I’ve been told I have evil thoughts. Fair enough.
While not exactly true, I completely understand the sentiment. It makes sense given the characters I’ve created and dreamt up, the things I force them to do, and how seemingly all of them have one or more damning quality about them. But, isn’t that how real life works? Is anyone completely free of evil?
We all have darkness within us, and some of us allow it to come out in little spurts while others blast the masses with it. Me, I know there are things about who I am that are not perfect and I may be too prone to allowing violence to take over, but I also am secure in the fact that whatever darkness lives in me is only normal, and at best a very, very small, nearly insignificant factor in my character.
Why then does Jack (Fragments of the Coil: “The Fragile King: Song of Death”) murder countless innocent people just to save his own wife, a truly selfish and evil thing to do? Why does Aerimon (Dargonzine: Sowing Seeds & Death Blooms), a well-mannered and originally law-abiding citizen, give in so quickly to vileness, torturing his enemies until they beg for death, committing atrocities that his most evil of foes couldn’t stomach? Why do Chaetor and Arlukent (Thoughts of Steel) Slaughter a half-dozen guards protecting Cavia’s castle after a demon invasion nearly obliterates the entire city just to break Phalax free of the king’s arrogant and ignorant grip? Why do Fal, Alitor, and Koe become defenders of Cavia only so that they can use their position for personal gain, resulting in the death of several evil people in a very evil way (Fragments of the Coil: “Monolithic”)?
Why in all of unholy hell do I write these terrible things, praying that they never come true in a modern fashion?
Because I do not believe men and women are created evil but I do believe that it is easy for them to give into a evil that grows within them as a byproduct of life. I also see a distinction between evil and justice, but believe justice can be furious and destructive, just like its counterpart. So, I like to illustrate how evil can affect a person, how it can turn them into a soldier in its army as they try to achieve justice in their own way. I explore the things that flaw a person, ruin them, then turn them into a monster.
I also am absolutely enamored with the destruction of evil, hence the inspiration for Aerimon’s character. I do believe that a wrong should be corrected and sometimes our justice system is the right man for the job. But sometimes, a more immediate response is warranted, for example, when Kalen finds an assassin hiding within an alley watching his house in wait for him and his wife and he splits the thug’s chin with his sword. If possible, I’d obliterate all evil from the world, purifying those who were salvageable and ridding Earth of those who are not.
I, however, would not try to do so, as achieving that would turn me into a vigilante and I don’t have the ability to discern who is deserving of what fate. I also wouldn’t attempt to retaliate against the meager evil transgressions with a response greater than what the crime deserves. My characters, however, oftentimes forget that or don’t have that distinction, their biggest flaws.
So, I write about evil – the destruction of it and the breeding of it in those good-natured souls – because it fascinates me, and makes for some damn good stories, if I do say so myself.