youth in the art of watchmaking. But he is no ordinary administrator.
He possesses extra sensory powers he does not fully understand and
cannot control. But an innocent outing to Coney Island results in him
obtaining a more disturbing ability, along with a terrifying prophecy
that he will die in less than three days. As the clock of his life
counts down, a still greater threat emerges. An uncanny assassin who
will destroy everyone he knows and loves. Unless he can discover who
the killer is. And stop him in time.
AWARD (Best Adult Fiction – Classics)
was a FINALIST in the2016
FORWARD REVIEWS EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARDS (Horror Category)
“My hands feel peculiar. I attempt to lift them from the steering wheel and find there is an odd adhesion; they yield with an audible smack. I take my eyes off the road for a moment.
I look down.
Blood. My hands are covered in blood.
The clock ticks again. It is 5:54 a.m.
Oh yes; I remember now…
In four minutes, I will be dead.”
So begins Visions Through a Glass, Darkly, my attempt to create something completely different in the genre of psychological horror.
Although this tale of suspense, terror and other-worldly events is fictional, many of its characters existed in one form or another. Some of the events described – even those supernatural – actually occurred. The school described in the novel was quite real.
This is unusual, complex literary fiction and designed to be unconventional. In all honesty, it should carry a warning label. The novel starts slowly, lulling you with back story then grabbing you by the throat. It may disappoint an impatient reader looking for a quick fix or a formulaic approach. At times, the story line may seem to be just a background for the real tale: the horror in the mind of the main character, Richard Goodman.
But there is a story, of course, and it centers on Mr. Goodman, an administrator for a school that instructs disabled people in the art of watchmaking. There is a stark glimpse not only into the Lilliputian world of the watchmaker, but also into the lives of people with physical disabilities.
Goodman can be described as a psychic being driven mad by his own inimitable gifts over which he has no control. Demons come to him at night and invade his nightmares. The dead may stop over to pay him a visit at any time, but each time conveying a message that something or someone believes he must hear.
But Goodman is to acquire one more unique ability, along with a terrifying prophecy delivered by a Coney Island fortune teller that he has less than three days to live.
As the clock of his life counts down, a still greater threat emerges: An uncanny assassin who will destroy everyone he knows and loves. Unless he can discover who the killer is. And stop him in time.
Richard Goodman is a conflicted character, as so many of the characters in this novel are. He is tortured not only by the result of his unique abilities, but by the memory of an event that occurred when he was nine, and by his failure to reconcile with a father who committed suicide. He believes his life is a runaway freight train he is not in control of. But at the same time he holds out hope. A part of him believes that he can control his destiny and that a higher power may be watching over him.
Ultimately, Visions Through a Glass, Darkly is a parable with intense philosophies to relate. Nonetheless, I don’t suggest all the answers, and as to many things, I leave a blank space for the readers to fill in for themselves. As such, this novel may mean different things to different people and it was intended to be perceived that way.
It was my wish that some of this would scare just about anyone and that I might write words capable of bringing the hardest hearts to tears. By writing Visions I tried to convey what, to me, is the essence, the center, the core of true horror: To be alone.
I hope you find that Visions contains a passage or two like nothing you’ve ever read. I hope you find that some of it is beautifully written. I believe in the power of ideas and of words and I will try to make them beautiful when I can. Maybe this is because I also believe that their power to reach us lies in their beauty.
One more thing… As to the ending of this novel – as you may find in the ones to follow – nothing is as it appears to be.
City. He spends the wee hours of the morning writing books that
terrify and amuse. His days are spent in the courts and among the
skyscrapers, and his evenings with the trees, the stars, his wife and
his dog in a suburb north of the City.
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