The Dauntless Rook (§.05)

Continued from §.04.


After the concert had concluded, Blythe, Boyce, Kyne and Adair returned to the clerk whose visage bore the marks of considerable nervousness.

“Ilhayl, my lords. I regret to inform ye there has been a theft.”

“What was riven?” Inquired Adair evenly.

“Thy coat, my comitem.”

Boyce laughed, “Broadly, fortune smiles.”

The clerk furrowed his brows, confused by Boyce’s levity and then advanced to Adair and gestured toward the entrance.

“Fear not. I sent Geoffery to fetch the accipiters; rest assured, the knave will know justice and be equitably recompensed.”

“Nys so serious, dear fellow. Marta gives and Marta takes. Such is life.”

“B-but-”

Aldwyn abruptly pulled Adair aside, chere severe.

“If summons should the accipiters heed, it were best we shifted; malgre our blamelessness.”

“Thou art minded of the wedding?”

“It could provoke scandal.”

“We’ve not haste enough to evade the possibility; they’ve already arrived.”

In from doors abroche, two men entered, darkly garbed in the dress of the Ministry of Inquisitions, followed by a slender, languid woman, similarly, if less fastidiously, dressed, who, unlike her companions, sported a mishappen, snub-brimmed cap, low-drawn about her visage. Her hair was dark and straight, falling to frame wide, sleepless eyes, which took in the whole of the hall before settling fixedly upon Adair.

“I’m Accipiter Demelody,” she replied curtly, without bowing, “Thou art Oeric Adair?”

“Aye.”

“Curious. Thou wert spotted an hour’s half-past in Rasten Yard, evading an attempt upon thy life.”

“What? Unverray. Query alle and some; swiftly shalt thou know I’ve abided in the hall the whole of that time.”

“That much is obvious, and yet not half the geste.”

Aldwyn cut in daintily, “Perchance our interrogation of this cas could commence in coyer quarters?”

“Sikerly.”

As the accipiters and nobles turned to leave, a elderly woman came half-dashing down the stairs, sorrily discombobulated.

“My hat, my hat. Someone has stolen my hat!”


Continued in §.06.

The Dauntless Rook (§.03)

Continued from §.02.


When the concierge returned to his post with Geoffrey, he found three coats hanging beside his desk. Upon checking the tags, he discovered that within each, a name had been stitched by the tailor.

Blythe. Boyce. Kyne.

He sent Geoffrey to scour the auditorium, but no trace of Adair’s coat could be found.


Continued in §.04.

The Dauntless Rook (§.02)

Continued from §.01.


*

“Ah, we arrive at last!” Aldwyn Blythe declared with triumph as the four aristocrats reached the first floor lobby of Mazrak’s Grand Theatre, which hummed with conversations and the busy footsteps of its numerous and well-heeled patrons.

Oeric wasted no time in greeting the elderly clerk who stood behind a stout and well polished reception desk to the left of the corridor.

“We’ve reservations for Destrali’s concerto.”

“Names?” The concierge inquired apathetically.

“Blythe. Boyce. Kyne. Adair.”

The man’s brows moved progressively higher at each utterance. He checked a large, leatherbound ledger set before him, whereupon his ennui melted to fawning adoration.

“Comitem Adair!”

“Yes, sir.”

“I-I’d no idea… ah, yes… tickets.”

The pepper-haired clerk swiftly removed four tickets from underneath the desk and then snapped vainly several times in succession.

“Geoffrey. Geoffrey? Geoffrey!”

The concierge, irked and embarrassed, returned his attention to the four young gentlemen with a sigh of exasperation.

“I’m dreadfully sorry, I’ve no idea where the scamp scuttled.”

“No trouble at all,” Adair assured him, removing his coat, “We’re perfectly capable of hanging up our own-”

“No, no, that just won’t do! A moment, but a moment!”

The clerk sped off into the room directly behind the counter. Moments later, a young valet, dressed in red, descended the upper landing which let out to the concert hall and bowed cordially to the four theater-goers. He was lithe and wan, with hair the color of obsidian, immaculately combed back to reveal a sharp, angular face and keen, green-gold eyes.

“Salutations,” the valet said warmly.

“Ah, thou must be Geoffrey.”

“Aye. Shall I take thy coat, my comitem?”

“Certainly, lad,” Adair replied as he handed his coat off to the valet. Blythe, Boyce and Kyne swiftly followed suit, whereupon the pale valet bowed once more and stepped aside as the party headed up the stairs.

As the four men vanished over the landing, the valet flashed a crooked smile.

*


Continued in §.03.

