft, not knowing or comprehending how to bring himself down.
For about ninety minutes, life was imitating art. But in this case, art was a horror story.
We search for ghosts, we admire vampires, we hide from serial killers. But this thing that I created was supposed to be as far from reality as any of those things. A grade-schooler flying all by himself? Nonsense! The stuff of Serling, Wells and Bradbury! A foolish fantasy! And yet here it was, unfolding before the world, keeping us glued to what I call our Boxes of Dreams, with all of us assuming the worst. I really wasn’t sure what to think in those moments–whether I should be proud or ashamed, whether to dismiss it as a wild coincidence or accept it as punishment for my dark thoughts. Such a strange thing, this was.
Thank God it ended well for everyone involved, myself included.
But did it echo my story? Well, dear friend, you’ll just have to read the book.
DARRYL DAWSON is the author of The Crawlspace, released in October 2009. Fear of Writing was very proud to once have him as a student of the Fear of Writing Online Course, where he unleashed his style of horror on us in all the best ways. You can experience more of Darryl’s writing on his blog, Darryl’s Crawlspace. To find out what makes him tick as a writer, be sure to read Darryl’s bio.