Here's a horror subject. Or rather a horrible one.
Game Seven of the Stanley Cup final happened tonight here in Vancouver.
We lost. We could talk about our over-priced goalie, Boston's incredible goalie, our over-paid twin wimps who can't make anything happen, and Boston's trio: a quebecer, a tough little shrimp, and a 43-year old who will retire next year. Those three made mince-meat of us.
But that's beside the point. When we lost, the crowd gathered outside went wild. A small group of assholes assaulted people, set police cars on fire, pushed down barrier fences, and looted department stores. They weren't fans: they brought balaclavas and molotov cocktails.
Who are these assholes? The elitist in me wants to think they're the bridge-and-tunnel crowd. But there were no riots in Surrey; they happened downtown. I don't know where they came from.
This is where writers come in handy. Let's do an exercise: Get into the heads of these people.
Imagine you are a young man in your twenties. You have little future. When you were younger you played too much X-box, drank too much, and perhaps didn't study enough to ensure a decent future for yourself.
At some point, many of your friends got careers, got married, went in other directions. You got left behind, and somehow you end up in a job that pays your rent but not much more. Either you stay in your parent's basement or you live in someone's basement suite. Your week-days are menial work you hate; your weekends are getting high and playing first-person shooter games. At some point while you are shooting aliens and decapitating zombies, you look away from the screen for a moment and come to a great reckoning.
You have no power. You always thought you were going to make it big, be someone relevant: all young men think this. But now you know it's not going to happen. You see enough fat, middle-aged divorced men at work - they suddenly don't seem so alien. You're frightened and you can't think of an escape. It's plain as day that you're trapped in the lower-middle class. At the very best, all you can hope for is a house at the edge of town; a wife who's gained so much weight that you are no longer excited by the tramp-stamp spreading like an oil-spill above her hips; and a long daily commute, your feet cramping in your work-boots. You'll get old and soon you're gonna die. Your mind nearly buckles under the weight of all that evolution, that thwarted urge to compete.
Then you hear that tens of thousands of people have been gathering in downtown Vancouver to watch the final series of the Stanley cup. The Canucks make it to game seven. The papers predict that one hundred thousand people will swarm into the downtown core to watch the game on big screens thoughtfully provided by the CBC.
You and your friends decide to go. It seems like a good idea. There is no specific plan as to what you're going to do. There seems to be an unspoken agreement that you will all have a good time, perhaps the time of your lives.
The cops have ordered liquor stores closed before four o'clock, and that makes you very angry. Why should the cops have any say how a hockey fan should celebrate his home-team? But you and your friends are smart, and you bring your own booze. On the sky-train you notice there are too many people for the cops to handle, so you and your buddies start drinking as the train rolls by ScienceWorld and into downtown.
By the time you get there you're feeling very pleasant. When the Canucks lose 0-4, you get very angry. Or perhaps you were going to get angry even if they had won. You're not sure because nothing was planned.
But one thing is certain: holy crap, at this moment things are different. There's a zillion people around you, and all the stress of being in a crowd, the very reality of being elbow-to-elbow, has erased all boundaries of money, power, and class. All that matters is who is the most angry, the strongest. For the space of a few hours, everyone is equal. That's how you think of it. But what you really mean is that within those few hours you can do whatever the fuck you want.
A few people get ahold of a cop-car and start trying to tip it. You join right in; that just feels right. Once it's upside down, someone douses it with gasoline and lights it on fire. The cops try to frighten you and your friends away; you start throwing bottles. There are fights everywhere, beatings everywhere. You punch out a few random people. You even take a swing at a girl, but she ducks. You throw more things at the cops, yell at them. Several thousand people look on, laugh, take pictures. Every time an explosion sounds from the burning police car, a cheer rises up. Later you hear that a few people got stabbed.
By the time the cops get their shit together and form a line of riot police with shields and batons, you're several blocks away. You run by a few more fires, get on your phone to catch up with your friends, and meet them at The Bay. One display window is already broken. All of you pick up trashcans and bricks and break the rest. You rush into The Bay and steal perfume, a few leather coats, some cheap jewelry, and three boxes of chocolates. You're disappointed that you can't find cash.
There are cops all around you, but they're too busy to arrest you.
You make your way home. Your face feels strange, and when you reach up you realize you've covered your face with a scarf and you don't remember doing that. A pall of black smoke rises above Vancouver like a raised and dirty middle finger.
For the rest of your life you will feel like you have done something incredible, that you didn't wimp out, that you caused such destruction. For once you were bad, and that felt good. It may have cost the city millions of dollars, but for a moment you felt like you were in charge.
It never occurs to you that you are an asshole, a loser, and completely without moral centre. It never occurs to you that although you loved the anarchy of that night, you would not have lasted a day in Mogadishu during its civil wars, or in Baghdad after the fall of Saddam.
Not unless... you were directly employed by those who ran things in those places. Then you'd be fine. You'd do well for yourself. You and your friends.
Dictators and totalitarian governments have always had need for those who rob, rape, loot, torture and murder. How is it they always find them?
Now you know.
I've been writing stories for years. I think I'm a good writer and I'm willing to bet you'll feel the same way. So here they are. Enjoy them, comment on them, tell your friends about'em, reblog them, retweet them, reread them. I have four stories in my archive so far:
"One day on the Mountain", a story of Lycanthropy, a father, and a son.
"The Boy", a story of a very ambitious and sociopathic fifth grade boy.
"The Easy Girl, A story of infidelity and unpaid sexual debts. This story is very dark.
"Brick The Mighty", a story of an aging superhero.
Although this is primarily a blog of horror, I also write about things that are important to me. I have more stories tucked away; they just need editing. There's even a few novels. There will be more to come.
PS. Feel free to leave a comment. I love comments.