Author: R.J. Bathgate & M.J. Hall
Genre: Psychological Thriller / Horror
Jack Cyrus is in damnation! After witnessing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, he has become plagued by dark memories and devilish visions, the result of post traumatic stress. Compounding his trauma, he is faced with the sudden death of his wife, from cancer, after returning home to Scotland. Lost and alone, and struggling to forget the horrific circumstances surrounding her passing, Jack has developed schizophrenia, experiencing chaotic, disturbed thoughts and demonic hallucinations.
On the sixth anniversary of his wife’s death, Jack receives a cryptic, hand written letter from her, telling him she is still alive. Suffering and held captive, she pleads with him to return to Darkview, the place she spent her last days, and rescue her from purgatory. Upon arrival in Darkview, strange things start happening, and what appears to be a centuries old mystery, starts unravelling itself. Jack must piece together the clues and lost fragments of his sanity to solve the unravelling mystery. Is any of it real, or is it just a manifestation of Jack's mind, or another facet of his schizophrenia?
‘I’ll ask you again! Can I help you, Jack?’
Jack was staggered. The man had a hostile tone. When Jack looked closer, he noted a red substance, coating the man’s cagoule and washing onto his boots, as the rain battered him. ‘How do you know my name?’ Jack probed.
‘You’re Jack Cyrus – Chloe’s husband. Don’t you remember me? I used to take you and your dad out fishing way back … when you were just a kid.’
Jack couldn’t remember. ‘Look please, I’m stranded!’ he digressed, exasperated. ‘I’ve had a hell of a day! I just need to use your phone.’
‘Sure, go ahead!’ the man said. ‘The power’s out. But there’s a battery operated CB radio. You can pretty much contact anyone in Darkview with that.’
‘Thanks. Sorry, what’s your name?’
Jake entered the cabin and Jack followed him inside. Jake’s heavy footsteps rocked the boat, as he led Jack to the front of the cabin. Jake picked up the radio, trying to make conversation with Jack.
‘So, Jack, tell me! Where’ve you been all these years?’ He didn’t give Jack a chance to answer, as he fired another question. ‘What you doing out in Darkview at this time of night?’
Jack looked at his watch. It read one o’clock. He looked confused. The time was obviously wrong. Looking up, he saw an old wooden clock above the bow window. It showed the same time. Jack was baffled as he turned to face Jake. ‘Look, Jake, I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m tired, cold, and I’ve had a bad day! I just want to get to where I’m going, have a drink and get some sleep!’
‘Sorry I asked!’ Jake replied. He put the radio to his mouth and said to Jack, ‘Who do you want me to contact?’
Jack put his hand in his pocket and removed Jimmy’s business card. ‘Can you call this garage for me?’ Jack asked, handing the card over.
‘No problem.’ Jake spoke into the radio. ‘This is Burnt-Alive to Jim-Bob, come in, over!’ The radio hissed static back at him. ‘I know you’re there, Jim-Bob, pick up, over!’ he tried again.
A thud, followed by a scream, interrupted the interference on the radio. It appeared to come from below the cabin. Jack looked startled but Jake didn’t flinch. He handed the receiver to Jack as if nothing had happened.
‘Gimme a sec, do you know how to work one of those things?’ Jake asked Jack nonchalantly.
‘Aye,’ Jack replied, trying to hide his fear.
Jake made his way to a trapdoor at the back of the cabin that led down to the engine room. As he did, he picked up a bloodstained meat cleaver from the tabletop…
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
M.J. Hall was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, at the turn of the eighties. Despite being born in England, he identifies more with his ‘adopted’ country, Scotland – he’s lived there since he was four, and his late maternal grandfather was Scottish, too. He presently lives in Edinburgh and is currently studying Environmental Science at the Open University, but has always dreamed of a career in music or writing, or both. He is vegetarian, loves animals (especially cats) and is devoted to his black and white moggy, Tahlula. He humbly admits being just a small voice in a big chorus, and his life changed for the better, or at least would never be the same, when his lifelong and best friend – R.J. Bathgate – invited him to collaborate on Darkview.
Author Links: Webpage | Facebook | Twitter @darkview_vol1