A Brief Memo From Your Amygdala, Re: the Horror Movie We Have Just Seen
by Rachael Acks
Look at the parking lot behind the movie theater. Just look at it. So deserted. Yours is quite literally the only car, and you've managed to park it under the only lamp that's dead. There are just those three employees left in the theater, and they've locked the doors behind you, and I think either they're torturing the popcorn machine to death or maybe that's supposed to be some sort of "techno" music. They won't hear you scream, and I doubt they'd care even if they could.
Who sees a midnight horror movie? In a deserted theater? On New Year's Eve? Honestly!
The car might look okay, but you'd better check the back seat. Like your mother warned you to do back in eighth grade because a friend of a friend of a friend knew a woman who was murdered by a psychopathic rapist clutching a butcher knife who crouched in her backseat. What was her name again? Don't laugh! That self-deprecating laugh, I've come to hate it.
C+ for effort for that glance in, by the way. What if it was a very short psychopathic rapist? What if he was wearing dark clothes and a balaclava and had his eyes hidden behind his hands? You didn't even turn on the flashlight function on your cell phone.
The roads are probably icy. What if your ex cut your brake lines? Yes, I know she's in Africa doing charity work, but didn't she seem a little unstable to you when you asked for your sweaters back? Honestly, who needs sweaters in Rwanda at this time of year? Don't you find that just a little suspicious?
Wait--why are you parking so far down the street? There's got to be a closer parking space to your door. Look how dark it is out there! And why won't that asshole manager just fix the exterior lighting on the building already, is he trying to get his tenants murdered?
Yes, very good, pick up the pace a little--watch out for the ice! But can't you hear the branches of the trees, bare as skeletons, rustling? What about the whisper of the breeze, cold against the back of your neck? This is just like that movie.
What was that?