Last week's Geek topic is alternative forms of storytelling. At first I wasn't sure I would write about this topic, which is why I am posting this late. I mean, anyone who glances at my blog can tell 2 things: I read a lot of non-fiction and I watch a lot of movies. I pretty much have some strong preferences when it comes to stuff to do besides fiction reading. Then after letting this topic percolate in my head a few days I came back and reread it. The line that caught my eye this time was "some might share family bedtime stories" and a light popped on in my head. I could tell a story about my dad telling a story.

We went camping several times when i was a kid. I had just 2 brothers back then but camping is a pretty cheap vacation. 10 bucks a day for the site, plus food, plus a little gas to get there (this was the 80's after all) and you just let the kids run about and swim. At night we would roast hot dogs, eat s'mores, catch bugs, look at stars, and listen to stories.

I remember my mom told us the "hook hand" one once, as well as some of the basic fairy tales. The best story I remember was one my dad told us once. Really scary. It was about these military guys at a base in the Arctic. A guy comes in from some other station up there and dies but he has some kind of alien monster in him that can inhabit any living creature. Suffice to say the alien monster hopped from body to body, even taking over the sled dogs. My dad did a great job, building up the suspense and the paranoia of these army guys trapped in the cold with a monster. The good guy, who was a helicopter mechanic just like my father, eventually defeated the alien monster but the way the story ended none of us could figure out if the alien had actually gotten in the hero too.

Spooky huh? especially to kids 9, 7, and 5. It really stuck with me, long after I had forgotten any other stories he told us.

It wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I found out my dad had rehashed the plot of The Thing for us. :)


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