We all know this guy. Of course we do. It's sweet old Grover from the very innocent and kid-friendly Sesame street. But what I see right there is the very first horror book I ever read. That's right...HORROR. Why of course I'll explain! I recall being a mere tyke in a small, Jackson Heights apartment when I encountered this shrill-fest. I would lay in my bed with the night light on reading all types of simple kids books. I don't remember any of them but this one.
It starts with Grover noticing the title of the book. He tells us, the reader, NOT to turn the page again because of the aforementioned "Monster at the end of this book". As we turn the pages he starts becoming desperate. Pleading.BEGGING. It's at this point that my 5 year old heart is pounding and I slam the book shut. Blanket over my head and huddled against the wall I TRY to sleep. The next night I get one page further until I panic and repeat yesterdays attempt at slumber.
After what must have been 2 weeks, one night, I say "Fuck you, Grover...I NEED to see this monster." I ignore the pages he taped together, turn past the brick wall he put up and FINALLY get to face this foul demon who has tormented my nights for what seemed like an eternity. (SPOILER ALERT!) I get to the end and the monster...is him. Relief floods my little,tired bones.I sleep like...a baby, I guess.
This also proves a point that most horror writers live by: DON'T show the "monster".
Most of the time the monster we imagine is 10x scarier than anything a writer can describe.
Lovable, furry old Grover showed me that.