Congratulations go out to this site’s illustrious Editor-in-Chief, Andy B who, along with his Queen (the brains and the beauty behind the Stephen King geek), recently welcomed their first child, daughter Anya, to the world of film, music, video games, comic books and all things cool. Over the next few days, the writers of Biff Bam Pop! will be showcasing pop-culture inspired tributes to the proud new parents and their baby girl. You can read Scotty G’s tribute piece here. Happy second week, Anya! Things get crazy poppy from here on in!
Next up is writer Ian Rogers, who has taken a “shine” to a particularly special child…the floor is yours, Ian!
In honour of the birth of our editor Andy Burns’ first child, I thought I’d touch on some other special children who have touched us through books and film.
Being a horror author, my mind immediately goes to creepy little kids (CLKs) like the ones seen in “The Ring” and “Poltergeist” (sure, Carol Anne is cute, but that line “They’re here” qualifies her as a CLK). And who could forget the precocious telepathic tykes in “Village of the Damned”?
The creepiest kid to come skipping through our imaginations would probably be Damien Thorn from “The Omen,” but the one I want to talk about is a young boy named Danny Torrance from a little book called “The Shining.”
With his habitual trances and the way he talks to his finger, Danny technically qualifies as a CLK, but he actually ends up being the hero of the story. Most everyone has read or seen the film adaptation of “The Shining.” Jack Torrance, an unemployed recovering alcoholic, takes a job as caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, dragging his mousy wife and psi-sensitive kid along with him. The hotel is home to a number of restless spirits, and they’re on the constant lookout for new talent — people with a certain “shine.” Danny Torrance is one such person, a young boy with a powerful psychic ability that the hotel desperately wants. The spirits use their malefic influence on Danny’s emotionally unstable father to get at him, resulting in a grim showdown in the secluded mountains of Colorado.
“The Shining” is by no means a happy story, but Danny Torrance is proof that just because your kid has a “wild talent,” that’s not to say he’s going to set the family dog on fire or bring about the apocalypse. Danny ends up being a pretty brave little kid, whether he’s confronting those creepy twins — “Come and play with us, Danny, forever… and ever… and ever…” — or the spectre lurking inside Room 217.
Over the years, Stephen King has introduced us to some pretty spectacular kids — Mark Petrie in “‘Salem’s Lot,” Charlie McGee in “Firestarter,” and hey, if Carrie White hadn’t been raised by a religious zealot, I’m sure she and her classmates would’ve had a better time at the prom — but Danny Torrance is the one I think of most. He may have been a creepy little kid, but I have a feeling he would have grown up to be a pretty amazing adult.
The joy of having a child is being there for the “firsts” — the first time your child smiles at you, the first time she laughs, her first step, her first word. And as long as that word isn’t “REDRUM,” then you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Best of luck, Andy!