Locus Focus: Take Twenty-One!
Welcome to the Scary Settings Challenge!
Locus Focus will be all about Horror this October!!! (I feel like an honourary Scream Queen already!)
Remember that 30 October 2010 is for Scary Settings: The Movie Edition! I've always wanted to open Locus Focus to great settings from film, so this new part of the challenge already has a special place in my Horror-loving heart.
(Note: since my "book blogging" consists of writing about books without reviewing them, I'm going to make this count as my first entry for for Peril the First of the RIP V Challenge. It's already linked up at the RIP V Challenge Review Site.)
by Neal Shusterman
As I dodged and crawled through the reflective battle zone, I began to get an understanding of the mirrors themselves. Some appeared to be plain old fun-house mirrors, pulling and twisting your reflection into something barely recognisable. Other mirrors were far worse. When you looked in some of them, your reflection appeared exactly the same, but the way you felt about what you saw was warped and distorted. There was this one mirror that made me see myself as weak and cowardly and another that made me feel so overwhelmingly inadequate, I felt I'd shrivel into nothingness if I looked too long. Another mirror made me feel as if I were intensely stupid, and another magnified the fear in my soul so much, I was afraid I might scream and never stop. No mirrors in the real world had the ability to reach inside you the way these did . . .
At first I hesitated over this choice. I've already featured a Neal Shusterman novel for a Locus Focus Challenge (The Downside for Subterranean Settings) and thought I should spread the love around a little more . . . and then I remembered that Shusterman doesn't get half as much love as I think he deserves. And so, here he is again . . .
Full Tilt is set in a postmodern Inferno: a hell for people who don't believe in hell. Or to be more specific, an amusement park that wants your soul.
Its rules are simple: a) everyone who enters must take seven rides; b) they have until dawn to use up this ticket; c) anyone who isn't finished by the end of the night cannot leave the park; d) anyone who dies on a ride is claimed by the park. Good luck! (Bwahahahahahaha!)
While I had seven diabolical attractions to choose from, I settled on my favourite: a fun house the size of a Gothic cathedral, full of mirrors that can reflect what is in your soul. But of course, they only reflect the bad things. And if you are unlucky enough to stumble into one of the evil mirrors . . . well, let's just say you no longer look like yourself when you come out of the other side.
One reason this "ride" is my favourite is that it perfectly fits the idea of a "personal" hell. A hall of mirrors gives the illusion of infinity even when one is in a tight, enclosed space--which is exactly what you're trapped in when hell exists only in your own mind. And what else would there be to look at but your own self-image, distorted even at best: endless reflections of your worst thoughts about yourself, over and over and over . . .
The second reason I like it is that of all the rides in this park, "Our Lady of Perpetual Reflections" would have the easiest time trapping me forever. Its mirrors take "tiny truths, swelling them out of proportion--and the fact that there was a kernel of truth in what they reflected made the effect devastating." I'd never stop wandering around its mirrored passageways, lost, deformed, wailing at the sight of my own inner self, and terrorised by its blood thirsty clowns. (Oh, did I not mention the clowns?)
Leave the link to your Locus Focus post in the linky
and take some time to check out and comment on those of others.
I can't wait to read what everyone has to say! =D
Other Loci Foci for This Week . . .
J. Bernlef's Human Mind @ Pearls Cast before a McPig
Edgar Allen Poe's House of Usher @ Spike Is Best
J.R.R. Tolkien's Old Forest @ Null Epistolary
Ray Bradbury's Carnival of Mr. Dark @ Birdie's Nest
Aola Vandergriff's Wyndspelle @ This Miss Loves to Read
Announcing the winner of the
First Ever Locus Focus Giveaway
Congratulations, Sully! =D E-mail me to let me know which book you want and your shipping details. Thanks for supporting Locus Focus!
Image Source: Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman