Sunday, February 12, 2006

Coincidence

‘A chance happening: something that happens by chance in a surprising or remarkable way’

What the dictionary doesn’t say is that coincidences can be either good or bad, depending on the what the ‘chance happening’ entails. Good would be the time I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in almost twenty years when we booked seats next to each other on a flight. Bad would be the time I sat next to one of the cutest guys I’d ever met and spent the entire flight barfing into the airsick bag. I mean, why couldn’t it have been some kindly old granny who’d offer me tissues, hm? Or better yet, my old friend, who would’ve laughed but held my hand?

I had another coincidence occur the other day, and this one I put in the ‘creepy’ category. The book I’m working on involves a character who gets caught up in Voodoo. I don’t know about you, but I find Voodoo to be some pretty scary stuff (did anybody see the recent news story about the woman from Haiti who was caught with a severed head in her checked luggage? Scares me!). Anyway, it’s a strange and secretive religion, and I certainly never claimed to be an expert when I decided to use it in my story. I put what I thought was my own spin on some of the most commonly known aspects – zombies, in particular.

I won’t give away the details (because I want you to buy the book… duh), but I wrote many of the scenes before I’d done any in-depth research into the exact nature of the whole ‘Night of the Living Dead’ thing. You know… how exactly is a zombie created, why is it created, what are its limitations, how do you get rid of it, etc. I don’t watch horror movies, and for the record, I don’t believe that corpses can be re-animated. But I do believe the spirit is eternal, and I do believe evil exists, so I made my ‘zombie’ inhabit a ‘spiritual’ body, not a physical one, and gave it a healthy fear of the light. It does its dirty work from the shadows, appearing only as a dark shape in the darkness, under the control of one of Voodoo’s many ‘gods’, called ‘loas’.

And then I found this: ‘This loa is a mysterious one, and does not have any form, save that of darkness. When materializing, it speaks from the darkest of the shadows.’

Totally creeped me out. I had no idea. Did you? If you did, you know a lot more about Voodoo than the average person, so please don’t hold it against me if I’m revealing any secrets.

I like my head right where it is, thank you.

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