When I was a tween I had a horse that got into a fight with a barbed wire fence and lost. She very nearly severed her near foot off. The vet came and stitched her up, confident she would heal and be fine… but… silly girl would not stop chewing on the stitches. Nothing we tried worked, so finally we wound up cross-tying her over night, but during the day I had to supervise her grazing. My parents didn’t buy hay in the summer. We had 15 acres for the horses and cows and it was fields aplenty during the summer. So it was decided the best way to deal with this problem was for me to sit with her while she grazed. All. Day. Long. All. Day. It was tedious and horrible because one minute you would be listening to the crisp tearing of grass and the next the horrible squelching of teeth on flesh. Yeah. Yuck. I thought my life was over. I couldn’t ride. I couldn’t play. I couldn’t do anything.
Until. One day a friend of my father came by and brought me a book. Every couple of days he would bring me another one. I spent that summer reading like I had never read before and I discovered that I really liked it and that there was so much out there to discover. Inbetween the books he brought, my dad would share the books he was reading and thought I might enjoy. I must have been a mature 12 year old because he thought it was totally fine to share his latest Stephen King novel.
I have to say I ate it up. It was broad daylight and I was creeped to the max. That tell tale sound of horsey lips on flesh still brings to mind vampires sucking blood and vice versa.
I don’t know what made me pick it up this time. I closed out last year with a new author discovery gifted to me by a friend, Rosemunde Pilcher and her The Shell Seekers. I had to let that one settle and unwind in my mind for a week or so before I was ready to read again, but when I was, I walked straight to Salem’s Lot. According to the log on the back cover I last read it 6 years ago…. how long it was between that read and the previous I have no idea for this copy of the book was new to me, picked up in a charity shop in the UK… and a totally different cover than the dog eared and ratty copy I had owned before. I don’t know where that one went. I wish I did. I hope someone is enjoying it as much as I did.
I am not sure why my brain thought starting the year with a horror story was a good idea, but I’m glad I did. This old favorite never ever fails to deliver.
Now, I’m not a huge Stephen King fan. But I adore several of his earlier works and Salem’s Lot is my all time favorite. I think what gives me the chills and the creeps the most is that the story is relatively modern (it was quite modern when I first read it). The vampire in the story is old and clever and creepy with the things he knows about his adversaries. The way the vampire and his toady infiltrate the small town is so very believable and they slipped in so easily. Sometimes I wonder why I watch my neighbors out my window and wonder what that new guy is up to, and then I remember Barlow… and I know… ever vigilant, I shall never let a creature like that infiltrate my life without a fight.
… and I still never ever answer a knock on my door with “come in”… or look out of the windows after dark without first turning on an outside light… because you just never know.
So now I’m a little creeped out, which is delicious. Totally glad my hubby is on day shifts so I’m not in the house alone at night, which is also delicious. Ready to move on to something a little more light hearted. A fantasy adventure me thinks.