11 May 2009

Pushing up roses.

Ask any master gardener and he or she will tell you that the secret to a healthy garden is compost. But what is compost made of? Dead things, rotten things, a putrid mass of what was once gaily colored in magenta petals or emerald blades with golden beards cut down, clipped back, mowed or shaved and cast into a pile of decomposition.

Pretty graphic violence isn't it? All that "pain" just in mowing the grass and dead-heading flowers to keep bushes and seasonal selects producing more beauty. There is pain, pathos and death in the romance of each and every rose.

Just like each rose needs a little darkness in its roots to feed, romance itself benefits from a scary moment or two. Unless you grew up with parent(s) like Sissy Spacek in "Carrie" or the Amish, you've indulged in that teen-aged rite of passage - going out on a date with your favorite guy or gal for a slasher film. Something you knew would give you nightmares, keep you jumping at shadows, and guarantee a vegetarian diet for at least a week, but still you went - and full of breathless anticipation. Why? Because it guaranteed that no matter how shy the other person you'd end up huddled together: protector and protected.

Maybe that's why I am drawn to horror, have always been. It is a question I've asked myself since I was a kid, snuggled between my snoring parents watching Chilly Bill Cardille as he hosted Chiller Theater with all the campy horror of the days before Sam Raimi and the new generation of buckets o' gore. Not to say I don't love those as well, I do, even grossed out guys by eating pizza and slurping down cherry Coke sitting enrapt in front of modern flicks like "Hostel."

Most of us will be spared the real devastation of having to endure walking down an unlit alley, at night, in the worst part of town with a dead cell phone battery, and nothing more than an adrenaline rush to help get you away from a slavering baddie with ill intent. But we all feel drawn to experience it at least once, vicariously through television or movies. Is it to look death in the eyes and laugh with hollow, false bravado - or more simply to help drive together a pair that human over-thinking would keep apart?

That truly is the question. However, given the clamour for more dark erotic novels and paranormal romances - it is clear, a little death provides excellent fodder for romance, as much as it does for the rose - the symbol for the genre.

While you ponder your own answer to that question, have a peek at my newest video trailer for my upcoming Red Rose release, "Flesh." Post a question or comment and be entered to win a cool t-shirt I designed exclusively for this short story.


robynl said...

Horror is definitely not my choice of movies. A girl friend and her boy friend rented some movies and asked me over. I must say I was so tempted to say I had to go and over half the time I sat with my eyes closed or my head turned away. To this day I get thoughts of parts of the movie and as you said I think I don't want any meat ever again.
It is different when reading it for me. Congrats on this story.

Melissa said...

Thanks :)

Some movies really are loaded with unnecessary gore. I think Alfred Hitchcock said it best when he created Psycho, the biggest generator of fear is that which we do not see but know will happen and is happening. The famous shower scene is the best example.