“What do you even write about?” Adrian, my friend, asked me.
“I write about fear.” I looked him in the eyes. “The darkest fears of any human being, of the known and the unknown, because that is what people want to read.”
“So you’re a horror writer?”
“I don’t write about just any old fear. I write about my own fears.” I brushed the crumbs off the restaurant’s table. Still, some pieces remained. I began to pick them off, one by one.
“So, you scare the crap out of yourself?”
“Not really,” I said softly.
“Then what the hell do you do?!” He dropped the water bottle down with a force.
“I release myself onto the page. If I write about it, I guess I feel as though I’m releasing all those fears. Fears of the supernatural, of being haunted, of being drowned, of being adopted, of being abducted, of playing cards.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa.” He put his hand up as if to halt all my words, so that they may pass through his mind, one at a time. “Playing cards?”
“Well, not exactly, playing cards.” I smiled knowing that my words caught his attention.
“Then, what type of cards?”
“Tarot,” I whispered.
“What the heck is that?” He crumpled up the plastic carcass of the potato chip bag.
“Fortune-telling cards,” I waved my hand in the shape of an arch.
“You believe in that stuff.”
“To be in writing, you have to believe in a lot of things. If you don’t believe in something you write in, how can the reader believe?”
“I guess you’re right,” he nodded his head, “but, come on, fortune-telling cards?”
“You probably won’t believe me, but I have a pack of ‘em and a book that describes what each one represents. I got them in tenth grade, because I was planning to write a story on them.”
“What’s the story about?”
“That’s not important.” I also got out of my seat. “What is important is what happened when I started playing with that stuff. I even brought them to school once and played with a group of friends. We were all just joking, but when a teacher saw—”
“What did she say?” He asked as we stepped onto the pavement of the parking lot. The sun shined directly over our heads and made
“She told us that we shouldn’t be messing around with tarot cards. They were dangerous.”
“They are pieces of cardboard with funny drawings on them, aren’t they? What’s so dangerous about that?”
“They’re supposedly evil and I don’t touch them anymore. Every sign of bad luck that I got, I blamed on those cards. I locked them away in my cabinet, so that they never see the light of day. I kept the book though, because I still had to write the story, but the cards remain there in that dark cabinet, where they belong until this day.”
“So you really believe in this oogie-boogie stuff, huh? I would’ve never guessed it.” He opened the door to his car and slipped inside. He rolled down the window to say his goodbyes and extend his hand.
I grabbed it firmly. “You know, I think it was Neil Gaiman, who once said that people who write horror are always the nicest people, because they get everything down on the page. All that hatred and evil disappears from their souls, because the page absorbs that kind of stuff.”
“Well, you’re a nice guy and though I haven’t read much of your writing, it’s not evil or hatred that I see in it.”
“So what do you see in my writing?” I called out to him.
“I see the reflection of your heart. I think you wrote about that on your blog once, but you were talking about your piano playing. Like one of the commentators on your blog said, ‘The same can be said about writing.’ Writing can be the reflection of your heart. Anyway, see yah later.”
I was left speechless in the parking lot as he drove away. The brownish-gray dust that collected on his car flew into the air and vanished. The thoughts of our conversation didn’t.