The Human Abyss

Darkness . . . it is one of our earliest childhood fears.  I can remember many a night, laying there, covers clutched tight beneath my chin, fearful of what lurked in the shadows.  It wasn’t so much the fear of the unknown, or what could have been there in the room with me, but what was.  Long, black masses stretched from floor to ceiling and inched across the walls, their limbs twisting like gnarled branches in a storm.  These silent wraiths would visit nightly, and each time the light went out, I held my breath and shuddered with fearful anticipation.

There is a delicate balance in this world.  Our time is measured with one part light and one part dark.  The sun and moon engage in a graceful tango, their dance one that creates forces of great destruction like gravity.  Falling stars may be beautiful, but what about the tidal waves that surge past the shores?  Human nature is even less defined, for each of us holds the same capacity for good as we do evil . . . at least at birth.  And, I think, to be truly honest, each of us has, at one time or another, had an ugly or cruel thought flitter through or mind, no matter how fleeting.

Sure I’m afraid of evil clowns, of aliens and spiders, of demons and vengeful spirits.  Most of us are.  But what exceeds that fear, what lingers at the top of my list evoking unease at all hours is the fear of humankind.  We, as a species, possess the capacity to inflict the most harm.  It is the people without conscience and morals who pose the most danger.  The cold-blooded killers who walk among us, many of them undetected until it is far too late.  Jack the Ripper, BTK, the Green River killer, Ted Bundy . . . the list goes on and on.

In today’s society, in these brutal times we live in, horror writers need not depend on mythological creatures to scare.  We need not create fictional monsters who are indestructible.  The truth is: they walk among us, every day.  Some walk the thin line between dark and light . . . some grasp that fragile rope between good and evil by only a single thread.  Their lifeline is frayed and one never knows when it will snap.

But even they serve some purpose.  They remind us life is uncertain.  People are uncertain.  Nothing should be taken for granted.  Beyond inspiration and fear, they prove darkness and light can exist within each one of us as well.  One cannot exist, nor be fully appreciated without the other.  Our choices can and do impact others.

There is a Nietzsche quote that I think most of us have heard.  ““He who fights monsters must take care lest he become a monster. When you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes into you.”

I, myself, am also fond of this one:  “There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”

I leave you to ponder these words with the hopes that they inspire.  Take care, my friends . . . and be careful not to gaze into the abyss for too long!



The Birth Of Evil

Evil is defined by Encarta as wickedness, or a force that has harmful effects.  We all have our own takes on this word, our own fears rooted in its existence, but what fuels this malicious force?  Where is it born?

Evil is a broad topic, but much of it serves as the backbone of horror.  This is the struggle our characters often face, the epic and age-old battle between good and evil, existence and destruction.  Whether it is the fight to save one’s self or the entire future of mankind, the final skirmish is still a passionate one wrought with peril.  We all know the hero’s strength comes from the basic instinct to survive, and sometimes, it’s tinged with a bit of love or compassion-but where does evil draw its power from?  How is such a thing even born?

The Natural Order:  This is one of the broadest scopes I can give, but probably the most frequently used.  You don’t have to be religious at all to understand this concept.  To everything that exists, there is an opposite.  Day has night, hot has cold, rain has sun, and so on.  If there are “good” people who understand actions such as love, compassion, forgiveness, and value life, then there are darker ones to counteract those effects:  ones who seek to destroy.  Take away the simple understanding most of us have, that inner beacon that serves as a conscience, and you very well may face evil in its purest form.  Just take a look at Dahmer and Gasey.  They are some prime examples.

Fear:  It’s a powerful emotion; one that drives us into acting irrationally.  Think for a moment, just how far this reaches.  It’s not just humans who can become violent or deadly when pressed with their back to the wall.  Even an animal, when wounded or frightened, will turn feral.  It doesn’t matter how much they love you, or how well they know you.  In those moments, they are blinded by pain and fear.  Us humans are no different.  Strip mankind of their comfort, cast them into something dark and frightening, force them to confront their own mortality, and one by one, all of our own rules filter out the window.

“Fear is the little dark room where  negatives are developed. ~ Michael Pritchard

Negativity:  Forget, for a moment, all of the special props and effects we’ve come to rely on in the horror genre, the typical things known to breed evil.  Cast aside the Ouija Boards, the spells, charms, and curses that turn men into monsters.  What does that leave you with?  An entire gateway seldom explored: the most common flaw hosted by man and one with the strongest capacity for evil yet.

Fear can be born out of a sense of danger, or a simple failure to understand our situation or the motives of others.   Fear leads to an entire host of negative emotions.  Hatred, loathing, jealousy, selfishness, anger, despair: all of these can and usually do arise.  It’s easy to let hatred fester, to let it consume you from the inside out.   Have you ever felt the true depths of despair?  Have you experienced the moments of helplessness and hopelessness that arise from those dark depths?  It would be so easy to give into that darkness, that woe-begotten way of thinking, never to return.  Once consumed with our own thoughts, miseries, and fears, how often do we stop to think about others around us and how they fare?

War, famine, disease, violence, corruption, an overall lack of compassion or tolerance toward our fellow mankind:  one need not look far or delve into the realm of fiction for inspiration or understanding.  We breed our own horror and our own forms of evil every day.

Think of the creatures or villains who might rejoice in such circumstances.  Think of a man who no longer cares about anything, including himself.  Think of a place devoid of all of things that made us human to begin with or someone who has been stripped of those things one by one until nothing remained . . . for there, you just may discover where true evil is born.

~Best wishes and happy haunting!~

Friday the 13th…

It seems only fitting that my debut blog entry be on such an infamous day. For some, it holds connotations of ill-luck, trouble, despair, and death. (those poor campers at Crystal Lake) But for me, it’s a day of celebration. I relish in the dark mystique it holds. I laugh at the alleged danger it poses. Not even superstition can dampen my spirits on this most wicked of all days. While most of you might cringe in horror, I simply smile and say, “Bring it on, love.”

Yes, I adore all things related to Friday the 13th.  The most of which is that deranged killer, Jason Voorhees. Anyone who knows me at all will vouch for the huge soft spot I hold for the big lug. I even boast my very own hockey mask signed by Kane Hodder, himself. Now if I could just find a suitable machete to match . . .

To anyone reading this, I hope you’ve had the most wonderful of days and the weekend treats you well. Perhaps I will devle more into who I am and what makes me tick in the future. But for now, I have a date to catch. I hear the water is nice this time of year. 😉

~Best wishes and happy haunting!~