I was a few feet away from the tunnel when the blade struck me in the back. It sliced through the bag of blasting caps and imbedded itself a few inches into my flesh. I yelled in pain. Montresor was on top of me right away. He pulled the blade out. Rolling hard, I attempted to throw him off of me. It was in vain, his writhing form was steady atop me as we struggled; I could not fight blindly. He pinned my face to the ground with a horrible strength- and the freezing fingers of a poltergeist. Screaming into the wet stones, horrified, I felt him press the tip of the blade against my throat.
This is a little different from my normal style of writing because I was trying to emulate Poe. Verbose, emotional, driven by fear, or the infliction of fear on another person in a hectic scene. At least, that is what I got out of reading The Cask of Amontillado years ago and then writing the story. Boom! The blade struck him in the back. What next? Well, he is obviously going to be bleeding. I did not need to say that at the time. It would have reduced the frenetic energy I instill in the scene. Now, Montresor may be a poltergeist but he still has a human shape. These are two characters with goals. One is attempting to survive; the other is attempting to hide his past violence with more violence.
Now for the next snippet, I go back to Red’s War:
A few minutes later, he reached his mother-in-law’s driveway. The house was a few hundred feet back, in the woods and out of sight of the road. He slowed to a trawl, started a three-point turn, and stopped the car. He opened the passenger window so he could set his rifle on a tripod. He dug around in his bag for earplugs and put them in. The hard part was finding a comfortable position to fire. This was a first for him.
After fiddling around he opened the driver’s door and hunched over in the seat on his knees. He was ready. Now, to goad the Beast out of his mother-in-law’s cabin, he was going to call. The cabin was made of stone, one story- a tiny two bedroom one bathroom accommodation. As he blindly reached for the phone, his elbow bumped into the steering wheel. The horn went off, startling him. His finger slipped into the trigger guard and fired just as the front door opened.
Red saw it through the scope. A very tall, lanky man in dark clothes had opened the door. The same instant, the back of his throat erupted. His body jerked at impact and his head lopped to the side, tendons and sinew briefly hanging in the open air before he fell face first. Red climbed out of the car and ran to the front door.
On his way he saw that the hood of Emily’s red convertible was ripped open and gutted. Inside, past the smell of fresh blood, was the smell of boiling vegetables. Steam bubbled out of a large pot on the stove. He looked down at the dead body. The Beast’s spine was intact but everything surrounding it was on the floor in front of him. They would need to replace the door and the hardwood flooring. Maybe werewolves didn’t need to go down with a silver bullet.
This scene is bloodier primarily because of the weapon used. A rifle bullet to the throat is going to leave significantly more visible damage than a knife to the back. Jackie is also inflicting the damage so he has a different perspective on the scene. And while The Beast is a werewolf he is in his human form for this scene, so I counted it towards human violence.
The emotional appeal in the scene is a little heavier too. He is a hunter, he pays attention to his surroundings. He is attempting to save his daughter and got lucky The Beast stepped outside. I also include his worry at an uncomfortable position would hinder his ability to fire the gun. It was more a misfire really, and while I do not explicitly mention this the implications are there. If his daughter had stepped out when his finger slipped, a very human error for a retired hunter, his daughter would be dead.
Finally, as with the creature violence, I will not glorify human violence. It is especially more terrifying because we are beings capable of complex thought. We choose to be horrible to each other. Although I will leave with this, as I left the creature violence post, violence depends on perspective. There is nothing wrong with venturing into the mind of a killer in the name of a good story. And in the name of a good story, I will reveal a lot of external and internal turmoil.
P.S. I have made some edits and cleaned up Vodka Men, check it out.