Re-posted from “The Word Tweaker’s Tipsheet.”
Curtis trotted into the house, dropped his backpack at the back door, and charged into the kitchen. He was starving after a busy but productive day at school.
On the counter, sitting in the middle of a plate, was a big chocolate chip cookie, his favorite. Next to it was a note: “Went to the store. Be right back. Mom.”
Curtis smiled. The crease along the middle of the cookie meant it was homemade.
“Yum!” he thought as he reached for his treat.
When his fingers were an inch from his cookie, an eye opened up in the middle of it! Curtis froze in disbelief. The green, watery eye in the cookie considered Curtis calmly. Then it blinked.
Almost on its own, Curtis’s body turned and flew to the door. He tripped over his backpack, picked himself up, and ran screaming into the street.
The best horror stories are the ones that take something totally innocuous and turn it into something surreal.
Most people, whether they want to admit it or not, like things to be “normal.” They don’t like things challenging their expectations – except when they want to be entertained.
As we head toward Halloween, we expect the unusual, even crave it. We seek out the abnormal – in carefully controlled and choreographed circumstances, of course.
Writers often think outside the norm. They look at things and can see the unexpected or unusual. They put these different perspectives before the public and help change the way people look at life. Sometimes it’s temporary, but the best writers will show us a different side of things that stays with us, sometimes haunts us.
Writers should pat themselves on the back. The world needs their differentness; it keeps us honest.
Just think of that the next time you reach for a chocolate chip cookie!