Sunshine on the outside, shadows within…

DarknessToday I read about another atrocity and looked at the photos. Afterwards, I had a good cry and had the intense urge to write something horrible.

In the process I answered a question for myself. Why do I write dark things? I write them because I’m angry and helpless to stop it all.  I write dark things as a warning.

As I cried I found myself wishing I could crush the gunmen in my hands for the things they’ve done. I want to make them scream and experience what it is like on the other side of things, on the side of the victim. But then I realize I can’t be angry with the gunmen because they are most likely victims themselves, and are finally experiencing life on the other side of things, the side of the villain.

And so it goes in a vicious circle with no one truly deserving of their just desserts because we are all both victim and villain in a never ending cycle. That makes me frustrated. I can’t have a good, purging hatred of anyone. All I can do is empathize with us all, despite our cruelties. So I write.

This also makes me understand the recurring themes in my work. Justice, life and death and the victim as monster keep popping up. You aren’t likely to find any lovely, innocent girls in my work being taken advantage of by supernatural stud muffins because I don’t believe in them; the innocent girls, not the stud muffins. Pretty girls and boys are often as deadly and cruel as any monster. Beauty is often in the eye of the holder of the mirror.

My work is full of warnings. Don’t hurt other people, especially children, animals and the elderly. If you do, your monstrosity will overwhelm you and take you out. I hope evil people read my work and think twice. I hope my words sit in the back of their skull as a private judgment haunting them. May those who do evil receive it back in abundance.

Villains always think they are heroes, but then logic dictates that we are all villains.
In my perfect world, cruelty would be rewarded in kind, until we were cleansed of people who were capable of darkness, including me. But then we would be a sparsely populated race with few of us left. But it would be a happier, better place.

Until that time happens, if it happens, I suppose I’ll just write.

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at
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