by Steven Paul Leiva
Publication Date: September 21, 2020
Publisher: Magpie Press
THERE IS SOMETHING STRANGE HAPPENING IN PLACIDVILLE!
It is 1962. Kathy Anderson, a serious actress who took her training at the Actors Studio in New York, is stuck playing Vivacia, the Vampire Woman on Vivacia’s House of Horrors for a local Chicago TV station.
Finally fed up showing old monster movies to creature feature fans, she quits and heads to New York and the fame and footlights of Broadway.
She stops off to visit her parents and old friends in Placidville, the all-Ameican, middle-class, blissfully normal Midwest small town she grew up in.
But she finds things are strange in Placidville.
Kathy’s parents, her best friend from high school, the local druggist, even the Oberhausen twins are all acting curiously creepy, odiously odd, and wholly weird. Especially the town’s super geeky nerd, Gerald, who warns of dark days ahead.
Has Kathy entered a zone in the twilight? Did she reach the limits that are outer? Has she fallen through a mirror that is black? Or is it just—just—politics as usual!
The man was elegant and in black tie and looked like Marlon Brando and Mac with a bit of Rock Hudson around the edges. He stood at a microphone, a spotlight was on him, and he held an envelope in his hand as he announced: “For outstanding performance by a dedicated and supremely talented actress not giving in to the demands of the crass commercialism of television, the winner is…KATHY ANDERSON!”
Thunderous applause and roaring cheers broke out as Kathy in, of course, a gorgeous gown, ran up onto the stage and into the arms of Marlon/Mac/Rock, and planted a passionate kiss on his full lips as he dissolved into a golden statuette held tightly in her hands.
“KA-THY! KA-THY! KA-THY!” The audience chanted, and Kathy turned to face her acolytes and worshipers with a huge—yet humble—smile, which swiftly turned into a tortured slash of repulsion when the chant changed to “VI-VA-CIA! VI-VA-CIA! VI-VA-CIA!”
Kathy gasped herself awake and tried to calm herself as she felt the strange post-nightmare sense of falling upwards. And that chant, that horrible damn chant—VI-VA-CIA! VI-VA-CIA! VI-VA-CIA!—she couldn’t get it out of her head!
She shook her head to no avail. She slapped the side of her head to no effect. She plugged her ears, but the chant did not diminish by even half a decibel. Soon she realized that the chant wasn’t so much in her head as flowing into it from the outside. She got out of her four-poster bed and went to the window, which looked out over the front yard, opened the curtains, and peered down onto the full-moon-lit lawn. There, standing on and tramping down the long grass, was a plethora of the putrid, a group of the grotesque, a mass of monsters, a crowd of creatures weird and otherworldly all looking up at her window and chanting, “VI-VA-CIA! VI-VA-CIA! VI-VA-CIA!”
Kathy quickly pulled the curtains closed as she contained a scream and exuded incredulity. The chanting stopped. Kathy took in a deep breath, let it out, took in another, let that one out, and searched deep inside herself for the sticking place to screw her courage to. Slowly she opened the curtains again and peered out. The front lawn was unoccupied. All was still quiet—or still and quiet as the case may be—except for the hydrangea bushes which were vibrating minutely.
And Mrs. Anderson’s gnome, Kathy noticed, was now mooning the moon. This brought little comfort to Kathy as she shivered from both the cold night air and the cold nightmare. Returning to her bed, Kathy buried herself deep into the blankets.
About the Author:
A Scribe award-winner, receiving the praise of Ray Bradbury and the Oscar-winning film producer, Richard Zanuck, Steven Paul Leiva is no stranger to the business of telling a good story. Author of several novels, and with a writing-style that lays hard on the satire, this Hollywood-escapee doesn’t pull punches when it comes to politics.
Need to know more? Follow him on Amazon or Goodreads, or check out his blog here: http://