But imagination has a dark side too.
In our room we assembled model kits. My brother liked to do cars. I did ships and other things that I’ll get to in a minute.
My ships were small and historical. And I believe they snapped together rather than using glue. The first was the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus. The other was the US frigate Constitution, a thorough going man’o’war. Both had sails which you had to cut out before completing the assembly and each came with a little stand and plaque upon which they were mounted before they joined my microscope and telescope on my desk by the window. The boxes they came in proved handy as the treasure boxes for my prized bubblegum card collection.
Then the Aurora model company came out with a series based on movie characters – monster movie characters. My brother got Frankenstein, based on the Boris Karloff version. I selected Count Dracula, modeled after Bela Lugosi.
Their Universal films were now on television. I found them interesting, but a little bit tame, though to be fair, they were probably cut up for that venue. I confess that I did find the Hammer films, brand new at this time, in which Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee battled it out, more than a little frightening.
But I could leave them behind. This ashen faced Count in his red-lined black cape set off by an eerie green glow was now resident on my desk. And had the power to keep my imagination churning at night. There were times when I turned him around or moved him to the floor. Not that I would tell anyone about it.
I remember having a bout of déjà vu years later upon reading Salem’s Lot. The mention of similar models and the use of the name Ralphie for one of the characters made it resonate at a deeper level with me. Who was this Stephen King? And how did he know what went on in my room at night?
And had he met Albert?