This article is the first in a series of articles highlighting the best in horror fiction from various authors.
One of the scariest books you’ve (probably) never read happens to come from Romulus, Michigan native Matthew Carter and his debut novel, Liquid Soul, released in 2009. Set in an unnamed city, it follows along from the perspective of an unnamed author, a drug addict living in the bowels of the city. However, his drug isn’t something attainable from dealers and shady figures, but from anyone on the street. He is addicted to the feel of his victim’s blood on his hands.
From their blood, the narrator is able to experience life from the perspective of his victims, if only for a brief moment. Through this, the narrator dons the belief that he is helping his victims, that they are grateful for his intervention, while learning a thing or two about himself in the process. His victims are wide-ranging, from a heroin addict to a police sergeant in the midst of a search for his son’s killer. Afterwards, he buries his victims in an old lot, where he “hears” them talking to each other and getting along wonderfully.
Carter discussed what led to the conception of Liquid Soul with 1428Elm.com:
"“I was in college and we were trying to discover different styles of writing and when I found my proverbial voice, Liquid Soul was born.The story lends to the idea of what it would be like to be someone else for just a short period of time and the philosophical impossibility of it even inhabiting the same body.”"
Aside from dealing with addiction as a major theme something else that comes to mind is the question of what is really going on. Does this man truly have a supernatural gift allowing him to see the defining moments in the lives of his victims? If that’s the case, are the victims actually happy to be “set free,” as he puts it? Or are there far darker implications at hand?
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What’s not to say that the narrator is seriously, mentally ill? What’s not to say that he’s delusional? What’s not to say he’s schizophrenic? Whatever the case may be, the citizens that the narrator meets on the street aren’t safe from this dark addict. One thing’s for sure though: Liquid Soul readers will be peering around dark corners at night.