Friday, May 4, 2018

When Fiction and Reality Become One

 By Maureen L. Bonatch

Crows lurk around the office where I work at the day job. They unexpectedly fly at the window and startle me, and others, from working. Just the other day one stared me down in the parking lot.  Cawing. I had to force a little extra courage in my step as I approached him while he watched me with a narrowed eye. I’d seen him before. Sitting on top of the light posts in the parking lot. Watching

When I see him, it makes my skin crawl a little. 

I’ll glance back to see if he’s still there. He is. If he’s still watching me. He is

He can’t fool me. I know who he is. That crow is Randall Flagg.

Characters That Invade Reality 

If you love Stephen King books, as I do, and especially his book, THE STAND, then you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about. The demonic, evil figure of Randall Flagg appeared not long after the plague in the story. He could disguise himself as a crow—and I’ve never been able to look at a crow the same since. Randall Flagg was a character I loved to hate. A character that has lived on in my mind for years, and I’m not the only one.

I can mention seeing “Randall Flagg” to people and some of them don’t question it. They nod and don’t even frown, or question my sanity. Because they know who I mean. The character has lived on beyond the book in their minds, and mine, and become part of our reality. To me, I don’t think of him as a character in the book. He’s moved beyond that and stepped from the paper into our world.

True to Life Characters

The art of creating a true to life character is something to be admired. It displays an author’s ability to create a character as real to others as it is to them. One that had previously only lived in their thoughts. 

Randall Flagg has stepped over from fiction to reality so far that he has his own Wikipeida page. So I know it’s not just me keeping a wary eye on any crow that lingers a little too long. 

What Fiction Characters Have Become Part of Your Reality?


Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter



5 comments:

Diane Burton said...

A fun post, Maureen. I sure wouldn't want a crow watching me in a parking lot. I'd be afraid he'd divebomb me or my car. I didn't remember Randall Flagg at first. Now I do. Creepy.

sorchiadubois said...


For me it's not so much characters as creatures--good and bad. Everything from fairies to ogres. Pretty sure is hearkens back to all the Grimm's Fairy Tales I read as a kid--NOT the Disney versions. And when I'm doing research and I come across a legendary critter I never heard about before, there's always a moment of "Ah, so that's what that was." The truth is out there! I love this post!!Now I have to go read The Stand so I can be terrified of crows, too.

Maureen said...

Thanks ladies! Oh yes, those Grimm's Fairy Tales were nothing like the Disney kind, lol.

Nancy Gideon said...

My favorite book ever! Flagg was a fabulous villain! He gave me chills and thrills. Rutger Hauer once said the key to portraying a frightening villain was to make him charming. That contrast to the darkness of the individual was what made him so terrifying.

Unknown said...

Great post, Maureen! I love to hate villains...and to write ones I hope others will hate, too. I just love to make people want to sleep with the lights on! So much fun!

Agree, Nancy. Charming usually means sociopath...