Psychopomp & Circumstance
Adrean Messmer has crafted a very unique book here, almost a collation, in the way it reads. We are given a group of young people--after high school college age friends and acquaintances who have all known one another since their teenage years. They are not all friends, not at all. One by one their lives begin to tangle and that tangled line knots around the rotten hand of an entity known as "The Sewercide Man."
Beginning with Nell and cryptic messages appearing on her social media page, posts she has no recollection of making, the trajectory is a writhing reptilian thing. A parade of ghoulish images and deeds. A young man kicked out by his parents moves himself in with the orphaned son of a hoarder and the hoard bleeds. A young woman whose stepfather harbors a sinister jealousy towards the young man she fancies. A young mother forces her baby's father to own up to his responsibilities in a nightmare scenario that will haunt you for days. Water-logged cadavers and rats in the walls and Youtube guitar instructional videos, it's all in here.
Told in chapters, each from a different characters point of view, Messmer creates a town where the boundaries have been torn down. Where the dead walk and are not happy to just whisper and slam doors. She delivers a Clive Barkeresque "Candyman" quality of nightmare as character and anguish as script that translates into a reading experience that is not that common. A fun read but an unsettling one. There is a lot on display here: remorse, jealousy, sadness, loss and guilt and wrapped around the suburban ghost story.
Psychopomp& Circumstance is available from A Murder Of Storytellers, LLC.