Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Yesterday I interviewed an artist and psychologist who paints night scenes in the dark. It opened up a discussion of the biorhythms of the hours when the rest of the world is asleep, the type of fiction I write, how such mood is evoked through color (her) and words (me), and how neither light nor dark can be fully understood without the backgrop of the other.

A line from Kellen's story in Before the Blood popped into my head:

It happened at the time of night when sleep is heaviest and nightmares darkest, when shadows of dread cloak the soul as it slumbers.

And these from Visage

Paralyzed in the shadowy twilight of lucid dreaming and full alertness, Melissa could only surrender to an engulfing, indestructible force that plunged her below the surface of her will and interminably ravaged any portion of her soul she had not yet relinquished to him.

Plaintive melodies haunted her nighttime fancies and awakened Melissa to firelight’s dancing shadows. Magnetized by the piano’s mournful call, Melissa rhythmically descended Simons Mansion’s grand staircase and followed the dirge to the music room. John, aristocratic in white tails, swayed to halting melancholic notes, chipper trills now waltzing bittersweet and then cascading into doleful tones spilling from her eyes, streaking across her cheeks, and splashing the lace collar of her rose print tea gown. Death, death, all of Melissa’s heart-felt wishes must end in death.

Melissa fell into an uneasy sleep, only to awaken at two o’clock by an inferno lighting up her room. Deafening thunder followed. Her wind-up desk clock—her insurance policy against electrical failure--mocked her as it ticked out each second.

Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late. Late.

The ticking merged with the battering monsoon against the window pane until it thudded into the beating of John Simons’ undead heart. Through closed eyelids, Melissa sensed his presence as he drifted out of the mist and glided nearer, bent closer, and rammed his fangs into her neck. She screamed soundless cries, but still John drank hard and deep, tearing into her wounds for more, never minding the overflowing draught streaming down her legs until she was lying in a pool of blood. 

Thought-provoking, is it not?

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