Wrote one of those scenes. You know what they’re like. You’re casting for something inside yourself and discover something hidden, so you drag it out and use it.
In this instance, I used a memory from when I was young. I’d seen a creepy movie that burned anxiety into me just in time for bed. Despite that, sleep managed to find me.
Awakening, though, I kept completely still in an all-embracing darkness. Even now, remembering, my blood pressure rises and my pulse thumps faster. In that darkness, I’d heard a noise while I was asleep —
Or did I?
Was it real or imagined? I listened and listened without daring to move, barely breathing to help me hear and minimize my presence. Just when I’d begun to accept the hypothesis I’d imagined it, I heard another sound. It sounded like slithering….
Snake, I thought.
A snake is in the room.
I couldn’t move. If I left the bed, I might step on the snake. It might be coiled on the floor, waiting to strike.
But I couldn’t remain in bed, because the snake might crawl up into the bed. Which was worse, waiting in bed, or stepping down and getting bitten?
It was a rush of words to write, but it fit the novel like a found puzzle piece. As for the young boy who feared what might be in the dark, he carefully stood up in bed. Balancing himself and profusely sweating, he leaped across the yawning gulf where the snake might be waiting, and threw on the lights.
Time to go write like crazy, at least one more time.