There are moments, little pictures in my head of darkness. How it comes into my head, forming like clouds in the sky, I’ll never understand, but it does.
When these moments come, they’re like breaths on my face, or a whisper in the trees.
They came often enough as a teenager I wrote some of them down. Turned them into sad, shitty poetry, but later they came through as dark stories. I never understood where they came from, but thought it may have been caused by the divorce of my parents. Then, in my early twenties, it sound right, now, I think it was always there.
I’ve thought about darkness, the slow breathing of it, the rapid heartbeats that follow a particularly dramatic scene, and how I’ve always enjoyed that rapid breathing. How when I watch horror it does something to me.
I feel more at home in those dark cupboards, closed down buildings, and with the monsters, than I ever have in the light.
Some people are born in darkness, others have it showed to them, and it changes them. It needs prodding, poking, and sometimes, screams, to bring it out, but it’s always there.
Writing the story from this past week I dealt with a darkness I rarely touch on because it makes me uncomfortable. I feel it’s harder to write the human as the dark thing instead of a physical monster.
We can explain the monster as it being a monster, but the human that is the monster, it’s harder for us to explain.
The best example of this, for me, was The Girl Next Door. We see the things in the book, and because of Jack Ketchum’s brilliance with words, we feel complicit. We feel we’re part of what’s happening.
I didn’t read for a couple of weeks after that book. It all felt too hard knowing that what happened within the pages of that book were based on a true case.
The human monster, regardless of its form, scares the hell out of me. It’s also the most difficult for me to write and it takes something out of me when I do it.
We see the news, but we only experience it through a screen. We’re not there. That’s the brilliance of certain authors. We feel like we’re involved.
I’ve tried to grasp that, and know my diversity with books is a where I falter, and I will do better about that.
Each moment within a book is taken from that author’s mind, and if we want to get to the root, we must understand the process of writing better, or at least I need to understand my process better.
When the darkness would come as a child, I’d shrug it off. Now that I embrace it, it’s much easier to travel roads I never would have. This is where I’ve grown the most in my writing.
Embracing the breath. Chasing the darkness, and loving the full taste of it all.