Deep Down There
By Oli Jacobs
In Anton Court, a 6-feet wide hole appears overnight, eventually turning the residents crazy wondering how it appeared, and what caused it
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In the gated community of Anton Court, the residents wake up one morning to find a hole in the communal garden. Not just any hole, but one that stretches 6 feet wide, doesn’t seems to end, and makes strange noises during the night.
Despite the protests of the residents – including single mother Hannah Suggs, retired military man James Stanley aka “The Colonel”, and millennial thrillseeker Rich Davis – Anton Court’s owners, HP Properties, try to convince them everything is under control. Even when a truckload of cement won’t fill the hole, and a steel panel is ripped off during the night. Once the children start creeping too close to the hole during the night, it is decided to evacuate the Court.
But not everyone wants to leave. Hannah stubbornly refuses out of fear of eviction, The Colonel is too proud to give up his home, and amateur scientist William Barrett wants to study it.
Worse still, Davis wants to explore the hole. With HP’s consent.
It is soon discovered that the hole is more unusual than the curious sanity it inspires in the residents; it is deeper than they could ever believe, perfectly smooth, and seems to get smaller the more you go down. Not only that, it is getting bigger at the top.
Then Davis reaches the bottom, and things get vastly worse on Anton Court.
Inspired by the likes of HP Lovecraft (At The Mountains of Madness), Stephen King (The Shining), and Mark Z Danielewski (House of Leaves), Deep Down There is a slow-building Horror about how the unknown can rip apart the delicate façade of everyday life. From the dark secrets of your next-door neighbours, to what really exists in the ground below our feet.
So, what lies Deep Down There? Read on, and find out for yourself. Just make sure to bring a torch, and a very long rope.
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Oli Jacobs is a bearded connoisseur of whisky and curry who just happens to enjoy weaving tall tales from the random flashes of his synapses. From the wet shores of Southampton, but now residing in the wilds of High Wycombe, he has been writing since he enjoyed Saturday Morning TV without a hangover. While self-published since 2012 – writing in a range of genres from sci-fi comedy to noir-tipped thrillers – Deep Down There is his first serious crack at some spine-tingling Horror.
A vast range of subjects and authors inspire his works, but he is most likely to wax lyrical about the virtue of HP Lovecraft, the films of John Carpenter, or how zombies don’t run. That, and how Lord Parmesan is superior to Pitt the Elder. He knows it’s actually Lord Palmerston, but there’s no telling him when he’s engaged in that debate.
He can be usually found in his local drinking hole, or walking his pooch with his beautiful wife. If you find him, approach with wide arms and a smile. Or a beer. Preferably the latter.
As always, he hopes you enjoy his works.
There was a sense of nervousness around the Court the next day.
Usually, Friday would instigate a feeling of excitement over the pending weekend, but now, there was only a fear over what had happened the previous night.
Still sat battered in William & Charles’ garden, was the steel sheet Crendon had used to try and cover the hole. While the plan was solid enough – as was the sheet – it was now lay upside down several metres away from the crater, and resembling a bowl rather than a panel.
This time, there was no uproar from any of the residents; there were no questions or queries, just a stunned silence over what had happened. One could theorise that they all had seen what Hannah believed she saw, but did not want to seem to be the crazy one who would broach the subject. Therefore, the only option was to look at what happened in stunned silence, and hope to continue on with their day.
Which many did, going to work and taking the kids to school.
For those who enjoyed the home life – including Hannah, Charles, and now Rich & Stacey – they just joined Crendon in the inspection of the dented metal.
As for The Colonel & Heather? They remained indoors.
“So?” Rich said, finally breaking the tension that surrounded the small group as they looked at the panel.
“So William’s hydrangeas aren’t going to recover,” Charles said.
“I was talking about the cover.”
“You don’t say.”
Crendon didn’t say anything. He just got on his phone and muttered to Ronnie. Maybe someone else. Nobody seemed to neither care nor pay attention, as they were too focused on the remnants of last night.
“I don’t like it,” Stacey said.
“It’s not weird, it’s…”
“Weird,” Hannah said.
