The beautiful but foolish girl held a flashlight in sweaty shaking hands. She stood at the edge of the lawn, staring through the door that led under the house and into the basement.

Pointing the feeble light into the inky dark underground, she called out, “Darryl, are you there? Say something!”

She took a step down, the creaky staircase giving out a low moan.

“Darryl, this isn’t funny,” she insisted in a high voice, “you need to come out. I have a bad feeling about this!”

The electricity had gone out, it was midnight, and a rain had begun. She wore only the cute little high school outfit from earlier and the cold wet drops falling on her blonde head encouraged her to descend half of the staircase to stay dry.

The air smelled of rotting decay. It was thick and close, even with the door open to the outside. Darryl ran down here not ten minutes ago, and she was tired of waiting for him to bring up the box. They weren’t going to finish the Homecoming project tonight if he didn’t hurry.

What was taking so long?

One step at a time she inched along until her feet hit the concrete floor.

That’s when she noticed the soundtrack.

When the movie background music gets deep and ominous, all the main characters should jump immediately into the nearest horrific blood curdling situation, preferably involving aliens.

All of the expendable characters should just hold out various body parts and wait for the massacre.

Everyone in the audience must begin screaming, “Stop! Don’t do it! Don’t go down the basement stairs! Can’t you see the glowing eyes behind you?! Run fool RUN!!!”

They never do.

Why do we watch this?


Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush. Maybe it’s just a good excuse to do some screaming.

Maybe we miss the days of being a toddler and thrown around a room playing “airplane”. Toddlers just assume that there are a pair of arms somewhere that will be catching them on the way back down.

This is why roller coasters hold such appeal.

This is why perfectly intelligent people pay good money to go to the movies and get scared to death.

For fun.

Frankly, my life holds enough “fun”, thank you.

I have plenty of opportunities to do some screaming, so I’m good.

For my part, the only reason I would enjoy the foolish characters making these choices is to be able to say, “Well, maybe I can’t pull together a decent outfit but I know I wouldn’t have gone down those basement steps!”

I feel so much better about myself.

I say they got what they had coming.

Quite possibly I would enjoy their consequences.

If they had any.

Because we all know the cute blonde girl ends up living at the end of the movie.(Unless it’s a French book. French authors love to kill the characters you are most in love with. They lean on the side of angst.)

But in the movies the most foolish of main characters end up living. Maybe they are covered in blood or their besties are now zombies.

But they live to see another day.

Logically, Luke Skywalker should never have lived through the first movie.

But we all understand that without a hero, the sequels won’t exist.

Rocky Balboa. Godzilla. Lieut. Ellen Ripley.

Do you hear what I’m saying?

Apparently, main characters can just buy their way out of consequences.

I much prefer romantic comedies. If we’re going to suspend reality, let’s have impossible happy endings. I’d just as soon have a good laugh.

You want a truly scary movie?

The end of any given day around here could work: me, the main character, dragging miserably down a dark hallway at midnight, random dirty clothing akimbo, hair turned gray and sticking straight up from a teen’s antics, eyes bloodshot from a toddler not sleeping for a week, limping from a gym cardio class gone horribly awry, hunchbacked from carrying a crying infant.

Hubby looks around the corner, sees me, shrieks loudly, waking up infant and thereby enraging our main character, who comes suddenly screaming at him, eyes glowing, looking for weapons of mass destruction.

Yeah, I thought that would scare you.

I sure hope I have a sequel coming.

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