All Things Truly Wicked: Tales of Sinners, Saints, Science, and the Supernatural

The urge to be bad and succumb to the little devil within the human psyche that compels and entices us to give into our primal urges can be powerful. I don't care who you are or who you think you are, it's inside all of us. I've fought that personal demon and suffered from depression for years.

In my fifty-eight years, I've survived in a world often devoid of compassion, harmony, and peace. Oh, those human attributes still exist, but they seem rare, like a mountain-sized diamond. Nasty and belligerent had become cool; hostile and combative, acceptable. I see it every day, embedded in social media, reality shows, the workplace, and in common everyday scenarios. The pecking order rules. Cyberbullying has become a rite of passage for our youth to weed out the elite from the swill. “Be cool or be cast out,” so goes a line by the 1970s rock band Rush from the song “Subdivisions.”

Three years ago when I started putting this publication together, I struggled for a title. I later discovered the stories—four of which having been previously published and repurposed for this collection—resonated a common, unintentional theme.

While searching the web, I found a quote from Ernest Hemmingway's memoirs, A Moveable Feast, “All things truly wicked, start with innocence.” The stories in this book represent a side of us that sometimes dies within. The characters start out afraid and uncertain, and they do not always win the way they intended. They accept their inevitable fates, even when they subconsciously know it is wrong. The iniquities confronting them become ingrained into their essence, and they are changed forever.

Allow me to end with a few quotes to make my point.

If I got rid of my demons, I'd lose my angels

—Tennessee Williams

The soul that has conceived one wickedness can nurse no good thereafter.


by Anthony V. Pugliese

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