“It’s an eyesore, that’s what it is, my dear.”
“Not something for your collection then, Charlie?”
“It’s Charles, Richard, and no. I don’t think this would sell.”
Crendon came back and began by apologising to Charles about his garden, and then assuring those left that the damage would be sorted out and everything would return to normal. Of course, such a statement soon turned round to bite him.
“How’s a hole in the middle of the Court normal?” Hannah said.
Crendon just glared. “It’s being sorted.”
“It’s been sorted twice,” Charles said.
“Yeah, well, it’ll be sorted again. Besides, how do I know this isn’t your work? Like, some sort of installation thing.”
“My dear Vincent, I’m a collector. A curator. Not a creator.”
Crendon sneered. “Yeah, well if I find out this is a joke, from any of you, your tenancy is revoked, alright?”
Nobody said anything. They all knew that Crendon didn’t believe his own accusation there, but he was getting frustrated and ready to right the whole mess off.
The problem was, that the mess was a 6-feet wide hole.
And his options were fast running out.
- 1st August 2019 Hole news via email
Just a quick update to say I now have a newsletter for all those wanting to get the latest news in ol' Oli J's work:
Deep Down There related updates to follow shortly...
OJ16th July 2019 A hole load of other tales
So, the plan to get Deep Down There funded by mid-June was a startling lesson in hubris. HOWEVER... the campaign chugs on, and we edge nearer to 73%
Until then, a new reward for you all. As a thank you for pledging, I am offering 2 free, unpublished works from myself. I don’t plan to release these (ever), so they’re quite something. Whether that is a good something is... yeah.…8th February 2019 Another brick in the hole
Continuing my obsession with turning my literary efforts into Lego, here’s Deep Down There’s main character Hannah Suggs enjoying a brew near the hole.27th January 2019 A hole lot of bricks required...
A wee update here to give you a little sneak peek at a promo video I'm contemplating for Deep Down There. I think you'll get the vibe from it...
And yes, that's Crendon.
OJ7th January 2019 The hole's creator brings other horrors...
Good tidings, folks...
So while we wait to hit that magic 60% funded on Deep Down There, I thought I'd let you know that my old horror novellas are currently free to download. Underneath and Stains were my sophmoric efforts at twisting a tale, and had more than a hint of inspiration from The Thing and The Shining. They ain't perfect, but they did help me get an idea of what I wanted from my horror…2nd January 2019 2019: Year of the Hole
Happy new year, and all that jazz...
Anton Court still stands, and the hole continue to sit in its central garden. A deep black. Seemingly growing. Making strange noises at night...
The question is, is this the year the gates to the community open, and what is down the hole revealed? I hope so, mostly for your sakes and your loyal support. I do appreciate every penny put in, and every link shared…25th November 2018 Some questions to consider...
On Twitter, I asked some questions related to Deep Down There to sate the taste buds. In the interests of sharing, here they are for your curiosity and chin-stroking:
Who says the hole was dug?
Why is the hole perfectly round, with smooth walls?
Why does the hole not reflect light?
How did it appear overnight so quickly, without a sound or any…22nd September 2018 Fashionable...
So backers and potential backees... I decided to run a prototype for the Super Duper Special Paperback reward, a Deep Down There T-shirt.
What do we think?
To get yours, pledge toward the Super Duper Special Paperback. 9 left, I believe...
OJ21st September 2018 Welcome to Anton Court...
Just remembered back when I was more active I mentioned that the wonderful Eli Allison - author of Unbound's very own Sour Fruit - did some artwork for me. Specifically, she created a very grand vision of what Anton Court - home to the hole - looks like.
So without further adeiu, here it is:
See if you can work out which house belongs to which resident...
OJ18th August 2018 Down the hole, time is... different.
Hi folks. Been a while, huh?
Truth is, I've been unwell. A lot. This has impacted my writing and my shilling for Deep Down There and while it is frustrating, I thank you all for continuing to support the book. Unbound continues to put a lot of faith in me, and for a writer, sometimes that's better than sales.
I can't promise any furthers insights or updates, but may pop a little teaser text…30th April 2018 The hole is halfway open...
