“Ayida didn’t want to turn around. Didn’t want to move for that matter, but what else could she do. Her head turning slowly, Ayida’s eyes followed the pale emaciated torso up to bony neck and broad shoulders. The creature hovered over her; its hands and legs nestled firmly in the dirt around her. The multiple inky appendages from before were missing making the creature appear even thinner before. It couched close to Ayida, its featureless face merely an inch from hers. She dared to face the beast, finding smooth amphibian skin gleaming with a glossy layer of moisture. It tilted its head at her this way and that. Ayida felt a puff of air blow in her face from some mysterious orifice that could not be seen. She swallowed hard as a hole suddenly opened where the mouth should’ve been, becoming a parody of a grin that stretched the entire expanse of its jaw. The mouth lined with two rows of disgustingly stained, jagged teeth allowed for a shiny black tongue to glide past them and hang outside of its mouth. The serpentine appendage stretched out and slid over her right cheek causing Ayida’s heart to leap into her throat. A wave of nausea washed over stomach when air cooled the saliva left behind on her skin. She clamped her lips tightly and choked on a sob.
It wasn’t fear… no. Again, fear had no place. It was simply a deep exhaustion and anguish that she felt. This thing… It wasn’t here for her.”
—- Transient by Harli V. Park
They creep, they crawl, they tear away the literal sanity from our small incapable minds. They are the slimy slide against goose-bumped skin, the misshaped shadow out the corner of our eye, the thick sickly sweet smell of decay that suddenly permeates your nose in the exact moment you realize you’re all alone and no one can save you.
They are monsters.
I have loved and feared monsters since I was small enough to hide under a low-rise twin bed. They were a source of both endless horror and endless fascination and in the throes of becoming a writer I would write and draw these monsters – fantastic and terrible things that they were – in hopes of sharing these amazing creatures with everyone around me. Now I’m going to share this fascination with all of you.
Welcome to the Cerebral-Hedonist’s nightmares.
I will start by saying that I came late to the H.P. Lovecraft party. I was one of those weird kids who grew up with Stephen King novels and Clive Barker short stories. Hellraiser and the Thing were the definitive monster movies for me because their nightmare-fodder appearance and interesting lore. These were the gateway into others: Aliens, It, even oldies such as Conan the Destroyer. Needless to say, I became obsessed and absorbed all the movies I could, but on paper I found myself severely lacking until I read the Dunwich Horror for the first time in college and was introduced to the man, the legend, the obvious psychopath: Howard Phillip Lovecraft.
Once could write pages upon pages about this man (man being subjective), but let’s focus a little before all sanity is lost.
Lovecraft became a milestone for me not because “omg he is the greatest! Totally the only voice of cosmic horror and any who don’t know that are posers!” Or whatever the kids say these days. Lovecraft became a staple in my creative career because he gave me words for these things I see in my head. His work has always provided outlandish yet detailed imagery that allowed my feeble human mind to fully grasp these things it made up and most of all he gave words to my monsters.
the unspeakably weird and at the best times horrifying things I see in my head have always been but I have not always had the words to breathe life into them of others. Now that I do, let me give me to you.
Monsters chose me, because lord knows I didn’t chose them, in my slow fall through the horror/macabre rabbit-hole because they offered a true existential terror — something that could not readily be explained away with cheap psychology or some super weapon or diplomacy! Admittedly, there are some monsters that are defeated by human determination (i.e. Mummies, Werewolves, Vampires, Gremlins, etc.). However, the scale and flavor of my monsters have no rhyme or reason. No fathomable human weakness that allows man to triumph.
They simply just are. Always have been; always will be.
So, when I read Lovecraft, I turned each page with a giddy feeling of “See? This guy gets it!” I love and prefer monsters because I never run out of them and no two monsters because I never run out of them. No two monsters look the same for me. It’s a lot like Eldritch Pokémon in which my brain is the only ball that can contain them. Most of all, their indomitability forces you to examine your own frailty through the eyes of characters. When a character suddenly realizes that they cannot stop this thing, which they lack adequate words for, the reader experiences this too and is faced with their own mortality that may or may not be ending in the next few sentences.
Monsters can be any and everything no matter how they are experienced. There is no true monster in literature that is described exactly the same by the reader imagination. They are as different and unique as each of our imaginations allow and our horror is raised by just that much when these magnificent things hit and shatter the limits of a reader’s imagination.
Why do I choose Monsters?
Because they are the keepers of my creativity and the breakers of your perceptions.
Because monsters are monsters and just by writing this, they have become just that much more real…
-Harli V. Park-
Hey guys! This is my next entry for Camp Nanowrimo April 2017’s 30-day blog challenge. I hope you enjoyed reading and hope all of you are doing well in your Nanowrimo and other writing endeavors. For more updates or to keep track of my neurotic antics, follow me on all my social media and Thank you for your support! Happy Writing!!!