[pm] It’s overdone. I mean, it’s a well-written novel for certain, but there’s others of his stories I prefer. Carrie, Firestarter, and Children of the Corn for starters.

Is it a kind-of-secret reason too? Or can you share?

Thank you very much. I like many sorts of intellectual pursuits, or I try to.

Yes, there were two films as well, as I said. They were relatively well done. I haven’t read Forsaken. However, I do think it’s become romanticized but vampire stories also can bore me – I had to read a number of them in University, and perhaps I just grew tired of them.

I’m not a fan of James Patterson. I read one thing of his, and just was not impressed. Maybe I’ll look into Koontz, thank you.

It packs a lot into a book that, size-wise is not too long. Family dramas also intrigue me deeply and We Have Always Lived in the Castle also explores being “othered”, though the characters are all technically human, from what I believe. It’s a fascinating story.

[pm] It definitely has gotten a lot of hype over the years, I agree.

There’s a chance you might think it’s stupid and really ridiculous. Heck, I halfway do.

That’s cool. 

I don’t think the Forsaken is based on a book, I just mentioned it as another bad vampire movie :P. Ah, it’s like having the same meal every single day – eventually you tire of it. Personally, I don’t blame you. There are other, more enjoyable things out there.

Neither am I but I think I read one of his ‘crime’ novels before, either the Alex Cross series or Women’s Murder Club. Get back to me if you do, I’d love to know your opinion of Koontz.

Interesting. And “othered”? Sometimes, humans don’t act very human but then again, what does it mean to even be human? 


monsters made of marble || reed and vivian


“We are totally not thinking straight. You know that, right?” Her brows furrowed as she stared at her reflection in the mirror, fingers brushing a lock of her hair behind her ear as she reexamined her makeup. “But we’re already set so… Shit. Let’s get this going.” The motivation of that self-involved pep talk lasted for all of the five minutes it took to leave her apartment. Vivian hated anything creepy, especially when said creepy stuff decorated a room, so why was she going to a museum known for its horrors? She narrowed it down to self-hate, but no amount of second guessing and shakes of her head pushed her back home. She liked the safety of not having her powers tricked with and stumped at the sight of other things that looked not quite as dead, but cancelling last minute was a not cool thing to do so here she was: heading to the Museum of Monstrosities to meet up with someone new.

She wanted to leave a lasting impression, but she wondered where “I’m terrified of this shit and you’re gonna learn that so buckle up, cowboy” landed in the book of good first impressions. The light breeze and occasional kiss of heat from the sun kept her on her toes as she attempted to make the best of the walk’s surroundings to settle down her scattered nerves. Her skin crawled as she recalled her look up of the official website last night, which Reed had so graciously linked her to, but huffed as she also remembered how ridiculously happy she sounded to say yes to meeting up there. “You hate horror movies!” She rolled her eyes but flashed an awkward smile in the direction of an elderly couple that raised their brows at the volume of her voice and the obvious lack of another person at her side. Her head and vision focused down as she mentally cursed herself for playing up the creep factor so early, but humming helped keep boredom at bay as she continued her walk and finally reached her destination with a troubled mind.

The bustle in and out of the museum left her only slightly anxious, at best. The crowd shifted from adults her age to people older than her parents and the reactions never seemed to reach a middle ground: either someone came out smiling and boasting about how impressive the inside was, or ended up with someone shaking out in tear-stained cheeks and covered mouths from what she assumed was from the possibility of puking. All this tested her patience, and endurance, with what the world consisted of beyond herself, but Reed sounded too interested. “For future reference…” she mumbled, foot tapping on the pavement as she propped her back along one of the walls next to the entrance. “…let’s not suggest the weirdest place for a first time hangout.” Her throat vibrated with a low groan as she tried to calm the still churning feeling her stomach was going through, checking her phone for any texts from the company she waited on. It dawned on her, after standing outside for five minutes, that she’d never exactly explained what she looked like to him. Teeth sucked as she tapped her forehead with her palm with the realization and plucked her cracked screen phone from the confines of her purse.

   Totally forgot to mention this, but if you see a brunette standing against a wall looking like she’s ready to gun it – that might be me.

Once the text confirmed with a delivered beneath it, she put it back and gave her full attention to the passersby. She wasn’t looking for someone that fit a ballistics expert face, but she kind of hoped he’d match the NCIS face she pictured. If not, she at least hoped he’d be brimming with the excitement she lacked.

