P is for People


Today we have a treat in our A to Z of Horror. 

 A guest appearance who wanted P, only P. You’ll find out why…



P is for People

I’m scared all the time. I’m surrounded by people and they terrify me. This isn’t what scares me as a horror writer – nothing I write about is as frightening to me as the tattooed, shirtless man on a summer’s day. Maybe he’s got a dog in tow – one of those mean looking dogs that slavers and has red eyes.

I’m not afraid of the dog. I’m afraid of the man wielding the dog.

I’m not afraid of dogs or bigfoot or ghouls or the paranormal.

Fear lurks in the strangest of places. For some it’s the unreal in which their fears lurk. In zombies and vampires. Psychopaths are frightening, but they’re not people. They’re demons in human form.

Psychopaths are a fairly rare breed, as are sociopaths. Not a breed that most of us will ever encounter.

I’m not scared of them. I don’t know any, and they don’t wait tables in the local supermarket’s dinner hall (restaurant would be overly charitable), or work behind the till in the newsagents.

Socially, some people have the tact of a prostate examiner’s thumb. That’s me. I’m a thumb in a world of index fingers.

The clerk in the local newsagents where I bought my tobacco began talking to me. I stopped buying my tobacco there and shifted to the supermarket. The woman behind the tobacco counter in the supermarket began talking to me. I switch supermarkets on a regular basis now, so I don’t have to talk to people on any level deeper than a simple hi, maybe a how are you, should I be feeling particularly chatty on that day.

People in noisy cars frighten me.

Being stuck in a lift with a stranger. Striking up a conversation in the doctor’s surgery where I go for regular check-ups.

Why do I go to the doctor’s regularly? Well you might wonder.

I go because I’m a psychopath. You  see, people scare me. So I watch people. I talk to people but I don’t make eye contact. I take pills to stop me seeing things. Sometimes I lie. Sometimes I tell the truth. Sometimes I forget my pills, and I watch and I follow and I know where the woman in the supermarket lives, and I have a key to the doctor’s house. I have a route planned through the back gardens on my street and I know how to kill a dog with my bare hands. That dog with the mean looking eyes? Bend both its forelegs back until its ribs crack.

People scare me because they can hear my thoughts.

Can you hear my thoughts?

People listen in, sometimes. I can’t let them know what I think. So I look away. You can’t see my eyes, you can’t read my mind. You can’t see my eyes, you’re safe. Don’t worry. You can’t see my eyes. You can’t.

But I’ve seen yours.

Just popping in to say hi, mind you. Nothing deeper.

Craig Saunders is the author of numerous novels and short stories, including Rain (Twisted Library Press) and Spiggot (Grand Mal Press). Check out his blog at http://www.petrifiedtank.blogspot.com.