Built to encompass the entire range of lifeless mountains, it had always, relentlessly, clanked on and on. Within, vast halls and endless corridors were filled with the sounds of metal on metal, with hissing steam, with squealing gears. In the eyes of its citizens, it was sacred, deified, omniscient. Enshrined in their mythology for innumerable generations, it had gone by countless designations, but its truest name was perhaps its plainest: the Machine.
For Ballard, the Machine is a place of tedium, and ignorance, and cruelty. He sees little use in his mundane job and secretly questions the purpose of the Machine. When tragedy strikes, Ballard is forced to embark on a paranoid journey that will take him outside of the Machine, and everything he's ever known, over the edge into darkness, past the point of no return... toward the blackness knows as Marrow's Pit.
Keith Deininger is an award-winning writer and poet. He is the author of numerous works of short fiction, the novella Fevered Hills, and the upcoming novel The New Flesh (June 2013). He grew up in the American Southwest and currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico with his wife and their three dogs. People think he's weird (including his wife). He is a firm believer in the landscape of the imagination as a fuel source for the human experience (whatever that means). He is cynical and a skeptic.