I am not a fan of Nietzsche (shocker, I know) but this is a quote of his that I absolutely respect and abide by.
In this perusal of horror that I have been doing as I prepare for my contribution to the DD Anthology, the existential horror that goes far beyond any Lovecraftian chaos god began to loom and fascinate me.
For what can be more horrific than waking up one day and realizing that you have become exactly what you hate?
This path to perdition filled with good intentions is perhaps the most visceral type of horror one can explore. One of the films I absolutely recommend for exactly this kind of terrible spiral into the abyss is Mephisto.
Nietzsche is right- when you look at the abyss long enough, it always looks back.
But what is it?
Is it possible for something you abhor to saturate you so deeply that you become it?
Unfortunately, yes. Tennets such as “fight fire with fire” and “by any means necessary” are the thoughts that come to your mind when the abyss begins to look back. Christopher Dawson said it perfectly:
The abyss is the temptation, in your lowest of lows, to retaliate in the exact same manner that you have been attacked. To become the monster that made you a victim. To lose control, and too soon after, to also lose yourself.
If you choose this sort of horror for your character, then the changes must be subtle- it's the opposite hero's journey: our MC begins pure, determined, devoted- and remains devoted, and determined, but slowly that purity is chipped away, eroded as he/she makes small choice upon small choice, compromise upon compromise, crosses line after line, “for the cause”… until they are determined, but no longer who they were. They are who they were going up against.
The abyss looks back when you are starting to be part of it.
And that happens when you are not aware. Sometimes, you may never realise that you have become the monster you are hunting. Others, you might wake up, look at yourself and your choices, and have the reality come crashing down that you have become a killer, a serial killer, a slanderer, a stalker, a racist, a totalitarian, a dictatorial absolutist- and even worse, adding insult to injury, in the name of the very thing that stands against all that and which you have championed.
What bigger horror is there, than this kafka-esque doom?
It might be a slow burn as it unravels, but it burns unbearably hot.
Submission for pitches for the DrunkDuck Anthology are open!
You have until 31 August to get them in! Check out PIT_FACE's article for more information on the theme and getting your pitch ready for submission or you can head on over to the forum. You can also join the community on the Discord server.
Don’t forget you can now advertise on DrunkDuck for just $2 in whichever ad spot you like! The money goes straight into running the site. Want to know more? Click this link here! Or, if you want to help us keep the lights on you can sponsor us on Patreon. Every bit helps us!
Special thanks to our patrons!!
Justnopoint - Banes - RMccool - Abt_Nihil - PhoenixIgnis - Gunwallace - Cdmalcolm1 - PaulEberhardt - dragonaur - Emma_Clare - FunctionCreep - Eustacheus - SinJinsoku - Smkinoshita - jerrie - Chickfighter - Andreas_Helixfinger - Tantz_Aerine - Epic Saveroom - Genejoke - Davey Do - Spark of Interest - Gullas - Damehelsing - Roma - NanoCritters - Scott D - Bluecuts34 - j1ceasar - Tinchel - PhillipDP - Teh Andeh - Peipei - Digital_Genesis - Hushicho