Today’s post is an interview with Edward Ebb, the antagonist from my upcoming book, The Revelation Room. The Revelation Room is the first in a series of psychological mystery thrillers written with a touch of dark humour. Ebb is the psychopathic egocentric leader of The Sons and Daughters of Salvation, a small religious cult who have taken the protagonist’s father captive.
This post was inspired by an interview in which Maggie James asked questions of her antagonist from her book The Second Captive http://www.maggiejamesfiction.com/blog/five-questions-for-a-fictional-sociopath.
1. Hi, Edward. Tell me about The Sons and Daughters of Salvation?
Please address me properly. We are not close enough for you to assume such familiarity. You must call me Father at all times if you want to continue this interview. In answer to your question, I set up the group with Brother Gerald some ten years ago. The idea? To prepare for The Rapture. This is the time of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. All dead people of faith will rise, and all true believers still alive shall go with them to meet the Lord. They will then continue on a journey into the Kingdom of Heaven. Non-believers will be left behind. Of course, it’s not simply a matter of faith, because there are many among us who are masquerading as believers. I fear they are in for a rude awakening. They will be ordered to stay behind with the non-believers to face eternal damnation. The Lord has told me to build a spaceship to prepare for this magnificent event.
So who are we? We’re just an ordinary bunch of folks carrying out the Lord’s work. We don’t go around forcing our views down other people’s throats. We don’t have to; society’s ills are there for all to see. Fast food outlets, greed, the latest iPhone, people worshipping false gods, medicine interfering with God’s will, popular music. The list is endless. At least ninety percent of human beings will spend eternity burning in the flames of Hell, and don’t let a single one of them tell you that they didn’t have a choice. Everyone has a choice. The whole world seems to want to pass the buck these days, but let me tell you, Mr Writer, the buck stops here. No more lame excuses. No more he told me to do this, she told me to do that. It’s time to stand up and be counted. Time to get out your abacus and add up the sum total of your life. Do you think it’s all right to sin and then ask God to forgive you? Of course it isn’t. You wouldn’t run someone over in your car and then ask the car to forgive you, would you? No, sir. You’d stand in the road and admit that you were a reckless fool who deserved to be punished for your incompetence. So many people seem to shed their responsibilities and then expect someone else to clear up their mess. The Sons and Daughters of Salvation fly in the face of this modern ethos. We are prepared for the Day of Reckoning and we are ready to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Are you?
2. Some people say Brother Gerald was your lover. Is this true?
No. Absolutely not! I am appalled by the implications of your question. It’s true to say that Brother Gerald helped me overcome several difficulties in my life. He took me into his home and he introduced me to literature. But he was not my lover. Did I love him? Certainly. But not in the sordid way that you have suggested. Brother Gerald was killed by the order of Jesus Christ for the sin of homosexuality. He was condemned to death by a thousand cuts, stripped of his flesh and secured to a cross in The Revelation Room. Those who spread malicious lies will not be spared, Mr Writer, so remember that before you try to put words into my mouth. God is watching you.
3. You set up the cult on Cyril Penghilly’s farm. What happened to Cyril?
Never refer to The Sons and Daughters of Salvation as a ‘cult’. We are not anything of the sort. The word implies we are a band of hapless hippies who drink chicken blood and dance naked in the woods. We share none of their distorted beliefs and propensity toward witchcraft. And we do not condone the slaughtering of animals, chickens or otherwise. We believe that life is sacred. We are servants of the Lord Jesus Christ. As far as Cyril is concerned, he wanted to go east, I wanted to go west. It was simply a clash of ideals. Cyril Penghilly believed that he still owned the farm, which was a rather strange notion considering Brother Gerald gave him the sum of eighty thousand pounds to purchase the place. Officially, Cyril died in a tractor accident. Between you and me, he was strangled and put in the Revelation Room along with Brother Gerald and my mother.
4. You killed your mother when you were sixteen. Why?
If you want the simple answer; she was a whore. She was also a cruel and vindictive woman who spent half of her life getting drunk, the other half cavorting with the latest ‘uncle’. She threw me down the stairs when I was seven years old and then forced me to tell the doctor I’d fallen accidentally. I hit my head several times on the wooden stairs and suffered epilepsy and blackouts as a result. Jesus told me to smash her head in with a shovel. He interrupted a gardening programme on TV to give me a live demonstration with a pumpkin. He couldn’t have made it any clearer than that, could he? I killed her with ‘Uncle’ Reg’s shovel. I also wore a pair of his overalls to commit the act. Reg was eventually charged with her murder and imprisoned for life. I killed two birds with one shovel, you might say!
5. Why would a man of peace such as Jesus tell you to murder three people?
I didn’t murder them. Choose your words carefully. I eliminated them at the request of Jesus Christ. Who are you to question the motives of our Lord? I don’t have to justify Him to you. When the Lord sent the floods, did Noah question Him? No. He built an ark and got on with it two by two. God asks the questions, my friend, and you’d do well to remember that. If Jesus told me to dive into the flames of Hell and rescue a fallen angel, I would do so without a second thought. Sometimes we are compelled to act even when the motive is not always clear to us. I was as surprised as anyone when Jesus told me to sacrifice Brother Gerald. I even questioned the reasoning behind it, but fortunately good sense prevailed. Jesus was right to point out that Brother Gerald set a bad example to the group. Brother Gerald flew in the face of procreation and therefore had no place among such a progressive group as The Sons and Daughters of Salvation. He was eliminated for the greater good.
Thank you, Father Edward, it’s been an illuminating experience speaking to you. I sincerely hope that I’m never left alone with you in The Revelation Room.
So there we have it. A small taste of Edward Ebb. I really enjoyed creating and working with him. I hope you enjoyed the interview. As always, many thanks for reading.
All the best