Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Self-sacrifice vs. Self-preservation

Road Trip by Elliott S. Clark is a very short story about a horrible accident that happens during a road trip and leads to an even more frightening discovery. I don't know whether to categorize this as a slasher story, a ghost story or even a zombie story...or all of the above. I like the different reactions of the four characters, but I can't help wishing the story would've continued just a little longer. I'm left with so many questions.

What we think we would do in a situation like this and what we would actually do are usually two different things, if we're honest with ourselves. "But if we used common sense, there wouldn't be a story." True enough, but if given just two choices, save yourself or save your friends, how long would it take for you to decide?

I'd like to think that in an effort NOT to damn my soul, I wouldn't bail on my travel companions, especially if they are more than just friends (certain people in my life will always have priority over everyone and everything else). However, I wonder if there's a point where a person can call it a hopeless situation without a doubt and just cut one's losses without burning for it.

A couple of dreams I had in the past have left me questioning how well I really know myself. In one dream, some monsters were chasing me and dozens of others up a steep hill. I somehow managed to get my hands on a shotgun. Every time I had a monster in my sights, some idiot would get in the way. I did kill the monsters without shooting anyone else, but, I was so pissed off, I told the other survivors, "Next time you get in my line of sight, I will shoot through you." Nice.

In another dream, some very cruel and sadistic people were torturing another person. I stood at a distance, undetected, and thought, "Better them than me." I woke up shocked at how easy it was to come to that conclusion. I felt zero guilt in the dream...and yet, when I'm awake, I can't stomach the thought of doing nothing if someone is being victimized in some way nearby.

I think I have it all figured out, until I read a story like Road Trip, and I have mixed feelings. Part of me curses the character who bails on her friends, while another part of me cheers on her self-preservation.

Last but not least, how did corn fields get such a sinister reputation anyway?

As always,

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