For all you lovers of horror novels out there, there’s one book by the master that’s far scarier than any of the horror stories Stephen King has told. It’s “Gerald’s Game.”
Here’s the set up: A husband and wife have this little sex “game” they play once in a while. He handcuffs her to a bed and they have sex. She’s not crazy about this little game, but consents to please her husband. This time, things don’t go very well. In fact, they go very badly.
While she’s shackled to the bedposts (both hands in separate handcuffs), she decides she’s tired of this little game and tells Gerald “Enough!” But he doesn’t listen, and finally, she kicks him, and Gerald rolls off the bed. He dies of a heart attack, on the floor. They’re at a vacation house, in the deepest woods near a lake in a very rural and lonely area.
She’s lying there with both hands cuffed to the bed; her dead husband is at the foot of the bed, and there’s no way she can escape this situation. Time passes, day turns into evening, then to night, and the sounds of the woods are frightening.
I won’t get into any spoilers, but at some point, a stray dog enters the cabin and begins devouring Gerald at the foot of the bed. The horror is plentiful, and plenty scary, and she begins reliving in her own mind various long-buried events from her childhood–ones that in a way are connected to the predicament in which she now finds herself.
Will she ever escape this situation? Will the dog turn to her after it’s finished with Gerald? And who is that man standing in the corner on the second night she lies there, bound and helpless? What on earth is going to happen?
It goes to show, among other things, that real events can be more horrifying than supernatural ones. They are the stuff of which nightmares can be made.