by Gene Grantham
“No one designs architecture like that with anything good in mind.” –Anonymous Critic (1971)
He coulda gone to Dartmouth.
Don’t get him wrong: he liked Boston well enough. Great city, great folk (great women), great time. And while he certainly understood that Dartmouth’s night life couldn’t hold a candle to Boston’s, at times like these he couldn’t help but remind himself that he could be curled up all warm and snug in some nice quiet dorm room. See, after a certain hour the night life becomes a moot point, and you’re just some cold sucker standing outside waiting for his friend to finish up his bullshit, and, on that front, he found Boston’s seemingly endless skyline and labyrinthine alleys to be far less fun than sitting at home finishing off beers and watching a bad movie. So far, Saturday night was going off the rails.
“Kevin!” he hissed, not wanting to leave his spot on the bus bench. He knew the buses weren’t running: those bumping, winding wanderers had gone silent hours ago, but he knew that cabbies would be prowling around, looking to snag some late night tipsy folks who had more money than common sense. Thankfully he was one such kid, flush with Christmas money from his folks, and he really didn’t feel like dying of the cold or boredom while Kevin did whatever-he-was doing.
He stood up from his spot, wobbling a little from the booze swirling in his head, uncertain whether he wanted to venture towards Government Center. He had a nice seat, and the dark, quiet pit of brickwork and bunker-like pyramids wasn’t something he felt like dealing with. He didn’t like the train station even in the daylight hours, let alone in the inky dark of night. The handful of dim lights only helped paint the brutalist architecture as even more imposing and oppressive, to the point where the squat, cave-like entrance to the metro station underground looked less like a major transit hub and more like some best-forgotten temple to the unspeakable. Almost alien like. Or maybe it was just too much beer and not enough X-Files reruns: who was Benji to judge?
“Look Kevin,” he shouted, “I’m… I’m seriously not coming down there. Just get back up here, you’re gonna miss the cab!”
“Come take a look at this!” Kevin finally answered back, his voice a distant and almost hushed thing. He wasn’t that far: he stood in the shadows of the squat bunker at the midpoint of Government Center, but he might as well be on the moon. He was so muted both in color and sound that it was almost as though some vast crushing force held the plaza in its grip.
“I’m not,” Benji warned. “I just want to go home, dude…”
“I will pay for the whole cab ride if you come help me with this,” he answered back from in the darkness.
“Really?” Benji asked, skeptically. “That’s like fifty bucks, man.”
“And I’ll totally pay it if you come give me a hand…,” Kevin implored again. “You could use fifty bucks.”
“I could use fifty bucks,” Benji agreed, nodding. College was beyond expensive. Expensive didn’t even begin to describe it: obscene would be another word. He knew from painful experience that his Christmas cash wasn’t going to last half as long as he’d like.
“Fine!” Benji finally shouted, a little too loud for three in the morning. “You’ve bought me like the whore I am…”
“Hey man, we’re all whores…” Kevin’s voice answered from the shadows, always a tad too matter-of-fact-smug for Benji but, hey, fifty bucks was fifty bucks. FIFTY BUCKS.
Kevin wasn’t trying to hide himself: the shadows of Government Center did that well. He was leaning up against the locked gate blocking off access to the MBTA station. During normal hours the gate was open, allowing countless throngs of college kids, shoppers, lawyers, business folks, grifters, and all-in-all, standard Bostonians to roam the plaza. Do a little shopping, maybe even see the circus if the time of year was right. At night, however, the looming surroundings cast immense shadows, so deep and absolute that they seemed almost preternaturally dark.
“What do you want, Kev?” Benji asked, growing more anxious than he felt he had right to be. It was weird: thirty feet in either direction and it was just another January night in Boston, but standing here in the dark… you could almost feel it on your skin, like insects crawling or sweat dribbling. He didn’t like the way he could barely see his own hands in front of him, the way he kept thinking he couldn’t feel them once they disappeared.
“So, okay, there’s this thing I gotta say first…” Kevin started, and Benji wasn’t sure if this was a genuine confession or just some drunk weepy thing. “See, I sorta lied about going to the party.”
“What?” Benji didn’t expect that. “How could you be lying? We just went to the party, dude. That doesn’t make sense!”
“No, I know that, I know that!” Kevin nodded, definitely inebriated, “I mean WHY I was going. Like, I knew I was going, but not just because it was a party, you know?”
