By John Skipp
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Foreword by David Niall Wilson plus a new author's foreword by Craig Spector and 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.
The apartment is abandoned until two girls, Meryl, from a wealthy family in Boston and trying to escape her overbearing father by going to college at NYU and Katie, a waitress, become unlikely roommates. Then 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. As she reads and slowly falls in love with her mystery writer, stange things begin happening in the apartment, and in the girls' dreams. Something is awaken in the loft – and it's hungry, and Doomsday may not be so far away...