TW: This article contains sensitive material related to bodily contact with insects.
Back on May 30th, Stephen King dodged a book deal, book tour, and inevitable online streaming adaptation when he decided to Tweet a particularly horrible anecdote from his friend.
Preceded by the suitably ominous question “Want a little bedtime story?”, King’s 214-character Tweet revealed just how instantaneously the horror master can incite a bone-tingling sense of dread in his readers with little more than a paragraph.
Take a deep breath.
Feeling squeamish? That’s what 70,000 other readers thought, according to the number of likes on the Tweet right now. Thousands of terror-stricken gifs flood the comments section and many users retaliated to the disturbing Tweet by cussing King out and demanding, in some cases, that he stop flexing his horror skills.
In an ideal world, the Tweet would have tied up some loose ends from a novel published decades ago, giving readers the fictional thrill and mortal fear that only “Stephen King” can provide. But nope. Truth is stranger than fiction and everyone’s favorite author just ruined the night.
“Nightmare fuel,” “nauseating,” “enough to make you want to stay inside for the summer” — all qualities that make for successful horror novels, but not Tweets. Especially not on a Thursday night.
King does make a pretty solid point, even if he makes his readers scream so they can learn. Tick season has set in hard and fast, and people — and pets — living near wooded areas everywhere are at risk of bites or infections without proper outdoor protection.
How do you recover from a Tweet like this? Inhale, exhale, take all the time you need to recover. Buy a fresh can of bug spray. And remember to check for ticks.