Note: All excerpts are posted in accordance with U.S copyright law, which allows such excerpts to be used for the purposes of, amongst other things, commentary and critique.
I don't think I mentioned it before, but the person behind IN THE DEPTHS magazine who is supposedly dead is a schmuck named Zorn Hritz. Anyway... when we left Eugine, and his
boyfriend co-editor Jerry, then were just entering the Borderlands diner.
The diner has a gray and black color scheme, and has pictures of the "grim reaper" and a poster of the Tarot death card on the walls. Some song by Cathedral -- which I assume is a heavy metal/doom metal/industrial metal/whatever-Nicky-is-into-today band -- is playing and:
"The staff looked like they could be a character of old Gothic horror short stories from the early 20th Century. The proprietor was tall and muscular, looked like he could pass off as a roadie for Type O Negative."
All the staff could be *one* character. Grammar-fail...again and often. Eugine makes a further observation:
Yikes, creepy. Not. It gets better:
"He and Jerry felt like the diner was similar to something breathing within the pages of the stories written by Zorn Hritz."
"It was if they were in over their head because this was the hangout of many of the writers from IN THE DEPTHS. The kind of place that plays in the minds of those who come from a Blue Collar angle with the Gothic. Some in there would come in with their Windows laptops and type up the true paranormal accounts to chilling evil horror yarns would come out of drinking a cup of Joe within these blasphemous walls."
Like another review of this heap o' crap said, the reader is now in one of Nicky's wet dreams. I feel icky just reading this.
After this bit of description, there's more of Eugine feeling dread, etc, just from the atmosphere. Come on, Eugine, suck it up. You're here to kick some Zorn ass!
"He started to think this place was too horrifying even for him, and he collects macabre medical oddities. The atmosphere within the diner seems like something spiritualist D.D. Home would dream up. That vibe gave both Jerry and Eugine the chills. Almost if someone was covering them with their own funeral dirt, they each felt the wind get knocked out them."
And this from the decor and the music. Eugine is starting to sound like as much of a drama queen as Nicky is. Remember Nicky had a psychological breakdown because one of former roommates made a joke about him needing a lobotomy. Nicky gets freaked out by pictures, hears voices when doped up and thinks they're ghosts, etc. Jeez. Eugine deserves so much better.
"Loud heavy metal music blasting from the speakers while she took their order. They weren't prepared for a heavy metal diner..."
Yeah, because diners with a heavy metal theme are so rare and so scary. Not.
Blah, blah, blah. More ungrammatical rambling. Nothing happening.
I'm starting to skim now because even after another couple of pages, we're still getting Eugine ruminating on the diner and on the deaths of his contributors. In fact, they arrive at the diner at about 13,600 words and at the end of my incomplete ARC at 23,200 words, they ARE STILL SITTING THE FUCKING DINER waiting for the mysterious Zorn to arrive. Ack.
Well, I suppose we can disuss the deaths of Eugine's contributors. Take this hilarious egomanical Gary-Stu passage:
It was if God himself actually gave them the middle finger because He saw something wrong in his eyes, the death was a touch of his wrath – not since he sent Sodom and Gomorrah in the depths of brimstone that the wrath had been fully unleashed to the contributors of SINNERS DANCE and judgment was in the pens of IN THE DEPTHS. The contributors of SINNERS DANCE had pawned their souls to be in the magazine...
I'm laughing so hard I can barely type. OK, back to the contributors' deaths. We have the following:
--Someone falling into the Fox River
--Lisa Carglio hanging herself
--Karen Lynn Moseley "impaled to the top of the fence like the way Vlad The Impaler would impale his victims" (Karen? Wonder who that is supposed to be?)
--Hanna Yellin getting hit by a car. Of this death, Nicky writes: "God really saw something wrong in his eyes when it came to her, pretty much gave the female abomination the middle finger as the bitch died." Nicky has a very warped sense of the Bible and Christianity..but we already knew that didn't we.
--"Stephen Nicolas Marshall getting impaled in the forehead with a two inch wide and a eight foot rod flying through the windshield of his 1973 Olds."
(I should interrupt to add that, interspersed with mentions of God, there are also references to Hades and "the ferryman". Religion-fail. Nicky, you should pick a religion and stick to it. 'kay? Good.)
(I also need to interrupt for the following: "The burials became fodder for Nickolaus Allan Cicerone's short story “The Burial Of The Young.” In the story, he would be describing how they would be scratching at the inner walls of the closed caskets if they were buried prematurely." Probably another story WHERE NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS.)
--"Janis Beresford who ran a venomous gossip blogzine that took a shit upon people who wrote within the pages of In The Depths. They later found chatty little bitch beheaded from a shard of steel." Her sin: "Beresford often stalked the author, Zorn Hritz in his life because she didn't like what he did..."
(Sorry, more interruptions for sheer lulz: "The kind of thing that would be coming from the pages of Nickolaus Cicerone... Cicerone and Hritz often traded ideas back and forth for stories, sometimes using each other's stories as backdrops for eerie tales of the afterlife. Cicerone actually revised some of Zorn's works that were finished, but still on the word processor as his best friend passed away. They even collaborated on one which the subject matter was about retribution from the afterlife called “Pacione's Laugher.”)
, based industrial performer screaming about being liquored up. Found him beheaded with a thick sheet of metal while driving drunk down the highway." Madison, Wisconsin
--Jessica Wagner (LOL!) and Joe Capote drown in the Atlantic Ocean. According to Nicky, they both plagiarized from Nickolaus Cicerone. Hahaha.
And there my e-ARC ends. Regardless, I think we all know how it ends: Zorn shows up, and Eugine and Jerry kick his scrawny, greasy, dwarf ass back to wherever he came from.
At least that's how I picture it.