CHILDHOOD FEARS by PD Alleva
Growing up with insomnia creates more than a few dark memories. When you’re afraid of the dark, there’s no creature or monster that can scare the shit of you more than having to lie in the darkness and pray for the sun to come up.
I was diagnosed with insomnia at the tender age of one. My poor mother, that’s a fact. I would only sleep one hour a night and had to be put on medication to force my eyes closed, but still I could only manage a few hours at a time. The insomnia lasted for more than a few years, and by the age of eight, I was sleeping close to four hours a night. I say eight because that’s when I discovered the simple fact that alcohol had a profound effect on the human brain, and I slept for closer to five to six hours on the nights that I sneaked a few drinks from my parents’ liquor cabinet. Ironically, I’ve noticed that every few years I require an extra hour of sleep. Makes me wonder if when I reach a nice and ripe old age if the entire situation will be reversed, and I’ll sleep for twenty-three hours and be awake for one. Now that would be a strange existence.
I’m also plagued with an excellent memory, and those long nights lying awake are still some of the more profound memories that continue to exist. Now I don’t have any memories of the young age of a year old, but since the sleeping problem continued for years, I do have memories beginning at a very young age. I was plagued by nightmares during those years. Had them at least three times a week and sometimes more. I’d drift off to sleep after about an hour of lying in bed waiting for the nocturnal habit to capture my young brain. Then, a flash of light and I was already knee deep in the dream. Running or locked up. Trying to get away, surrounded by evil, fear, and anguish. Werewolves were big back then. Werewolves and snakes. They tore their fangs into my dreaming mind.
A few hours later, I was up and panicked. In the dark of night. The wee hours of the early morning, so dark and treacherous. Lying in bed with thoughts rattling through my brain. Thoughts of death. The end. The dark blackness that exists once life leaps from the bones and is no more. Petrified the monsters from my dreams were in my room, that they followed me from the dream realm into the reality of waking consciousness, and it was my fault that they were here. Seeing them when my eyes closed, attempting to return to sleep, but to no avail. The monsters kept me in a waking state of panic. The only child going to school with thick bags beneath their eyes. But by remaining awake, I convinced myself that the monsters could never get me. Could never bite into my neck or rip my heart from my chest. They were everywhere in the dark folds of night. It’s where they fed off fear and I would do anything to keep them at bay. To thwart their talons from cutting into my flesh.
Nightmares, nightmares, everywhere. All the time. Life was a thick black hole filled with anguish and sleep was the enemy. Always the enemy. It’s where the boogeyman lived, as if sleep was nothing more than a venture through the subconscious to another realm where all the hateful monsters lived. And me, a warrior needing to remain awake. My belief at the time was that if I was awake, the monsters would lose their power.
They’d eat my family if I fell back to sleep. They’d dine on our flesh and drink from our veins. I couldn’t allow that to happen. It’s best to stay awake. Stay awake so they can’t live and breathe and stretch their evil tirade across humanity. I was the gatekeeper. The key master. The vessel they could use to bring evil into the world. So, stay awake. Stay awake and wrap those sheets over your head just in case they made it through. Just in case they’re hiding in the closet, ready to pounce the moment my eyes closed. But they can’t get me, can’t bite my neck if the sheet is over my head. It’s a shield they can’t penetrate.
Did they follow? Are they in the closet? What was that noise? A creak? The house settling or is someone in the hall listening to my breathing, assessing if I was awake or if I’d slipped back into sleep? Close my eyes, clamp them shut and pretend. Pretend to sleep. If you don’t acknowledge them, they lose their power. Breath on my face. My heart racing. But the sun’s coming up. I made it through another night and evil cannot live in the light.
That’s the best way to describe my state of mind during those years of long nights and tired eyes. But here’s the kicker, a long time after (I believe I was in my late twenties or early thirties) I was having a conversation with my mother about the past and my time spent with insomnia. It’s when I was first told about being put on medication when I was a year old. And, as it just so happens, during the conversation, my mother talked about the ghost. The ghost she believed lived in the bedroom next to mine. The one I shared walls with. And several family members confirmed the ghost theory during our conversation. No one ever went into that room unless they absolutely had to and if they did, they’d be quick with their task and exit fast. I’m glad we moved out of that house.
But it makes me wonder. Perhaps those weren’t fictional imaginings of a young mind. Maybe those monsters were real. Perhaps the ghost is still knocking on my closet door. Should I answer, or let them knock? You can take that information any way you choose. Are ghosts real or are they not? It’s really as simple as that. Although, since I’ve spent the last twenty years as a psychotherapist and hypnotist, I have to consider the many external factors that contributed to my young, tortured mind. Without getting into too much detail, let’s just say my home life was treacherous, filled with rage, chaos, and what most people would consider pure insanity. And then there’s the fact that I was watching b-rated slasher films at the age of five thanks to a crazy invention called the VCR and a father who didn’t think there was anything wrong with a child watching such films. In fact, my life under the sun was often as dark and foreboding as those long, lonely, and dark nights.
