Book of Dark Places: Darker

There was an error in the old Book of Dark Places website that prevented people from viewing the story “Darker” in it’s entirety. Basically, once you got about halfway in, there was a broken link and you couldn’t get any further unless you could guess the date of the next post. That’s all fixed now.

[sarcasm]Thanks to the OVERWHELMING number of people who pointed out the error that had been there for literally years[/sarcasm]

Anyway, I was viewing the story in its entirety and something occurred to me:

“Darker” is perhaps the darkest story I’ve ever written. It easily surpasses “December Nights II”, and either matches or exceeds “The Hanging Tree” in terms of evil and general “Now THAT’S Fucked-Up”-ness.

I remember a couple of times near the end of the story where I wondered if I was going too far. “The Hanging Tree” and “Darker” are the only two stories that I ever had those sorts of thoughts about. In both cases, the answer was along the lines of “Too far for WHO!?” This stuff comes from MY imagination, so who, exactly, is it supposedly too much for? Too much for the imagination that spawned it? I think that’s impossible. Too much for the readers? …maybe. But haven’t they already been warned?

It might not be so obvious, but I do engage in a fair amount of self-censorship. I always have. When I sit down to write a project, I make decisions about what level of violence and profanity will be in it, and if my plot outline calls for some sort of sex scene, I decide up front how explicit it will be long before I actually get to it. WHY I do this is best explained elsewhere, but for the Book of Dark Places I had decided that it would be anything goes except outright pornography. I started the project with the intention of exploring some very dark areas. Even still, I wondered if brutally raping a ghost for sheer vengeance was pushing things too far.

But then, that’s sort of what the story was ABOUT, wasn’t it? Pushing things too far?

Needless to say, I got over such thoughts and plunged ahead, ending up with a pretty good story. Aside from a few errors, some butt-ugly renders, and the way-too-obvious Hellraiser nod at the end, I wouldn’t change anything about that particular presentation. I DO wonder if I should have written it as a regular story, though. Who knows… maybe one day I will.


  1. Kragon, July 26, 2009:

    Awesome!!!! *claps we glee*

  2. nate, July 27, 2009:

    Thanks for fixing the link. I had tried guessing the next date, but it didn’t work for me. I’ll go back now and finish the story.

    As far as writing it out, I’m one person who wouldn’t mind seeing ALL of the BODP stories written out eventually. Maby in another lifetime.

  3. nate, July 28, 2009:

    Just finished this story again. I can’t believe it’s been that long since I last read it. Next I’ll be looking at In Deed, then probably reading the text version of that one.

    I know Darker was a sequal of The Inquisitors, but towards the end it also looked like a sequal to Saint Noir. Particuarly the references to the regime change in Hell. Was that supposed to be that way, or just a coincidence?

    As for being “dark”, I personally think The Hanging Tree is the crown jewel so far. There was potential for Captured Souls to exceed it, but that wasn’t happening when that story ceased. I do think Zade’s treatment of the vet (forgot his name at the moment) was an example of how the rest of the story wold turn out once she got her hands and whip on the taskmaster and others.

    Thanks for fixing the links. Will be back tomorrow morning for The Forgotten.

  4. DarkIcon, July 28, 2009:

    “Captive Souls” would have been right along there with “Hanging Tree” Hell, it was almost there already.

    “Darker” was a direct sequel to “The Inquisitors” if you take the word ‘direct’ a little lightly. It involved none of the original characters, but the Ethereal Sampler and the concept of physically interacting with ghosts is inherited from that story. Originally, the blond psychic in the story was meant to be the sister of the overweight psychic in “Inquisitors”. I couldn’t find a way to work that angle into the story, and it turns out to have not been necessary.

    The story references the events of “Saint Noir”, thus establishing that the two tales took place in the same universe (or whatever the word is). This also means that it shares that universe with other story set in (or mentioning) the town of October Falls. The appearance of Lucifer in the flashback was meant to eliminate any doubt about the connection: it’s the same Lucifer from “Saint Noir”, and the regime change is a direct reference to the events of that story. As unlikely as it seems, even “Court of the Abominatrix” is connected, although the connection hasn’t been presented yet. It’s there, though.

    My intention at the time was to touch on the ramifications of “Saint Noir” in future stories, thus having “Saint Noir” being the beginning of a longer story arc involving a war in Hell. Obviously the BoDP project didn’t continue long enough for that to happen, although I’ve considered doing it in regular text stories. Still might do it.

  5. Kragon, July 28, 2009:

    Either way, very good man. I was happy to be able to finish the story. Look forward to the text version should it ever become reality.

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