BEDSIDE MANNER, the newest short tale of dark horror from the mind of Isaac Thorne is now available for download at most ebook retailers. Throughout history ghosts have haunted the imaginations of young children. On a few occasions, they have reportedly compelled those children to perform unspeakable acts of horror against the living. BEDSIDE MANNER documents one child’s attempts to resist.
“This is one of those stories that was inspired by a single creepy image,” Thorne says of the new story. “Sometimes there are things you see or experience that get kind of stuck in your memory. No matter how many times you recall them, they’re still as creepy as they always were, and there’s never an entirely successful way of vanquishing them. It’s sort of like they’re the memory equivalent of earworms.”
In this case, the creepy image Thorne couldn’t let go was one from his own childhood. In fact, it was a cartoon from the back of an old Alfred Hitchcock Presents Ghost Stories For Young People album. You can see a photograph of the album’s rear jacket at this nostalgia site.
“In the bed and under the covers is supposed to be a safe place for children, and it was for me. As cartoony as the back cover of that album was, there was something about the kid sitting bolt upright in that bed, all his hair standing on end and his shadow looming large on the wall, that totally creeped me out as a youngster.”
Although Thorne admits that he’s never actually seen a ghost, thinking about the creepy effects of that old album cover got him wondering how his younger self might have reacted had he ever seen one.
“The natural conclusion was that I would’ve thrown the covers over my head, like the magical shield that bed covers are for most kids. You have to wonder, too, why we think a thin sheet of fabric is going to protect us from a malevolent spirit that’s been able to summon enough energy to become visible to us inside our own houses at night, but that’s the mind of a child.
“What I started to wonder after that was what could such a spirit possibly want from a child? And that’s where the idea for this piece really caught flame.”
BEDSIDE MANNER is available for Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, and from Smashwords.