Or maybe not, I'm not sure, but I"m pretty certain I'll find out soon. Verrrrrry soon.
My third period class is pretty awesome — small class, sharp kids, great personalities. I have a ton of fun with them. So lately I've been trying to expand my book collection in the room to help them out — give them more options to read. I'm constantly trying to think of ways to convince a millionaire benefactor to give me money for MOAR BOOKS.
Anyway, one of my students asked me for a scary story. I tested her to see how scary she really wanted — I gave her Neil Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors and marked "Don't Ask Jack" and "Snow, Glass, Apples," a few others as well. Just to see.
She read "Don't Ask Jack" that class period, and came over to my desk all wide-eyed and excited, wanting to talk about how crazy that story was, and how it was so deliciously freaky.
So then she asked me what the scariest story I've ever read was. I hesitated. I really, really did. Because the scariest story I've read, more or less — it really isn't the MOST scary story I've ever read, but it is a story that imprinted itself on my brain, that would not keep running through my head — gave me nightmares for 3 days AS AN ADULT.
So I said...Well, it's really scary. And I don't know if you want to read it.
In hindsight, this is a stupid thing to say to a teenager. Just did I expect her to say? "Oh, thank you Miss, for warning me, I'm better off NOT being emotionally traumatized"? Because, no. She said what any teen would say. "I really want to read it!"
So, yeah. I found it. I gave it to her yesterday. I have no idea if she's read it yet. I'm hoping she doesn't come back to class looking stunned and terrified and fully convinced that she should never read anything I recommend ever, ever again.
I'm sure that some of you have read it. It's a story called "Survivor Type," by Stephen King. If you haven't, and you're not sure, well, you can check out Wikipedia for a summary. But if you're interested in reading one of the most viscerally haunting portrayals of a descent into madness you may have read in a while, I suggest you go pick up Skeleton Crew and read it without knowing anything about it, the way I did. You'll not ever forget it. You'll not ever forget the last few lines, I guarantee you.
If that's your thing.
So if I show up here talking about how I've got guilt over traumatizing a teenager, well, you'll know why. :)