Audible has started giving away two of its Original productions to members each month. This month, I picked a nonfiction listen for November, and a short ghost story for RIP. The audio was just over half an hour long, so I put it on one morning to accompany my walk. The story – Lullaby by Jonathan Maberry, narrated by Scott Brick – was deliciously creepy. It’s so rare to find ghost stories in the traditional sense of the word. Not thrillers or mysteries or supernatural horror, but full-on ghost stories with subtle hints and maybe-just-a-coincidence and all the details left to the imagination. Because the imagination is a scary place. Just think about the ghost stories we tell as children and how we can’t fall asleep afterwards, even though we know it’s not real.
When I was a kid, the best creepy stories came in my grandmother’s basement. There were no windows in the basement, and there were rooms full of pickled things (food, but hey, as kids, rows of jars pickling things are scary!), and there was a buzzer that scared the crap out of us every time the adults used it to call us upstairs. We told stories and terrified ourselves, especially after the lights went out and we were literally in complete, total darkness. The taxidermy deer and bear heads on the walls took on a sinister air. Once, we shined flashlights into the bear’s glass eyes, saw movement in them (our flashlights!), and were terrified that there were spies looking out at us. This is the stuff of creepy horror childhood, and Lullaby had exactly that feel.
I love this kind of book. I had chills nearly the entire time I listened and walked. I crave more of this kind of story, better even in longer, novel form.