What makes a person turn bad?
I used to be a good person. Sometimes I think I still am. It’s messed up how far a man can go when he realises he has nothing. Did I change who I was out of greed or to survive? I don’t know.
Yet here I am, 48 years old, lying in a hospital bed. I must retrace my darkest moments and find out who did this to me. Although my circle is small, the motives are plenty.
In this dark action thriller, Kai Jackson recalls his horrific story of how he became a psychotic, murderous criminal.
“A breathtaking ride through the mind of a hired killer.” R.W. Harrison, Author of The Onyx Trilogy
“Powerful and important book about the realities of mental illness and how far one wrong decision can take you. Arti is a master in her ability to describe complex and hard truths and making them tragically beautiful.” Michelle Young, Author of Your Move
“This was such a gripping story. The mystery, the intrigue, the suspense… So expertly written, I was hooked! You won’t want to put it down until every piece of the puzzle is solved. Looking forward to the next book!” Amazon Review
Targeted Age Group:: 25+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I like to place real-life issues from anxiety and mental health to society and expectations at the forefront of my storylines.
Seven Sins was inspired by films like The Joker and series like Money Heist, where I was intrigued by the aspect of 'bad' people doing bad things for the good, or at least they thought they were. It made me ask myself the same questions my character asks himself – what makes a person turn bad? Who decides what is good and bad? Who has a right to make that judgement?
Some of the things I've seen happen to those around me (to a certain extent), and experienced too about society and expectations also inspired me to write some of the more emotional chapters within Seven Sins.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I wanted to focus on men's mental health and the impacts of society's expectations of how men are supposed to be and feel. I wanted to show the flaws we make as human beings. My character, Kai Jackson, is a good person but he's made some wrong decisions throughout his life because, life happens – financial pressure, stress, trying to meet the expectations of others.
Through Kai, I wanted to show how easy it is to make a wrong decision, and the long-term impacts these decisions can have on not only his life but those around him too.
We are all flames waiting to be fed
Her fierce and angry soul hides amongst the beauty of her light. She’s deadly and contagious as she blazes from person to person burning all that she touches. She roams without a shadow and she doesn’t want to be seen. She lives in the form of humanity and it’s hard to tell. It’s hard to tell who is infected with her evil and who is not. Fire, it’s a dangerous thing.
Seven days ago
I stood over him and watched as fountains of blood gushed out from where his limbs used to be. He was choking on this thick, dark, molten of red that erupted from his mouth as he glared at me, face filled with cuts and grazes and more of this liquid that streamed down his skin. He watched me as I watched him, burning amongst the lava that poured from his body. It was time to put his torture to an end, he had endured enough.
I leaned towards him, grabbing him by the curls of his hair before dragging what was left of his body through the pool of blood that was seeping from him. He took one final look at his son before I drove my knife into his throat. Blood trickled down his neck as I pushed the cold steel deeper, slicing it open whilst moving it across him as though I were an incompetent butcher. I felt the damage I was causing as the weapon ripped into his skin tearing through his nerves. His groans silenced as I took back my knife. I laid him to rest and waited for the darkness in his eyes to fade before taking a step back to evaluate the mess.
The level of creativity behind this new piece of artwork had exceeded all others. Blood splattered along the walls and ceiling and blanketed the marble floor of this man’s living room. It dripped down the corners of the coffee table and spread across the French doors that opened into the garden. Shards of glass were scattered across the room while bits from ornaments and lamps glittered in pools of this dead man’s blood.
He had put up a good fight but had still been defeated. I stood there and watched my creation. My masterpiece. I came out stronger. I did this.
The sound of his baby’s cries snapped me out from my paralysis. It was time for me to go and for the cleaners to come. I walked away, wondering what this man had done to deserve this death.
Bad things happen to good people. Take that in for a moment. Inhale it like a cigarette and let it whirl around inside you. This is the kind of thing you hear every day. What does it mean, bad things happen to good people? I wonder. What does one have to do to be crowned a good person? What does it take to be considered a bad one? Who decides what is good and what is bad? Who makes that judgement? Who has that right?
I’m lying here with nothing but my ugly thoughts sprinting through my mind as if running a relay. It’s dark in here, here inside my mind and I can’t help but ask myself, where did I go wrong? When did I turn bad?
Sometimes my thoughts get the worst of me and I wonder whether I was unfortunate enough to have had an amateur wire up the mechanics of my brain rather than the Man Himself. I wonder whether the same amateur had worked up the story of my entire life. A twisted and sadistic one at that. The kind who’d wave a floating ring at a drowning man. The kind who’d give that man hope but have no intention of saving him. We’re playing the devil’s game and it’s one where hope doesn’t belong. You’ll see it when it’s too late. When you’ve stepped too close to the fire, when you’ve been burned by the flame.
Those flames will take away your freedom, your voice and they’ll make it theirs. They’ll stick a target on your back until you get stung. That sting will turn into a bite, and a bite, a cut. With each strike, those cuts will get deeper. Deep enough to hold the gasoline that they’ll pour over you. And then they’ll take a step closer until you’re a flame. A flame, like them burning in the shadows looking for your next feed.
What do you do to stop a fire from burning? You kill it. You deprive it of oxygen and you suffocate it. Or you let it burn. You let it spread.
Self-defence. That’s what it is until your actions become immoral. But what else do you do when the fire keeps burning? When the knives keep piercing? When the bullets keep firing? You allow yourself to get shot or you eliminate the shooter. By then it will be too late because you’ve made your move. You’ve committed your sin because you felt the wrath of theirs too many a time. Only this time, you’ll make sure you don’t get shot again.
You’ll surround yourself in armour and you’ll leave your guard raised. Protection becomes destruction and it’s no longer self-defence. By then you’ll be considered a bad person because that’s what you become when you look out for you. The darkness will cave in and that’s where you’ll prefer to be. In the dark, like me. That way you won't get torn. That way you won’t bleed.
Except you will, because you’re not the only one out there with a weapon. You’re not the only one out there protecting your own back. Too many people burned. Too many people scarred.
Am I a flame? I wonder, but I already know. I got too close and now I’m one of them. An angry flame that has spread like a bushfire turning everything in my path to ashes. That’s what we’ll all be soon. Nothing but ashes. Nothing but dust.
The outcome will be bad for all of humanity because whatever good that is left in this world will slowly disappear. No matter how much good you do, one bad thing is all it takes for you to knock off that halo from your head and replace it with the devil’s horns.
How can you tell the difference between the good and the evil when eventually we will all become the same? It’s human nature. To kill or be killed. We were supposed to be like this. We were supposed to be bad. Whatever that is.
Two days of confinement is all that it has taken for me to see the reality of what this is. And after forty-eight years of believing I had been doing good, it’s taken me two days in this bed to realise that I was just a small flame all along. A small flame waiting to be fed. Just like everybody else.
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