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The Eidolons

© 2018
A lone cyclist struggles to distinguish between his neurotic obsession with training for a race he’s in no shape to enter and a malevolent ghost from his past. Both could kill him.

Mark Hinault’s journey of self-destruction and survival begins idealistically enough. He’s an early thirties at-home product reviewer, and he’s also that guy; the wannabe pro cyclist who owns six carbon bikes and collects pro gear. You gotta have top-of-the-line stuff if you’re serious.

    And Mark is seriously desperate to change his life after five years of sober living and no relationships. His obsession to conquer Grant’s Pass will prove he’s ready to enter the big Double Mountain race, ready to hook up with his soul mate, leave the wreckage of alcoholism behind, and it will surely cure his chronic asthma.

    But there’s something out there in the pre-dawn darkness. A psychotic apparition that snatches roadkill off the asphalt in Mark’s headlight. A shadow of a man that chases him down the highway. And back home, the apparition haunts his dreams and disrupts his reality. Mark is trying to write his first full length article for a magazine but finds himself increasingly distracted. His AA sponsor Eddy tries to talk him out of setting unrealistic goals, but he has determined that making it over the mountain will be the focus of his article.

    Mark can’t stop; he’s riding long before sunrise. Then he sees Eddy’s decapitated head in the road and the apparition knocks him unconscious. The truck that nearly runs him over belongs to Eddy. It appears Mark has had an asthma attack and asphyxiated, leading to nightmare hallucinations.  

    As Mark recovers, the lady downstairs befriends him. Arachne Jones is everything he does not want in a romantic interest; urban, gothic, non-waif, non-bike-riding coffee shop girl. And yet, a spark ignites between them. She pushes him to go after his goals.

    On Mark’s next attempt over the pass, the apparition pushes him over a steep slope and flings his bike down on him. He wakes up to a nightmare scenario; burned bicycles, piles of bones, riding helmets with skulls in them. The apparition is an ogre-like man that prepares to cook and eat one of his legs as Mark watches.

    A violent struggle leads to Mark’s escape, but the apparition follows. The weight of his past, of riding away from reality and living for the future, come to light as Mark battles for his life against a ghost that won’t die. The tone of quiet desperation and lurking, oppressive menace rises to a fever pitch. But ultimately it’s a survival story and Mark’s athleticism and raging determination get him the upper hand. He realizes the only way to shake the ghost is to make it to the top, which becomes a grueling ordeal.

    Back home, Mark is a different person. He realizes he is not the guy on the dating site and deletes his profile. But when he breaks out of his solitary fugue and ventures down to meet Arachne, he finds her apartment empty. She died a month earlier…

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