Some topics you just don’t touch

by | Jul 28, 2022 | My Author Scrapheap | 0 comments

Sometimes an idea comes to you. It’s dark yet compelling from a storytelling perspective. And yet, an integral part of that idea is just too dangerous an idea to release into the world.

This is the story of the misbegotten tale-that-never-was, “Hell Divers”.

The elevator pitch sells itself: it’s Flatliners meets Needful Things, or The Monkey’s Paw crossed with that episode of Buffy where Willow tries to resurrect Mrs. Summers.

In a nutshell, the Hell Divers are a group of high schoolers who are into the occult in a dangerous way. One of them pens symbols from an ancient book onto her skin before a suicide attempt—a successful attempt. Yet through forbidden magic, she comes back to her body after seeing hell firsthand. And boy, does she have stories to tell. In return for her life, she had to make a deal with a devil (or THE devil). Not only did she come back, she now has special powers that came as a package deal. But what did she give up? Keeping that part to herself, she convinces others to try the same “trip,” venturing into hell to bargain for power.

Whatever direction the story goes, you can see the problem. I couldn’t have it on my conscience if even one person read the story and tried it. It not only would make light of suicide, but glorify it. And while the resulting story might be compelling, its impact beyond any message the text might contain is just too troubling to allow.

So, for its own good, this one stays in the scrap heap as a cautionary tale.

If you or anyone you know is considering self-harm or suicide, please reach out to someone for help. Visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.com, or if you’re in the U.S. you can dial 9-8-8 or call 1-800-273-8255.

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