A note on The Monster's Mother
Content Warnings: suicide, depression, school shooting
Coming up on a year after the release of Confessions of an NPC, I revisited the game as we passed another, more important anniversary.
20 years and a day ago, on April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris committed what would be known as the the Columbine High School Massacre. The chapter "The Monster's Mother" was based on the account of Sue Klebold, mother of Dylan Klebold, of the events of Columbine as per her book "A Mother's Reckoning." My approach was heavily informed by her account and wanted to capture a portion of the gravity of her dilemmas she had to face, while not rewriting history nor her account. In the story there is a necessary (and struggled) blending of her account to treat her story with respect, and fictionalization to introduce original elements for a new re-telling for a new audience. Her story and her son's story is important to tell as it has largely been forgotten by later generations, although America and the individuals and community who've suffered are still dealing with it's fallout even today and for many years to come. I hope I've treated their story with respect as their story is all of our stories, for anyone who is a friend or family member to someone with depression, or suffers from depression themselves. I hope that this game remains as a small monument to their struggle and for the rest who've struggled with them.
From A MOTHER'S RECKONING:
A day does not pass that I do not feel a sense of overwhelming guilt--both for the myriad of ways I failed Dylan and for the destruction that he left in his wake. . . I think often of watching [fourth-grade] Dylan do origami. . . I loved to make a cup of tea and sit quietly beside him, watching his hands moving as quickly as hummingbirds, delighted to see Dylan turn a square of paper into a frog or a bear or a lobster. I'd always marvel at how something as straightforward as a piece of paper can be completely transformed with only a few creases, to become suddenly replete with new significance. Then I'd marvel at the finished form, the complex folds hidden and unknowable to me. In many ways, that experience mirrors the one I would have after Columbine. I would have to turn what I thought I knew about myself, my son, and my family inside out and around, watching as a boy became a monster, and then a boy again."
- Sue Klebold
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