How could you love me? I’m an ugly monster. A terrible creature. I don’t deserve love.
Are you blind? Are you a masochist? Do you like when I hurt you?
All I do is eat your dreams and suck the life from you. And you still love me?
Must I devour your soul for you to see me for what I truly am? Must I wipe my face clean?
Will you still love me then? When you see what I really am? Or will you run away terrified?
I tried to show you before you said you loved me. But . . . I loved you too. A problem unforeseen.
I hid away the monster that’s me so you would love me back. And now it’s bubbling up under my skin.
Wanting to come out; it feels trapped within. It wants you, like I do, but it will take too much I fear.
Get out. Leave me. Do not love me. Please do not brush my cheek or smooth my hair. Don’t come near.
I love you enough to save you from myself. I will hurt you if you don’t go. Quickly! Quickly! Go!
I might change my mind. Putting my claws into you and feasting on your dreams once more.
Twelve books was not just a random number. When I first wrote “Dead Song” the short story, it was just this weird non-story story that I thought I was never going to find a home for. Elektrik Milk Bath Press was looking for weird zombie stories for a charity anthology and I gave them this one. It ended up selected and reprinted for Best Horror of the Year volume 5. It was reprinted again in Zombies: More Recent Dead with Prime Books. I decided to see if there was a novel behind the world created in that story. I wrote part of the first night of the story of the characters and realized I wasn’t going to finish in one book. So, I figured I had a trilogy. I wrote a couple more chapters and realized that by the end of novel one, I was not going to be one-third done. So, I sat down and outlined what the entire mythology would look like, if I told the entire thing. I came up with twelve books. I had to decide if I was up to that challenge. When I decided to go forward with it, I went ahead and called in a Dodecology because I knew that’s what I planned it to be.
Chris Dezarn is the author of “The Better Half” in Dark Moon Digest 19.
1. Do you ever have dreams that give you ideas for a story?
Yes and no. I don’t often remember my dreams, and when I do manage to bring something back from the void, it’s usually not a complete idea, but some fragment that gets me thinking, “Hey! That would be a great scene for this story . . . ” I tend to get most of my ideas when I’m awake, doing mundane things, and my mind is bouncing from one idea to another like a pinball; sometimes the chaos makes a series of connections worth exploring.