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She came into the clearing and the moon seemed to beam all its light directly on her. Radiant. It appeared to be her, and not the full moon, that illuminated everything in this corner of the park….

Love consumes us. We don’t sleep, we can’t eat, we gaze out of windows, and we skip down the street. We wake up and we think about our Beloved, and we go to bed and we dream about them. But what happens when our Beloved does not love us back? And what happens if we turn to Dark Forces? E. B. Stark‘s incredible The Wicked in the Wall, narrated by Guy Barnes, explores the lengths we go to when love consumes us.

FragmentsOfFear.com E B Stark

© E B Stark

Stark tells us: “I created Teddy, my antihero because I’m drawn to mentally unstable characters, particularly when they serve as an unreliable narrator. Obsessiveness and irrationality are symptoms of a damaged psyche, and the propensity for evil that can result from such damage intrigues me.”

“At the start of the story, I hope for the reader to empathise with Teddy, who is crouched in hiding, as if in fear of what stalks him from the woods. The tables are soon turned, however, and we see him for the pervert he is. Later, we may empathise with him yet again when we learn he’s likely of slow mental aptitude and is frequently made the butt of childish jokes at his workplace.”

“In my eyes, Teddy has reprehensible character traits,” she continues. “But he’s redeemed somewhat by his mental handicap and the bullying he’s endured as a result. Yes, he’s off his rocker, but even the craziest bad guys are heroes in their own stories.”

Narrator Guy agrees: “Being an artist I related to the journey as I think most musicians and artists have a certain degree of madness to be able to do what we do!!”

FragmentsOfFear.com Guy Barnes

© David Meyers

He explains: “In my mind the story leaves one guessing as to who and what the real monster is in this tale, and plays with the imagination. I`m sure viewers will all have a different perspective as to the reason behind this character’s madness..”

Wicked has a special place in Barnes’ heart. He tells us: “It was a pleasure to be involved and with the recent passing of Richard Gladman, it’s now very much a tribute too. We filmed the story at my house in the forest. It was a pleasure working with director Anthony Gates, and Producer Georgy Ragazza (who also did my makeup) ..and of course Richard who was there doing sound and making me laugh which probably wasn’t the way to get into character but when someone hands you a plastic baby and tells you go into a tree house and suck your thumb, what else are you going to do??”

Stark’s first forays into writing and her love of horror are intertwined. An avid young reader, she began to craft follow on stories for the characters she loved and describes her introduction to the works of Stephen King and Dean Koontz as a dark love affair.

“I craved the heart-pounding suspense they provided,” she says. “I relished that awful dread that slinks down your spine when you follow your heroes down dark storm drains and you know, you just know, the evil clown lies in wait—probably around the next corner—and what he has in store is so much worse than you could ever imagine.”

“As an adult, it’s been much more difficult to find a level of horror equal to that of my youth. Aliens, vampires, werewolves—those tropes rarely frighten me. Human beings, however, (and what they are capable of) invoke a dread and fear in me that’s worthy of the Pennywise of my youth. Today, it’s psychological suspense horror that I crave.”

She finds her inspiration in the news, in documentaries that report on crime and the human psyche, and in media stories that explore the odd, the mysterious, and the unexplainable. She developed Wicked because she liked the element of ambiguity in the story. “Is Teddy a victim of a monster he helped bring to life,” she says. “Or is the only monster in the story Teddy himself (and his damaged psyche)? Does a demon really come out of a wall?”

“The reader has seen the obsessive and irrational side of him, so it stands to reason he might distance himself from the horror of his actions by projecting them onto an imagined entity—an entity that may, in fact, be quite real to him despite being imaginary.”

We hope you love it too!

In the weeks leading up to broadcast Craig Johnson will give you lots of exclusive behind the scenes photos and footage over on the Instagram account. Do please follow it!


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