Stories about Purgatorium: Tobin Elliott on Fight or Flight
Welcome to the eighth blog in this series, where we'll explore the stories behind the stories in ID Press' inaugural anthology, Purgatorium - The Element of Horror.
The anthology will be released on January 22nd at the Copper Branch Restaurant in Brooklin (see the invite here), and is currently available for purchase through Amazon (in both hard copy and e-copy formats), as well as Kobo.
In this series, we'll be talking about the stories in the order in which they appear in the anthology. Today, we tackle Tobin Elliott and his story, Fight or Flight... Where did it come from?
I often get asked why I write horror, and my answer is usually some variation on the theme, because then I can control the demons.
Case in point: Fight or Flight. This story is drawn from two different incidents in my life that actually happened. The "are you scared?" line and circumstance that opens the story, as well as being abandoned at the CNE. From these two incidents, I wove a fictional story.
While I love fiction, and I love creating stories wholly from imagination, I'm the writer that somehow always lets a little real life creep in to everything I do. There was a line in the Luke Cage series that resonated with me: "The best lies run parallel to the truth." My best fiction runs parallel to fact.
So, this story had a few different goals for me. First and foremost, to entertain. Second, because it's in a dark vein (I hesitate to call it outright horror, but then again, to me, no fictional horror matches that horror that occurs in the real world every day), I had a goal to make the reader uncomfortable. Third, this was me going to a favourite area...I have always been fascinated with the psychotic mind, and never pass up a chance to dig into that toy box. If it helps, a particular song lyric floated through my head through most of the writing of this story. It was from Don Henley's New York Minute. In that song, there's a verse that he sings that goes,
He had a home The love of a girl But men get lost sometimes As years unfold One day he crossed some line And he was too much in this world
Finally, it was to build a fictional story from factual events.
So, yes, I created a fiction from fact. And, though the ending may not be all rainbows and unicorns, it was, for me a somewhat happy ending. Because, in this case, I was able to drag a couple of my demons out into the light...
And I made those bastards dance to my tune.
Tobin rides a precarious line between reality and fantasy, between humour and horror, between joy and pain, between love and hate. He likes to think of himself as edgy.