Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast by Jonathan Winn
Publisher: Crystal Lake Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (148 pages)
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe
Eidolon Avenue: where the secretly guilty go to die.
One building. Five floors. Five doors per floor. Twenty-five nightmares feeding the hunger lurking between the bricks and waiting beneath the boards.
The First Feast. A retired Chinese assassin in apartment 1A fleeing from a lifetime of bloodshed. A tattooed man in 1B haunted by his most dangerous regret. A frat boy serial killer in 1C facing his past and an elderly married couple stumbling and wounded from fifty years of failed murder/suicide pacts in 1D. And, finally, a young girl in 1E whose quiet thoughts unleash unspeakable horror.
All thrown into their own private hell as every cruel choice, every deadly mistake, every drop of spilled blood is remembered, resurrected and relived to feed the ancient evil that lives on Eidolon Avenue.
You never really know what your neighbors might do when no one else is around.
The main character in “Apartment 1A – Lucky” was an old woman nicknamed Lucky who has carried a terrible secret for decades. It took me a while to get into this story because of how often the narrator jumped from her dark memories of the past to the quiet life she was leading in the present. These time periods were often so jumbled up in her mind that I wasn’t sure what was going on or how I should interpret certain scenes. I wanted to understand them much better than I did, but they were often so blended together that I couldn’t tell where the past ended and the present began. With that being said, her eerily calm descriptions of the things she’d seen and done made me shudder. They were a chilling introduction to the horrors hidden inside all of these apartments.
“Apt. 1B – Bullet” was about a drug addict who kept discovering strange things happening to his skin. Sometimes he’d find a brand new tattoo when his drugs wore off and he woke up. At other times one of his existing tattoos would grow larger or develop details that it had never had before. The fast pace worked well with the subject matter of this plot, especially during the last few scenes when there was a lot of information to take in. I also liked how much attention the author paid to small details as he described what the main character was experiencing.
What scared me the most about “Apt. 1C – Click” was how coldly Colton described the women he had picked up. It was like he was talking about buying a new lamp instead of getting to know a fellow human being. Sometimes the most frightening thing of all is someone who is this detached from life. I was fascinated by how vividly this part of his personality was shared with the audience. It was exactly what the storyline needed in order to be as creepy as possible.
Is there such a thing as loving someone too much? In “Apt. 1D – Anniversary,” Marta and Benji have been happily married for many years and never want to be separated. Their response to the possibility of one of them dying and leaving the other one behind was as disturbing as it was fascinating. There were a few problems with the logic of it all that I would have liked to see more attention paid to, but it was still intriguing to see how Benji and Marta planned to solved this problem.
There were parts of Umbra’s relationship with her grandmother in “Apt. 1E – Umbra” that never made sense to me. As a child Umbra was sent to live with her grandmother after a tragedy. Based on certain things the grandmother eventually mentioned, though, it seemed odd that the grandmother would have ever agreed to take the girl in. While I was definitely spooked by the main plot, I spent much more time questioning this part of the tale than I would have liked to. It would have been helpful to have a longer explanation of why the main character ended up living with her grandmother as that decision was so important to all of the scenes that came after it.
I’d recommend Eidolon Avenue: The First Feast to anyone who likes their horror gory and visceral.