Monday, October 1, 2018

October 1, 2018




Characters in Horror Movies
with a nod to Dorothy  Parker
The Babysitter

There's two types of these we've come to know.
    The first is the irresponsible one,
the girl who spends her time on her ass and on the phone,
    inviting her boyfriend over the instant the parents are gone.
She dismisses screams as the wind starting to rise,
    the killer's steps are the skitters of a mouse,
and she's the only one who's surprised
    to learn the call's coming from inside the house.

And then there's the second kind,
    who to me seems the much better hire.
No matter the slasher, she keeps her presence of mind
    and exhibits at least some flustered grace under fire.
She doesn't investigate upstairs, as countless others have done;
    such prudence serves her well.
At the first sign of trouble she grabs the kids and runs
    and lives to die in the sequel.

Some are doomed to get picked off before they can get paid;
others manage to make it through and die another day.


The Hero

He has a name like Tom or Chip or Clay,
    an incredible head of hair and a square jaw,
a smile that could brighten any cloudy day
    and eyes made for close-ups, objects of awe;
the camera's just waiting for his shirt to come off,
    as are the fangirls who flock to the theaters in droves.
He's perfectly built for some gore-laden popcorn fluff,
    plucked probably from the cast of some CW show.

Tom-Chip-Clay is often on a quest of some kind,
    seeking some lost sibling, loved one, friend,
but there's also usually a love interest that he finds,
    and we have to wait and see if they make it to the end.
He's the kind of guy who no matter the danger refuses to waver,
    the kind of guy who's kind to everyone;
of course, the machete-wielding maniac won't return the favor,
    but damn, does Tom-Chip-Clay's ass look nice when he runs.

It doesn't matter by what monster you're being chased
as long as you still look good with blood and dirt on your face.


The Kid

They're either innocent little angels or the spawn of Satan
    (and around here that can be frighteningly literal);
if one suddenly develops an imaginary friend,
    then the whole family's in deep trouble.
They're often the way that evil gains entry
    to the home, preying on their friendship or fear,
and it's not a good idea for them to watch too much TV,
    especially if they turn around and say, "They're here."

Some of them can see dead people;
    others have what they call "the shine."
Sometimes one's head will spin around like an owl's,
    and some hear voices that aren't theirs in their minds.
Some are bad seeds and some are creepy as hell,
    like the ones that live out in the corn,
and though some of them turn out rather well,
    for every rose there's always a Thorne.

No matter the movie, the kid rarely dies,
unless it's Stephen King—what's wrong with that guy?

by Sarah Cannavo
in volume 6 issue 2

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