When I was small, I dreamed of terrible things.
The worlds I entered were often distorted, every object a new source of fear and confusion. Cannibalistic dolls, machines made of bones, people who were patchwork collections of mismatched limbs and organs.
Because everything was awful, my mind dulled and I swept through those universes untouched.
My fear was made less by the unrelenting horror around me.
I read stories sometimes that remind me of those worlds, merciless and unrelenting. And I am left repulsed but detached from the depth of the madness.
In the world outside my head, horror announces itself less obviously, quietly rising beside the moments of joy.
When everything is slick with death and destruction, what loss is there from still more pain?
It is only when we have something to lose that we can truly begin to fear.
My mind showed me shadows and I removed myself, untouched.
It was only when I stood in the light that I learned to fear the darkness.
It is light that provides the shadows their power
Sometimes I still dream terrible things. I am less brave now, I think.
Some of this horror has made its way into my writing. If you would like to see it, my fantasy novel,The Guests of Honor, is available here.