… okay, all better now, mostly, but I’ve just seen something that I can’t get out of my head. It’s horrifying and hilarious at the same time… We’ll get there.
Have you ever seen or heard something that freaked you out so much that you couldn’t get your mind off it? Is that a sign of too much time on your hands? Or is it yet another symptom of an obsessive-compulsive nature? No, I did not say “disorder.”
In my opinion, a really well-written short story can have more impact than an equally well-written novel simply because it is so concise and focused, usually, on a single idea or emotion or mood. It’s like the difference between sucking on a Warhead Sourball and nibbling on a lovely lemon tartlette with coffee. Sure, they’re both satisfying, but the former precludes one’s ability to carry on an after dinner conversation during its consumption.
Several years ago, I read a short story in the semi-horror genre that didn’t give me nightmares, but rather it prevented me from thinking of anything else while I was conscious. The imagery was nightmarish and the events were so disturbing and disconcerting that I was begging people to talk to me about something, anything that would prevent my mind from going there. The effect eventually wore off, but it took days and I can say honestly that I was slightly traumatized by the whole thing.
Movies have done that to me, too. The Pale Man from Pan’s Labyrinth disturbed me so much that I can’t even look at the picture of this guy without averting my eyes. And oddly, I think this is why I was so flipped out by this little Vimeo video I recently saw. I think there’s actually a resemblance. Pale Man and Freakishly Featureless Floppy Naked Guy.
You be the judge: