Why do we do it?

Why do folks like Mike Dellosso, Mike Duran, me, and any number of other writers look at the dark side of the literature spectrum? Why write horror novels for good Christian folks when there are so many other kinds of things to write? Maybe the first line from this Associated Press story from earlier today will give you a better idea.

“A Louisiana man is accused of decapitating and dismembering his disabled 7-year-old son and leaving the boy’s head near the street so the child’s mother would see it – a killing that brought seasoned police officers to tears, authorities said Monday.”

The story indicated he was tired of taking care of a son who had cerebral palsy, a heart condition, a feeding tube, and was confined to a wheelchair. Police Chief Scott Silverii said the father’s only explanation for placing the child’s head where his mother would have to see it when she came home was “just that he wanted her to feel stupid when she saw the head.”

Dear God in heaven, what drives a man to dismember his own son? His own defenseless flesh-and-blood son?


Not badness. Not sickness. Evil.

Now I don’t pretend to speak for either of the Mikes (or any other writer  for that matter), but I have read their reasons for writing what they write and I have a feeling they would agree with me when I say even though we write about the eternal struggle between the forces of God and the forces of evil, we can only examine the battle and the aftermath. We will never be able to fathom the actual acts.

How do you fathom an act of pure evil? How do you “understand” the dismemberment of an innocent child? The serial killing of dozens of strangers? The kidnapping of and the keeping a child/woman as a sexual slave for 18 years à la Jaycee Lee Dugard. How do you fathom absolutely depraved acts committed against children and adults for the sheer ?

You can’t.

Oh sure, we excuse it. We assign  absolution because someone comes from a broken home. Because they were abused. Because they were underprivileged. Because they were not afforded the same breaks as some other people. Because they are “legally” ill (as opposed to those who may have a legitimate mental illness).

Then we shake our heads, say “tsk, tsk, that’s so sad,” and go back to our lives s if nothing happened.

Why do horror writers write horror?

So we won’t mistake evil for badness. So we will know the difference.

So acts like this will revolt us and cause us to actually think about the fact that there is evil in the world and remind us that we have a choice to make, and if we decide that following Christ is not that important, then we have sided with those who would dismember children

Good and evil.

There are only two sides.

Which one are you on?

“Whoever is not against us is for us.” Mark 9:40

  1. Susan Kaye says:

    Just last week I was muttering that we have to start calling that which is evil, evil. Particularly writers. Language is our raw material and if we don’t use it properly, who will?

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