Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hide, Seek, and Horrify

When it rained for a day of our spring vacation, we had to hunt for indoor entertainment. Because we were renting a house that we'd never been in before, I suggested that we play Hide and Seek. My sons loved this idea, and soon we found ourselves hiding in darkened corners in a strange house in the middle of the woods. And suddenly I was in a horror novel. Every time I hid in the darkness (like the above spot, a moody little porch just off the deck), I remembered that, if I were in one of those ridiculous movies, the murderer would find me before my family did.
These stairs between floors made a likely hiding spot, but under them I felt the oppressiveness that hiding always brought me as a child: first, I instantly had to go to the bathroom. :) Second, I was faced with a terrifying choice--did I want to be found and exposed, or never found at all, in which case I would be left waiting?

When I hid under the stairs in the dark, the view looked like this:
My husband and sons continually made horror movie references until they terrified themselves. It didn't help that this was one of those houses that made all sorts of weird noises as it settled itself in for the night. Tree branches tapped against windowpanes and wind tipped over lawn furniture in the darkness; it was easy to believe that the Zombies were coming--in fact, at some point my sons changed the game to Zombie Hide and Seek (that was when I quit).

But my husband, a horror movie aficianado since the 70s, assured our eldest that the most likely scenario in a horror flick would be that we, the hiders, would hear him, the seeker, laughing at us while he searched, but that suddenly his laughter would stop and then (my husband said) his head would come rolling down the stairs.

This is why I never watch horror movies. I also don't recommened playing this game in a strange house in the wilderness. Way too many Jungian archetypes being tapped there.

This long, dark deck was illuminated by the flash of my camera, but you can see the deeper darkness surrounding it--it was my scariest hiding place, and I was relieved when my son found me!


Eric Mayer said...

I enjoyed this. It reminded me of the game we used to play as kids -- hide and seek out in the backyards. One team would have flashlights and the other would hide in the bushes etc. Great fun, albeit probably the neighbors didn't like us racing around after dark.

Julia Buckley said...

We used to have a version of that. Back in the 70s we called it "Bloody Murder." Apparently kids have always related hiding and seeking to the idea of stalking prey. Kind of weird, but true. :)

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Julia - I just loved this.

I've been enjoying reading about your vacation and loving the pictures and hearing the stories. Your Jeff is a doll. What a great dad he is, huh? I already knew what a great mom you are, but have enjoyed reading about Jeff this week.

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks, Kaye! Nice to see you here. I will pass on your compliment to Jeff (even though I am not sure his severed head reference was the best in fathering. :)