"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 74
First of all, I'm sorry for having taken so long to get this post up. But I'm afraid that I can't be sorry that I listened to this latest radio play when I did, because right after I heard the part where one character sees a shadowy form in her doorway, my bedroom door creaked open and I saw a shadowy form in mine. You can't buy synchronicity like this!!!
If you haven't listened to today's play yet, I hope that you get lucky with a scare of your own when you do it now. =)
Of all the supernatural creatures we've discussed, I find the shadow people the most frightening. We can keep away from "Things" which are peacefully ignoring our existence in their underground homes, run out of strange houses where weird things keep happening, be perfectly civil to the ghosts we run into, and develop better intuition about prospective spouses . . . but is it possible to escape from shadows?
The characters' fear of what the night brings reminded me of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, in which dreams can kill you and those who have figured it out do everything in their power not to fall asleep. In both cases, they only seem to be prolonging the inevitable. It is our powerlessness to stop the sun from setting which drives the sort of horror they share. And yet we try . . .
I'd say that characters in The Shadow People could have lasted longer, had they tried harder. They could have, you know, moved to Alaska for six months and taken their sleep in broad daylight, while figuring out their next move. So I find their actual attempts at "prepping" quite pathetic. I saw the power failure coming from a mile away, but all the doctor set aside for that event was a single candle??? And his idea of not going out without a fight was asking the shadow people to come and get him? I would have defiantly--okay, fearfully--set the entire house on fire first, just for the light. Team Prometheus for the win!!!
This is one story I'd like to hear a longer version of--and I actually think it has the potential to be a TV series. (Think: The Walking Dead meets The Fugitive.) Of course, the real reason to keep the story going is to give the main cast a way out in the end. Nightfall may be inevitable, as is all death, but that doesn't mean that we all have to be taken by shadow people. There must be a way to defeat them . . . and the first step to finding out is to learn why they target some of us and not others. Sheila must be rubbing off on me or something, because my main problem with this play is that there was no explanation given for why the shadow people are after Elaine and what they intend to do with her. I know we must make allowances for the limitations of the medium, but this is an unusually big hole we're left with.
What are your thoughts on The Shadow People?
1) How would you rate the shadow people in terms of scariness?
2) What would you do to protect yourself if they were after you?
3) If you had to work on a longer version of this story, what explanation would you give for the shadow people's interest in Elaine?
Up next is a choice inspired by Mrs. Darwin: "The Werewolf" from The Weird Circle. Let's hope it delivers! Listen to it on YouTube, Relic Radio, or the Internet Archive.