“I don’t know,” Benji shook his head. “I thought Kelly’s birthday would be a good enough reason.”
“See, it’s not just Kelly’s birthday,” Kevin pointed out, as though Benji was supposed to have some idea of what that meant, “And I had to, y’know, get my nerves sorted out. Have a drink. So I said we were going to the party…”
“And we did…” Benji continued for him. “Man, if you were getting your nerves up to talk to Nicole you fucked that up.”
“No, I… wait, do you think she’d be open to it?” He asked, distracted. “I always kinda thought she hated me?”
“Oh, she does,” Benji nodded, lighting a thin Pall Mall, “But she kinda hates everyone, so it’s okay.”
“That’s not the point!” Kevin clarified, taking one from the pack, unified by the bond of Drunk Smokers. “The point is, I had to get my nerves up to find out if…”
“If…?” Benji repeated as Kev just sorta drifted off.
“If this was real,” he suddenly said, reaching into his jacket pocket and pulling out a small object wrapped in delicate black velvet that dripped off it like liquid night. Kevin carefully unwrapped it, gingerly revealing a leather-bound journal, clasp firmly in place.
“I don’t know what that’s supposed to be,” Benji said after a moment. “I don’t know why you’d need to drink, like, a thousand Jell-O shots to get ready for it either.”
“Okay, have you ever heard of Gerhard Kallmann?” Kevin started again. Sensing nothing, he added: “The famous architect. Designed this place where we’re standing?”
“Is this a school thing?” Benji slowly asked. “Man, I am waaaaaaaaaaay too drunk to be doing a school thing right now.”
“No!” Kev insisted. “Well, I mean, yes.”
“God, no,” Benji sighed. “Why are you doing this to me?”
“I mean, it just STARTED that way!” Kevin assured him. “I was doing this research on the Boston skyline, and I found out this guy, Gerhard Kallman, he was the big head behind all this brutalist architecture.”
“Yeah, that’s something to call it,” Benji shuddered. “Feels like there’s a mountain about to fall on me.”
“Well, that’s the funny thing,” Kevin continued, “No one likes it! That’s why I was digging into it. I wanted to write this whole paper on how they should, y’know, revitalize the skyline. I mean, it’s the 90’s for Chrissake! This city looks like Detroit in the 80’s trying to look like New York in the 70’s…”
“I don’t know enough about architecture to know if that’s true or not,” Benji sighed, snubbing out his cigarette butt. “So, what are we doing? You’ve lost me?”
“Okay, so I went to the BPL-,”
“I told you man, you gotta explain this shit.”
“The BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY,” Kevin spelled out, a little miffed he had to, “I went there to pull up, y’know, first hand documents and shit for the paper.”
“God, you’re such a nerd,” Benji muttered, almost hissed. “Are we really here for extra credit?”
“No, man! That’s what I’m trying to explain! I went to go look up the original plans, and I found this book!”
“… which you have failed to explain why it’s important,” Benji noted, in that snarky-sarcastic manner that drove Kev right up the goddamn wall.
“Because, this claims to be his secret journal,” Kevin said smugly. “The secret life of Gerhard Kallman, in his own words!”
“I bet that’s every bit as exciting as it sounds,” Benji yawned, starting to feel less creeped out and more tired. “I bet a famous architect had so many skeletons in the closet. That’s probably why he got into architecture, to build a closet big enough to hide all those skeletons!”
“I thought the same thing,” Kev admitted. “In all the books he’s just this really nice guy, nice family, great designer, all that, right? But in here…”
“Probably secretly gay,” Benji guessed. “Everyone was secretly gay back then.”
“What if I told you Kallmann wasn’t just an award-winning genius of architecture and design?”
“I wouldn’t care?”
“What if I told you Kallmann was a member of a secret society, enraptured to a Lovecraftian-esque horror from beyond imagination, integrating elaborate occult symbolism and magical principles into their work?”
“I wouldn’t car- wait, what?” Benji was caught off guard by that one. He expected, at best, another gigantic discussion about how the masons were rigging the Oscars. “Are you serious?”
