Steve Grogan is an ongoing contributor to Writer to Writers. He has published several short stories on the site, which can be found on the main page under the heading “Steve Grogan’s Fiction.” He has had several poems and short stories published over the years, some of which are available on Amazon. (See the announcement at the end of this post.)
He is the writer and creator of the ongoing, zombie, post-apocalyptic, Romero-meets-Dungeons-and-Dragons webcomic REDemption. Alternatively, Steve describes the comic by saying, “It is to zombie fiction what KILL BILL was to kung fu movies: everything I love about the genre housed under one roof and mixed with my voice.”
I continued to imagine myself distributing physical abuse to my tormentors. Over time these visions grew more extreme in nature, but they were just fantasies that helped me vent my anger at my cowardice. I never once thought of making them real.
It should come as no surprise that my dark daydreams led me to become a fan of horror movies. My violent fantasies were vehicles of release, but watching graphic violence getting played out on the screen had an even more dramatic effect. For some reason it felt soothing to me. After watching a horror movie, I felt healthier. They gave me a sense of catharsis.
Looking back on it now, it’s easy to understand why: in most of the movies I watched, the killer was someone who had been down on their luck, a “loser” who had been picked on and wronged by the “cool kids.” Therefore, in my mind, I was the slasher, and the victims were all the bastards who had done me wrong. (Of course, in most of these movies, the killer gets what’s coming to them at the hands of the final survivor, but I tended to ignore that bit so the movies could fulfill my daydreams.)
So I started to rent more horror movies…and more…and more. Just like with reading, I was indiscriminate when watching these films. I didn’t care if they were high-quality big-budget studio horror films or cheap little quickies that four bowling buddies threw together over a weekend. No matter how much of a mess the movie was, I loved them all because they gave me that sense of release.
Eventually I locked on to Fangoria magazine and learned more about the movies I was watching. Certain names quickly became familiar to me. Among them were David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, Stephen King (of course), Clive Barker, and Tom Savini. I learned about the favorite movies of Fangoria’s editors and contributors. Consuming their favorites helped me define what I considered a good quality movie.
Soon I had consumed a tremendous amount of horror films, averaging approximately two each day. (Over time this rate slowed down because I became more of a snob and insisted on a certain level of quality.) Despite all the time I spent watching movies, my grades did not slip. I discovered that I could continue to do exceptional in my schoolwork as long as I was in a positive state of mind, and it made me happy to watch these movies. I’d still think about them long after the closing credits rolled, admiring the camerawork, the plot, special effects and what (if anything) the movie meant. Of course I watched my share of exploitation fluff, movies whose details evaporated from my mind as soon as I hit the rewind button on my remote, but it was all good clean fun.
In my opinion, it was a lot cleaner than some of the fun my peers were having. Many of them were already heavily into drinking and drugs. At that age I took no interest in such things. Where was the sense in getting so drunk that you could hardly stand up or remember anything, and were destined to feel like shit the next day?
Some of my classmates had also started having sex. I’m talking hardcore, filthy, dirty, raunchy, only-in-adult-movies kind of sex. I never engaged in it myself because of something my parents had said to me, the only idea of theirs that I ever considered words of wisdom: “Sex should happen only between two people who love each other.”
I don’t mean to imply I was raised to believe people had to be married before they could be intimate. No, my parents were not opposed to premarital sex. As long as two people loved each other, sex was justifiable. In my mind, copulation without love was animalistic behavior. Animals fuck to continue their species. We are supposed to be better than animals. Later in life my stance on drinking and drugs would shift, but my thoughts on sex and love never changed. I made a vow to never fuck a girl unless she loved me and I loved her. (Of course that is not to say I kept this vow, but I want it to be known that I DID make it.)
If you like what you have read and would like to purchase this serialized novel as one complete PDF, then please send $2 to Steve via PayPal: email@example.com
Also, don’t forget to check out his other writing at the following links below:
Author: Redemption Comics
Steve Grogan was born in the often-filmed city of Troy, NY. He has written in a variety of formats (novels, short stories, poems, screen and stage plays, blogs/articles) and genres (horror, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, drama).
Steve is also a father, a boyfriend, a musician, a fitness fanatic, and a martial artist. He has been studying Wing Chun Kung Fu since 1995, and he maintains a blog/YouTube channel that describe his training habits, epiphanies, and advancement. It also candidly discusses his stumbling blocks, such as his struggle with nutrition and mental health issues.
He is no relation to the New England Patriots quarterback from the 1980’s.