Date Published: 1/31/2015
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.
Kurst Hellerman pulled a gold key from his pocked and unlocked the door to the study.
It was then that Arthur Townsend met the Monster of Belcorte. He sat in Hellerman’s study, tucked in the leather lounge chair. His eyes were closed. Immediately Arthur noticed the scars from his abusive background. His foster parents, Kurst said, had been devoutly religious. His foster father, in fact, had been a minister. The upbringing of this patient—Kurst called him Patient X—was riddled with malevolence.
When they had entered the room, Patient X’s eyes had flickered open, but he did not speak. Only the heaving of his chest indicated his heart still beat, that blood still surged through his veins.
Kurst circled the leather chair, stood behind the patient, and placed a palm each on his shoulders. “I’ve brought a friend. Would you like to meet my friend?”
Patient X’s gaze traveled from oblivion and fell on Arthur. One side of his face was so badly burned that he looked half human and half … something else. Maybe an opossum, its fur burned down to its pink skin.
As Arthur would replay that image in his mind the next several weeks—as the months traveled by, he would remember it as an image of great horror. And sometime he would wake in the black of night, startle and jump up in bed, and that face, that terribly ruined face, was imprinted in his mind.
For now, though, he felt a wave of sadness—a sadness that squeezed his heart and pricked at his throat. Who had done these things to another human being? What cowardly monster? That his parents were responsible, that this man had suffered at the hands of parents who worshiped a figurehead named Jesus—likely a delusional schizophrenic like the Muslim Muhammad—left him not terribly surprised. And despite this wave of sadness, Arthur felt threatened. He was compelled to leave the room.
Patient X said, “I can smell her perfume on you. Where is she?”
Who was he referring to? Heaven forbid, was it Margaret, or was it one of his self-aggrandizing hussies who sat in his—
No, it was Margaret. He hadn’t lectured, not since this morning. With the word “who” on his lips, Arthur gazed across at Kurst, who was lost in his own delusional grin, those eyes burning like pilot lights.
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.