The details “grisly”, the people “lunatic”, the results, “magnetic”.
La Nuit du Jugement Dernier
© 1990 Russell H. Greenan
© 1990 for the French translation by Crapule Productions (Sombre Crapule series)
tr. Marie-Françoise Husson
Cover art: Henri Galeron
“According to Detective Mulcahy innocent people were abducted off the street, and then made to take part in the fun and games. I haven’t been able to confirm any of this, but it has a ring of truth. When I made inquiries several of Mulcahy’s colleagues insisted that the man was an alcoholic who suffered from the jimjams.”
“That’s what they would say. Have you spoken to the man himself, Herbert?”
“I couldn’t. Five weeks ago Mulcahy got his head blown off by two nightcrawlers he caught breaking into a liquor store. No arrests have been made, so far.” I looked past the lawyer’s beefy shoulder. The man on the motorcycle’s pillion had dismounted and was sauntering towards the café. He had a grizzled moustache and beard, wore a crash helmet and round goggles, and carried a large plastic shopping-bag decorated with red flowers.
Arkwright continued. “According to the article this pleasure palace is subterranean, lavishly appointed, extremely exclusive and exorbitantly expensive. Some of the suckers fly all the way from California, Europe, Asia to sample its delights. Movie guys, oil sheiks, sports stars, Hong Kong tycoons. Human nature being what it is, how can you disbelieve? Mulcahy said it was protected by powerful political forces. A lot of wheels were being greased.”
As the bearded biker drew near the tables, Caliban stepped nimbly from the shadows and accosted him. I heard the cocaine addict sniff and grunt, then utter a few indistinct words in his nasal drone. Suddenly the harried motorcyclist yelled, “Get the fuck away from me, you asshole!” and shoved him aside.
Caliban, his waxy face registering surprise and rage, banged off the iron railing of the house next to the café. But he regained his balance quickly, reached beneath his shirt, pulled out the carving-knife and lunged at the bearded man, who, no less surprised, had to execute an abrupt and agile lateral movement to avoid being skewered.
Herbert Arkwright turned his head. “That mother-raper has plenty of nerve,” he commented, grimacing. “But in a lawless society, what the hell have outlaws got to fear?”