by James Sykes
Harnesing the power of BOO!
I was a child when I discovered the power of BOO. Or the natural jumpy nature of my little sister. Whatever you want to put it down to, but just let me explain: We had two flights of stairs in our family home and the first set led to a door which led into the large first-floor living room. Which was the most beloved room in our house. It held a portal to imaginary universes with two powerful objects. They were the hypnotic power-houses that ate up much of our family existence. The kind needed to take the edge of our otherwise stressed and depressed reality. The other thing this great and completely wall to wall carpeted room housed, was a magical cabinet with two compartments. The top housed an impressive display of led soldiers. The kind that you could imagine guarding Buckingham palace in red jackets and tight trousers and feathered hats. There were also deep copper coloured Indians, some where on horses and there was a bow legged line of cowboys at the back. The bottom held the video cassettes. These were the magical keys to the parallel universes, that could be viewed via the VHS player and television we so cherished. Those boxes gave us more happy family moments than I can even remember or recall in my now stressed-out adult life. It’s those cherished fantasy worlds, that used to be so simple to slip in and out of with my child’s psyche.|
My sister was always the victim. She was always so easy to make jump. Even when she knew what I was going to do., which she must have known every time. I would run up the stairs just in front of her and dart behind the upstairs door just before she got there her self. I would wait. Sometimes she would sense me there standing behind the door and push it open a little more in order to reassure herself that the cost was clear. That is always the moment I would jump out shouting BOO. It never failed to work. In my writing I have always strived to reach the same level of anxiety and tension so that when the jump or BOO comes. It makes my unsuspecting reader Jump. The heart will beat, the adrenaline will pump. And I will laugh my arse off and have a jolly good day. Sweet isn’t it?
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