The first Hellmaw book has been published by renowned author Ed Greenwood, so be sure to check it out, as he is the diabolical mastermind behind the creation of the world that I will be playing in for my upcoming novel.
As the autumn days die into the long dead nights of winter, we pick up on my last post, where I asked you: what if we were food? What if we were no longer at the top of the food chain and rather than the occasional shark attack, or lions, tigers and bears, we were actively hunted as food.
Let’s retreat from the nihilistic view of complete world destruction from a massive feeding frenzy, like we see on TV and in the movies, which are chock-a-block of zombies ambling endlessly after us in The Walking Dead, or more terrifyingly, swarming us at super speeds in 28 Days Later and World War Z.
Before the grotesquely dead hunted us in pop culture, we’ve long been stalked by seductively dangerous vampires, who are at their best when they are akin to serial killers, toying with us in 30 Days of Night, enslaving us in Blade, or outright farming us like cattle in Daybreakers.
Who can forget the vicious otherworld hunters popular two decades ago who pursued us so they could reproduce in Aliens, for sport in Predator, or duped us into thinking they came in peace during the TV series V.
The difference between these latter two groups and the current infestation of zombies, is a smart predator understands how to cull the heard without over feeding, because to do so would lead to starvation. The smart predator also understands how vastly outnumbered it would be if the herd suddenly transformed their fear into a desperate will for survival and turned on it.
As many of us who would certainly fall victim like lambs to the slaughter, given good reason, our fear of being hunted could easily flip to anger and a desire for revenge. Having been at the top of the food chain for all of our evolution, it would take very little to foment that fear of being the hunted and once again becoming the hunters. That would not bode well for our solitary stalkers at all.
No, this kind of hunter is far more insidious. It requires iron self-control and a deep understanding of the subtle balance between annihilation and starvation. Let the feeding get out of control and the “food” fights back, or disappears completely. It requires skill. It requires cunning.
These are the types of monsters I find fascinating. And scary. Terrifying really. That scene from 30 Days of Night where the teen-aged girl is used as bait to lure the remaining survivors out of hiding is utterly chilling. It was firmly etched in my mind the first time I saw it in the theatre, and still gives me the shivers.
That is the kind of monster that will be populating my slice of Hellmaw. Won’t you stick around and see who becomes the hunter and who the hunted?