Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

clues and lost fragments of sanity - Darkview: Part One - Psychosis by R.J. Bathgate, M.J. Hall

"I absolutely love a good horror story, and I love a good psychological thriller. This is both wrapped up in to one! You know it's a good story when, after you're finished, you close the book and just kind of walk around dazed, not sure of what you just read, totally creeped out by the horrific images, and unnerved by the blurred lines between reality, fantasy, and a psychotic break. [...] Loved it!!" Shelly, Goodreads


Published: May 8th, 2018

Take a journey into the disturbed, delusional mind of Jack Cyrus ... take a journey into Darkview ... a small, remote coastal town, deep within the Scottish Highlands.

The sleepy, isolated spot bears a sinister, horrific history, shrouded by a chilling secret. A secret one man must unveil, which will ravage his soul ... and sanity!

Jack Cyrus is in damnation!

After witnessing the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, he has become plagued by dark memories and devilish visions, the result of post traumatic stress.

After returning home to Scotland and compounding his trauma, he is faced with the sudden death of his wife, from cancer.

Lost, alone, and struggling to forget the horrific circumstances surrounding her passing, Jack has developed schizophrenia, experiencing chaotic, disturbed thoughts and demonic hallucinations.

On the sixth anniversary of his wife's death, Jack receives a cryptic, handwritten letter from her, telling him she is still alive. Suffering and held captive, she pleads with him to return to Darkview, the place she spent her last days, and rescue her from purgatory.

Upon arrival in Darkview, strange things start happening, and what appears to be a centuries old mystery, starts unraveling itself.

Jack must piece together the clues and lost fragments of his sanity to solve the unraveling mystery.

Is any of it real, or is it just a manifestation of Jack's mind, or another facet of his schizophrenia?


Where are you? Why have you abandoned me? Why, Jack? Why? You promised you would never leave me … that you would never hurt me. Help me. I’m scared. I can’t remember how I got here. I’m in that place again, the place I spent my last days. But it’s different. It’s dark, always dark. It’s not as I remember it at all. I’m in pain. A pain you cannot understand. I don’t know how or why I’m here. Please help me. Please come and take me home!
I love you Jack
FAA Chloe 
At the end of every letter Chloe sent Jack, she wrote FAA—Forever and Always before her name. It was their little peace of mind, their little piece of trust. To anyone who read the correspondence which passed between the couple it may have seemed over the top, but to Jack Forever and Always meant the world. When he spent half the year working in Africa FAA affirmed that Chloe was waiting, faithful and devoted, for him. Perhaps it was because Jack felt insecure that FAA provided the reassurance he needed, especially when so far away from home.
However, Chloe had stopped writing to Jack six years ago, so receiving this was bizarre. There was no explaining it. The strangest thing about this letter wasn’t the bloody fingerprint stains, or the fact that the handwriting was most definitely Chloe’s, it was the date she had supposedly written it: June 6, 2001. Exactly six years after her death.
* * * * * * * * *
Jack opened his eyes and found himself gazing into an old, cracked mirror in a dilapidated public toilet, ignorant of the mirror's imperfections and the strange substance smeared all over it. His dry hands gripped the sides of a rusty metal sink. In a trance his fingers reached for the droplets of water falling intermittently from the tap, then formed a cup to catch as much of the moisture as they could. A faint, cool breeze caused a dim flickering light fitting to swing from side to side above his head. Jack looked deep into his reflection as if he were searching for his missing soul.
He straightened up and sighed, his pale blue eyes locked on the tattered mirror. Unaware of where he was or how he got there and oblivious to the stench of stale urine that permeated his nostrils, Jack could only think of one thing: the letter. The words kept on replaying in a constant loop in his head, going over and over, character by character, word by word.  It was as if Chloe was there, speaking them to him…
About the author:
R.J. Bathgate, born and bred in Scotland, is the creator and co-author of Darkview: Psychosis. A father of two, and enormously proud of his heritage, he has studied psychology, social sciences, and is currently working towards an advanced diploma in psychotherapeutic counselling and hypnotherapy. His heart lies with new experiences and an interest into the unknown, particularly with writing. He has travelled the world from the dusty, wildlife-filled plains of Zambia, to the glaciers of Alaska, and the soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies. He is extremely fond of NHL ice hockey, video games, good films, fine wine, and Jack Daniels. He originally wrote Darkview as a screenplay when living in Canada, but upon returning to Scotland, researched mental health issues, namely psychosis and schizophrenia. Inspired by this research, he brought in his lifelong friend, M.J. Hall, to help create a more realistic take on Darkview. The result is a story that combines traditional Scottish history with real life, catastrophic world events, told through the eyes of the protagonist, Jack Cyrus.

M.J. Hall was born in Stockport, Greater Manchester, at the turn of the eighties. Despite being born in England, he identifies more with his ‘adopted’ country, Scotland – he’s lived there since he was four, and his late maternal grandfather was Scottish, too. He presently lives in Edinburgh and is currently studying Environmental Science at the Open University, but has always dreamed of a career in music or writing, or both. He is vegetarian, loves animals (especially cats) and is devoted to his black and white moggy, Tahlula. He humbly admits being just a small voice in a big chorus, and his life changed for the better, or at least would never be the same, when his lifelong and best friend – R.J. Bathgate – invited him to collaborate on Darkview.

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