I don’t know why Revenge plots are my jam.
[That’s a lie. He’s a Scorpio with unresolved childhood and public school-induced trauma. —editor]
But Revenge plots are my absolute fav, hands down. I don’t even care what the setting is most of the time. Whether it’s a case of generalized vigilantism a la The Punisher or a woman-in-jeopardy thriller when she flips the metaphorical table and goes hunting for her tormentor. I loved Peppermint. (I also have a deep, nonsexual crush on how badass Jennifer Garner is, so I acknowledge my bias openly.)
Randall Munroe gets this, as his classic XKCD strip Wish on a Shooting Star attests. Because Randall Munroe is a god.
Ah, meteorites. My second favorite apocalyptic scenario (closely following the caldera volcano hiding underneath Jellystone).
I believe revenge resonates with we homo narrans because we’ve all met that one guy or one gal in particular who deserves a prepaid visit by Karma®. Objective fact. Not an opinion. Not even a little.
One of my (many) favorite revenge memes is, “Fuck these six fish in particular.” I believe in my dark little heart that these six naughty fish offended God in some peculiar piscine way. As if being icky wasn’t enough.
Also, I loathe sea food in general. 🤷🏼♂️ It’s not personal. To me. To hell with how the fish feel about it.
Props to the guy who got it wrong about revenge being a dish best served cold. He made bank on that big fat cultural lie. People who fear vengeance being done unto them for their sins spent (and continue to spend) a lot of media time and money over the millennia trying to convince us that “revenge is bad.” Lies! All lies! The patriarchy lies. The matriarchy lies. Any two-bit archy at all that tells you not to hold them accountable, with prejudice if necessary, is lying.
This is all a long-winded way of saying, revenge (for me) is not a side dish. In my fiction, if revenge is on the table, it’s the main fucking course. All the courses. A gods-damned smorgasbord of vengeance!
But, I also know, as a responsible adult, there is a line somewhere beyond revenge.
I don’t know where it is. Most of us only daydream of getting revenge in the first place. Very few people are willing to do what it takes, to risk what is necessary for revenge. Everybody wants to be a monster, until it’s time to do monster shit.
But, nevertheless, I am certain that there is a point beyond which is too far for revenge. A line in the metaphorical sand, if you will. A line you’ll never know you crossed until after it’s too late. To paraphrase Hagakure: “If you believe you’ve gone too far, you will not have erred.”
I set out to discover how far is too damn far in my series Temple of Vengeance. And witness what happens when someone obliterates the fuck out of that line.