Great piece by Mack Moyer. I can attest to the first in the list: “You’re Probably More Likely to Believe the Monster Exists“.
Let me tell you one of my favorite stories from college, favorite for the simple fact that it’s so ridiculous…
Once upon a time, in my college days, a friend and I were at another friend’s apartment for a party. Eventually, we decided to move on to other things for the night. We headed down the practically pitch black stairs to the house-turned-apartment-building’s front door. My friend goes to open the front door, but says it won’t open.
At that very moment, we hear a scraping, shuffling sound coming from the door to the basement behind us. If we’d been sober, we would have just thought, oh, neighbor doing laundry. But, having had a couple drinks at the aforementioned party, and being believers, like so many others, in an eventual zombie apocalypse, that wasn’t what we thought.
My friend, with all the gravity and delivery worthy of any good horror movie heroine, hisses at me, “Something’s coming!”
Yep, not someone, something. Ah, the power of beer…
My friend then proceeds to yank on the front door knob with a little more urgency. The scraping, shuffling sounds gets louder, nearer. Now, I’m sucked into the alcohol-driven belief that, yes, there is definitely a member of the undead stalking up out of the building’s basement.
I tell her to open the door already. She tells me the knob won’t turn.
I’m thinking, she needs to stop messing around, because we’re going to get eaten in a minute. So, I tell her to move, and I’ll get it open.
I kid you not - I put my hand on that knob, turn it, and the damn knob just spins on its stem. It couldn’t have happened better if it was scripted.
It’s at this point that my friend starts yanking on my arm, hissing that the thing’s getting closer.
Finally, I clamped both hands around the knob’s stem, turned, and yanked the door open. In true horror movie fashion, I bolted down the front stairs, leaving my friend in the dust. But, she was hot on my heels.
We didn’t stop until we hit the sidewalk, at which point the adrenaline rush had cleared enough of the beer fog to make us realize that we’d overreacted. Just a little, of course. We had a good laugh at ourselves.
To this day, I don’t know who or what was coming up out of that basement, but the most likely scenario is that we gave our friend’s neighbor the surprise of the night, coming up from the basement and seeing us bolt out the front door like our butts were on fire.
Still, if that had been the start of the zombie apocalypse, surely, my friend and I would’ve survived, thanks to the power of the alcohol-fueled quick thinking and belief in zombies…