November 13, 2012


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: creepy basements

 Mattie Capp Washington – I hated her. She was cute where I was ugly; she was short where I was tall; she was light where I was dark; she was popular where the world loathed me.

Everyone mourns her passing which the police and the rest of the country suspected was a murder. I’m the only one who actually saw anything, but if I talk about it, then I’ll be a suspect and even though their suspicions wouldn’t be entirely true, it would probably be enough to convict me.

It would certainly be enough to get me sent to the electric chair (if they had one any more) in the courtroom of public opinion.

I suppose I should back up a bit. I could probably start at the part where the world loathed me. I’m pretty sure you think I’m exaggerating when I say that, because there’s pretty much nothing that the world uniformly loathes. On the other hand, a paper I read once stated, “In virtually every culture there has existed some word for evil, a universal, linguistic acknowledgment of the archetypal presence of ‘something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity...’”

So if every culture has a word for it, then the word must have been invented to describe something – ‘cuz that’s what Humans do. We put labels on stuff as soon as we want to get a handle on it. It’d be interesting to see which came first – the word for “evil” or the word for “God”.

I’m it – the thing that every culture has named. And almost without exception, I live in dark places. In the middle of the 21st Century, while there aren’t many caves left, there are lots and lots of basements. That’s where you’ll usually find me – evil lurking in basements.

It’s funny, ‘cuz bad guys always act like they’re looking for me. The real nut cases say that they’re seeking me to worship me. Those are the ones that amuse me the most because no matter how hard they tried to find me, no matter how many millions of dollars they spent or how many people they murdered to come to me face-to-face, the second they look at me, they completely lose it and beg to leave; they grovel, roll around on the ground, mess themselves and volunteer to sacrifice to me anything and everything they have.

And I’m not even Incarnate – I’m excarnate. I’m the one who DOES the dirty work because I am the one who is Unmade flesh. I was alive on Earth at one time and when I joined the ranks I became excarnate and now I serve. In basements. All the time.

Someone came down the stairs: thud, thud, thud; male heaviness. The young Ms. Washington was here, too. But there might have been a surprise or two in the offing.

I smiled an excarnate smile and opened my mouth.

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