Come to CHURCH, and Meet Our New Lord, Zabir

Good morning, kids! Guess what today is… it’s release day!!

dean drunk dancing

My horror novella, CHURCH, published by Unnerving Magazine, is finally here. And just look at that beautiful thing…

Church Cover


In honor of this fine day, let’s talk about where my inspiration for this story came from.

To put it simply: Netflix. The longer story, I love documentaries. I’m also fascinated by religion and understanding the weird shit people believe in. I think that everyone needs to have faith in something, be it a person, themselves, or some deity far, far away, whom they’ve never seen, spoken to, or had any tangible proof exists. I think faith is good. It makes you hopeful, and (usually) encourages us to be better. Faith has inspired people to do amazing things, but let’s be honest, it’s also inspired people to do some pretty horrific shit too.

Now, that disclaimer is out of the way, I’ll get on with it. So, I watched a couple of documentaries about Catholicism (although these were not on Netflix) and a series about that wonderful time when we tortured and burned innocent people we believed were witches (in the name of God, of course). I also watched a couple of films about Scientology and various cults that went way bad, and I said, “What the hell is wrong with us? Why would anyone believe this foolishness?”

The answer I came up with was that we all just want to belong somewhere. Don’t say you don’t. Even the most assholey prick has a need to be accepted somewhere. It’s okay. It’s normal. In religion we find common ground, and no matter how different we are, we know that with these people who think as we think, we “fit.” (Psst. That’s how they get you.) And being human, many of us believe that what we “know” to be true is the only truth, and damn it, we’ll fight for that truth. The rest of you are going to Hell, or wherever our religion says you’ll go to be punished for your sins.

So, after my documentary binge, I had an idea. I had the Christian God, and I had Ray; a man so firmly entrenched in his faith, that he believes non-Christians must be saved. He also believes he’s so tight with God, that he has the ability to save them. Arrogant much? Now that I had my so-called hero, I needed a new god to challenge him. Say hello to Zabir.

Zabir’s plan for salvation involves a lot of self-sacrifice and blood. No pain, no gain, right? The big question for me to answer was: Is Ray’s faith strong enough to defeat Zabir and his followers, or has his ego taken him to a place where God is no longer with him? I may have also sniffed around the question: Is there really anyone “up there”?

There you go. Read CHURCH to find out Ray’s fate and that of the Zabians he’s trying to “save.”


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