The Scarecrow: an easter egg
In Scratch Lines, the first Muttopia novel, Kaidlyn and her team pursue a group of pelters. The perverse sportsmen track and capture werewolves, then skin them alive over and over for their pelts.
The story arch comes less from my animal activist sensitivities and more from a childhood nightmare.
In fourth grade, I heard a horror story about a scarecrow named Harold who was abused by some malicious, bored boys. Teased and tormented, he came to life and sought his revenge. He caught one of the bullies and skinned him alive, then spread out the boy’s skin for his brother to see.
Kept me up for nearly a week as my childhood brain rehashed the image of what a skinned human would look like, and how the skin would appear when stretched out to dry in the sun, and what animated inanimate eyes would look like.
Skinning people and removing their humanity and the utter brutality…it stayed with me.
And I’m petty enough to make my readers relive my nightmares. Enjoy!