Do you ever look up to find everyone in the room staring at you? This happens to me and no, thankfully, I am not naked. I’m simply chilling out, reading my book, in my own little world. That is until I laugh. The majority of the human race learn – once they pass childhood – to read in one’s head. With this skill comes the socially acceptable behaviour associated with reading – silence. I reckon it’s something to do with us human’s need to mirror our surroundings. You know, how you enter a room that’s dead silent whilst talking and it’s like the rest of your sentence is sucked into a black hole. Or how when one person is whispering your immediate reaction is to whisper back which leads to the inevitable “Why are we whispering?” whisper. My point is you know you’ve found a good book when, against all self preservation instincts, a sentence makes you laugh out loud.
I found one of these treasured lines last night whilst reading Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore. Great book by the way, one of those ones where you read the first few lines and feel connected to the protagonist on a soulful level. Amy Goodnight is headstrong, sassy and very funny. Her sister, Phin, is smart, bubbly and crazy. Put the two together and you get the cause of my late night hysterical outburst. Having just been woken up by a ghost in her room Amy and Phin are none too thrilled when someone starts a-knockin’ at their front door – cue tension fuelled humour…
“Oh my God,” I blurted, grabbing onto Phin as we faced the open bedroom door. “It’s the axe murderer.”
“I doubt he would knock,” she said.
HA! That my dear readers is what made my cat look at me like I’d sprouted a second head because I didn’t just laugh, I cackled, a short, harsh, rather loud cackle.
Never has the written embodiment of laughter – HA! – been more apt.