Call of the Void – A Writer’s Mind At Work
What do you feel when you look at photos like this? What about when you’re on high balconies? Heights of any kind?
Do you get the strange sensation that you could just…jump? Even if you’re not in the slightest suicidal?
That sensation is so common, it has a name. The French call it l’appel du vide — the Call of the Void. Scientists have been studying it and there is still no strong consensus on why we feel that way. The only thing we can agree upon is that it is the weirdest sensation.
But there’s something even weirder than that. A writer’s mind. My mind, actually. Because when I was reading about the Call of the Void, my mind spun off from it and started building a story out of it.
What if one could inject that sensation into other people? Or deliver it to other people from a distance, like a rifle bullet? And what if one could soup up the sensation, so that it became undeniable? So that people actually did jump?
Of course, once the scientists had finished tinkering with the sensation building serum, a psychopath who wants to rule the world would then have to steal it, make it even more powerful, or else figure out a way to deliver it to millions of people at once (via YouTube, perhaps?).
Even better: The psychopathic bad guy figures out a way to cast it across the globe, but only certain DNA sequences are affected by it. Say, only dark haired people. Or blue eyed people. This would trigger race wars and international crises.
That’s the political thriller version.
Maybe this serum gets spread around the world, affects and distorts the DNA of everyone in the world, and now all of us have to live, work and play in single story buildings. Forever. That would build to a global demand for more and more land on which to build our single-story complexes and conflicts over the decreasing amount of available land.
That’s the science fiction version.
A hero could save the day, of course. She would either figure out a formula to counter the serum (Tech thriller), or fight her way into the psycho’s complex and destroy the only serum supply and all the research data (action thriller).
Maybe there’s a SEAL helping her break into the complex, too, but she suspects he’s actually working for the psychopath, which puts her in a quandary because she’s drawn to him and his direct way of looking at the world…
And that’s the romantic suspense version.
That’s what my mind does when I look at the picture, above.