“I don’t want to walk around,” Seamus said after dinner. We had hiked all day long and it was dark and the grounds were not lit, as if to dissuade this exact impulse, but I knew Seamus was just spooked because of the film’s legacy, worried that one of those cannibalistic Texans was lurking, looking to lure in trespassers to torture them, before eating them and peeling off their skin with the film’s namesake.
“Oh, come on,” I pressed, leading him onto what I knew (from having visited previously in daylight to scout it out) was the path, “just a little ways. You cannot say you were here without, at least, walking around.” But as the dark rooted in around us, as only night can in the country, I was hesitant myself. “What?” I teased, although I had moved in closer to him as I fought for my next step in the pitch black where everything resembled something it wasn’t and all sums seemed threatening. “You afraid one of those meat-crazed brothers is going to--”
“Shut up, Mom!” he yelled, although we had both laughed, awkward sounds that bounced off of the century buildings.
“Really,” I said, speaking quieter and tucking my arm into the crook of his elbow as the abject darkness had made it impossible to see, “I am less afraid of the fantasy around the films and more scared of, say, a fanatical fan of those movies who drove all this way to stay on these very grounds—who is renting a room and is maybe out here now, as we speak, thinking of evil things to do to passersby. Like copy cat crimes.”
“That’s it,” Seamus said, matter of factly, doing an about face that would have made a military marcher proud. “I’m out of here. Heading back to the car. Are you coming?”
“Yes,” I laughed, as we both broke into a run, “I am scaring myself to death!”