With Halloween about to knock, get ready for scary movies with their goblins, cobwebs and skeletons. But enough about my closet.
Spooky movies aren’t only for teenagers who love the many versions of Nightmare on Elm Street. Or for kids who shiver around the campfire while someone with a flashlight under their chin tries to make everyone lose their S’mores.
Adults can be equally enthusiastic. One of my friends asked if I’d ever been scared, “Not your garden variety nervous, but really terrified.”
“Yup, the time Paul and I boondocked in the desert.” I explained how we wanted to spend a few nights in our RV away from city lights, with nothing in sight or sound range.
As we drove from the town of Quartzsite, Arizona, I questioned our decision. Not only were we out of range, but we were out of roads, driving slowly to avoid deep gulches and rocky terrain.
“Honey,” I said, “if we have to get out fast, there’s no way–”
“Stop worrying all the time, have a sense of adventure!”
Turns out it WAS a cool experience, but we had no idea how far we headed from civilization. Our only sights were cacti and rocks, along with a bobcat and roadrunner.
We also spotted a few small tents while we drove, yet nobody was around, not even a parked vehicle.
“Maybe people sleep in them and work in town,” Paul said. “Why else would anyone pitch a tent in the middle of nowhere?”
We parked and pulled out our chairs. The sun shone warm, the beverages ran cool . . . and then the sun set. Suddenly everything outside our RV windows looked shadowy and unrecognizable.
“Paul, what if something goes wrong? We’ve no idea where we are, so how will anyone find us?”
“We’ll be fine,” he said, but with less conviction since losing daylight. Cue the spooky soundtrack.
We’d just gone to bed when a light flashed across our dark RV wall. “What the hell . . .?” A car appeared and made a slow circle around our trailer before driving away. “That’s not right,” I said.
Then it circled again, just as slowly.
Our escape plan? We had nothing. Weapons? Nada. Worse, we couldn’t drive away without leaving the RV to get into our truck. And how fast could we go across deep trenches in the dark?
Minutes later the car circled a third time! By now we’d pulled on our jeans and Paul dug through our cutlery drawer for sharp objects. Every horror movie I’d ever watched fast-forwarded in my brain. Neither of us said anything; all I heard was my shallow breathing and pounding heart.
And then . . . nothing. Paul started to giggle.
“What’s so bloody funny?”
“I bet that was somebody looking for their tent, they were probably lost in the dark!”
While my heart rate slowed, I kept my jeans on and didn’t sleep more than a few minutes at a stretch. I’ve never appreciated the rising sun as much in my life!
Once back in town and plugged into the services of an RV park, back to the smells of neighbors grilling, the sounds of music, laughter and barking dogs, we agreed that our boondocking experience was over.
With nothing stronger than flimsy locks on our RV, how would we keep out Freddy Krueger, Jason or the Creature from the Black Lagoon? Besides, we didn’t want to find that urban legend ‘arm with a pirate-like hook’ hanging from our door.
Do I like scary movies? Sure, providing I never play a starring role.
Happy Fright Night!