Rar! Painting with a terrible broad brush. Part 1.

By JCrawford Uncategorized 6 Comments on Rar! Painting with a terrible broad brush. Part 1.

People like scary things…unless they don’t. I am going to focus on “monsters” rather than frightening situations or events, because the latter would keep us here for a long time. Now, I’ll paint with my broad brush, and feel free to disagree.

There are two kinds of monsters (human or otherwise):
1. Monsters you can communicate with
2. Monsters you can’t communicate with

The monster you can communicate with has got a lot of potential for freaking people out.

For the purpose of creating an example, I’ll summon a blood-thirsty demon. BANG! Here’s Scrumpy the Demon, out for my blood and entrails.

He speaks English, probably better than I do. My first instinct is to communicate with him, specifically about what a bad choice of victim I am (loaded with fat, cholesterol, medications, and slow). Secondarily, I might beg him not to kill me if the first option doesn’t work.

This is pretty scary. You’d probably become pretty involved in my plight, if I were to detail my abject attempts to stay the awful claws and teeth. (And the stench. Dude smells bad.)

Scrumpy has two ways of approaching me: sympathetic, and not.

Let’s begin with an unsympathetic, demonic, Scrumpy.

He wouldn’t even notice me, much less give me time to plead for my life. He’d rend me to bite-sized pieces, and then move on to something else. Described well, my death might get a reader’s heart pumping.

On the other hand, Scrumpy and I go way back, so he’s at least willing to watch me humiliate myself, begging to be spared. The Scrump-miester retorts, explaining the long list of offenses that have earned me a bloody doom. We create immense amount of melodrama and words as we argue my fate. We get to the nitty-gritty, and there are three general possibilities.

1. Sure, he gets where I’m coming from, but he’s got a job to do. Wham! Rip! Shred! Scream! Flying chunks of fat American everywhere! The reader makes a hasty trip to the Porcelain Shrine.

2. I am so pathetic, he vanishes. There’s a lot of room here for humor, or continuing the tension. I mean, really, where there’s one huge demon, there’s another!

3. My protestations get to him, wringing a sulfurous tear from his eye. He makes me promise to be a better person, and let’s me go… or decides to help me out himself. Drama and/or hilarity ensue.

Thanks for your time Scrump-ola! Tell everyone in the Pit I said “Hi.”

Part 2 coming… there’ll be a Part 2…

-James Crawford


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  • Michael Seese
    Posted on July 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Personally, I “like” monsters that can talk. That makes them so much scarier, in my opinion.

  • Damien
    Posted on July 11, 2012 at 8:20 am

    I’d like to see a horror film (think Hellraiser) whereby the main monster was called Scrumpy.

  • JCrawford
    Posted on July 11, 2012 at 8:28 am

    You called us, and we came. Time to scrump.

  • Tanya Korval
    Posted on July 13, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Unsympathetic and unable to communicate? Never did the alien in ‘Alien’ any harm in terms of being scary. It’s arguably the lack of sympathy and the simple predator/prey relationship that make it work so well.

  • JCrawford
    Posted on July 13, 2012 at 3:11 am

    Welcome to the second part of my post on monsters! Good eye, Tanya!

  • Sonia G Medeiros
    Posted on July 14, 2012 at 8:55 am

    Bwahaha. Scrumpy sounds like an interesting fellow. Both kinds of monsters can be scary. I lean towards the non-communicative monster being slightly scarier though. If I can communicate with the monster, I might be able to talk my way out of it. Buuuuut…if it’s just a mindless, hungry zombie out for my brains…there’s not much I can do except hope I can aim.

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