All Hallows Eve is on our doorstep; houses are draped in cobwebs and ghosts, tombstones clutter the yards, dark cloaked figures keep watch in the darkness; the crisp air crackles with the energy hovering beyond the veil. I am drawn to the stories of the strange and mysterious: vampires, witches, and worlds that might exist in and around our own. I love to unearth these stories from the experience of everyday life.
One of my first published stories is a supernatural thriller that takes place in a storage locker. I took a real life experience and transformed it, creating a frightening world out of a common situation. The wonderful thing about writing on the strange and mysterious is that I can create any scenario; in the obscurity of the unknown, there are no facts, therefore, the story can be as mind-boggling and improbable as the imagination will allow. Creating worlds is what liberates writers from the boundaries of reality. I love to draw a reader into a fictional world that leaves them wondering about a nameless fear, that pulls them into the story and drags them from the safety of the familiar. Mysteries of the unknown engage us; we are both terrified and fascinated. Writing the dark side should be done eloquently, and include a splash of reality in order for readers to feel they are part of the story. There should be a blending of normalcy along with the impossible to make it appear genuine in a fictional world. The use of imagery and senses are key in drawing the reader into a dark world and making the hairs on the back of their necks rise.
“She grabbed the collar on her coat and held it tightly between her hands, trying to close the gap against the creeping cold. She didn’t like the feel of it – the frigid cement beneath her feet, the steel doors, and the maze of hallways leading to dead ends. She didn’t like the unsettling sensation that she was being watched, and when she turned to look behind her, she saw shadows retreat into the walls.” – The Storage Locker by J.G. Chayko
Happy All Hallows Eve
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.