My First Horror Show

by Ed Higgins

I remember screaming and wanting to run from the living room that time you came home drunk. When we lived in Redwood City, in the house off Bayshore Highway on Hoover street, the same name as my grade school. Mom had locked the door even though it was still daylight and Sunday afternoon. 

The grass outside was thick California green, mowed and raked like you'd told me to yesterday before I went downtown to the Paramount's Saturday horror matinee. I'd edged, trimmed, and swept the brick walkway up to our front door where you now stood wild and raging at the door like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, only come to 1616 Hoover Street. And Mom saying, “Don't you let him in, not on your life,” while the dark, loosed Creature, shaped like my father, flailing out there beat fear into the house as far back as the bedroom where my brothers had gone to hide in their closet. 

For how long the terror went on I've forgotten over time. But then, just like in the movie I'd seen, this green, hairy arm came splintering through the front window, the glass exploding like a small lake onto the carpet. And I could see the red, wet blood dripping from the balled green fist, its knuckles looking like they'd been torn by rose thorns. 

The Creature groped its slippery paw on the gold safety lock and I knew the door would open soon.