Lately, when I’ve been logging into the website to do housekeeping, check stats etc, I’ve noticed WordPress has been offering writing prompts.
I’ve been amused by some but mostly indifferent. But this one today seemed to be in line with my theming so I thought why not, I’ll throw my hat in the ring.
This is the entire theme around my current work in progress titled the Grey House. The opening few lines are as follows:
I was 37 years old when I died, and it was far more of an embuggerance than I was expecting it to be.
Not being religious, I always thought of death in simple terms. Death was the end of life, nothing more of less. Regardless of when or how death turns up for each of us, it is always the end. I did not think there would be anything after. To me, the nothingness after life is what made life important. This was all we got, so better make the most of it.
I certainly did not expect death to be the catalyst that would turn my steady and predictable existence into one of abject horror and danger. I take the entire experience very personally.
For my MC in this story death is the trigger which sets off his entire character arc and changes his perspective on himself, the people around him and the community as a whole.
Now, most people probably won’t get the kind of experience my MC does in this story, they might not (I say might because who actually knows) be able to contemplate their own faults after death and see how they went down the path they did.
Most of us experience death in a third-hand kind of way, when someone we know, perhaps someone close to us dies and we have to adjust to life without them. It can certainly change our perspective. I remember when my gran died and my mum lost the sole pillar of support she’d set herself up with. I got to see how her way of looking at the world changed. It was difficult to watch at times.
Some of us have closer brushes with death, perhaps an illness that we have to fight to beat, or an accident we must recover from.
Both of these are bound to make us more aware of our own frailty and that’s terrifying.
But then perhaps this is why some of us read horror, to expose ourselves to death, in a safe and controlled way, almost like CBT. A safe controlled exposure in order to lessen the negative effects over time. It’s the control thing that gets me most of all, we read these books and witness terrible and tragic events but are ourselves completely separate from it in all but an emotional sense.
It’s interesting to think about.