The Silence & The Howl (§.27)

CHAPTER 27


She found Harmon in his room, staring at a series of drawings affixed to the wall. In the center hung a meticulously detailed graphite illustration of a young dark-haired woman with handsome mediterranean features. Harmon’s eyes shimmered with strange intensity from where he sat in statuesque silence in the middle of the spartan room, on a stiff wooden chair, spine arched, hands upon a sketchbook and it on his knees.

He said nothing as the woman entered the room, the sound of charcoal upon paper filling up the aural void.

“Heya.”

Harmon waved briskly in the woman’s direction without looking at her, his eyes fixed on the drawing, his hands moving across the surface of the cheap faux-leather-bound sketchbook, tightly clutched in his pale, scar-worn arms.

“I’m not bothering you am I?”

“No. Just distracting me. But I could use a little distraction. Couldn’t sleep?”

“Nah. Drank too much coffee at the cafe probably. Stronger than what I’m used to here.”

“Its pretty potent. Andy back?”

“No. Still out with the boys I guess. Probably got blitzed and spent the night at Jake’s house. Something of a habit for him.”

“I see.”

“I wanted to thank you.”

“What for?”

“For suggesting the cafe, introducing us to your friend, taking us all out to eat and paying for the food. It was nice. Andy needed that.”

Harmon nodded, “No problem.”

She moved forwards, hands in the pockets of her cotton pajama bottoms.

“Whatcha drawing?”

Before she could position herself behind him to view the illustration, Harmon softly shut the sketchbook and turned in his chair.

“I never show my work before its finished.”

She rolled her eyes and then offered him a beer.

“Wanna watch a movie?”

“Sure.”

He took one last look at the portrait upon the center of the wall and rose methodically, placing his drawing upon the small and only table in his temporary domicile.

They moved to the living room, Harmon taking up the same spot in which he had sat when last he and Lyla were still talking, however infrequently. Marla sat down beside him, just where Lyla had when they’d watched Andy’s strange horror film. Harmon couldn’t remember how much time had elapsed since the four of them had watched the movie. All sense of temporal continuity had left his mind. Marla snatched up the remote from the battered wooden coffee table and snapped the ON switch. The news played. A young, smartly dressed woman with asiatic features stood upon a dock, close to the camera. Behind her stood a massive oil rig, rising from the industrial architecture surrounding like a massive alien starship, bright with flame.

“-were able to contain the fire. While initial reports speculated the blast might have been caused by a methane bubble in the drill column, Anton Schmidt, a spokesman for Synnefo Consortium Heavy Industries, dispelled the theory and told me, in a interview just a few minutes ago that the source of the explosion has been determined to have originated from a detention device planted near the drill column.”

A spray-tanned and whiskey-bloated man in a navy blue suit with a silken red tie appeared upon a secondary feed to the right of the female reporter.

“Are you saying this was an act of terrorism?”

“That what it looks like, Joe.”

“Astounding. Absolutely astounding. Alright. Thanks Ling.”

The woman nodded turned from the camera as a crowd of men moved swiftly past her, towards the blazing oil rig.

“Thanks Joe-”

The feed cut out.

“I’m Joe J. Turner. Up next-”

Marla changed the channel as Harmon ran his hands from thighs to knees, spine curving as he bent forth in reverie.

“I can’t stand the news.”

Harmon turned towards her with a quizzical expression, “Why’s that?”

“Its so fucking depressing.”

“Good news is no news.”

“Rather not have any in that case, everything is depressing enough as it is,” she took a swig of beer and flicked the channel again. A film in early color played. A hideous amphibian monster attacked a woman in a pink bikini on a mist-covered beach as a melodramatic score, slightly too jubilant for the content, roared from the speakers.

“What’s got you down?”

She sighed and went lax, he head lolling against the couch cushion, her eyes wandering about the ceiling.

“I dunno. Its not one thing. Andy’s depressed. Doesn’t know what he’s going to do. For money. For a career. He can’t even decide on a hobby. Whole area is filthy. Trash everywhere. Drug peddlers. I thought it would be nice to get away from the city… but its precisely the same. And, oh, I don’t know… I just thought I’d be doing something interesting at this point in my life. Something better.”

She took a swig of beer and looked to Harmon expectantly.

“There’s no use worrying about that.”

“That’s easy for you to say.”

“What do you mean?”

“You never seem worried about anything. Didn’t seem to care at all you got fired. And by telephone. Didn’t even have the good grace to tell you to your face.”

“There’s always another job that needs doing.”

She shook her head.

