From the Depths
by James Haroldson
Date Published: January 17, 2014
When Cameron Bishop III encounters something inhuman and horrible while working as a pool boy, he is suddenly tasked with saving the world from an evil older than the Earth itself. Working against him is the Order, a cult of unimaginable power and wealth led by an enigmatic madman. With his friends and family starting to believe that Cam may be going crazy, can he stop the plans of an ancient evil and its worshipers before they resurrect a living, breathing god bent on the destruction of life as we know it?
“What's your name?” she asked as she began to gyrate her hips in time with the music.
“It's, uh...Cam,” he said reluctantly, wishing he had given her a fake name.
“Stacey,” she said back, draping her arms around his shoulders and stepping closer. Her chest pressed against him; he could feel the heat her body gave off as she continued to sway. “This your first time in Kingsport?”
“No, my friend J.D. has a house just down the beach. We usually come out with our other friends once or twice a summer when his parents are –” he was cut off as Stacey pressed her lips against his and slid her tongue into his mouth. Cam tried to pull away, but her hands dug into his skin, gripping him so tightly it hurt. He pushed harder, and groaned as he felt her fingers sink into his flesh. Warm wetness ran down his arms as Stacey's tongue flicked past his teeth and began probing at the back of his throat. He tried to scream but could not; could barely make a sound as Stacey's fingertips tore down into the thick muscles of his shoulder. Blood poured from the wounds, soaking his shirt and turning it a deep red. A girl nearby looked over and started to scream, and soon J.D. was at his side, slamming his fist into the side of Stacey's neck
She shrieked in pain, letting go of Cam long enough for him to shove her away and regain his footing. Elias roared, audible even over the sound of the music, and smashed into her from behind, driving his shoulder into her lower back with a stomach-turning crunch. She collapsed limply to the sand, moaning and clutching at the spot J.D. had hit her.
Against his better judgment, Cam crouched down next to her in the sand, roughly forcing her hands away and looking closely at what was causing her to shriek so loudly. “Gills,” he said softly in disbelief. A row of thin slits flapped weakly at the base of her neck, bleeding profusely from where J.D.'s punch had torn the skin. Leaning forward, Cam saw a second set on the other side, moving rhythmically in time with her ragged breaths. “She has fucking gills,” he said, and heard someone nearby scream in horror.
4 out of 5 stars
What do you get when you combine a small town, a cult of religious fanatics, hideously gruesome creatures and a man who questions it all? Well, you would get a terrifying story that can only be found in From the Depths. With its vivid descriptions and an intriguing plot, I felt as though I had front-row seats to a thrilling movie as I was reading.
I did have a few issues:
-At times, it was hard to figure out who was doing the speaking and there were a few misspelled words.
-Cam had his cell phone taken away when he was sent to the rehab center, but when he escaped; he suddenly pulls the cell phone out of his pocket….um, where did that come from? Cam’s parents were the ones that signed the commitment papers to admit him into the rehab center, but after his escape and he returns home, his parents didn't question why he was there? I realize his parents aren't fully involved in their parental duties, but really??? I think they would have questioned his appearance. And then, it was like that scene never happened and his parents were asking how work was going at the pool company. This just confused me.
Overall, despite a few bumps, this is a frightening tale of sheer horror that I would recommend to anyone. But beware…this one might just give you nightmares! There are several gruesome scenes so this one is not for the faint of heart. Mr. Haroldson has a knack of drawing the reader into this nightmare with his descriptive words and intriguing characters. Give this one a try….you won’t be disappointed.
In my short time on this ball of rock and water hurtling through the infinite blackness of space, I've worked as a pizza delivery guy, a manny, an ESL teacher, a headhunter, a pool man, a sushi delivery guy, a journalist, and a second mortgage intern, among other things. Currently, I shill video games to over privileged children in Burbank, CA, so that I can pay my bills and still have a place to go home to and work on my writing.
I read a lot, but my greatest influences would have to be HP Lovecraft and Stephen King, both of whom I've been reading since I was but a wee lad who only understood half of what he was looking at. Despite my gruff exterior, I'm desperate for people to like my books, so please...like my books.
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