Saturday, July 16, 2016

Guest Post: Summer of '88--Roger Rabbit and the Lizard Man

Summer of 1988. I was ten years old. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a huge hit at the box office. I saw the movie in the theater. Judge Doom and his acid-like Dip scared the crap out of me.

Now, how in the world is it possible that I can so clearly remember being scared by a character in Roger Rabbit, but can’t for the life of me seem to exactly pin-point how I felt about the reptilian humanoid creature that had been spotted about a hundred miles from my house?

Yes, it’s true. When I was ten years old, a monster was spotted in the state of South Carolina.

Remember, it was 1988. We didn’t have the internet. So when there were newspaper reports of a monster sighting, it was like this...if something was printed in the newspaper then it had to be fact, right?  Everything that the paper contained was true--it was news!

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So imagine being ten years old and seeing the articles that had been written about the creature.  The eyewitnesses said that he was seven feet tall.  He had red eyes and green, scaly skin.  The monster mauled cars late at night.  It was the Lizard Man.

Of course I had heard of other monsters and ghosts and tales of spooky places, but this was different--this was happening right at that very moment. The Lizard Man was everywhere we looked--not only in the newspapers, but the local and national news were even covering the story.  

In true 80’s fashion of excess, there were even t-shirts that were printed and sold. I remember being headed toward Myrtle Beach for our family’s summer vacation and passing through the area of the Lizard Man sightings when we stopped to buy souvenirs.  The shirts were yellow with a green “Lizard Man” printed on them.

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Truthfully, I think I was at the age that I didn’t completely believe that the monster existed, but there was the notion of maybe.  It could be, I reasoned.  

I like to think that I wanted to believe it.

A lot can be said for someone believing in something.  Belief can carry you a long way; it can be comforting and reassuring. Belief can give you hope.  I suppose that believing in certain things can be a diversion--a way to keep your mind off scary realities.  Belief can make you feel safe.

A lot has changed in the world since 1988.  In fact, it’s now a vastly different place.  

It has been reported that the Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp was spotted as recently as August of 2015.

Thinking about the Lizard Man takes me back to that simple time in 1988 when I was ten years old.  Even though Judge Doom from Roger Rabbit scared me, I knew that everything would be okay.

For more info on the Lizard Man, check out this YouTube video from ETV and this Wikipedia article that has a timeline up to the most recent sightings in 2015.

A new Young Adult novel of Southern terror...

Summer in South Carolina - a time of ripe peaches, crackling bonfires, trips to the lake, and the rural legend of a creature known as the Lizard Man.

This year, a very real monster is lurking about.

The victims all have one thing in common - they share their names with plants.

Soon it becomes apparent that seventeen-year-olds Dusty Miller and Nandina Bush may be next on the killer's list.

"That was when I realized that the red I saw in the driveway wasn't blood. It was a scattering of rose petals.
Deep down, I knew, right at that very moment, that what all of us had been afraid of for the past several months had already happened.

I knew that the serial killer had finally made his way to Crow County." 
- Dusty Miller

Today's post was written by Bryce Gibson, 

Bryce Gibson writes Southern fiction that takes readers to charming and oftentimes sinister areas of The South.  He has a degree in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina, works full time as a farmer, and lives in South Carolina with his wife and their dog. 

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