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.
So after about 1800 words of backstory (can you say "infodump"), the plot *finally* kicks in. The hero, Eugine Verner, editor of SINNERS DANCE magazine, receives a mysterious note:
The note was folded into a small envelope, and didn't seem like it was from someone in this area.
WTF? Either the envelope had a return address--in which case he would be able to read where it was from--or it didn't--in which case he would have no way of knowing where it was from. Eugine doesn't want to open the note because:
There was a sense of dread in the air when he saw the letter, so he refrained from opening it because he's seen many of these and one of them was the picture of him on the dart board as a voodoo doll...
OK, so a picture like that might be kind of spooky. More descriptions of the envelope:
...just that the envelope was staring right at his face. Almost if the fucking thing was staring right at his soul. Just something about that small envelope gets to him, if it wasn't from this world in itself.
..the envelope appeared if it had a pair eyes. It was staring at him for good two hours, almost if the thing had a life of its own
Now he's just being melodramatic. But wait...
The return address on the envelope read
Wheaton, Illinois, not just Wheatonbut . Wheaton College
Look at that. The envelope did have a return address. Nicky and consistency must be feuding more than usual these days. Eugine ruminates further on the villains (and uses his heroic powers of clairvoyance to know things about them that he would have no other way of knowing:
...[Eugine and his co-editor, Jerry] were haunted by the Southlands Blue Collar Horror Movement. A bunch of bastards who openly crank Stranglehold by Ted Nugent, Disposable Heroes by Metallica, Sober by TOOL, or Empire by Queensryche – some of them were photographed wearing a Master of Puppets shirt and some drawn sitting with Edgar Allan Poe and Rod Serling in a diner.
Bwahahaha. Gary Stu. Eugine then ruminates on the deaths of some of his also-heroic contributors. Some have died in car or motorcycle accidents, by suicide, and drug overdose. Eugine does a lot of ruminating on things. Nicky isn't very good at plotting, and he leaves poor Eugine sitting around a lot. I'm pretty sure Lewis will treat Eugine better. Finally Eugine expresses his frustration with the villains trying to force him to print stuff he doesn't want to print (it's Eugine's magazine after all, so it should be his choice):
I hate these blue collar types trying to take over. Just something about them really bother me – ...Damn them all to hell, fucking bastards.
My sympathy goes out to Eugine at this point, although I do wish he would stop whining and do something. Like call the police and report the villain for harrassment via the U.S. Mail system. Not only has the villain (whose name we have yet to learn, but I'll find it for Part 3) been sending notes and videos to Eugine, but the contributors to his magazine have been writing stories threatening the contributors to Eugine's magazine.
Then Eugine finally opens the note:
...the letter says meet [the author of the note] out to a diner along
North Avenuein Lombardon Saturday. They were being very cryptic with the letter but the person is a contributor to In The Depths.... The letter said for me the meet them at a diner on Saturday during the afternoon. The person behind the letter will reveal themselves then. They drew out a map of the area for me to find the place, I am familiar with Lombard.
No, Eugine, don't fall for it! And major grammar-fail in those quotes. And finally for today, Eugine uses his powers of clairvoyance again and makes a gruesome discovery:
Then the author's signature was signed in lamb's blood.
Not just blood, mind you, but lamb's blood.
Coming in Part 3, Eugine ruminates for another couple thousand words or so, then makes a decision.