The Darkness Within isn’t something that everyone takes the time to think about a lot, but the nonetheless, it is always there, just beneath the surface.

In fiction, the good versus evil conflict has been the driving force of stories for centuries because it’s a battle everyone can relate to. However, the hardest part for people to grasp is that no one is all good and no one is all bad. There is both inside of all of us, and how we process things determines which side of the schism we lean toward.

Psychological fiction is perhaps my favorite genre because of the different ways we see this topic explored. When it comes to morality and serial killers, good versus evil makes an appearance. People wonder what causes a person to do violent crimes—is it really just in their genetics or has life shaped them to do the things that they do?

In my series, Rituals of the Night, I explore this concept in depth through the usage of Chance and Luna. One of the characters is introduced as the “villain” and the other as the “hero” but over the course of the series, they are faced with choices in their life that slowly takes them down the opposite path, showing the struggles that we all must endure.

For Chance, his struggle to find a place to belong has led him down a dark path of murder and hatred. It’s his desire for love that at last unlocks his morality and shows him that life can be whatever he determines it to be.

My drawing of Chance.

For Luna, her struggle to keep her future as her own faces her with darkness she never fathomed. After the deaths of multiple friends, she loses sight of herself, finding comfort in the same evil that she always vowed to avoid.

My drawing of Luna.

The idea of darkness within is one of the reasons why the “Yin and Yang” symbol is so popular. It shows the good inside the evil and the evil inside the good living in perfect harmony. People are a mess of both concepts, and when push comes to shove, people will do whatever they feel is right. That’s why it’s important to remember that every villain is the hero of his own story.

To Chance, every horrible thing he does has a justification, a rationalization. In Dead by Morning, his deeds range from murder to kidnapping. In his eyes, he’s doing what he can to improve his life by getting rid of the people who drag him down. By kidnapping Luna, he imagines he’s saving her from the dangers of the real world. Throughout the series, we see this constant misguided sense of righteousness.

Excerpt from Dead by Morning:

He blinked, and for a second, the green hue in his eyes disappeared. “They’re not interested in me for who I am as a person; they’re interested in my reputation, the popularity. But you…you never cared about that. You saw me for me, and it made you different.”

Luna had caught the color change in his eyes. She had been right about what Max wanted to tell her. “Of course I didn’t care about your popularity,” Luna said in shock.

“That’s why I wanted you, really, fuck your ability,” he admitted, kicking the ground slightly as he shifted the gun to his other hand, fidgeting with his shirt collar before he stilled. “It would help me, but I easily could’ve found someone else with it.”

“So that’s why you decided to ruin my life?” Luna asked, trying any barbed insult to see its effect.

“Excuse me?”

“All the stuff you’ve done to me over the years?” Luna scoffed, pressing her hand to her abdomen. “I have a hole in my stomach thanks to you!”

“How dare you. I’ve done everything for you,” he spat. “It’s not my fault you wouldn’t listen. Things could be so much different if you would just listen to me.”

She scoffed. “Oh, really?”

“You should be thanking me, especially since I saved your life on that bridge. I could’ve just thrown you into the canal. With anyone else, I would have.”

Rituals of the Night Series:

Luna is a good girl. Chance is a bad boy. When they collide, people die. Growing up in a Muslim household in America, Luna is used to being an outcast. All she wants is to live a normal life and will do everything in her power to make that dream come true. Chance, however, is determined to have her at all costs, even if it means using magic to do it.

Thank you for taking the time to read to read this blog tour post. For other posts retaining to “The Darkness Within” check out other author blogs on the topic at https://owscycon.ourwriteside.com/horror-thriller-events-at-ows-cycon/

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