The History of Horror

This is a short drabble series McKay wrote for Halloween in 2011 to give a glimpse of Evan’s backstory. Consider it a mini-prequel to Blood Bathory: Like the Night.

Title: A History of Horror

Rated: PG-13
Warnings: rat death, vampirism
Word count: 100×5

When Evan was nine, his parents allowed him to watch horror movies with Eleanor after Trick or Treating. The Creature Feature played Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi. Eleanor had to explain why the dapper man in the tuxedo was bad, but even after he understood what a vampire was, Evan wasn’t afraid of Dracula.

No, it was mad, rat-eating Renfield who terrified him. All Eleanor had to do was sneak up behind him and whisper “Rats… rats… rats!” to make him run away, screaming.

It was another two years before they let him stay up and watch horror movies again.

***

By the time he was thirteen, Evan had developed a love of classic horror movies, and together, he and Eleanor eagerly scoured the cable movie channels’ October schedules and highlighted the movies they wanted to see most. He still loved the old Universal monster movies, but they couldn’t compare to the Hammer films. Those were so much more vivid and horrific with technicolor blood splattering everywhere.

He particularly loved Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, especially when they grappled and tore each other’s clothes, although he didn’t realize exactly why he liked those scenes so much for another year or two.

***

At sixteen, Evan watched Bram Stoker’s Dracula and fell in love with Gary Oldman. He watched the movie six times leading up to Halloween, imagining himself in Mina’s place each time.

During rewatch #7, Eleanor, who had taken a women’s studies course during her freshman year at university and subsequently thought she knew everything about feminism and gender issues, declared the movie was misogynistic and demanded that he turn it off. Evan sort of understood her point, but he still thought Gary Oldman was hot, and he watched it again with the sound turned low after she went to bed.

***

When he was twenty, Evan coaxed his roommate turned best friend turned unrequited crush into dressing up as The Wolfman to his Dracula for Halloween. He and Will had bonded over a mutual love of classic movies, especially horror and sci fi; the badder the movie, the better they liked it.

As he watched Will’s arm muscles rippling beneath an artfully tattered shirt, Evan wondered if he’d set himself up for an evening of tormented longing. Then Will bared his fake plastic fangs and unleashed a goofy, exaggerated howl, and Evan laughed, remembering why they were friends above all else.

***

At twenty-five, Evan had no interest in watching horror movies at Halloween or any other time. He was the monster now, and his life had become more of a nightmare than Hollywood could envision.

He prowled the dark alleys of Paris, searching for prey; his victims wriggled and squeaked in terror as he snatched them off the street and lifted them to his mouth.

He heard Eleanor, dead and buried three years now, teasing him, her taunting voice twined with Dwight Frye’s mad laughter in his head as he bit down and fed on bitter blood.

Rats… rats… RATS…