No, not the television show. The one with Rod Serling as host and producer. Not the anemic remake that was, up until recently anyway, plaguing the airwaves. I’m talking about the original fright writer.
Not Edgar Allen Poe. Not Ambrose Bierce. Not even Mark Twain.
All those guys could spin a great yarn and give a twist with the darning needle at the end, true.
But the guy who started it out was that Storyteller from Nazareth. The one who quit His day job in carpentry to do the Middle East circuit with his repertoire.
I love those stories!
I especially love the twist at the end.
Like the one with the kid who ran away with the dough and ended up feeding pigs. Sure, it was a little surprise when his dad ran out to hug him and throw him a party on his return. But who would have expected the older brother to get all cranky about it, and the father to dress him down about it after he’d worked so hard – for two! – all that time his kid brother was gone?
That’s some storytelling!
Or how about the spooky one where the rich guy and the poor guy die at the same time, and one ends up blessed and the other damned … because of how much he had while he was alive! Man, that one still gives me chills!
Or the one about the King who puts the good ‘uns on the right and the bad ‘uns on the left and neither group can seem to remember the stuff they’ve done – right or wrong – and still they get rewarded or punished to the max. That’s enough to creep you out for eternity, huh? Who saw that end coming?
Or the story about a businessman whose financial planner cheats him – and he commends the guy for going behind his back to find a job with the people he’s helped to cheat! Like they’d trust him! That’s a hoot and a surprise! I’m not even sure I get that one.
Or the one about the businessman who left town with his workers in charge of his stuff, each according to their ability, and then came back unexpectedly and promoted two of them and tossed the timid one out on his boo-hiney like he didn’t even know the guy was timid! Woo-hoo! Keeps me awake at night, sometimes, waiting for that kind of sneaky-thief return!
Or that other one about the businessman whose HR guy got drunk and beat all the other workers until the boss came home and he cut him into pieces and chucked what was left of him into a place with godless foreigners!
Oh, there’s a ton more, each more scary than the previous.
Halloween’s coming up, and there are just a whole body of these scary stories buried in your friendly local New Testament, so dig up a few and get ready for that deadly twist at the end!