Which do you think is worse?

Avatar Author: mark.i.wang Goals as a commenter: 1. Comment/Ficlet ratio = 5:1 2. Provide consistent feedback 3. Provide feedback to lightly commented ficlets 4. Comment on unfinished drafts. Goals as a writer: 1. Fully convey an emotion ... Read Bio

Edwin pokes embers of a dying fire with a branch before speaking.
“I didn’t always live in a cave, you know. There was a time when my name was synonymous with genetically modified organisms. But I also worked on behavioral adjustment for military applications.

Originally, the inspiration for Toxo came from my own, uh, defects… You see, in all other things I was rational to a fault, and yet I could not control my sexual urges. By day, I was completely normal; by night, I was a monster of twisted perversion.

It was a moment of self-realization that I could reproduce *this*effect in others. Toxo ties arousal to aggression, so it makes a rational man a slave to irrationally violent desires. Of course, I had no idea Toxo would develop a life cycle for spreading in the wild."

Edwin sighs, “So, between creating the parasite that has ended civilization, and my predilection for child molestation…”
He reaches to loosen the gag on his captive victim,
“There, that’s better… Which do you think is worse?”

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Comments (11 so far!)

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  1. Avatar Funky Chunky

    Ohhh…horrible. What have you been reading, Mark?!

  2. Avatar mark.i.wang

    You’re gonna laugh but originally the intent was to make Edwin a character the reader could at least empathize with, if not understand. I thought that possibly if he did something so accidentally horrible, the reader might look past his “defect” and feel something like pity for him. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that did not happen.

  3. Avatar Krulltar

    authors, at times, need to be mindful not to project our personal morals and ethics onto characters. Most pedophiles are not “monsters with insatiable urges”, but rather normal folk who have justified their desires. Their are still cultures and religions that allow sex and marriage with minors.

    I guess I’m saying that the characters reasoning seemed to come from someone who was a pedophile, rather than from the character.

  4. Avatar Tad Winslow

    C’mon, tell me the firts two lines didn’t spawn from ‘Batman Begins’ and I’ll french kiss a unicorn!

    The rest of it… is really twisted sick. I mean. Woah. The language is good, but the material and general message is… F*ed up… to the point of wincing.

    This took a risk, though, and what better place to do that than ficly.. but My God Man!! I see potential, strictly in your usage of words, but it’s waaay too full of shock value to be taken seriously.

    Good bad job, er, is what I’m saying.


  5. Avatar mark.i.wang

    Krulltar – the character IS a pedophile, so I’m not sure if you meant that it was a success, or if you meant to say “the characters reasoning seemed to come from someone who WASN’T a pedophile” – in which case I’ve failed.

    At any rate, I modeled the character’s behavior on a closeted homosexual archetype. That’s where the self-loathing aspect originates. While it is true that there are many cultures which embrace pedophilia, a character from such a culture would not have the same motivations (they’d be relatively well-adjusted, I’d imagine). I needed some real fuel for this character’s behavior.

  6. Avatar mark.i.wang

    Tad – Thanks, I think? Honestly, first two lines weren’t from Batman, but I’m sure that bubbled up from my subconscious somehow.

    The motivation for this story actually came from “Resident Evil” – it’s the line where Red Queen says that the most basic human instinct is to feed. I disagree, the most basic instinct is to reproduce. But horny zombies don’t make for a good theater experience. For a while, that’s all my brain had; and then I stumbled upon Toxoplasmosis (which is a real parasite). Toxo completes its lifecycle by tricking a rat into being sexually aroused by cat urine; the rat starts looking for cats (Toxo can only reproduce inside a feline digestive tract). My brain put two and two together, and that’s where this came from.

  7. Avatar Tad Winslow

    You’re a good writer, mark. The subject matter just struck a chord with me is all. I’m primarily caring for my 3 year old niece these days, and have been having the ‘private parts’ discussion with her. It was a bad time for me to read this.

    Resident Evil is a sweet game though. All the way back to the first zombie cut scene in the mansion on PS One. Classic.

  8. Avatar Krulltar

    “the characters reasoning seemed to come from someone who WASN’T a pedophile” was what I was trying to say.

    I can only speculate about pedophilia, but basic human nature is about duality, and there would seem to be alot of cognitive dissonance going on in ones mind. this character’s justifications just seem a little too black and white.

  9. Avatar memento

    @ Krulltar — Authors should be mindful of how their personal moral and ethical beliefs affect their writing, but also understand that those beliefs will inevitably affect any story they create. Human beings cannot truly divorce themselves from the things they believe, and if they could I would question if they truly believed those things in the first place.

  10. Avatar mark.i.wang

    Well, the nature of this challenge is to create a compelling character, so i guess i still have some work to do. I’ll noodle on it some more.

  11. Avatar Abby (LoA)

    Oooh shivers I don’t see anything wrong with writing something like this. It’s not as though Mark is asking us to sympathise with or actually like the character. He’s just creating a character that has a strong personality.

    ‘horny zombies don’t make for a good theater experience’ -
    someone put that on a quotes site!!
    (sorry – the comments thread is very interesting to read)

    Anyway. I like the use of speech throughout and the revealing of his victim at the end. I thought he might have changed his ways for most of the piece but then the end … yikes!

    Thanks for the entry. Good job!

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