UNLV graduate Ed Kaczynski explores terror, madness, desperation and loss in “The Doors of the Dauphine’s Palace,” a short story collection he said is reminiscent of the works of Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft. Featuring cover art by local artist Jska Priebe, the collection’s title is taken from a dark locked book described in the story as “The Harlot’s Maze.” The local author’s other tales, edited by View copy editor Anne King, follow men on a prison break, an unfaithful husband in the midst of a plane crash, an insomniac dipping in and out of delusion, and a father facing an apocalyptic future alone.
“I’m dyin’, boys.” He’d said to us, gut-shot and bleeding through, his fingers slick and dark where he kept his hands pressed on the wound. He was all smiles and tears and wailing and screams, laughing and weeping in turn, as his face got paler and his skin grew cool. “I’m dyin’, boys.” He kept saying it like we didn’t believe him. “I’m dyin’, boys.” He kept saying it like we could stop it for him. Through the tears and pain and the fear of the unknown, he kept saying it like it would save him.