Writer Laura Stokes, after a bad breakup years ago, made up a way to comfort herself when she was feeling especially low. Stokes said,
"I'd stop, take a breath, and say, 'But then he died in that horrible fire!' I mean, I didn't want him to actually die in a fire. But just imagining gratuitous revenge for a moment had a calming effect. It also made me laugh, which I needed badly."
The exercise became a joke among Stokes and her friends. Over time, the pastime evolved into something much more public. Using her son's toys and action figures, Stokes and her friend Nichole Cordin began to create and photograph dioramas based on revenge fantasies -- an exercise which now has its own Facebook page.
Readers are encouraged to participate by telling Stokes and Cordin their stories in order to add fuel to the revenge diorama fires. Stokes does not limit eligible stories to those of ex paramours, either. She's made it clear that anyone who has seriously wronged another is fair game — a parent, a bully, and on. Also being expanded is the range of action figures and props available for use in the dioramas.