By C.L. Phillips
Do you remember the first time you read a book and you were too scared to close it AND too scared to keep reading? Stephen King's THE SHINING was that book for me. We lived a hundred miles from a movie theater. Our television worked when the sun wasn't shining or when it wasn't raining. So if you wanted to escape live, you needed a good book.
One of my junior high friends discovered Stephen King. She kept telling me, "You've got to read this guy. He's amazing."
"But I hate horror stories" I'd say.
"It's not a horror story. It's a mystery." She hooked me with that rationale. See, she knew I was working my way through our local library, reading every mystery on the shelf starting with the "A's". It was taking me awhile to get through "C" because of all of the Agatha Christie books.
So there I was, two days before Halloween, curled up on the sofa, when I came to the scene where I was frozen. You know, when Jack goes into Room 237. Trapped in my own form of hell, I couldn't decide whether to read on or throw the book away.
Stephen King won. I kept reading. Turned on every light in the house, played the radio, and read only one paragraph at a time, but I kept reading.
I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but it was the scariest, spookiest night of my life. Unless you want to talk about the night we ran from the motorcycle gang after a friend's husband was shot through the head. Now that's a story Stephen King could write.