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When I was twelve years old I walked past a thorn tree in my school’s forested area. Thousands of caterpillars had been impaled--three, four to a spike. It was disgusting. It was hideous. Someone, someone very troubled, had taken the time to do this. I felt a bit sick looking at it but stared nonetheless. It was disturbingly intriguing.
When I was eighteen I helped a man with the yearly slaughter of his goats. I watched him as he would trap the goat between his thighs and then bash the goat in the skull with a framing hammer until it was unconscious. He took a knife and sawed its head off and I stood there with a steel mixing bowl and waited until the heart had pumped all the blood from the beast's headless body. The first one we had killed, we hung it on a meat hook and he took a knife and sliced open the goat’s belly, organs spilled out, hanging between its thin, hairy skin. Without warning he grabbed my arm and shoved it up inside this creature’s guts, an evilly mischievous gleam in his eye, and said, “It’s warm, eh?”
And when I was twenty-one, I watched a man intervene to prevent his friend from drunkenly fighting three others, by egging him on, then choking him out, and letting him fall into the rocks of the path unconscious. They were friends, and as far as I know still are, but that moment, when he had to stop his friend from stupidity the only way he knew how, I saw malice flash on his face. The drunken idiot lost his front teeth as they cracked and flew from his mouth when he impacted the stones. Standing over the unconscious form of his buddy I saw dark satisfaction. He had enjoyed that moment of control, of power. He had enjoyed hurting him.
As the majority of us are good people and just want to live a peaceful life, there tends to be interest in the dark side of the psyche, the strange and disturbing things that others do. The best of us, however, can occasionally dip their toe into the unexpected shadow. As a writer I've decided to put my pen to page to explore these twisted urges in novels of dark fiction.
I hope you join the others and read my words.
To talk about the darkness.