For some reason, I feel like I am going to make a confession, and a sinful one at that.
After being aspersed for most of my life for being ‘strange’, ‘abnormal’ and ‘eccentric’, it’s hard to de-wire the internalization that being weird isn’t a bad thing.
So. Here is my sin. I adore weird fiction.
Like, the psychedelic kind.
Surreal imagery. Grotesque descriptions. Outlandish, creepy concepts.
Animals turned inside out, suspended in amniotic fluid basins. Flowers that chew the fingers off children. People that weather and disintegrate into hollow skeletons by the end of the merry ground ride. Bugs that slither tongues into mouths and feed off dreams. A mother with button eyes. Dolls that come to life, bloom to full-size, and traverse the floorboards at night, enormous woolen heads nodding, knitted mouths hungry.
My favorite book as a child was Alice in Wonderland.
My favorite writers are Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, Edgar Allen Poe, Paul Jennings, John Collier, China Melville, H.P Lovecraft and Roald Dahl, all of whom are a dab hand at penning bizarre, off-beat tales.
I find the odd, alien and peculiar absolutely fascinating. Perhaps it’s because I’m odd myself. Or maybe reality is too normal for me, so I seek the abnormality I crave in other, more fantastical realms. I don’t see, and this is just my opinion, the point of writing stories which involve real life, with real people, with no touch of fantasy. Hasn’t reality got enough of that? Instead, my imagination only likes to twist and distort and venture out into strange territory. Let the shoes of inspiration take me where they may.
So what’s the big deal? It’s hardly immoral, right? I used to spout off freakish ideas that sprouted in my mind like gloriously fetid blooms of dream-fungus in the middle of conversations, simply because it struck my fancy and sometimes the ideas were to strange and wonderful to be savored alone. To my horror, I received pointed looks, even reactions of disgust.
It may sound trivial, but as a painfully sensitive and introverted person, further social rejection in response to an aspect of my being was torture.
So. Here’s my confession. I’m an avid reader, love and writer of weird fiction. I’m not twisted or sick. I’m just an average person with an above-average imagination. And I’m going to see where it leads me, whether people in my life accept my eccentricity or not.
What about you? I’d love to hear from anyone who is also a fan of weird fiction. Or have any of you harbored a secret love for something which was unconventional and therefore shunned for it?