The details “grisly”, the people “lunatic”, the results, “magnetic”.
(Glamour Doom) © 1993 Russell H. Greenan
© 2002 for the French translation by GECEP/Murder Inc.
tr. Aurélie Tronchet
Cover photo ©Calum Calvin/Photonica
Cover design: atelier 3
The opening of Glamour Doom
Hearing a sharp click, and realizing his caller had hung up on him, Durham ceased speaking and dropped the receiver in its cradle. A tear welled from one rheumy eye, rolled down his puckered face and came to rest on his whiskered chin. After an abstracted pause of a minute or two, he switched the light off and shambled back to his bedchamber, carefully locking the door behind him.
The only furnishings left in this room were a battered dresser and a double bed. Above the bed’s oaken headboard a brass crucifix depended from a nail, while darkly outlined patches on other parts of the wall showed where furniture had once stood and pictures once hung.
He took the matching pajama top from the dresser and slowly pushed the drawer shut, an action that created a murmurous scrape. To him it mimicked the voice on the phone saying, "die, die."
While Durham stood there a much louder sound occurred outside the house, one that made him cock his head. And when this eerie noise was repeated, he shuddered, threw the pajama top on the dresser and tottered across the wooden floor to the room's bay window.
Above the roofs of Beacon Street brownstones a full moon shone in the cloudless sky, and by its comprehensive glare he saw a black tomcat prowling in the shadowy yard below. As if it had been awaiting his appearance, the feline gazed up at the window and uttered two drawn-out yowls On Durham’s ears they registered as the malevolent syllables, “d-i-e, d-i-e.”
He flinched, turned away from the ill-omened creature and staggered back a few steps, causing his pajama drawstring to come undone. The flannel pants fell to his ankles. Scarcely noticing he stepped out of them and hurried to his bed, where he snatched the brass crucifix off the wall. Then Durham ran to a clothes closet nearby and dove headlong into its farthest corner.
Amidst shoes and hanging garments he crouched in quaking terror. Time and again he kissed the cross, muttering fervent supplications while peering fixedly at the beam of saffron light coming through the half-shut door.
Minutes later he stopped praying, and his mouth fell open and his eyes rolled halfway up into his head. The old man began to twitch and convulse. Two strange expiratory grunts erupted from deep within his naked body and his spittle-wet lips gradually took on a deep cyanic blue coloring, even as the rest of his face grew pale and puffy.
But the violent spasms lasted only a short while, and once they ended he lay quite still.