Simon Kewin’s story “What the Darkness Is” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 22 September 2017.
“What The Darkness Is” grew out of wanting to write a story in which worlds are nested within other worlds, so that it isn’t clear which is the “real” world and where the lines between them start and end. Books, songs, paintings – all can be portals through to a “next” world. I liked the idea of the slipperiness of reality. This approach also allowed me to structure a story around a sort of chase, with Abha being hunted from land to land, which seemed like it could make an enticing tale.
Related to all that, I also loved the idea of imagined worlds becoming real, of a narrator being someone able to shape a story/world which they then travel to. Hence the character of the Chronicler in the story.
The drama of this particular story flowed from the title, which was a phrase that popped into my head one day. The tale explores what the darkness is – or might be – for one particular character. I start with a world frozen in perpetual night and I wanted to explore why that might be and what would drive someone to work such terrible magic.
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