Monday, October 5, 2020

Do You Recognize This Sasquatch?

P.T. Phronk
A post by P.T. Phronk,
of Forest City Pulp fame

Listen! Do you smell something? October is in the air, in the odour of rotting leaves and the increasingly cool wind.

This is my favourite time of year. It makes me think of death. Fall is about the end of traditionally pleasant things like sunshine, holidays, and green forests, gradually getting replaced with weather that hurts a bit, spooky darkness, and isolation (especially in a year when being an extrovert is deadly). But we’re humans, we’re resilient, and not only can we get through tougher times, but we can make those endings into beginnings. We can start bundling up in comfy sweaters. We can start to turn spooky things into fun costumes and gorge ourselves on mini chocolate bars, or embrace the fear with an all-night horror movie marathon. We can embrace the isolation and stay in to read a good book.

Seeing Karissa’s post here on ATB that kicked off the Halloween season with some scary book recommendations, it got me thinking: what books have really scared me?

Not many! I think as a horror fan, and now a horror author, I got desensitized pretty early on. There is one book that I read when I was very young, and it scared the crap out of me, and also the bejesus out of me. Crap-covered bejesus everywhere! It scared me so much that I couldn’t sleep, so I stayed up all night to finish it, reading by the light of a tiny lamp when the rest of the family was asleep like a stereotypical nerdy kid in a movie.

I’d recommend this book to you, but I have no memory of what it was called or who wrote it.

Maybe you’ll know it if I describe it? It was about people camping in the woods, maybe a Scout troop. They were stalked by a monster, which may have been a Sasquatch, or maybe I just thought it was a Sasquatch and it turned out to be something else. The cover may have had a campfire, and big bold yellow letters proclaiming the title, which I can’t even take a guess at. It may have been sold through those Scholastic book cart things. This book probably came out in the 80s. I’m that old.

You’d think with the magic of the Internet, I could do some Googling and find out what this book was, but all I get is stuff like this:

And I was a wimpy kid, but I don’t think that was the book I lost sleep over.

So that book remains not so much a memory as a vague feeling. In my mind, it’s the same feeling of autumn, isolation, and being scared in a good way. If I actually found the book, it probably wouldn’t invoke that same feeling for my adult self, and it could even be embarrassingly tame. Like how by late November, the cold will just be cold, and autumn will be miserable-miserable instead of fun-miserable. Maybe it’s better for some things to remain as a feeling.


P.S. Last year I finally met Sasquatch IRL:

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