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The three stories presented here are tied to an apocalyptic underground community known as The Harbor (two take place post, while the title tale goes down before all hell breaks loose).

In ‘Blood and Bubblegum,’ we’re introduced to some seriously strange characters who are involved in an ever-growing organic narcotics trade, including protagonist Juan and a fecal-demon that lives in his rectum. This is by far the weirdest entry here, and features a fresh look at vampirism.

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‘Th …more The three stories presented here are tied to an apocalyptic underground community known as The Harbor (two take place post, while the title tale goes down before all he…moreSep 19, 2010 Nick Cato ‘The Place in Between” review:

The three stories presented here are tied to an apocalyptic underground community known as The Harbor (two take place post, while the title tale goes down before all hell breaks loose).

In ‘Blood and Bubblegum,’ we’re introduced to some seriously strange characters who are involved in an ever-growing organic narcotics trade, including protagonist Juan and a fecal-demon that lives in his rectum. This is by far the weirdest entry here, and features a fresh look at vampirism.

‘Th …more The three stories presented here are tied to an apocalyptic underground community known as The Harbor (two take place post, while the title tale goes down before all hell breaks loose).

In ‘Blood and Bubblegum,’ we’re introduced to some seriously strange characters who are involved in an ever-growing organic narcotics trade, including protagonist Juan and a fecal-demon that lives in his rectum. This is by far the weirdest entry here, and features a fresh look at vampirism.

‘The Place In Between,’ shows that a revenge story can be done in a fresh manner: Del’s wife Luci is having an affair with her drug supplier, Sancho. Sancho and Luci eventually manage to get custody of the invalid Del, and Sancho uses this as payback time from their navy days (apparently Del had done something to ruin Sancho’s career). The story becomes an extreme torture tale, one that made me wince a few times…but Del manages to turn the tables via a Faust-ish deal with a demon. Rage also gives another fresh spin here on ghosts, making this a perfect blend of hardcore horror and bizarro goodness.

In the final piece, ‘Bad Notion, Traveling Potion,’ we return to The Harbor and learn more about The Good Doctor (responsible for creating drugs and mutants) and his created servant, the scene-stealing hybrid man/chimp, Tugmunkee. This one was a bit of a chore to follow, but in the end Rage brings it all together. While some people in the bizarro community frown upon stories centered around drug use, this one works as the “tripping” scenes are just a side-note to the real weirdness.

THE PLACE IN BETWEEN is gross, disgusting, funny, horrific, and disturbing, yet at the same time it’s quite entertaining. Rage writes with his conscience thrown out the window (that is, if he had one to begin with), yet unlike some more extreme stuff I’ve read, he actually knows how to WRITE a story around the grue. I’m keeping my eye on this guy as he truly lives up to his last name.

 2010: You Morbid Westphal by Steven Rage 

by Rhonda Wilson on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 8:17am

YOU. Yes, “you”… are a poor soul in the hospital on your last legs. And as it is, you’ve “given birth” to one of the most horrible “people” ever possible…

MORBID. Born from “your” rectum, Morbid dispatches many other patients in the hospital in extremely horrendous and painful ways. However, the main suspect of these murders isn’t Morbid, but instead…

WESTPHAL. Living with his ghost step-dad, Sammy, and his pet aborted fetus, Chip, Westphal works as a night shift nurse, getting stuck with all of the worst patients. All those that no one else wants to fool with. Just to get through the day, Westphal has to dope himself up with the strongest narcotics possible and that doesn’t always help make things easier.

These three characters, as well as a host of other interesting “people” make up Steven Rage’s You Morbid Westphal. Both the characters and story format are unique- Rage has created a one-of-a-kind voice with this novella, which has enough story to fill a full-length book. A large chunk of the story follows Westphal day-to-day as he suffers through many horrendous tasks at work, in his dreams, and even just trying to obtain more drugs along the way.

As soon as I read the final chapters of this book I was ready to re-read it. I ended up waiting a few months before doing just that, but after a… 

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