Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Birth of a Psycho defines psychosis as a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations that indicate impaired contact with reality; any severe form of mental disorder, as schizophrenia or paranoia.
It defines dementia as deterioration of intellectual faculties, such as memory, concentration, and judgment, resulting from an organic disease or a disorder of the brain. It is sometimes accompanied by emotional disturbance and personality changes; madness; insanity.

I find psychotic characters fascinating to write about because almost always, horrendous circumstances tend to push innocent children into becoming monsters. The notion that personal experiences shape who we are brings to light the possibility of psychotic individuals who pose a real danger to society. Weather through witnessing unspeakable acts or experiencing harsh physical or emotional distress, at the core of all evil is a trigger mechanism which propels forward an evolution of psychos hell-bent on fulfilling an urgent need deep within their dark hearts.
Hence, through the presentation of familiar settings a writer may utilize tools which show a young ordinary character experience vicious or malicious acts therefore changing him into everyone’s worst nightmare. In the micro fiction piece, The Bone Collector, written by W.D. Wilcox, a hard-nosed youngster becomes fascinated with the inner workings of animals. His hobby of performing outrageous surgical skinning of innocent strays; leads him to discover other uses for his rare talent. The revelation of physical and emotional abuse by his uncle along with insightful clues to his relationship with the story’s narrator, his best and only friend, gives real plausibility to the creation of something monstrous among us, something yet undetected by the larger population.
Wilcox’s engaging narrative and mastery of imagery makes him one of my favorite authors at His ability to make ordinary events and twist them into frightening action will raise anyone’s blood pressure and leave the connoisseur of horror with a smile.
Here’s a small sampling of “The Bone Collector:”
Harley held a black garbage bag. I knew what was in it, and the thought made my stomach churn again. “Geez, Harley, you scared the hell out of me.” He grabbed hold of the front of my shirt, stuck his face close to mine; I could see the sweat beading off his scalp and running down his face in rivulets, leaving clean, clear tracks across his dirty fat cheeks.

“Follow me, sissy, we’ve got some unfinished business to take care of.”

“Sure, Harley, sure.” I was trapped again. Harley knew I’d do anything he said just to keep from getting clobbered, or worse. He was a bad kid, real bad, and in his sick desire to collect bones, I was his number one helper.

Harley kept all kinds of bones: birds, rats, squirrels, a cat, and now a dog. I reluctantly followed him to his house, an old run-down shack he lived in with his uncle -- Uncle Jack, he called him. Harley said his uncle drank all the time and then would beat him for no real reason. Once he even told me his uncle did some other stuff to him too -- real bad stuff. I guess Harley was really screwed up, but I don’t think anybody knew how bad it was except me. I made the mistake of feeling sorry for him. He saw that as a weakness in me and took advantage of it. I became his flunky -- his whipping boy -- his only friend.

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