I'm not a big fan of Halloween. We lived miles from anyone when I was growing up and we never went trick or treating. Not even once. As a mother, I never gave my children candy when they were little, and none of them developed a taste for it. Still I took them around the block to trick or treat but most of the candy ended up at school, given to my students. Costumes were always a chore for me, probably because I have no enthusiasm for the holiday. I played the good mother and tried to make sure my kids found costumes they'd like. They always wanted to be heroes, nary a monster or goblin among them. Ninjas, Power Rangers, Batman, Superman, whomever the hero de jour.
Zombies are a popular choice for monster apparel in recent years and I expect we'll have some of them knocking on our door next week. And other monsters. As I prepare for the release of my fantasy novel, First Dragon, I've taken a bit of time to think about what really makes a monster. The second novel in The Morbunda Saga delves into that question as the characters in the series are forced to fight battles that seem to have no winner and sometimes no clear sides of good and evil.
What monsters are scariest. Physically imposing predators, without mercy for their prey? Beastly killers with no capacity for humane mercy? A being with unstoppable magical powers? A technology with cold, superior intelligence and no warmth of emotions? Are monsters ugly or perhaps possessed of a beautiful exterior hiding the evil within? Is a great white shark a monster because he kills without mercy, driven by instinct? Or is a human killing with forethought and planning the monster? Is what drives the monster the measure of his evil?
In First Dragon, monsters of many types make an appearance. Some know they are monsters and others fear that they are. Some behave as monsters and believe themselves heroic.
I think I would find a magician who could do mind control to be a very, very frightening thing. What kind of monster do you think would be scariest? What Halloween costume was your favorite or your children's favorite? Do you have a favorite monster movie?