About a week and a half ago I woke up early Sunday morning because the house alarm went off. It wasn't the warning 'you need to deactivate me' alarm that goes off whenever someone enters the house. It was the 'INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT!' alarm. I raced downstairs with a bo staff I have handy for just such occasions.
There was no one there. The only living thing in the room besides me was a tiny little wiener dog laying in her bed. I turned the alarm off and waited. No one stirred. I made a swept of the main floor; searched every closet and corner. Where ever I thought a criminal might hide I inspected. I looked at the other floors too. I found nothing. It only served to increase my caution. Something had to have set off the alarm. So I kept looking.
I felt like I was in a horror film. You know, 'monster approaches from behind the character but only the audience can see them' thing? I felt like that. I thought this kind of 'fear of the emptiness' was what a horror film director or a survival horror game designer wants to create.
There was nothing in the house. Nothing except me and the harmless dog; but I thought there was more. Because of the alarm I thought something dangerous was in the house with me, just out of sight. That was all that was needed to create the spooky atmosphere. I was too scared to do anything but patrol because nothing is scarier.
Its those accidental moments in life that a writer has to treasure. It helps the writing to recall that fear and what caused it in order to reproduce that fear in a story. MY story is about to get its cover illustration. A preview can be found at http://tinyurl.com/c9drhbt