What is it about the dark? You know the shill about how our brains are still living in caves, cringing in fear during the hours of darkness when humans switched from being the hunters into being the hunted. (A notion recently disproven via some genome comparison wizardry – though how our brains have changed and the effect on specific psychological traits has yet to be laid out precisely.) Sure, here at Darker Temptations, when we say ‘dark’, we mean metaphorical dark – you, our beloved readers rushing in where angels fear to tread, allowing our heroes and heroines to risk their lives, their sanity and possibly their souls by walking face first into whatever scares them. Werewolves. Vampires. Demons. All of the things that could possibly go bump in the night and sure, some us DO mean that in the filthiest way possible. Authors have, in effect, turned a flashlight on in cemetery and have domesticated the creatures that once terrorized people. Our heroines routinely cuddle up with their vampires and some days I wonder what makes that romantically attractive. Then I buy more vampire porn (as one of my friends calls PNR) and just enjoy reading the stories.
But our topic this week is Even *Darker* Temptations. Humanity is rife with some horrific, fetid darkness. We’ve watched terrible things happen this past week in a pair of wars that have turned humans in two different parts of the world into utterly inhuman monsters. Throughout the past two decades, we’ve seen multiple instances of one person reducing another set of humans (usually women and children) into nonhuman possessions. Our identity as humans has been built upon the basis of human sacrifice – the blood, bones and suffering of countless men, women and children throughout prehistory. We, as a species, are a damned scary bunch. The fascinating piece (to me) is the slide from rational homo sapiens in the modern, civilized world into the twisted, inky jungles of the mind. What do you suppose has to happen to a person to make ripping the beating hearts from peoples’ chests in an effort to stave off the end of the world sound like a good idea?
What does darker mean to you? Are there shadowy corners of human fear and/or experience you wish an author would address?