All my life I’ve leaned toward the dark side. I love black women, dark clothes, dark novels, dark jokes, and even the dark itself (except when I was in Vietnam). My favorite cowboys were Zorro and Lash Larue because they wore black. I drive a black car and I like my fish blackened. So it should be no surprise that I occasionally stray to the dark side in my writing. Not extremely dark like The Silence of the Lambs or The Picture of Dorian Gray, but in a few of the short stories I’m writing, my people do get killed or harmed in some way; and the protagonist is often times irredeemable.
I’ve tried writing on the lighter side, but so far it hasn’t worked out too well. I’ve been trying to finish a whimsical tale about a Beagle named Danny I once owned when I was a boy. As the story unfolds, though, he transforms into this attack dog and begins terrorizing the neighborhood.
Another short story I’m working on is about a man who has lived the good life and reminisces about how he got there. All of sudden an evil neighbor from the past intrudes and the story gets ugly. I don’t know where this neighbor came from. He just pushed his way into the story without permission.
A story I recently finished, Lucky, is about a small-time hood who is extremely unlucky in choosing a hit man as his next stick up victim. You can imagine that outcome.
I think, though, I deserve credit for the attempt to write “light.” But like Michael Corleone in The Godfather III , “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in again.” That’s my relationship with the dark in my writing. I’m trying. Really. And I’m sure I will eventually write more stories that contain hope, faith, love, charity and redemption. But one never knows what evil lurks in the heart of my characters. All I can tell you at this point is… stay tuned.