Thursday, July 14, 2011

"SON! There better not be any WALKING DEAD up there!"

I keep fading in and out of radio silence right now. Life as it is? Is just not conducive to good writing. It's hilarious in hindsight, though, in that I tend not to write as much when I'm genuinely happy, but when I am depressed I also am completely unable to write. There's some sort of bizarre middle ground here, although right now I'm dipping in and out of that space like a plane that's lost its hydraulics.

I've also been distracted by various things. For whatever reason I decided to make a terrible mistake and actually play Amnesia: The Dark Descent myself; several heart attacks later, I am halfway through the game and have hit SAVE AND EXIT in a blind panic more times than I care to remember. I am now very much in the mood to write horrible Lovecraftian stories. Thank you so much, Alexander, it's much appreciated. [rolls eyes] It's not solely the fault of the game, mind you; a couple weeks ago marked the Australian release of the DVD for the second of the Neon Genesis Evangelion rebuild movies. Given the story's inherent fondness of Eldritch Abominations, you can imagine it fit rather well with my mindset. Also, I've been near-suicidally depressed over the last month or so. Re-watching The End of Evangelion certainly doesn't help this sort of thing -- we must consider the infamous Komm, süsser Tod sequence, though Rebuild's Today Is The Time For Goodbye is going to give me almost as many nightmares as the actual Dummy System itself -- but it does tend to make the whole thing resonate in a way that it won't necessary do when you're in your happy place. And so, I have the urge to write some very dark stuff.

...with that said, we have a nice bit of irony in that because the other day? I wrote something quite fluffy. I defend myself by pointing out that said fluffy snippet is a dream sequence and comes into the story in a fairly creepy sort of fashion, not to mention the entire underlying backstory makes the whole thing more tragic than terrific, but there you go. I finally wrote something fluffy. But in the way of such things, the character who brought all this about is really disturbing me something chronic.

I often don't remember creating characters. I can explain the origins of some of them, but a lot of the time they just sort of...saunter into my head and do whatever the hell they want to do. This is probably one of the main reasons I tend to talk about them as people; I really don't feel like I have much control over most of them. And this is certainly true of my latest character, who is simply called the Dragon and is turning out to be something of a pseudo-Eldritch Abomination. What even is that thing. [facepalm] There was also Additional Hilarity when I read the first thing I wrote with this character to my spec fic writing group and concluded with OH MY GOD IS IT JUST ME OR DOES THE DRAGON TOTALLY SOUND LIKE A DRUG ADDICT. ...and this is a children's story. (Supposedly.) Then again, one might say I am simply following in the illustrious footsteps of one Lewis Carroll. Or Walt Disney. Er. Still, I really have no clue where the Dragon came from or what it even thinks it's doing. It isn't helped by the fact that said Dragon is apparently a literal Dragon, from some of the leading nonsense it's been spouting between all the creepy drug-fuelled nonsense it usually indulges in.

Yes. This is my mind not on drugs. Go figure.

I do love the enigmatic characters, though. (Not that the Dragon is strictly enigmatic; I have the distinct impression it's actually far closer to just being downright Ax Crazy. One can but hope that it won't pull a Jamie McDonald on me and go both feral and Fax Crazy into the bargain.) As I said above, I've been watching various canons of Evangelion recently and reliving my love for one Kaworu Nagisa. He's more plot device than person -- after all, in the original series he gets approximately sixteen minutes of screentime, and yet manages to screw up Shinji even more. I know that sounds like shooting fish in a barrel, but it's honestly a pretty heroic effort. But seeing Kaworu in Rebuild is an interesting experience. Again, he's not around very much -- but three of his lines make for interesting theories. In the first movie, he refers to Shinji as "...the Third, again?" In the second movie, he addresses either Gendo or Fuyutsuki as "father" (with that said there is another possible reason for using the term, although Kaji didn't give Gendo the embryo of Adam in this continuity...that we know of). And then at the end the usually very mild-mannered Kaworu has the most deliciously disturbing look on his face when he tells Shinji that "I'll make you happy...this time." It gives one the distinct impression that Kaworu is not only leaning on the fourth wall, he's kicked the bugger over and is lobbing the bricks at anyone who comes close enough to see what in God's name (OH GOD THE IRONY IT BURNS) he thinks he's doing.

(As a side note, every time I watch the end of the second movie I can't help but tilt my head sideways at the "halo" you see with both EVAs involved in the worst of it all. I keep thinking of the angels in Bayonetta, I suppose. Although let's be honest with ourselves and admit that not even Hideaki "...more fanservice next episode!" Anno himself could ever out-fanservice that damn game...)

