Horror: A study on Cliver Barker part 15, Confessions of a Shroud
Summary: Confessions of a Shroud tells the story of Ronnie Glass, an accountant who finds out that three of his clients are running an illegal pornographic business. After trying to end their relationship, his clients frame him for running the illegal business, hence, ruining his career. Ronnie buys a gun and kills two of the three men before the third client figures out what is going on and kills Ronnie. Ronnie, determined to get his revenge even after death, possess a shroud, hunts down the final client, and disembowels him. The story ends with him going to a church, in order to confess his sins to a priest, so that he might gain resolution.
Notes: Despite the campy idea of a killer shroud, Confessions is actually a well-written and entertaining story. So, what I wanted to touch on is how Clive Barker took a very trope idea and made it somewhat fresh. A lot of horror stories go like this = Group of idiots does something morally wrong, evil monster arises to kill them, the group of idiots must learn to change their ways or die to the evil monster. In this story, however, the MC is the evil monster. Ronnie Glass sets out to murder three men, this is not a noble or even morally sound goal; Ronnie Glass is just as much as a monster as the men who framed him. So why we do cheer for him? Two reasons.
1. Ronnie Glass loves his children and often thinks about them throughout the story. This humanizes him.
2. Unlike the men who he murders, Ronnie does not attempt to avoid punishment. The Clients run from Ronnie; however, Ronnie does not run from punishment and at the end of the story even states he will accept whatever punishment God chooses to dish out to him for murdering these men.
The last thing I want to touch on is the eerie ending. The story ends with the priest finding the shroud (after Ronnie has lost the ability to possess it) and wonders about the story of how it found its way into the church. The reason this ending is so unsettling, at least for me, is how often have you, in real life, found an object and thought to yourself 'how did this get here?'
Thinking in those terms can be a great way to come up with story ideas. Next time you find a misplaced item, ask yourself 'Is there some brutal and horrific story (or heartfelt and romantic story) behind how this item got here?
I hope you've enjoyed my look at Confessions of a Shroud. If you have any thoughts or questions please leave a comment or like!
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