So far in the second half of my novel I find an interesting theme being told in reverse, which as unintended at first. Our “hero” has been sucked through the walls of the haunted house he’s been exploring and has ben subject to “trials” by the demons on the other side, causing him to regress through past memories. It starts with a romantic relationship which failed because of his abusive nature, followed by a series of events in high school which involve a bully making his life hell and ending with our “hero” scaring him with a threatening letter, then a sexual affair with a math teacher who was only using him and finally our “hero” is a nine-year-old boy who has to deal with an abusive priest.
I’m in the process of writing this last part so I won’t give out details yet. I will say that the abuse is not sexual as would be expected in such situations these days. I was intending on writing a blog post today reporting the progress of the novel; as I was thinking about it that’s when the theme that’s told in reverse came to me. In the proper chronological order, the main character subjects himself to figures he sees as stronger than him. The first two, whose strength stems from being authority figures (the priest and the teacher) ultimately do him wrong. The next strong character (the bully) does him wrong from the get-go but the main character sees a chance to gain the upper hand and maybe “win” the situation (the letter). He finally gets himself into a situation in which he’s the dominant one. Ultimately he fails here as he never understood proper social dynamis between two human beings.
I have what I believe is a basic disdain of authority figures. Yet I succumb to it all the time for fear that in some way and to some degree it will destroy me. I don’t live in a police state but I don’t do many things for fear of getting caught. I have often done things at work that supervisors would tell me to do even though I knew a better way of doing things (or that there was something more important to do). I don’t necessarily put myself into a subjective position often—I only work the one job that takes place primarily in a back room and I rarely leave my apartment other than to go to that job these days. I don’t belong to any religion. Even though I intend on going for my master’s degree one of these days, currently I’m not going to school.
But isn’t that in of itself a way of succumbing to authority? One could argue that by not putting myself in any such position the other side has dominance through the use of fear. Avoidance implies weakness. I would only argue that although I may have put myself in such a position this was never my reason for doing so in any instance. The argument against me is ideological at best.
So if I have a problem with authority then why does my main character have a downfall? On one hand, I never established this idea when formulating this book and the theme is accidental. (See previous posts on the forming of this book for details. Typing “novel” in the search bar to the right should help.) But as I stated, the protagonists’ main problem in this area is in the way that he poorly handled things. The overall theme of this section has less to do with authority than giving into one’s impulses. Hence the first section of the book, when he breaks into an abandoned house to explore it as well as destroying the property, having sex with a corpse, and dismembering a recently deceased old man’s body.
Normally with these little reports on the book-in-progress I include an excerpt from the chapter I’m working on. However, I only just started the one with the priest so I’ll go ahead and post an excerpt from the last chapter, detailing the affair with the teacher.
“Nothing completely unusual here,” the male demon said. He stood behind the teacher’s left shoulder, looking over to the female demon behind the right. This was the first time I was still making physical contact with the other person in my memory during one of these “red periods.” It felt bizarre that a person who had turned red and whose face had disappeared held my hand. It suddenly went cold, as if she was dead. I started to think that she was, yet in a sense she wasn’t exactly there, either. I was having a sexual experience with a ghost… again