This was my second opportunity to submit a story to a horror anthology – a welcome departure from the usual professional writing world I inhabit.
“Lies Under Skin” was inspired by the geography of the Hudson River Valley in New York, an area I grew up near and have always loved. Being just north of New York City, it provides a beautiful semi-rural contrast to the city – with small towns and villages, Industrial Revolution era castles atop of foothills, rivers, and dense woods – and is home to one of the most infamous towns in dark fiction history: Sleepy Hollow.
It was Halloween time when I wrote the story, and I knew it should be set on the road. For the demon, I researched Furcas from the Lesser Key of Solomon, and learned among other things he was considered a teacher and represented wisdom. He holds the distinct title of knight among demon lore and is depicted as an elderly man who rides a horse. He didn’t strike me as evil; rather he came across as neutral and capable of delivering impartial judgment, good or bad.
“Lies Under Skin” is a story about punishment with an opportunity for redemption; a story about a man’s acceptance and ownership of his own evil doings in all its gory details.
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