Last week Kat and I were watching ‘IT’ at the cinema. The movie had been Kat’s choice and I had gone along assuming that it had something to do with computers. To be fair I think she might have been attempting to explain the plot to me before we went in but I was not paying attention. You see I was far too excited by the fact that I had just bought popcorn that was STRAWBERRY AND CREAM FLAVOURED! 

The point is, had I known that we were about to watch a horror movie, I would probably have objected.

“Why?” I hear you ask. “You seem to me to be a fearless specimen of a man. A colossus.  The type of guy guys want to be and girls want to be with.” 

Thank you. You’re too kind.

I have to point out that I do enjoy watching horror movies, just not at the cinema, because they bring out a certain… nervous disposition in me. (“Wuss. You mean they bring out the wuss in you.” Thanks Kat. Some people think I am a colossus. Just saying.)

If anything, my problem is that I enjoy horror movie too much. I really get sucked into the story. So much so that when something scary actually happens on the screen, I am very easily startled.

And when that happens, I can’t help myself. Even if I know that a fright is coming, it still gets me. I scream, I jolt and I inadvertently throw anything that I might happen to have in my lap (wallet, phone, sunglasses, popcorn and on one very strange occasion a goose egg that I had been given by a friendly farmer that afternoon) into the air.

For a few years this was a source of near-constant amusement for my friends and family. Whenever a horror movie came out, they would buy tickets and invite me along. Then they would give me some popcorn to hold, sit back and enjoy. And of course, it would happen. Without fail.

Inevitably at some point, a character would jump out of a wardrobe or appear in a mirror or pop out of a coffi n and I would be spooked. I would screech, I would spasm and I would shower the whole cinema with popcorn (and that one time, goose-egg-yolk).

And last week, during ‘ IT’, it happened again. There I was enjoying the luxurious taste of my strawberry and cream popcorn when just like that, a clown appeared in the drain.

I yelped, threw my arms up involuntarily and created a popcorn-shower.

Kat looked at me and rolled her eyes.

‘Did you buy a second popcorn?’ I asked

“No”

‘But it was strawberry and cream! I was really enjoying it.’

“So why did you throw it in the air?”

‘Can we get some more during the intermission?’

“They don’t do intermissions in England you idiot. You know this. Don’t be a baby!”

‘Not baby. Want popcorn!’ I bawled.

“Shhhh” hissed someone behind us who could obviously not grasp the seriousness of the situation.

So I just sat there, sulking. (And convulsing and shrieking whenever something shocking happened on the screen. Which was quite often.) 

Then all of a sudden, I felt it. A tiny piece of popcorn, on my shin. It had lodged itself at the top of my sock.

It was a Christmas miracle! Except not at Christmas time. That little piece of popcorn joy must have been on my jeans and fallen during my last jolt.

And so what if it was in my sock? It was the top bit.  The bit that hardly ever smells.

I was very excited now. How could I not be? A piece of strawberry-and-cream-popcorn-heaven was there. Waiting for me.

All I needed to do was take it out of the top of my sock.

Slowly I reached down.

And then the clown appeared on the screen again. But this time he didn’t just frighten me. He frightened everyone. Including the man who was sitting in the seat in front of me.

Who jerked his head back. Whilst I was bending over.  THat is the last thing I remember, before waking up in the credits.

“You didn’t scream at all in the second half,” Kat said. “You must be getting better.”

 

 

© 2017 – VIDA Magazine – Steve Hili 

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