Emptiness of Soul

By Peter Darcy | On May 18, 2016 | No Comments | In Truth

[Vanadium said,] “When you’re as hollow as [villain] Enoch Cain, the emptiness aches. He’s desperate to fill it, but he doesn’t have the patience or the commitment to fill it with anything worthwhile. Love, charity, faith, wisdom – those virtues and others are hard won, with commitment and patience, and we acquire them one spoonful at a time. Cain wants to be filled quickly. He wants the emptiness inside poured full, in quick great gushes and right now.

“Seems like lots of people want that these days,” said Nolly.

“Seems like,” Vanadium agreed. “So a man like Cain obsesses on one thing after another – sex, money, food, power, drugs, alcohol, anything that seems to give meaning to his days, but that requires no real self-discovery or self-sacrifice. Briefly, he feels complete. However, there’s no substance to what he’s filled himself with, so it soon evaporates, and then he’s empty again.”


Considering his battered and stitched face, considering also his tragic and colorful history, Vanadium spoke with remarkably little drama. His voice was calm, nearly flat, rising and falling so little that he almost talked in a monotone.

Yet Kathleen had been as totally riveted by his every word as ever she had been by Laurence Olivier’s great performances in Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. In Vanadium’s quiet and in his restraint, she heard conviction and truth, but she detected something more. Only gradually did she realize that it might be this: the subtle resonance arising from a good man whose soul, containing not one empty chamber, was filled with those spoon-by-spoon virtues that do not evaporate.

[Dean Koontz, From the Corner of His Eye (Bantam Books: New York, NY, 2012), p. 492-93.]

Written by Peter Darcy

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