The Twilight Zone Effect and Tricksy Audience Endings

Amateur authors love to write dramatic red herrings and surprise endings that come out of nowhere because they enjoy fooling the audience into thinking one way and then taking them another way — even if it doesn’t make sense.  I call these writer tricks — “The Twilight Zone Effect” — because in that famous television series, the ending of each show was always “unexpected” and “scary” and, perhaps, more often than not, “dreamlike” where a mere “waking up” nullified everything that happened.

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Sixth Animal Sense

In a fascinating Reuters news articled dated December 30, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami did not kill any animals according to H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of Sri Lanka’s Wildlife department: “No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit. I think animals can sense disaster.”
In the December 31, 2004 issue of The Jakarta Post, two twins were saved when their rescuer, Riza, who was also caught in the rushing water, said: “A large snake as long as a telephone pole approached me. The twins and I rested on the python and we all drifted down the river to safety together.”
In an ABC News report on the tsunami on January 1, 2005, an entire village was saved in Indonesia when the villagers “heard the birds screaming in a way we had never felt before. They were warning us. We followed them to safety in the mountains.”
It is curious so many people believe animals are dumb and worthy of not only killing but of eating. Does one not believe the Sixth Animal Sense sounds as the butcher’s cleaver falls against their throats?
In 1909 Count Leo Tolstoy placed the dependent relationship between animals and humans in perfect juxtaposition against our shared greater need when he said: “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will always be war.”