“What a nice night,” she said, her voice barely audible over the shrieking emanating from neighboring houses, “what a…lovely, lovely night. We’re having a good time. We’re okay.”
well, shit. this story is 2020 in a nutshell—hashtag MOOD, hashtag ZEITGEIST. it’s an accumulated nightmare stew of horror and anxiety and people doing the best they can in a world gone mad. do the old rules about ignoring monsters until they go away still apply? does “ignorance is bliss” include that thing happening…right…behind…you? is it strength or weakness or stockholm syndrome keeping you smiling and prattling and carrying out your daily routines while inside you are shrieking? have you been a frog in a pot this whole time? can you even remember the last time the world seemed, if not perfect, at least logical? fixable? every day’s a haunted funhouse ride, keeping us skittish and braced for the next apocalypse and there are just SO MANY dark corners to navigate. this story taps into allllllll of that jittery dread.
or it might just be a deleted scene from return to oz.
either way, it is very effective.
read it for yourself here: