Can’t Watch This
When was the last time you watched something so scary, cringe-worthy, or unbelievably tacky — in a movie, on TV, or in real life — you had to cover your eyes?
The music became eerie, with shivers of warning from violins and stealthy, quiet drumbeats. The camera panned across the woods at ground level. Night shadows created camoflauge for anything that didn’t want to be seen. Leaves trembled when noiseless creatures brushed through the undergrowth.
The woman knelt on a blanket covered with articles that seemed to have their own lives, although they were lifeless. Central among them was a crude doll, shaped like a man, with one leg severed at the knee. As the woman chanted and made ritual passes with her hands, she suddenly stilled, eyes darting to her left.
The unmistakeable crunch of heavy footsteps warned her that danger was approaching. She closed her eyes, caught up in her ritual and seeming to ignore the steps as they came closer. Reaching out to her right, she flipped open the catch on a wire mesh cage. Nothing, silence, and I could feel my own pulse beating.
I should have been prepared, but I never am. I should have known. I wish I had known.
The creature that slithered out of the cage had a tiny, ugly head. The body that followed was disproportionately large, glossy, and muscular. It seemed to pour out, rather than to creep, and it kept on coming. The camera began to flash from the snake to the feet of the approaching danger, back and forth, back and forth. The snake’s mouth opened until all I could see was fangs and throat.
I was mesmerized, wanting to close my eyes but unable to do so. The woman remained as still as stone. The feet, wearing thick boots, stopped just short of the woman. The camera traveled up the legs, letting us see the man’s jacket edge and his hands.
Without warning, the snake uncoiled and struck just below the man’s knee on his left leg!
And my eyes closed.