I was nine years old. Recently I had read one of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. They terrified me and thrilled me at the same time. My mom didn’t like me reading scary stories. “They make you scared and have dreams,” she told me. I read them anyway.
One day, my mom had to go to the bank. She’d only be gone for a few minutes.
“Would you like to stay home alone?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, excited to be able to be home alone for the first time.
As soon as she left, I caught sight of the Scary Stories book on the kitchen desk. It seemed to glow with an unreal aliveness. It seemed to be aware of where I was and what I was doing, even when I was sitting the family room or even the play room. Terror melted into my bones. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I crawled under the desk. The book was above me.
There I stayed until my mom came home. I didn’t stay home for a long time after that. All because of one little book of scary stories.