Museum of Monstrosities had always been a place of interest to Reed and he always tried to set aside time to visit but those times would come and pass him by, with the self excuse being he was ‘too busy’ to visit such an acclaimed place for an hour or two. Work was always more interesting. From reading about incoming cases, working the scenes he was required to be at, and then, well, trying to go one afternoon in the basement alone without asking for assistance. Everyone in the basement these days seemed to have an assistant and sometimes he pondered about what that would be like, if it were at all possible for someone – they could help him get through the work, even if in his mind that wasn’t the problem, he could do that just fine… It was handling everything else. It would be easier to pass along the duty of ‘here, shoot this firearm for me into that ballistics gel over there…please,’ to someone who worked beside him than going upstairs, finding Officer Phillips and trying to explain yet again that the perpetrator shot at a specific height that he couldn’t ‘realistically’ replicate. (And he is of the firm belief that Office Phillips is beginning to suspect that’s not the sole reason why he needs help shooting an evidence gun seven – or, a flat out ten – times out of ten).

Sometimes he considered requesting an assistant but never did it. That email as well as his one about asking to be put back on the missing persons case was sat in the drafts. Waiting. Maybe he’ll just tell Officer Phillips the truth someday or, maybe, hopefully, he’ll overcome his extreme anxiety and stop wasting department time when they were already short staffed as is (that’s what he told himself anyway, it was supposed to serve as some kind of encouragement). The latter was more realistic to him, the other would have to start with counseling and he has yet to get to that point in his therapy. He’s still working on the general PTSD that manifested a few months ago and Reed didn’t think he was ready to talk about such a topic anyway; because that would mean talking about what happened at age seven and, worse of all, what he saw. So far though, Officer Phillips didn’t seem to mind today that he was needed at the firing range again. 

“I just need your help with a Colt .45…”

“Height difference?” Is what Officer Phillips had said, tilting his head up to look over at Reed while sitting at his desk, in the midst of typing a report. Officer Phillips was ginger-haired, freckled and middle-aged; he looked indifferent to most things but despite this, he was approachable and friendly enough which was why Reed gravitated towards the officer if he was around at the station and hopefully not too much in a rush. There was a twinkle in Officer Phillips’ eyes, like an unspoken amusement while Reed shifted around awkwardly, rolling his hands over each other. Nervous. You could say that. “Or is your arm all shot out from recoil this time?” That was one of the other excuses, though the last time he used it, he tried to fluff it up with I must’ve really hit the weights really hard yesterday, ha ha, my arms are as limp as well-cooked spaghetti… Officer Phillips didn’t believe that one so easily. They worked out together sometimes at the small gym in the station and somehow, that was enough to cause Reed to backpedal and make up some nonsense about a recoil he knew he could very much handle. Especially from a Colt .45.

All Reed did, in response, was try to grin before Officer Phillips launched up and clapped a hand down on his shoulder. “Alright, let’s go,” Officer Phillips nodded. And that’s where Reed was – at the firing range – when he felt his phone buzz against his thigh. Quickly he peered down at his phone screen, briefly skimming the notification then spotting the time before shoving it back into his front pocket, inhaling sharply.

…If you see… Shit. He totally forgot. Not to mention, he was late. So freaking late, unforgivably so. He didn’t think it was possible for his heart to beat any harder than it already was just standing off to the side and slightly behind Officer Phillips, formerly observing his colleague in silence as he emptied the clip into gel. Biting down on his lip and removing the ear plugs, waiting for the officer to the same, Reed thanked him for his time and said he could take it from here. Inwardly, he groaned at himself. It was a Sunday, he had the day off, he could’ve just stayed home but nooooo, he had to go to work with the ambition in mind that he could just get a few things out of the way before Monday. Now, he was thirty minutes late. When Officer Phillips left, Reed stayed behind to collect himself – first by hesitantly grabbing the gun with a slight trembling hand – and then to glance down, at his outfit. He could change his outfit, being an extra fifteen minutes late wouldn’t matter that much, would it? No, thirty minutes was awful enough as is. His outfit was fine. It was one of his usual – his favourite plaid shirt tucked into an old pair of black pants; and it would have to do.

It took him a while to gather everything – and from the shots, this would have to be done again tomorrow and he hesitated bringing Officer Phillips back in for another round. He could probably say it was just an increment off or something, something other than I think you shot a little too high… Or, that wasn’t the right distance for that round of ammo… Like any of that actually mattered, jesus– (It did matter, the impact was definitely different). Okay. He was just getting frustrated at himself. He would do it himself tomorrow, with a clear head and hopefully without a repeat of this feeling. 

With a quick Sorry. Be right there, message sent, Reed was on his way to the museum to meet up with Vivian. This definitely wasn’t a good first impression. He always tried to be prompt but time got away from him. Again.