“That’s what this book claims,” Kevin said, giving the journal a jaunty little shake. “This whole Government Center thing, everyone shits on the design, but not for the reasons they should…”
“Let me see that…” Benji snatched the book from his hands, opening it up carefully. The pages were thin, vellum-like, almost translucent. The writing was faded but still quite distinct, and it was far more intricate and fancy that anything either of them could muster. There were illustrations too, strange geometric designs…
“See, I thought it was bullshit, but why would someone put so much effort into this? Like, all these charts and things, and all these pictures… this is supposed to be from the 70’s, but there’s designs for all the future additions they’ve added since then.”
“But why would this secret Satanic-,”
“Not Satanic,” Kevin cautioned. “Sure, there’s some Golden Hermetic Order stuff, and that’s, like, a little Luciferian but…”
“Okay, so this non-Satanic but still-spooky cultist architect guy, he leads this double life, right? He’s publicly this great guy who’s all wonderful and stuff, but he’s secretly worshiping Lovehate or whatever. But then he goes and, what, accidentally returns his secret journal of wizard secrets and shit to the library?”
“Huh,” Kevin stopped, musing that. “That’s a good point.”
“Right?” Benji answered. “Seriously man, it’s probably just, like, some Dungeons and Dragons shit. Remember Steve? Steve was always too crazy about that shit, he wrote, like, essays and shit for his characters. Probably just another Steve of the world.”
“Maybe,” Kevin continued, with that smug tone that suggested Ben had walked straight into his trap. “But then why does the book show me finding the book in it?”
“What? That’s horseshit,” Benji immediately answered, instinctively, even as he felt the goosebumps on his arms. “Show me.”
“’October 25th, 1997,’” Kevin began to read from the book, “’I am found.’” Then he flipped the book around to reveal that, sure enough, there was an illustration, scratchy but very distinct, of a young man that, admittedly, looked quite like Kevin, picking the book up off a shelf.
“You didn’t write that?” Benji asked, his voice a little quieter than he intended.
“Not me,” Kevin asked, sobering up despite the booze. “But that’s not the last entry.” He picked the book back up and began to flip through it. “November 18th, 1997, I am shown to the professionals, but they do not know what to make of me, nor do they care to discover.”
“Who’d you show it to?” Benji asked, suddenly realizing he was taking a book at face value.
“Professor Stilton,” Kevin answered, hushed. “He figured it was authentic in terms of age, but just some, y’know, stupid joke thing. Didn’t bother to look at it too hard.”
“Is there more?” Ben inquired, aware of how dark the mood had gotten. “There’s not more, right?”
“There’s one last entry,” Kevin continued, and Benji just knew he was in for a whopper now from the flat tone of his voice. “Which is why I knew I had to get my nerves settled tonight, y’know? Like, when you see this you’re gonna…”
“Let me see it,” Benji interrupted, reaching for the book. He’d always preferred to rip the bandage off rather than slowly ease it. Just get it over with.
He wished he hadn’t.
“January 7th, 1998,” Benji began to read from the book, almost against his will, “The two of them will find the entrance. They will bring me home.” He didn’t need to show Kevin the picture, undoubtedly it was seared into his pal’s mind just as it was eternally captured by his. The image, in faded, ancient ink, showed two very familiar looking forms lifting the gate of the station and making their way into the darkness below. At least he assumed it was a stylistic depiction of darkness, or, perhaps, thick, black coils of unknown nothingness…
“Right?” Kevin implored, finally being able to share his secret. “RIGHT?!? It’s just…”
Benji wasn’t sure what to make of all this. Was this some sort of stupid practical joke Kevin was pulling? This couldn’t be real, right? Things like this didn’t happen. It just didn’t make any sense.
“It’s a moot point,” Benji finally figured. “I mean, we’re not going to break into the station, so…”
“Well, definitely not yet,” Kevin agreed. “The shadows aren’t right.”
“What?” Benji asked, confused. “What does that mean?”
“Well, the buildings,” he pointed to the vast array of governmental structures ringing the plaza, “They cast the first layer of shadows, and the sculptures,” he pointed to the similarly imposing geometric qualities of the plaza, “Those are the second layer of the three.”
“And the third is…”
“This tunnel,” he pointed to the locked station. “The first two layers charge the third, opening a portal.”
“Gerhard didn’t really hold back in his diary…”
“Problem is…” Kevin reached back into his jacket, fishing for something else, “Is that we’ve got some uninvited light mucking up the process.”
