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Dead Lines

by , (Crossroad Press)

(13 reviews)


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This digital edition of DEAD LINES includes a new foreword by David Niall Wilson, as well as an Author's Foreword by Criag Spector, and an Afterword by John Skipp.

DEAD LINES is about a young writer/artist type, Jack Rowan, in NYC, whose career never took off. Hs life is in the toilet. He's broken up with his girlfriend and crashing on the couch of his more successful photographer friend, Glen's, loft while Glen is off in LA on a shoot. In the first chapter, Jack finishes his manuscript -- a collection of short stories titled NIghtmare NYC -- swigs off a bottle of vodka, then boxes the manuscript up, writes DO NOT OPEN UNTIL DOOMSDAY on it, and hides it in a crawlspace in his friend's apartment. Then he walks up a ladder he set up in the living room, puts the rope he knotted to a steam pipe around his neck/ He takes one last swig off the bottle, looks at a photo in his hand of himself and a woman, says, look what you made me do.

Then he tosses the bottle and pitches off the ladder. The rope goes taut. Jack's neck snaps as he pinwheels around in mid-air, knocking over the ladder, swinging wildly as he hangs himself. Finally he goes still. His body hangs there for weeks, visible thru the fourth floor windows of the loft... if anyone was looking, which no one is. He remains there until Glen gets back.

Glenn freaks out and promptly moves out. The loft is renovated for new tenants -- a couple of girls who don't know each other move in. One, Meryl, is from a wealthy family in Boston and trying to escape her overbearing father by going to college at NYU; the other, Katie, is a waitress who used to know Glenn... and Jack. Meryl convinces Katie to pretend to be her roommate to get Meryl's father off her back. At first Katie says no thanks, but then she goes back to her Svengali-esque boyfriend Colin's apartment (where she lives) and finds him in bed with two girls -- customers, as Colin is a low level drug dealer and all around scumbag. They fight.

Katie shows back up on Meryl's doorstep that night and takes her up on the offer. Meryl is surprised... she wasn't expecting a roommate for real -- but Katie has no place to go, she Meryl lets her crash there. They start to become friends.

One night while Meryl is fixing up her room, she finds the box containing Jack's lost manuscript. She starts to read the stories and becomes intrigued with this 'mystery' writer and his dark, brooding, moody vision of the city.

What neither Meryl nor Katie realize, is that Jack's soul, upon the moment of his death, literally imploded into the atomic substructure of the apartment -- frozen, in a kind of tormented limbo, forever. Until Meryl starts reading his stories... and the sheer energy of her reading his words in bed each night, and fantasizing about him, starts to bring him back. His soul coalesces; bit by bit, awareness and consiousness returns. Suddenly, he's back, and he's Jack -- but he's dead, a presence haunting the loft, which is his prison now.

But Meryl keeps reading, drawn deeper into his world each night. By day she searches for him in bookstores -- but his work has never been published. She see echoes of his images on the streets of the city. She can feel his presence thru his stories. Her nightly fantasies become dreams... and the power of her dreams allows Jack to visit her, succubus-like, a night lover in spirit.

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  • We started tracking this book on March 28, 2020.
  • The current price of this book is £2.98 last checked 15 hours ago.
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Additional Info

  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 328 Pages
  • File Size: 994 KB

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