The books of Russell H. Greenan

The details “grisly”, the people “lunatic”, the results, “magnetic”.

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A Can of Worms


© 1976 Russell H. Greenan


Cover art ©1976  Bantam Books, Inc.

Art by Steve Hall


ISBN: 0-533-26575-X

From A Can of Worms


“Listen, somebody in your social circle has been robbing apartments in that building over there—committing burglaries to pay for his Zinfandel— so now none of your Boy Scouts can camp out here anymore. Pass the word, Whitey.”

             “Wasn’t me, Lieutenant. I don’t steal. I only spare-change people—you know, lean on my crutch and buzz the nine-to-fivers. Today the heater in my car is busted and I got no place to go because the library don’t open til twelve.”

             “Tough shit.”

             “Maybe I can sneak in that empty house over by the Fens, the spooky dump where I seen that bozo throw that cut-off head in the fire. Or maybe I can hang around the bus station for a while, if that tough security guard ain’t—”

             “Wait a minute. What cut-off head?”

             “The one I told you about—on Cambridge Street that day. Don’t you remember, Lieutenant? But the new security guard down the Greyhound station is a rough customer. Last time I went there—”

             “When was it that you saw this guy throw the head in the fire?”

             “When? I don’t know, two, three weeks back. Me and Samantha had a little party in this empty house by the Fens, drank a bottle of Cossack and some peppermint schnapps. Later on I woke up because it was so hot. Figured Samantha had turned the thermostat too—”

             “You were probably dreaming. You sure it was a human head?”

             Frainer stroked his matted beard. “I seen it as clear as I see you, Lieutenant. Guy chucked it in the fireplace …along with the cut-off hands. A big bozo, he was, wearing a white sweater and a fedora hat.”

             “And you weren’t hallucinating, Whitey? Weren’t tripping on acid or having the jimjams, like with the red buffaloes?”

             “They weren’t red. They was grey, like rats.”

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