October 22, 2015

Forked Roads: a guest post by Mav Skye, author of "Wanted: Single Rose"

Forked Roads
by Mav Skye

What if, after year in and year out of loneliness, you finally find your soul mate. She/he is everything you could have dreamed. Drop dead gorgeous, witty, kind... only one tiny drawback, your soul mate turns out to be a kills for thrills psychopath. Furthermore, he/she believes you are meant to be one, too. And the worst thing about it all? You are starting to believe it. Your soul mate calls it leaving the straight and narrow for the fork in the road. They call it winning the game. And if life is a game, it's a game you fully intend to win. At any cost...
Okay, so that sounds more like a trailer to a movie than the opening of a serious essay. Back in the 50's, horror tales always ended with the couple who committed a "bad deed" dying badly, exemplifying some moral like, you didn't listen to your mom and pop—therefore DIE. Even today, horror stories tend to push a moral, supporting whatever the current fear/religion/political/social propriety requires. Moral-of-the-story pieces are great for children, but what about adults? Hopefully, we aren’t the cute little politically correct cookie cutter shapes that the government and social media direct us to be. You have an opinion on things, sometimes it’s the opposite of the socially accepted view. (Hallelujah!) You’ve been around a few decades, you’ve learned a few things, you’ve had a few kids, a few life partners... Congratulations, you’ve entered the twilight zone, which is to say, you’ve graduated from do this/don't do that and have entered the gray fuzzy areas of life. This gray fuzzy area is where I have found my writer’s playground. So, let’s play, shall we?
Society says obsession leads down one road, and one road only. It is long. It is dark. And ultimately, it leads to DEATH! And. Eternal fire damnation. Let’s shrug off society for a sec, and, just for fun, let’s seriously fuck up the pretty little cut-and-dry scenarios that Disney has crammed into our brains from a very young age. What if, I say, what if, brothers and sisters of the choir, obsession leads to life not death. What if, like a tenacious detective looking for clues, obsession leads us to our passion? It leads us to the truth about ourselves, the truth that lies buried inside these flighty little souls of ours?
Most of us are good people. We take care of our families, show up to work on time, donate to the poor, recycle paper, stop at the stop sign, pick up our doggy's poo when they go on the sidewalk.... that’s great, Captain America, but what about that part of you you are ashamed of, that part you want to keep hidden, that part you secretly indulge but you wished you didn't. The areas that you are obsessed with and some doc says you need MEDICATION to hamper it. That is where my horror is aimed. That is where our true struggle lies as humanity. No one is exempt from this, (not even psychopaths. They may not feel the same struggle we normal folks do, but they still have to deal with the universal consequences of their actions.)
It's hard for us to deal with the hidden and well disguised truth of ourselves, so I like to approach writing in a manner that will thoroughly engage your brain and heart. I turn taboos on their heels and say, “Embrace that dark inside you.” And while your conscious mind may be like “WHAT?!?”  Your subconscious mind may say, “Hmmm… I like this.”
 I say, “Murder that guilt society has imposed on you!” And your conscious mind says, “Excuse me, miss? Murder is BAD.”  Your subconscious says, “Hmm… if I murder the guilt, then the black and white lines, the rules, are erased and I'm free to examine this bad fault freely and objectively. Maybe it isn’t bad? Maybe it’s good.”
I say, “Embrace who you love, whoever, where ever they are. Risk it all!” And your conscious mind replies, “Ohh... first you say murder, now you say love. What the fuck kind of fruit cake are you?!?” Your subconscious says, “That's what I've been trying to get through all these years: accept yourself, passionately follow what drives that little ticker inside you, give yourself permission to love who you want, think what you want, give society the middle finger! Make up your own mind, then (once you've evicted everybody else's voice from your head, and you may finally be able to hear your own voice) decide how to proceed."
If you took all those chances where would they lead? Life or death? And if to death, is it a good death? Or, if it's life, is it the one you really want? Say, when you (finally) truly examine your inner-most passions, needs and shames, you decide to pack up and leave your spouse and children for a stripper named Candy in Reno. Is that a real life, or is it death in a pretty package?
I'm not you, so I can't tell you what is right/wrong, but I hope through my dark fiction to guide you to the point where you at least feel you can look at that part of yourself objectively by identifying and relating to characters who go overboard pursuing their own passions and beliefs (most likely taboo to society!). Seriously, nothing you will do will be nearly as horrible as beaning an old woman to death with a hairy, severed leg. I doubt you will ever have hot sex on a pile of dead bodies, nor participate in a WWF style to-the-death cage match like Ninja Skeleton vs Splatterpunk (yes, all this happens in Wanted: Single Rose). But with a little of the outrageous, with a little humor and charm, with a little bit of motherfucking HORROR, baby, it might provide you with enough distraction and acceptance to look inside yourself and say, hey I'm ok, I'm alright and this is the road I want to take, right or wrong, good or evil, gray fuzzies—whatever. I don't have to hide anymore and I accept it for what it is.
I’m not saying to let obsession turn you into a psychotic kills for thrills serial killer so you can be with your soul mate. What I am saying is don’t let society prevent you from pursuing your hidden passions and inner truths. It’s only when we can truly see and acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses that we can be who we are meant to be. Don’t be afraid to take that forked road, you may just surprise yourself.

"Violent visions in our souls. You and I are brother and sister of the axe, husband and wife to the dark. The crow caws at midnight.”
It’s Halloween night. Timothy Sun stands in a garden of graves beneath the branches of the Tim Burton tree, his eyes deadlocked with the gorgeous creature in the raven costume. She beckons to him with one hand, while holding an axe in the other.
One month ago, he was a lonely shop owner hiding from a dark past. Then he met her. He met his violent violet and Timothy knew he’d never be alone again… if only murder wasn’t the only way to keep Velva Jones's affection. Either Timothy plays her game of secrets and murder or damns himself to an early grave. The game has begun, but how will it end?

About Mav SkyeWhen Mav Skye isn't turning innocent characters into axe murderers, refinishing old furniture, chasing around her spring ducklings, or reading the latest horror novel, she's editing at the mighty Pulp Metal Magazine. She adores puppies, pirates, skulls, red hots, Tarantino movies and yes, Godzilla. Especially Godzilla.

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