Chapter 8 is now finished and posted as “Claws from the Depths,” for lack of a better name. The claws don’t really have to do with the entire chapter, but they are probably what you will remember the chapter for, so the title will help you with navigation.
Be forewarned: This chapter starts out with a nightmare. But the nightmare is not Rome’s like you’re used to. More house exploring stuff afterward, but hopefully not boring. And an actual conversation between Rome and Labriella! Yay!
Hopefully, this chapter will enlighten you as to how beastly Rome really is. Most of us love the idea of a person being able to look past the exterior to appreciate the person within–in this case, a gorgeous guy looking past a servant girl’s station and common/average appearance, or a pretty, ordinary girl looking past the beastly exterior. But in my case–and maybe in yours too–my love for the impossible romance completely glosses over the fact that the male character is, in fact, a beast. I think about how noble it would be to accept him for who he is, or how palatable his unusual appearance is (because I like unusual things). I like his sharp teeth and his clawed fingers as special effects, and think of all the brilliant things he could do with them. What I don’t necessarily think about, is how truly terrifying it would be if the eyes of the man next to me glowed in the dark, or what I might correlate those eyes to in real life, or how imprisoning it might be to become such a man’s mate in an animalistic sense and be forever cut off from humanity.
We all like the idea of the option, the ideal, the vision. But if it were real, and we were a part of the story–if we were chained up, or flogged, or almost raped, or claimed as a possession by a half-man half-beast who could level an entire town, and there was no way out (all scary options), I don’t know that we would have the same response.
I’ve been painting Rome as this “sexy beast” who we all want to jump. But the reality is, “beastly” is probably an acquired taste–especially when he used to be human, and you still don’t know why he is beastly (virus? possession?). It takes a very special kind of person not to be struck dumb with terror in the face of what such a creature can do…especially when you learn what he’s willing to do without reservation, and how difficult it would be to stop him.
What makes a hero? What makes a villain? Because in real life, these lines are often blurred. Our world embraces shades of gray. So where do you draw the line? Is stealing still bad if you’re giving it to the poor? Is murder still bad if you’re killing a criminal? Is chaining someone up bad if they have chosen to be chained up? You better draw your lines, because I’m about to turn them all upside down. :3