A Sadist

Meet Nate Sawyer.

The perfect kid. That is no exaggeration. He really is. So perfect that it made you queasy with envy. The whole package; quite a remarkable specimen. Tall, dark haired, gorgeous, and a body like one of those on the front of a Men’s Health magazine designed to make you self-conscious of your meagre frame. His perfection manifested itself in every wake of life, believe it or not. He was the school jock. He placed in the top three academic performers in the grade. Worst of all? He was insufferably charming and polite. It was impossible to hate the kid, no matter how desperately you wish you did.

Perhaps if you knew more, knew what did…you may just find that hatred.

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A Mask

My name is Guy Garrison.

I am a nobody. Well, nobody I would like to be. Plain, plain as the cruel God above would have me be. Without any special talent. Absent of any remarkable ability. I am not the beating heart of any party. I bring not the light of the rising sun. I am simply here. Insufferably, obnoxiously, here.

I wake up. I accept the sin of life. I pretend for my family. I attend school. I socialise. The last bell rings. I return home. I rest. I wake up. A cycle. A hand on a clock. The notion of routine simply maddening.

There is only one aspect of my life that keeps me sane – if that is appropriate a word to use. It is the fact that I am insane. Surely that is paradoxical! Yet can one be aware of one’s own insanity? Can I know that I am probably – most definitely – mad? Or am I of some modicum of sane thought to examine the possibility that I may be…too sane? Hmm. Super sane.

My head is a cloud. The outside world is vast and senseless. My colleagues and classmates and teachers and friends are nought but an obligation to me. I want something more for myself, but I am not worthy of more. I am flesh. I am moving parts stripped of purpose. I am without identity.

I am only ever whole in the safe, quiet darkness of the night; through one single secret. My sweet, sweet secret, hidden in a pit.

In a man-made hole in my wall, buried beyond my belongings, is a mask.

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Crafting A Psychopath

In case you’re thinking it this isn’t actually my personal origin story. Insert Bane quote here about you merely adopting psychopathic tendencies while I was born with them. However I do have to take a few steps back to briefly mention that when I finally published my first book, The Sorrow, two years ago it was intended to be a deconstruction of a hero. I wanted to take a sort of clichéd premise and write something interesting with it.

While I’m happy with the result despite an average-ish opinion of it from me, numerous shortcomings and things I would absolutely do differently given a second chance (and that’s the beauty of writing), I always felt that my goal with my next book would be to better capture my own voice and identity as a writer, and ultimately differentiate myself.

That’s part of what attracted me to the idea of reversing core themes in my first book to create something darkly written – excuse the pun – and closer to the kind of thing people have expected of me over the years.

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A Study In Sociopath

I’ve been noticing a trend for some time now that has played a bit of a role in inspiring one of my stories. Of course, as we know, typical do-gooder heroes have become a sort of bore in today’s society, and we like to look towards more complex or damaged characters, especially those who fit somewhere in the morally grey side of things. I’m sure not many can dispute that.

Over recent years we’ve taken a liking to anti-heroes, memorable villains and even enjoyed walking the path of the eccentric and frightening many a time. That’s all commonplace now. But what I’ve noticed, especially in television, is the way these admittedly disturbing characters are portrayed in ways that are designed to make them likable.

And that’s because the reality would lead to the complete opposite.

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