I'm quite pleased with this, despite all my recent moaning. It shows progress, it shows interest, and it also shows that horror comedies about bloody big holes appeal to the masses. So thank you all who have pledged so far, and to those who haven't, get on board! Because, you could be like the following winners of...
THE WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE!
Yes, I missed this at 40%, and so over at…7th April 2018 The hole is deep, and dark...
So what is a hole?
This is an interesting thing that has been conjured in the minds of those I have worked with regarding this project. My simple, Twitter-friendly pitch has been "the horror about a hole", which brings images of crumbling sink-holes that engulf the landscape around it. When you think of a hole, you think of something like a manmade structure dug out of the ground.
The hole in…17th March 2018 The hole has such gifts to give you...
So, what is currently happening behind the scenes with Deep Down There? Well apart from the introduction of a discount code - DEEP10 - to grab yourself 10% off your pledges, I am also working on some extra little prizes for you wonderful backers...
What prizes you ask? Well, more exclusive artwork, more unique gifts, and something a little more... musical.
I'm also aware I haven…2nd March 2018 What's down the hole?
The key question for all supporters of this particular tome...
For the record, I know what is down there. Deep Down There, you could say (hey, that's the name of the book!). Is it revealed in the book? Kind of. Maybe. You'd have to read it to find out...
But yes, I know what's down there, and cultivating the mystery of what is down there was one of the more fun aspects of writing Deep Down There…17th February 2018 Who is the focus of the hole?
Main characters are a tricky thing to get right.
I confess that when it comes to a story, I always start with a stock character who, surprise surprise, mirrors myself: white, heterosexual, and male. Usually 25-35 years old, and in a fluctuating state of relationship. This was my standard until I realised I was doing it, and since I have tried to variate my leading characters with the stories. After…6th February 2018 The hole wasn’t as big...
As promised, here is a more regular update after months of radio silence from my end. And as promised, it is some behind the scenes factoids!
So, how did Deep Down There begin life? Well, originally, it was going to be a short story - potentially around 15000 words. The idea was the same, but as I started plotting, the idea of putting more into the characters and…4th February 2018 The hole can bring darkness...
Hello again backers and potential backees...
Once again, I can only apologise for the lack of updates on Deep Down There. Truth be told, my health is still doing a number on me, preventing me from really embracing and getting on with my writing, including Deep Down There.
I'm hoping this will change, and these updates will become more frequest, in the meantime, what would you like to see in…21st December 2017 The hole still exists...
First of all, apologies for the lack of updates. I have been vastly unwell and dealing with many plates spinning at various speeds.
But don't worry, for they have all crashed to the ground into many pieces and I am back in business!
We've hit 40%, which is awesome and also game for another spin of the Wheel of Misfortune. Keep an eye out for that this weekend.
Also, the artwork…2nd November 2017 The hole affects up to 50 people...
Well, this is absolutely splendid. Thank you to everyone who has backed Deep Down There so far, and massive thanks to Kashif Altaf for being the 50th Backer! A special reward is coming to you soon...
I was also going to put up an extract for Halloween, but amongst all the excitement of sweets and gore I forgot. Therefore, look out for that at the weekend.
And yes, you may have…18th October 2017 The hole cannot be covered...
Things continue to develop behind the scenes of Deep Down There. As well as getting some spiffing artwork put together for publicity by award-winning artist Elaine M Will, we are also looking at other artists to provide the awesome rewards we have planned, and also some more prizes from the Wheel of Misfortune...
In the meantime, gaze upon the new excerpt, ye mighty, and despair. That…14th October 2017 The hole has grown... by 27%
After a fallow period where 20% seemed like a distant dream... Deep Down There is now at a whopping 27%. That is phenomenal, and something I am very, very happy with.
So with that, the Wheel of Misfortune was spun for the Pledgers - twice - and a congrats are in order for Melissa Davies who won the DDT Lego Minifigs, and Iain Boulton who won a Pledge Upgrade! Congrats to you both...
These people are helping to fund Deep Down There.
An anonymous donor
Sarah Nelson Smith
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Tom C Lloyd
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Damon L. Wakes