Each time that Sirens Call Publications releases an anthology, we like to delve a little into the minds of the authors whose stories appear between the covers just to find out why that particular story line came to them. In Between the Cracks, twelve fantastic stories appear and each of the authors was asked to write a post sharing their inspiration for it. Seven authors answered the call… Next up is Deb Eskie, author of Complacency…
The Inspiration Behind Complacency
Complacency was inspired by my observation and experience of modern dating, and how attractive male privilege influences heterosexual culture. Too often, I have witnessed couples in which one partner holds the reins and the other partner follows cluelessly. Complacency exemplifies the dire consequences of neglect, manipulation, and emotional abuse and how these types of relationships affect self-esteem and self-worth.
The scariest horror is based on the darkest realities. Most women (and to stay relevant to the story, I am discussing abuse within a hetero-typical circumstance) who suffer through domestic abuse do not have the tools, the education, or the strength to escape. Sometimes they don’t even know they have a choice, especially if they feel they are not good enough to do better. They convince themselves that they need to accept their unhappiness, because being alone would be far worse.
This is not something that happens infrequently within relationships. This happens all the time, in many different types of dynamics and the cruelty of this kind of abuse is particularly damaging, because it is not as obvious or as visible as physical violence. Emotional abuse creates psychological wounds that the victim, herself, is not even fully aware of. She may, in fact, truly believe that she is being loved and cared for, and perhaps she is. Perhaps that is the most frightening truth of all.
The possibility that the abuser does, in fact, love his abusee.
When I wrote Complacency it was at a time when I realized I could no longer interfere with these kinds of relationships. Having been the victim of abuse myself, I wanted so badly to save anyone who was stuck in an abusive pattern. However, I came to realize that many victims do not wish to be saved, and that it is up to them to recognize their own misery and to do what it takes to remove themselves from the situation. Unfortunately, many victims choose to stay in their unhealthy relationships, because they are addicted to both the passion and the pain. And it is the attractive white man that continuously gets away with being in control and in command. He is never faulted. He’s an attractive guy. Why shouldn’t he have everything he wants? Who can blame him for taking advantage of the women that fall to his feet? He is living the ideal life and if women don’t like it, they can choose to stay away.
And ultimately, that is true, but her inability to see choice creates invisible bars of imprisonment. And she learns to rely on those bars. She is comforted by the familiarity of her own stagnation, and thus, she becomes complacent.
**Sirens Call Publications does not endorse abuse of any nature, physical or emotional, on behalf of male or female abusers. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel you are being abused, we encourage you to take action and seek help for yourself and any other party concerned by reaching out to your local law enforcement or trusted support structure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – Deb “Spinster” Eskie is a resident of Somerville, MA and has an M.Ed in creative arts education. With a background in women’s studies, her focus as a writer is to expose the woman’s experience through unsettling tales that highlight the dilemma of sexual repression and
oppression. By combining the genres of feminist and horror fiction she aims to not only disturb readers, but deliver a message that is informative and thought provoking. Spinster has had plenty of stories published in various anthologies.
Facebook: Spinster Eskie
And here’s a little information about Between the Cracks…
A crack, a split, a rend, a tear – all of these fissures open up a new world for us to gaze upon. But what if the things we see aren’t friendly? What if the things that spill from beyond are dangerous and unwilling to be contained? What if evil lurks just below the surface waiting for its chance to strike?
In this collection of diverse and multi-faceted tales, you’ll find a computer program twisted into a nefarious tool, elves who are more than mischievous, a Creole House where those who dare to cheat fate meet with an unsavory end, and something evil lurking within the water. Are you brave enough to look Between the Cracks? There is only one way to find out…
Between the Cracks is available on:
And now for an excerpt from Complacency…
Daryl was the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen. He had wholesome, bright eyes, and thick sandy blond hair, with dimples, and a sharp, neat wardrobe. Good looking men came into the restaurant all the time and I never thought much of them, because they never thought much of me. Men tipped other waitresses better. I didn’t stand out much and I was too shy to flirt and too odd to be charming. I doubt Daryl would have even noticed me had I not spilled beer all over him while balancing more trays than I could handle. Naturally, I was mortified, expecting the handsome stranger to yell at me and tell my manager like previous customers had. My boss came right over to apologize for me, and I figured this was probably the last straw and I would be fired, but Daryl smiled at the manager and calmly assured him that it was no big deal. Not only would he pay for a second drink, he was willing to pay for the one that had landed in his lap. “That’s certainly not necessary, sir,” my boss protested.
“It’s the least I can do. You have a fine place here with very fine service, I might add.” Daryl looked at me and I looked at him and that was the beginning.
We were engaged after only three weeks of dating. My sister, Nessa, begged my parents not to support the marriage. “It’s totally friggin’ ridiculous,” she shouted when I made the announcement. “They barely know each other. We don’t know anything about this guy!” My mother settled Nessa down, but her disapproval was hurtful. It was obvious what she really thought of the situation. She, like most people who met Daryl, considered him to be too good for me. She would never actually say that though. As my big sister, Nessa feigned older, wiser protectiveness, but she looked down upon me and treated me like a child, always. My parents, however, were not so quick to judge. They were old-fashioned, and though they had wanted me to learn self-reliance as Nessa had, they were fond of the fact that Daryl had money and it relieved them to know that he was willing to take care of me.
“I want you to know, Mr. and Mrs. Norton, that I love Kerin, and I intend to be a worthy husband and provider for her.” My father liked the sound of that, and with Daryl’s strong handshake and Ferrari parked in the front driveway, how could he object?
I did not wait for my wedding day to go all the way with Daryl. After our engagement party, we swam in Daryl’s outdoor pool and he convinced me to consummate our love. I didn’t exactly feel ready, but I could barely resist Daryl’s strong kisses and powerful force of body. After we made love, Daryl told me he had a confession to make. “Kerin, I want you to know that you’re my one and only. I love you, but I’m not only going to be with just you after we’re married.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, I’m going to continue to sleep with other women. I’m telling you this because I have ruined former relationships by hiding who I am. I don’t want to cheat on you and risk losing you, so it’s better you know, before we make this official. If you don’t think you can go through with it, then I’m saddened, but I understand.” I took a moment and thought about this unusual offer. I had never heard of this kind of arrangement before, and the idea of Daryl being with other women was truly an appalling one, but the idea of not being with him at all was even worse.
“Okay,” I said to him in a faint whisper…
Tune in tomorrow when we’ll hear from James C. Simpson!