Gates of Perdition
Date Published: 1/31/15
Mary watches in awe as a man plays guitar at gloomy Indianhead Reservoir. His skill is astonishing. But Mary is in the wrong place at the wrong time.
This man is a physiological oddity who suffered wicked abuse at the hands of his foster parents—for which he took revenge. He wants to be normal and whole again, but a manipulative psychiatrist has wakened the demons.
Mary will spend her last days chained in a basement—until she bears the child of a madman the media will call the Indianhead River Killer.
He will become Pennsylvania’s most prolific serial killer, and he will wreck the lives of the people in Belcorte. Twin Peaks meets The Silence of the Lambs in GATES OF PERDITION, the prequel to MIRRORS OF ANGUISH.
Arthur climbed out of his car, ruminating, gazing up at the peaks on this building, the cupolas that wove between dormer windows. At the center of the building was a tall cobblestone clock tower, the sides wrapped in ivy that, from a distance, resembled moss.
For an instant, he imagined Jeannie becoming trapped there, Hellerman playing some game, coming back into the waiting are and saying, Arthur, what brings you here? And Arthur would say, Where’s my daughter? And Hellerman would retort, Your daughter? I haven’t seen your daughter. And in one of those upper rooms, behind the thick windowpanes and the iron bars, Jeannie would writhe on the bed and she would scream until they sedated her with phenobarbital, and if she continued to struggle after that, they’d wheel her to some forsaken room, and they’d lock the door behind them and open up her head with a scalpel and cut her frontal lobe so she stared into blank space and murmured like an invalid. Career in music, crushed—well, unless you counted the children’s songs an idiot murmured.
“Are you coming, dear?” Arthur asked.
She’d opened the car door, but stayed in the passenger’s seat. “Why are we at the loony bin?”
Arthur smirked. “There’s a friend I’d like you to meet.”
“I bet he’s a patient. Maybe you should be a patient here, too.” She folded her arms and her lips bunched together.
Yes, he thought, maybe I should be a patient here. Maybe I am the one who should be writhing on the bed, destined for that trip down the hall where the doctors perform lobotomies. He imagined Kurst leaning close to him, and he could smell the German’s cigarette breath, and the German would say to him, Just a little pinch.
“He’s not a patient, dear,” Arthur said. “No, he’s a doctor.”
“A doctor who talks to crazies. I’m not going in.”
Arthur’s teeth clenched. You ungrateful little witch, he thought. I’m trying to help you, and all you can do is make choleric remarks.
“Jeannie, dear—” He tried to smile. “Get out of the fucking car now, or so help me God …”
Her eyes widened, and she climbed out of the car. By the time they reached the entrance, Jeannie was crying again. They had to sign in with the security guard, a thin black man who looked as interested in his job as Arthur was in professional sports, which was to say not very much.
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R.P. was enamored of horror from a young age, where he would sneak down to the family room with his mother sleeping, turn on that big console television--think 1970s here--and watch a double shot of horror on Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater.
He then took to creative writing, borrowing pieces of his favorite films. Today, he writes a unique blend of literary mystery and horror—throw in some crime now and then. It's one part H.P. Lovecraft and one part David Lynch and one part Kurt Vonnegut—and probably some other stuff, too. He is author of three books: Mirrors of Anguish, Demon of the Fall, and Gates of Perdition. He also co-authored Dangerous Grace, a soon-to-be-released erotic thriller.