“The streetlight?” Benji shrugged, uncertain about this. “You’re telling me that the only thing stopping the Government Center station from turning into a portal to Hell-,”
“I never said Hell.”
“-a portal to whatever, is that there’s a streetlight?”
“Oh, no, that’d be irresponsible!” Kevin answered, as though any of this was responsible or even reasonable. “No, the portal is only active for a brief period when the stars are right, after the Winter Solstice. A period which hits its apex-,”
“Tonight,” Benji interrupted with a frustrated, slightly scared, sigh. “Of course. I’m starting to see the pattern. But, again, moot point, because the streetlight is there so we-,”
Kevin pulled the pistol out of his jacket in a jerking, halting fashion, snagging it on the edge of his pocket. Benji felt his heart leap into his throat, and the world seemed to get a little quieter and fainter, like he was in a tunnel. He’d only ever seen a gun in the hands of cops. Before he could even blink Kevin pulled the trigger. What came out, however, wasn’t a bang, but a stifled, hissing POP!
“Is that a fucking airsoft gun?” Benji finally stammered out. “What the fuck are you-“
After a few initial plinking shots Kevin struck home, and the streetlight cracked and fizzed, sparking one final defiant time before going dark.
“See?” Kevin said, as though he was proving some point that was apparent only to him. “Easy enough.”
“Are you crazy?!?” Benji whispered as loud as he could. “They have cameras! Someone’s gonna… the cops! The cops are gonna figure out-,”
“Well, we’ve already broken one law,” Kevin figured, “Might as well help me get this gate open.”
Benji stood fast as he watched his roommate squat down, grabbing the gate in both hands, and struggle to heft it up.
“Come on, I don’t even think it’s locked!” he implored. “We just gotta get it up high enough…”
“Bro, even if this book is real, why would I ever want anything to do with it? This is how horror movies start-,”
“Hundred bucks,” Kevin grunted, still straining against the weight of the heavy iron gate. Then, sensing hesitation, he squeaked out, “Hundred bucks AND the cab fare!”
Benji really didn’t like the idea of secret horrors from the occult world of architecture… but, on the other hand, that was a lot of money. Besides, he was a young college kid; whoever heard of one of them getting into too much trouble? More like than not this was all some stupid prank of Kevin’s anyway, but Benji was gonna hold him to that money.
“Fine,” Benji said, displeased and disquieted by his choice, but convinced by the shine of the lucre. “I’ll do it.” He leaned down and helped lift the gate up. Between the two of them it was still quite the project, but they managed to get it high enough for them to squeak through before letting it slam back down with a thunderous boom.
“You won’t regret it,” Kevin assured him, panting, exhausted from the effort. “Gonna be a great time!”
“I get paid even if you’re wrong, right?” Benji coughed and panted out, wanting to stake his claim first and foremost.
“Sure, sure…,” Kevin said, smugly, positive he was right. “Money’s gonna be all yours.”
They stood up, dusting themselves off, peering into the darkness below. The station sloped downward swiftly, and the escalator, normally rumbling constantly, was now eerie and still. There was little lighting, only the flicker of dim emergency bulbs, ancient sodium things behind yellowed plastic flaked with long-dead moths.
As they started to take a few cautious steps into the station Benji noticed a sound. It was faint, and, at first, he just figured it was a train, but he quickly realized it was different from the standard noises they made. Trains might thrum while on standby, they might groan with their environmental systems, hiss as the compressors empty and fill, but they didn’t do what this sound did.
“Do you hear that?” Benji asked as they continued down the stairs. “Like this weird….”
“Pulse,” Kevin answered. “I feel it in my chest, like a bass drum.”
“Probably just a train doing… train stuff,” Benji lied, eager to whistle in the dark.
They made their way down to the flat expanse of the loading platform, now dim and absent of commuters. The darkness down here was beyond extreme: it was like coal, or like stepping into outer space. There was no light here, nothing to differentiate the next step from deep down the train tunnels.
“Where are we even going?” Benji whispered before they went and further. “Are we just gonna bump around in the dark or…?”
Kevin didn’t answer though. In the darkness Benji couldn’t even tell what direction Kevin was looking in, but he could sense that he was captivated by something. He started to jab at his friend, to ask what it was, when he realized that, out of the corner of his eye, he could see movement, just barely highlighted by the distant dim glow of some light or another. He stopped, frozen, assuming it was a security guard, and that they were simply seconds away from getting busted and having to call their parents and explain why they needed bail money bad.