“Hey!” He exclaimed once he spotted her, looking just as nervous as he imagined he did earlier. Except now, he looked more confident – being away from the gun – and it radiated off of him, mind slowly being taken over by the fascination of this place, each detail he could make out pushed out the questions he still had about the gun they had in evidence. “You ready to see some monsters?” Definitely the worst line he could say but he hoped it would kind of funny to her, he got the impression from her online presence that was easygoing. Besides, there seemed to be a coiling tension surrounding around – was she nervous about meeting him? A total stranger? Probably, that could be it. Especially with the reputation Ashkent made for itself. 

He stepped closer to the entrance, offering his arm out to her while he gestured with his other towards the inside of the museum, “I heard a lot about a particular exhibit in there… Wanna try and find that first?” Reed grinned over at her.


[message was left unread for seven days]

[message read] 

[pm] I am sorry, I was visiting my sister in Portland. 

I don’t know what it is anymore, really. 

Could I still use you  as a reference if I ap


Have fun with your dogs.

[pm] [message read]


[pm] I mean, what about the supernatural are you trying to read about?

Why vampires?

I like to educate myself about as much as possible, and so apparently it shows up in my reading. I did focus on Literature in University, it’d be a bit of a sham if I didn’t have a wide range of things I’ve read.

Let Me In is the American version of the Swedish book Let the Right One In about a young vampire and a child who they befriend. It focuses on a lot of dark issues, which I am fascinated by. You might enjoy it, although it can get gruesome at times. It was also made into a film, both Swedish and American. As far as the Horror genre goes, vampire stories do not fascinate me the most; perhaps due to the overly-obsessed folks who fell head over heels in love with Twilight, or perhaps because I’ve found better books. Some vampire stories, like this one, aren’t half bad, though.

Night Film I’ve only just started and seems to center around the death of a young woman and the investigation surrounding it.

You should read The Haunting of Hill House. Shirley Jackson is quite a brilliant storyteller.  My favorite of hers is We Have Always Lived in the Castle, but The Haunting of Hill House is also quite a nice read.

No, sorry, I mean, what about The Shining makes it not your favourite? 

It’s kind of for a less-than-smart reason. And semi-worked related. 

I like that, it definitely makes for a diverse and open-mind in my opinion especially if you also delve into intellectual things as well. 

Interesting. I was beginning to think Let Me In was somehow related to Let the Right One In because in my search, that title came up a lot. I remember seeing the trailer for it but I never associated it with a book; funny how that works. I agree, though, the vampire genre has gotten…romanticized, but I’ve seen a few other movie titles that were a bit more interesting though they happened pre: Twilight. Some are just so terribly bad they’re fun to laugh at, one coming to mind would be the Forsaken.

Night Film seems interesting. I like books like that, or really, anything like that. I think I read one regarding Dean Koontz or…maybe it was James Patterson though he has acquired quite the controversy. But Koontz is a great writer. 77 Shadow Street, Velocity and Intensity are all great reads.

I’ll check them out. Though, what makes We Have Always Lived in the Castle your favourite?


It’s just called “Stephan King’s The Shining”. It came out in 1997. Seriously, you should check it out.

Me too, but no, I haven’t watched it yet. Have you?

[user, like Captain American, makes a written list of the things he has to check out, adding ‘Stephen King’s The Shining’ right below Signs along with a few other things]

I haven’t watched Stranger Things either. But from what I gather on it so far, it seems a lot like Ashkent. That’s the impression I get, anyway.


[pm] The Shining? Not bad. Certainly not my favorite, but it’s a decent read. What about the supernatural?

I just picked up Night Film. It looks good, and I’ve been meaning to reread Let Me In again. Probably others as well.

[pm] What do you mean? 

Oh, just silly things, I guess… Been trying to find things about vampires, strangely enough.

Your reading seems very diverse; I wish I had more time to read things without just skimming.

What are those two about?


[pm] I am unsure. Have you read any interesting books lately?

[pm] Huh… 

More so related to work than anything in my downtime but… I looked into reading the Shining? Haven’t started that yet but I have it tabbed to do so. I read…….. A Song of Fire and Ice, kind of, before moving onto something about the supernatural?

And yourself?


[pm] That is fair. I don’t know, some things that mock others for being “different”. I find the ballistics one a bit ironic, and it can be a bit rude but not on the same level as some of them.

[pm] I saw one about Muslim women, comparing them to ‘eggs,’ which is worthy of being qualifiable as rude. The ballistics joke was ironic, indeed though I hate thinking about what would happen afterwards if that did happen.