Restricted Access Thesis
Primary Advisor/Thesis Chair
In The Black Lake, Mickey and Guillermo go camping with friends and they begin to fall in love. But, of course, monsters attack, a modern version of the Grendel and his mother. Our two protagonists are forced to face down the monsters threatening their community, and their hardships serve to deepen their bond.
At the height of the novel, Mickey and Guillermo are separated. While Guillermo takes on the high school principal and head of the conspiracy, Dr. Flynn, Mickey faces off with the Grendel’s mother. Guillermo manages to defeat Flynn, but loses himself in the violence of the confrontation. Mickey tries and fails to kill her foe, and soon realizes the only way to beat her monster is to become a monster herself.
Mickey manages to kill Grendel’s mother, but is transformed in the process into something both more and less than human. She becomes a goddess, a chooser of souls, and while this transformation grants her great powers, she is also consumed with a need to kill in order to add souls to the well. In the end, Guillermo and Mickey must find and heal each other, each finding a way to give the other some solace for what they’ve lost and each also helping the other realize all they still have left.
Cromwell, Ben, "The Black Lake" (2018). Creative Writing Programs. 47.