Why couldn’t it have been a guard?
It wasn’t though. It was nothing. Nothing but darkness. Yet that very darkness seemed to swirl around itself, to pull in, constrict, and then relax. Somehow the night itself was flexing, shifting, almost like smoke billowing in the station, or being trapped in the veins of some great monstrous being. An absence of light itself, roiling like an unkempt pot, “breathing” with the same staggered pace of the strange sound reverberating in the air.
“What… what…” Benji tried to ask, but he didn’t raise his voice above those first few breaths. He realized he could feel it shifting around him, moving like vast, translucent tentacles, like a firm breeze, wrapping around his body, pulsing and breathing around him. He could feel it move upon his skin, through his air: with a sickening knot in his guts he realized he could feel it INSIDE HIM, within his lungs, his stomach, his very heart… soon his entire being was thrumming along, matching the beat of whatever vast engine seemed to be at work.
He didn’t make a conscious decision to run. It was simply panic, an instinctive, animal voice within him that finally spoke up and told him he needed to move immediately. Unfortunately for him the great invisible lungs he found himself trapped in had a different idea, and quickly he found a vast pressure pulling at him, trying to push him down, backwards, anywhere but forward. Soon it became an unbelievable, almost electric feeling, and he knew something immense and nonsensically immaterial was upon his back, something he had absolutely no desire to turn and face. Instead he gave into that monkey-brained instinct and took off towards the… tunnels, perhaps? He didn’t know, nor care; his mind shrieked one command over and over: RETREAT… RETREAT…. RETREAT… REATREAT.
“Come back!” Kevin shouted, but his voice was muffled, strange, distorted, like coming through an aquarium. Benji kept running, ignoring it, tumbling, continuing on all fours, scrambling over any obstacles that came his way. Most he recognized as mundane aspects of the train station: a bench, a trash can, a vending machine, but quickly he started to feel things he didn’t recognize. A strange cylinder of warm, almost marble material, which buzzed like a wasp’s nest when he got near it. A gelatinous mass with sharp, cold things coming out of it, like the decorative swirls upon a fence. Something that cried out like a baby but felt like a sea cucumber.
He didn’t dare to imagine what they might be. Not even for a hundred bucks.
When he saw the light he assumed, at first, that it had to be a good thing. Trapped in a living pit of swirling darkness, light would be the most obvious escape. Maybe it was the exit, or maybe it was a person with a light, who knew? He didn’t care, he just ran towards it as fast as he could, his lungs sucking down the darkness in gulping mouthfuls, no choice left now but to push through it and keep running.
“Help me!” He screamed, not quite sure what he needed help from exactly, but knowing on an animalistic level that he was most certainly imperiled. “Please, help!”
The pulsing noise was loud now, so loud it seemed to cause the very mortar of the station to grind against itself. He stumbled, landing on something hard and metallic that slammed him like the dickens. He realized it was a rail, a train rail, and moreover, he could feel the pulse vibrating within, spreading, amplifying, the whole WORLD beginning to vibrate sympathetically. He could even feel the darkness running between his fingers, crawling on the metal like eels in a stream.
The light began to grow, engorging itself from a pinprick into a vast plume, and he began to realize it was far too high up to be another person from his perspective. Suddenly he put two and two together and realized if he was sitting on a train track watching a light coming towards him… He scrambled for safety, feeling his way out of the train pit, rolling onto the platform. The light was growing closer and closer, but as it moved the darkness barely budged from its path, like the thickest fog he’d ever seen.
As loud as the pulse of the station was, he became aware of another sound. A shuffling, breathing sound, thick and wet, and a rhythmic popping like immense knuckles shuffling. He was frozen as he realized it was coming from the light and that it was ALIVE, its shuddering, flexing form vague but certainly a living being. He had few options, so he went with the one that hit him first: he opted to just lay there on the ground and feign death, hoping either to be ignored or, god willing, killed quickly.
The thing with the light was no train, though it rode the rails and was the same size. For starters, it was translucent, an immense log-like being made of shivering jelly with the faintest tinge of silver. Within it were strange organs, chiefly one that glowed at the front like an immense lantern. Within it great veins pumped, and upon its skin, flaps like immense ventilators farted out plumes of steam, drawing in ragged, phlegmy breaths. It rode upon great shifting bones suspended with a membrane, walking upon its own knobby haunches like some sort of horrible caterpillar.
