I love all of the classic Edgar Allen Poe stories, but the one I just can’t get out of my head is a strange little short story called THE IMP OF THE PERVERSE. It’s not as scary or creepy or emotionally fraught as his others, but something about it speaks to me and just will not stop yammering on in my subconscious even all of these decades since I last read it.
If you’ve ever driven down a two lane highway as headlights approach, kids in the backseat, and have an itch, an urge, a terrifying, horrifying impulse to swerve into those oncoming headlights… that’s the imp of the perverse. The creature that compels you to do the very worst thing imaginable. To push that person off the cliff or stab your boss in the eye with the pen you’ve been taking dictation with. I’m fascinated by that thing that forces an otherwise normal, good, well-adjusted human being to act, for just one split second… like a monster. We all have that voice, don’t we? What if the voice was not something you could dismiss? What if that voice was not a voice at all, but a powerful little imp who you just could not resist?
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