It is what it is, as they say, and I’m certain that having an overactive imagination was more of a curse than a gift during those lonely nights. It’s part of why I write. I’m never more at home and comfortable than when I’m writing. It’s like visiting old friends, the ones that kept me up, who traveled into the conscious world by hitching a ride through my nightmares. The ones that entered my bedroom at night. It’s amazing what any one human can become comfortable with. It’s as if we’re codependent on our demons and tragedies. But they all turn up, in one way or another, inside the stories that rattle inside my brain, forcing their way into my shoulders, through my arms and into the fingers typing across the keyboard. It’s where they live and breathe, on the page where they’re brought to life and become real and then dive into the mind of you, dear reader, to delight in and gag and wretch and be enthralled through it all.
I’m not entirely certain, but if I had to guess, those years spent in the darkness of insomnia, becoming comfortable with the monsters and devils, are probably a big reason why I love writing villains. There’s nothing better than crafting a proper villain. And besides, who doesn’t enjoy the villain?
Check out my latest villain, Jigglyspot, in his new book, Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect. Carnivals. Cannibals. And Clowns. Oh My! But please forgive Jiggly for his hatred towards our species. I mean, after all, if you were a demon, what would you think of humanity?
Welcome to spooky season.
Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect: An Addictive Horror Novel by PD Alleva
Carnivals, Cannibals, and Clowns. Oh My!
Wanna go for a ride?
Meet Jigglyspot, a five-foot tall half human half warlock carnival clown who spends his free time moonlighting as a drug dealing pimp and lackey for demonic entities who prey on the weak and vulnerable, casting their dark shadow across humanity through manipulation, and fear.
Jigglyspot was selected to serve as the event coordinator for 2019’s Summer Solstice Celebration at the prestigious Cannibal Café. A celebration that brings together both demon and human alike. But with less than two weeks before the celebration, Jigglyspot’s got so much to do and little time to do it. And the feds are hot on his tail. Between securing new recruits for demonic possession, choosing fresh bodies to slice and dice for dinner, and the fact that his girlfriend, Kera, is eating up most of his time, Jiggly’s at his wit’s end.
Hopefully, those demons appreciate all his sacrifices. Hopefully, but unlikely. Those demons can be hell to deal with. Jigglyspot knows; he’s been dealing with them for decades.
Will he rise above, or will tragedy and mayhem lead to dire discoveries poisoned with manipulation and betrayal that will ultimately destroy all Jigglyspot holds dear?
Discover Jigglyspot and his cast of clowns, killers, demons, and wretched fiends, in a novel like you’ve never experienced. Horror, mayhem, thrills, chills, fantasy, and spoils are waiting for your reading eyes with an escape into the underworld of mind control and human slavery.
Warning: This book contains scenes with profound psychological suffering, and graphically violent acts, behaviors, thoughts, deeds, and ridicule. No one has been spared, and no label is safe. Although we are proud to report, no animals were harmed during the writing of this novel, so that’s a good thing. Everyone else is fair game. After all, if you were a demon, what would you think of humanity?
Fans of Grady Hendrix, Catriona Ward, Clive Barker, and Stephen King will be captivated by this edge of your seat, eye-popping, wtf horror novel that is certain to be your next addictive read. As they say, you don’t just read Jigglyspot… You DEVOUR Jigglyspot!
Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect
Genre(s): horror, thriller, horror fantasy, paranormal horror, supernatural horror, occult horror, suspense, pulp horror, and speculative fiction
Publisher: Chamber Door Publishing, LLC
Official Release Date: October 31, 2023
Word Count: 157,000
Goodreads Book Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/123224674-jigglyspot-and-the-zero-intellect
Amazon Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BWSD6C13
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/1143252113
I write books, that’s what I do. Horror, scifi, thrillers, fantasy, and sometimes a literary gem. Good ones, crazy ones, fun books, entertaining books, terrifying books that are absolutely insane, books with depth and thrills, and stories that rip out the heart of humanity and tosses it on a slab to be feasted on. Yeah, that’s what I do, I write books. Any questions?
My current projects include: the Pulp Fiction, Sci-Fi/Fantasy series, The Dark Veil: The Rose Vol. III; the horror thriller novella series, Girl on a Mission; the supernatural thriller series, The Hypnotist; and a follow up to Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect, tentatively titled The Sleepy Hollow Incident.
To learn more about my latest horror novel, Jigglyspot and the Zero Intellect, click this link: https://pdalleva.com/product/jigglyspot-and-the-zero-intellect
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pdallevaauthor/