The Killer in Each of Us (Non-fiction excerpt)
When the sun descends, when the earth is enveloped in its own shadow, as though swallowed by a cosmic dragon, as it languishes in its belly until it is once again disgorged with the advent of the sun, what foul fiends are unleashed into the tyranny of night? You stay in your homes and push all thoughts of evil and mayhem away, but you know the beasts are out there. You know malevolence lurks in hidden alleys, filling sewers and gutters with its putrefied pestilence and poison.
You tell yourself you could never live as a creature of the night, but how can you know until you have faced your own demons? You walk on a bridge of twigs over a raging river. You hold onto a frayed vine over a chasm. You stand on soggy ground over a sinkhole ready to swallow you. And all your beliefs and fairytale notions cannot hold back the dread you feel as you close your eyes and wait for sleep. In those few moments the night seeps into your thoughts, but you push it away like a needy child so it is forced to appear to you in dream.
There is a darkness in all of us, an emptiness wherein hides the things not visible in the light of day. It’s in the nature of things. We live in a world of opposites: good and evil, light and dark, sun and shadow. And there’s intelligence in the order of things. Even darkness and evil have their places in the cosmic design. For what is dark but the absence of light and what is evil except the corruption of what is good? Each person is a killer. We cannot survive without taking life, even if a person is vegetarian or vegan. So wonder no more where the killing instinct comes from; it is wired into our DNA and no one can escape the inevitable. Life feeds on life. That’s the way of all the world.