I used think of people as black holes. We suck in all we can, all we’re attracted to, and we always hunger for more. More begetting more, the hunger growing until we die inside, or die for real. I’d have to revise that view of people now though… we’re a lot more monstrous than that.
Imagine, if you will, a pulsating black hole with a gravity that grows with everything it consumes. The more it pulls in, the more it wants, and the more capable it becomes of getting more. The desire magnifies with each ‘object’, each accomplishment, each pain, each dream realized. The experience and the ever-sharpening desire expand its reach. On and on we go, unless we get sick or die. That’s roughly the same image I had. But how I’d describe people now?
Not just an imploded, ravenous star, but one with tentacles. Made of the same solid, black substance as the hole itself, but moving, writhing, and self mutilating. We put them out like feelers, like investments, cutting some of them off and throwing them around, laying others like a trap. Hoping they’ll snag something to feed the hunger. Pieces of our soul, sacrificed in the hopes of feeding what’s left of ourselves. More sustenance, more growth, and the cycle goes on.
It’s like something out of a Lovecraft story, and not only are there six billion of them… you also happen to be one. Serial killers are a fun example of this, which is why a lot of my flash fiction has been centered around murderous characters, but that’s only because they’re obviously horrific. They allow us to look at a monstrosity like ourselves, a reflection of our true nature, but one we can more comfortably disown. One that follows a course most aren’t naturally inclined to, and that consequently seems different enough to regard as alien.
The reality though? We’re just like serial killers. You, me, everyone. Sure we might not kill people, we might not fantasize about taking the woman at the store apart or eating the brains locked away in our nieghbors head. But we do fantasize, and the only real difference worth noting is that serial killers had the balls to realize their dreams, bring their imagination to life. In spite of all the possible consequences, they acted on their nature. They illustrate something to aspire to, set an example worth following. How many fantasies have you made real?
As many as Jeffrey Dahmer? Ted Bundy? Probably not.
We’re all animals, serial killers are just more horrific in what they can imagine. The same way a horror writer dwells in darker places, creating stories that reflect it, murderers dream of darker deeds and their lives reflect it. That doesn’t mean a romance writer is any less a writer, just as it doesn’t mean you’re any less of a monster. Black, spherical, hungry, and reaching outward. Inability to feed yourself, weakness, doesn’t change that. Neither does being harmless; it probably just means that what you hunger for doesn’t harm others in being latched onto and devoured.
Kind of gives a whole new meaning to “you monsters are people” doesn’t it.