Have you ever been absolutely terrified in a candy store?
I was driving back from a wedding in Massachusetts a few months ago when my girlfriend suddenly shouted, “Ohmygodstopthecarstopthecar!” I hit the breaks. “Did I hit something?” “No,” she said, “there’s a candy store over there with Skinner’s name on it.”
As you know, Skinner Sweet is the dastardly vampire at the heart of “American Vampire” by Scott Snyder, Rafael Albuquerque and Stephen King. Snyder created the character but it was King who gave him one of his creepiest attributes—he’s got a sweet tooth. So whenever you see Skinner he’s usually chomping on a candy cane, lollipop or cotton candy. Whatever candy is en vogue for the decade Skinner is un-living in, he’s usually got it clenched in his fangs.
So to see a store called “Skinner’s Sugar House” tucked back from the road under a gnarled tree, on a beautiful, sunny New England day kinda creeped me out. But we HAD to go inside.
It was an amazing little shop, been around since the 1880s (as old as Skinner Sweet himself!). All the candy was homemade and delicious. As I walked through rows and rows of sweets I couldn’t help but get freaked out. Not by the store. The store was great and the staff was wicked helpful (that’s how we say it up in Massachusetts). But I kept imagining Skinner behind me, whispering “boo” in my ear before he battened down on my neck.
That’s the thing about American Vampires, they walk in the sun, not even the sweetest little candy shop on a sunny afternoon is safe.
“We gotta get outta here,” I said.
We picked out some candies to bring back to the AV team and skedaddled. As I pulled out of the parking lot, and watched the sign get smaller and smaller in my rearview, I wondered: if I can find Skinner’s candy shop on an American back road, what else is out there? You never know, maybe my next post will be about a haberdashery called “Hattie’s” or a place that sells old movie posters called “Pearl’s Posters.” Maybe…