English (United States)
The original idea: • A young man discovers a way to communicate with the dead, but learns the loudest voices belong to those with cruel intentions. • The fundamental story here is how we rarely consider the consequences of our conquest for knowledge. • An anthropology grad student (I’ll list him as Protag here) zeroes in on a magnificent old house that somehow hasn’t been bulldozed with the growth of the city and wants to study how such an edifice informs the life of its residents, past and present. He moves in and quickly finds his fellow tenants (5? 6?) to be eccentric and standoffish, but the skeeviest among them takes a liking to Protag. Skeevy shows Protag his computer, which often has chat windows up populated by weird names saying weird things—Skeevy says they’re dead, and though Protag doesn’t believe him, he soon receives emails from strange folk, one of whom he identifies in some of his research on previous residents of the house. Protag learns that Skeevy makes a living by cooking experimental synthetic drugs, and by adding water from the house allows users to experience the lives of those past. A regular tries to kill Skeevy while high and they kill her in self-defense—then her body starts talking to them. Protag and Skeevy begin to tear the house apart and discover a history far more foul than either would have imagined. And this is taking into account the talking dead girl. • The dead convince Protag to kill Skeevy, saying he was the one who introduced Protag to the dead in the first, that he’s really dead but his body must be dismembered before he can harm Protag. They then depart, letting Protag sit with Skeevy’s body and his deed. o Some dude thinks the house allows him to speak to god This somehow became: The first night in the house: dreams of a chapel, a girl playing the organ, face covered. The second night in the house: a woman with a strange story, a warning, and spicy cooking. The third night in the house: the girl is out of the dream. The fourth night in the house: she can only eat what isn’t yet dead, and her name is Adelaide. The fifth night in the house: Jeremy thinks she’s perfect.
Gardner, Nathanial Winston, "Hold On to the Night" (2017). Honors Theses - All. 1854.
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