It paid no attention to Benji, continuing its slow, messy journey. As it traveled its nubs popped and cracked, shifting with the gooey sack that it rode upon. It was huge and long, far, far longer than any train he had seen, and he watched as it passed him by. Suspended with its gelatinous snake-like body were other organs and veins, glowing in their own indistinct way, but there was more than that. There were passengers in there; great tubular bodies with bunches of eyes at the tops and great wings floated, frozen as they were transported from some strange nothing to some other perplexing someplace.
Eventually the fleshy caravan passed him by, leaving him swamped in the thick mucus it exuded. He wanted to wretch and panic as the goo overtook him, but he waited, bubbling away, until he was positive the thing was gone. He erupted forth, gasping for air, wanting to be sick, but the pure fury of adrenaline keeping him firmly in control. He could feel the darkness in the air shifting, following the thing down the tracks, and he knew this was his chance. He took off, using his mental map to imagine where the stairs must be from here. He’d come through this station plenty of times, he could do it once more if he just concentrated.
He nearly broke his neck crashing into the locked turnstiles, tumbling to his feet, gasping for air, but he was so grateful to be near the exit his heart practically leapt out of his chest. He climbed on all fours up the stairs, seeing the first glimpse of light above. As black gave way to gray he almost wept for joy as he finally saw his own hands, slime covered and bruised, before him. He climbed the stairs, crashing into the grate at the top, having entirely forgotten about it.
“Fuck it,” he muttered, grabbing it in both hands and heaving as hard as he could. It took two to open the gate, or one person who was abso-fucking-lutely determined to escape. Just as he thought his muscles might shred like newspapers he managed to wedge himself beneath, throwing himself free before it came slamming down behind him.
He lay there on the cobble stones of Government Center, eyes firmly closed, gasping for air, not sure what to do next. He realized with a sinking feeling that Kevin was still in there. Sure, this was technically the guy’s fault, but how was he supposed to know what was going to go down? Besides, he met Kevin’s parents on Family Day, and he’d feel terrible to have to tell them their son was eaten by… who knows what? He didn’t even have the words to describe what he’d seen down there.
As he opened his eyes he realized he didn’t have words to describe a lot of things now.
This was not the sky he’d left behind.
Above, in a deep, dark sea tinged of rose, sat three great moons, one a lush green. The stars were flickering things of green and black, but even they were but a dim backdrop for the immense creatures that swam in the skies above him.
Benji was able to wrench his eyes from the horrors above long enough to realize that this skyline was nothing like that which he had left behind. The brutalist architecture was still there, but now it was covered in great blood-red lines and runes, languages that he could not possibly know the meaning of, but yet their messages of terror and conquest were clear. Instead of skyscrapers there were vast monstrosities, lumbering slug-like things, or snail-creatures the size of towers. Where the Prudential Center once loomed, there was a massive stalk, twitching and grasping to feed on anything that flew too close to its seven mouths.
“Well, that was something,” Kevin said from behind him. Benji twirled around, desperate for something to anchor onto in this unknown realm, something, anything from the normal world. He was terrified he was alone here, the only human in a world of nightmares.
What stood behind him was not even vaguely human. It was shaped like a tree, only made of thin, wisp-like strands, white-as-bone, and as it spoke to him it shimmered chromatically. From its great trunk crawled a thousand legs, so fine and thin as to be almost imperceptible. It loomed over Benji, its immense “foliage” made of grasping claws and finger-like appendances, all eager to grapple at it.
“Seriously though,” the thing sighed through its dozen mouths in a voice that sounded like a drowning harmonica, “Guess I owe you a couple of bucks. What do you say we go find an ATM?”
Somewhere overhead a thing like a combination of a discus and a bat laughed and laughed and laughed as it watched the human run off into the city of Bones and Nightmares…
About the Author
Gene Grantham (19??-) hails from Maine. He enjoys spinning yarns that combine the easy-going storytelling traditions of his homeland with sinister occult undertones and a liberal dose of dark comedy. His first novel THE RETURN OF MAJORANE JANE has been heralded by readers as “a story” and “readable”. You can follow and find more of Gene’s work on his Patreon page here.