When I first read through Dante's Inferno, I'd admit I was a bit confused, very terrified, very stricken, all at once. I thoroughly enjoyed Dante's journey through hell, and I liked seeing all the historical figures there, giving their input on hell, even if they were suffering. Combined with the Southern Gothic Play, The Glass Menagerie, and the psychological Crime and Punishment, I put together a story I really did love.

As you all may or may not know, "Purgatoriu" is Romanian for "Purgatory." I named it this title out of respect for Vlad Tepes, the Turkish ruler of Romania way back when, as well as the inspired historic figure for Bram Stoker's Dracula. I loved all the characters in the book, though personally, to me, it was a bit predictable; good guys win, bad guys lose, victims are already lost. I found that in a lot of modern novels, and honestly, it was annoying. Too innocent, too naive; predictable.

When I ran into the anime Shiki, I immediately fell in love with its different take on the horror genre. Though I could relate more to some characters than the rest, I could see a lot of real life qualities these characters took on, especially when it came to people in our societies today. Megumi and Natsuno, restless teenagers who were more or less misunderstood, Masao, a boy who wanted his family's attention, and Tooru, the guy everyone liked, and the one who didn't deserve to die. Toshio, Tatsumi, Sunako, and even that extremist old guy; I found so many qualities in them I saw in the people around me. Since I related to Megumi and Natsuno the most (and since they were a bit spoiled and needed to be taken down a few notches), I decided to write about them.

Some of the themes in Purgatoriu were themes that I've seen in life overall. Clearly, lines between right and wrong blurred, with the meaning of life and death enveloped in enigma. Still, the characters could find some safe haven from all of this, wherever that might be. Desperation and insanity swarmed around the two, but despite all that, they still managed to continue living, though technically, they're dead. You've seen it all; Natsuno and Megumi racing ahead, trying to find a way out of the darkest corners of their own delusions and sins. Though it be bittersweet, a bit sad maybe, they managed to find a light out of it, even after everything they've gone through.

The corpse demons at the end of the main story, the ones that both Haru and Fawn built, I believe, were real shiki. Controlled by their own sense of despair and sorrow, they pursued whomever had warmth, whomever had any other emotion than the freezing pain they were drowning in. I think, that through Haru, everyone, from Nao, to Masao, and, tragically, even Tooru (yes, Tooru's corpse was used. A bit ironic that, at the end, Natsuno didn't even see his friend walking toward that fire) came after both Natsuno and Megumi. They weren't evil, though their actions certainly are; they were, after all, once human. So, when they died, they faded away, and achieved their happy end.

So then, to Megumi's questions, at the end; the one that stood out, at least for me, was the one where she asked Natsuno how you could belong somewhere, when you know you've destroyed your own home. To be honest, this question has been on my mind for some time, even before I started writing Purgatoriu. Just living seemed too simplistic, and moving on didn't seem good enough; it made the entire situation seem so trivial, even though it wasn't. Even now, I'm still trying to find that answer, and with all the recent developments, what with ISIL, the war in the Middle East, the prejudice against minorities in the Western World, the Cold War, democracy vs communism, and on, and on, and on, it hasn't made it easier.

I don't know. Should a jester even be asking any of this? Should a simple clown be asking themselves this over and over again, if their simple job was to make people laugh?

I don't know.

I don't know I don't know I don't know I don't know I don't know.

If anyone would give me their input, I'd appreciate it.

In a way, I used Purgatoriu to try and solve some of my own questions about life, fumbling my way through one answer after the other, until finally, I came up with one I was satisfied with. And even then, that might change with other stories, whether they be fan fictions or not.

If you're all still wondering about the last chapter, yes, Megumi and Natsuno had been in contact with Kaori and Haru. Our two shiki had been with the lovers for the past decades, with their families, with their children. The studio in that little cottage served as a reminder of those times. I suspect that the two will follow Tomomi's family around too, so hey, everyone wins. :)

Purgatoriu wasn't just another story to me; like the canon, it followed along guidelines as to how regular people would act in desperate situations. Unlike the canon, it followed the aftermath of those decisions, as well as the consequences that could come from them. It involved delusions that couldn't possibly be real, judgements only the characters themselves would give each other. They couldn't even see the happiness their old home brought them until it was destroyed, and it was only in the end did they manage to reclaim those memories.

Thank you for reading Purgatoriu, and for your comments and support.


The Seelie Court Jester