At Seventeen

November 8, 2015 at 8:15 am (Book Commentary) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve always been drawn to the dark.

My best friend & I hung out at graveyards/cemeteries when we were in elementary school.

SC Cemetery

I read Stephen King’s Carrie at thirteen.

When I was a teenager, 1970’s music was full of women singing songs with delightfully ambiguously dark themes.

Songs filled with images of tainted love & betrayal.

I never believed in the traditional vision of love and happily-ever-after.

I didn’t see it anywhere in my own life so how could it exist?

I learned the truth at seventeen,
That love was meant for beauty queens.

And those of us with ravaged faces,
Lacking in the social graces

dreams were all they gave for free,
To ugly-duckling girls like me.

(Here are the full Lyrics.)

Janis Ian was just like me. Lonely, an outcast, dreaming in the dark.

Cher was another woman singing and dreaming of the dark.

And then there was Helen Reddy telling me the tale of Angie Baby.

The headlines read that a boy disappeared
and everyone thinks he died
‘Cept a crazy girl with a secret lover…


According to my sister, two years older than me, I was in the mean class in High School.

Tammy, a mean girl classmate once hit me with a large board (art project) on top of my head when we were on the school bus. The driver did nothing. My classmates said and did nothing.

Did everybody see me drowning and nobody think to save me? I was barely able to save myself but somehow I did and reading about the secrets in the darkness helped me.

I recently read a YA Horror Anthology, Slasher Girls & Monster Boys. I loved it. I would have adored it at seventeen. The stories are chock full of girls who take charge and get revenge.


The book blurb reads as follows:

A host of the smartest young adult authors come together in this collection of scary stories and psychological thrillers curated by Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’s April Genevieve Tucholke.

Each story draws from a classic tale or two—sometimes of the horror genre, sometimes not—to inspire something new and fresh and terrifying. There are no superficial scares here; these are stories that will make you think even as they keep you on the edge of your seat. From bloody horror to supernatural creatures to unsettling, all-too-possible realism, this collection has something for any reader looking for a thrill.

If you haven’t figured out the inspiration(s) by the end of the story, they are written out at the end of each one.

I’ve always been drawn to the dark.

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