Does every story need a “Baddie”?

On reading my blog some time ago, one of my colleagues remarked, “so, with all these kingdoms, who is the baddie?” I smiled because this was naturally a (if not THE) question I put to myself, while writing the “hero’s journey” and plot of the story. So, who is the baddie?

The baddie is the age-old form that appears and reinvents itself in many ways. The baddie banishes worlds to life in bleak darkness, where once there was brightness, light and colour. The baddie despises joy and makes it seemingly impossible for kingdoms to come together, unite as family and friends, and have fun.

coldness

…In that moment, the reminders of everything beautiful seemed to disappear and all that was left was darkness, coldness, dampness and fear….

The baddie thrives on chaos, uncertainty and loss of initiative, belief, expectancy and general direction. The baddie makes us run towards meaningless goals that seem justified, given the twisted logic that the baddie whispers in our ears.

fear

…All the people gasped even louder, “Oh no, Oh dear, Oh no no no!” Queen Malia glared so sternly at the young man, that he hid behind the King. King Kani pulled him from behind him, gave him a gentle frown, and then turned to firmly address the people…

The baddie turns smiles into threats, eyes into daggers and casual brushes into calamitous shoves. The baddie refuses to be wrong and believes they are entitled to strike the weak, destroy the innocent and take away opportunity from the smallest of children. The baddie lurks in the mundane, conjures up answers in uncertainty, capitalises on the crowd, feeds on ignorance and persuades the desperate to play by its rules. The baddie plays its trump card and calls for borders to be closed down and entire kingdoms to be wiped from the face of the earth. The baddie loves boxes, barriers and blame. The baddie provides a false sense of security, making people feel safe, when they maybe in fact in the lowest place of their lives and really need boosts of boldness. The baddie belittles the beauty of the truly beautiful.

Boldness

Princess Nia stood away from the huddle and exclaimed with conviction, “what about the flowers?”

The baddie leaves the helpless in gutters and challenges them to help themselves. The baddie is big, beyond the power possessed by a single human being, and knows it. The baddie lives on as the obvious cliche we fight to ignore, hidden in in the shadows of each partially-turned page:

Fear.

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