I've never been a huge fan of Evangelion. I first watched it in 2001 and was horribly confused by the rather infamous Gainax Ending. I found this distressing, actually, because I like being mind-screwed. My favourite anime is actually a lovely little trip into Mindfuck Manor by the name of Shoujo Kakumei Utena, but while being trolled by Ikuhara is practically my life's calling, Hideaki Anno really didn't press my buttons. But Rebuild seems to have caught my attention where the original anime did not, and I actually read part of the manga the other day. I now have four volumes winging their way over from Japan, but...yeah. From what I understand, in all of the numerous alternate universe canons of Eva, Kaworu has a habit of appearing if not omniscient, at least aware of the fact that all these parallel universes exist. That's a really fascinating position for a character to be in, I think. It's probably not something I could explore easily in my own work, but I do find it fascinating...if only because the Dragon appears to exist in a different circle to the other characters in my latest attempt at a novel. It's not removed from the situation, but it certainly seems to think it's not directly part of it. Huh.

But I'm home sick this afernoon and writing this is really beginning to give me a headache. I ought to take a nap, or something. But really, I do need to do some more writing. I almost managed to sketch out Hibernaculum in its entirety, which amazed me. And forevergirl just keeps surprising me. And then I really need to Lovecraft the dark meanderings out of my mind, so...I don't know. Let's meet the Dragon, shall we?


“Of course it isn’t fair. I rather thought myself that that was the entire point of the thing.”
Tara’s head jerked up. No longer standing beneath the hanging forest of imprisoned dreams, she found herself lying upon the floor. The Dragon held the dream-case in its small hand, looking at it critically as it held it up to the light. It remained thankfully closed, and then it turned an annoyed gaze upon her.
“Well? What did you think?”
“I…” Tara swallowed hard, throat parched. She did not wear the black gown nor the lace mantilla, but the weight of both lay like a familiar ghost upon her flesh; it made it hard to stand as she pushed upward. Her whole body felt wracked by tremors, as if she had survived the strongest of winter storms, and she swayed as she rose.
“Are you quite all right?”
“No.” Pushing her hands back through her hair, she looked up with haunted eyes. It was impossible – it had to be impossible, she’d only just seen the First Consul herself! – but she could not dispel the deep fear curled about her heart so easily. “That…never actually happened, did it?”
“Of course it didn’t. It’s a nightmare, isn’t it?” The Dragon’s annoyance lifted only as it thought upon the gauntlet Tara had walked, and it smiled in deep content. “It’s a very good nightmare, though. I’ve told you already, but I’ll happily tell you again – I cannot wait for the day when I finally give in and let myself devour that one. Oh, the agony of it, rushing through my veins! I won’t be able to move from this place for days. I’ll cry and I’ll sob and I’ll wail and I’ll rant and I’ll scream until I have no voice and it will be so very deeply completely totally wonderfully exquisite.” Only then did it sigh, satiated by thought alone. “I want it so much.”
And Tara closed her eyes, her heart coiled in pain. “He’s not dead. He’s not dead.”
“Of course he’s not dead.” Irritated again, the Dragon flicked her with its tail, snapping her eyes open. “How many times must I say it? It’s a nightmare, you foolish girl. And in fact what makes it such a wonderful nightmare is that it is the Dreamer’s worst fear.”
Tara looked down at her empty hands, the realisation harsh. “Lord Rendran is most afraid of losing Lord Arosek...?”
“Actually, I’m telling a little bit of a lie. It’s not such a wonderful nightmare just because it’s his worst fear. It’s powerful because it is his worst fear combined with his greatest love. The loss of his greatest love, even. And the hate that comes out of that…” The Dragon did an odd little twirl, the claws of its unnatural foot scraping the stone with a shriek that sounded almost human. “Yes! It’s wonderful! You see such purity of emotion, such raw expulsion of everything within one’s own heart so very rarely…I paid very dearly for this dream. I regret not a moment of it.”
Tara’s head snapped up. “He loves him?”
“Of course he does. It was why I wanted to show it to you.”
The withering tone of its voice could not shield Tara from the horror of what she had seen. She had dreamed of love, like any other girl her age. Even though she had grown up in the shadow of parents and their peculiar marriage, she had always thought of love as something to search for, to hold close and treasure once found. But in the face of the sorrow she had seen in the Sanctuary she wondered at the wisdom of such an action. “Is that what love truly is?”
“It’s what his love is,” it pointed out, pragmatic to a fault. “But then I can’t pretend to really understand. Dragons don’t love. We haven’t any need to. That’s a mortal thing.” It seemed almost wistful, reaching upward to set the dreams swinging. The chime as they clashed against one another made Tara wince anew. “Why else would we devour the dreams of mortals? We have no other way of knowing what such things are.”

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