Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem

By Steve Rasnic Tem

The Deadfall lodge is the place our nightmares pass, it’s the place the lifeless pause to leisure among worlds, and it’s the place Richard Carter and his daughter Serena visit rediscover existence — if the issues on the inn don’t kill them first.

Think of it because the holiday hotel of the collective subconscious.

With the strong prose that has earned him awards and accolades, Steve Rasnic Tem explores the roots of worry and society’s fascination with issues awful, utilizing the many-layered metaphor of the Deadfall inn. Drawing thought from literary touchstones John Gardner and Peter Straub, Tem elegantly delves into the darkish corners of the human spirit. There he reveals not just our fears, yet finally our hopes.

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The others were locals. They made a great deal of noise, singing and shouting with the jukebox, but they all seemed tired and depressed. It was not the rhythmic sadness of Mexican music, but the howling emptiness of a sound I have never heard anywhere but in Puerto Rico -- a combination of groaning and whining, backed up by a dreary thumping and the sound of voices bogged down in despair. It was terribly sad -- not the music itself, but the fact that it was the best they could do. Most of the tunes were translated versions of American rock-and-roll, with all the energy gone.

The manager seemed terrified at the prospect of welshers walking out on him. He followed us into the parking lot, cursing and pleading by turns. " he howled. "When will you pay?. . you'll see, the police will come. . " I thought the man was crazy and my only desire was to get him off our backs. "Christ," I said. " "Yeah," said Sala, bringing out his wallet. " "Don't worry," said Yeamon. " He tossed his coat in the car, then turned to the manager. " We got in the car. As soon as Yeamon started his scooter the manager ran back and began shouting to the men inside the bar.

Ever since I'd come to San Juan I'd been meaning to get out on the island, but without a car it was impossible. My furthest penetration had been to Yeamon's, about twenty miles out, and Fajardo was twice as far in the same direction. We decided to get some rum and stop by his place on the way back, hoping to get there just as he paddled in from the reef with a bulging sack of lobsters. "He's probably damn good at it by now," I said. " I laughed. "Not out there. " Sala exclaimed. " I shrugged. I'd assumed from the very beginning that Yeamon would sooner or later be killed -- by somebody or some faceless mob, for some reason or other, it seemed inevitable.

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