“How is it you always manage to stay so calm?”

Harmon thought hard upon the question before answering.

“I focus.”

“On what?”

“On my art. I had long considered drawing and writing a hobby. A pleasant diversion. I figured I’d be working construction for many years. Maybe I still will… but I’ve had time to reflect. To reconsider. Now I understand the importance of crystallizing my thoughts; of channeling my attention; of pairing away my delusions and examining my mistakes; of elaborating upon my fantasies that they may become realities.”

“What have you been fantasizing about lately?”

Harmon turned and fixed her with his gaze, his expression opaque. Harmon imagined Lyla weeping, on her knees before him, laying bare her transgressions and begging for forgiveness. Honest and unabsolved. Desperately seeking reconciliation.

“About what I’ll be doing once I leave.”

She reached out and touched his arm.

“I hope you don’t feel pressured to leave. We don’t mind having you around.”

“I appreciate that, Marla. But you two are building a life together, and with all the problems Andy’s been having… I just don’t want to get in between that.”

She smiled and ran her hand down his arm, rolling her head over the couch cushion towards him.

“You’re so sweet. Oh hey, I meant to ask – that drawing. In your room. That’s Lyla, isn’t it?”

At the mention of the name Harmon straightened and answered flatly.

“Yes.”

He took a swig of beer and focused his attentions to the screen and the cop-drama unfolding before him.

“I thought so. Its really nice.”

“Thanks.”

“Wish someone would draw me.”

“Would you like me to?”

She smiled broadly and leaned against him.

“No,” she craned her neck up towards his face, her hands drawing about the back of his neck, “Right now, I want you to kiss me.”

Before Marla could taste his lips, Harmon shoved her hands free and withdrew and rose. He stood a moment, starring at the wall and then glanced at the woman over his shoulder.

“You shouldn’t have done that.”

“Harmon, I’m sorry, I… just thought that-”

“I’m not disloyal.”

“I thought you and Lyla had broken up. I mean she never comes around and…”

“And what about Andy?”

“I wasn’t thinking. Harmon, wait, where are you going? Harmon, wait.”

The front door slammed shut and all was silence.

*

Bonnie & Clyde 2059

Assault lasers illuminate the Moon’s black sky. A shattered colony dome leaks oxygen as bodies flush into the vacuum of space. Another Luna Federation Agent shot dead, another shopkeeper-bot stumbles to die in a pile of its own liquefied processors.

Flashes of green and blue blistered from under the batwing doors of a supercharged stealth-rover. Droplets of blood forming and dancing in zero gravity outside the site of the latest in a string of robberies across Earth’s Moon.

In the expertly driven truck, a hardened, thin-faced youth, his hair matted with pomade, fires a Browning laser-rifle during the getaway. His accomplice, a deadly accurate side-gunner and thief, a striking beauty with crimson color-change-curls, usually smoking a cigarette, scanned their six, firing another machine laser, spraying green bolts to deter a pursuit. 

The newly liberated nation of Tranquillitatis has been struck by violence again, for the 8th time this lunar year. Two brazen individuals, assuming the identity of Clyde Barrow & Bonnie Parker, embarked on a year-long crime spree, have hit another helium deposit and cryptocurrency mining firm. 

Struggling to build a peaceful, prosperous, and safe nation after their Great Civil War, this latest murder of a Luna Fed agent, and large scale helium robbery is especially embarrassing. At a rover checkpoint between Mare Serenitatis and Dorsa Smirnov, Luna Federation agent, Kingston Jack, was shot between the eyes, straight through his space helmet, by a calm, cigarette smoking Bonnie, as the pair pulled to stop for the police barricade. 

Jack, 110 years old, made the fatal error of leaning his head under the couple’s Tesla T Rover’s batwing doors, in an attempt to question the young drivers masked in a cloud of smoke. 

Their criminality began last year, when a string of snail and mushroom farmers living near the original Apollo landings began reporting robberies and missing equipment. The largest lunar colony in the area, known as Armstrong Prime, became the site of their first openly brazen heist. 

In The M-Voss CrytpoExchange on Washington Avenue, they shot and killed 4 guards, making off with over 1,000 Bitcoins, and various fractions of other alt-coins. The pair then briefly paused at a nearby bar, Torchy’s, to also rob some imported-from-Earth alcohol. Weighed down by their haul, the young hoodlums escaped in their camo-painted Tesla T, wings up, lasers blasting. 

Apparently, the dangerous lovers reunited after small stints in separate lunar prisons. Clyde, originally known as Charles McRay, was sent away for stealing nitrogen and small artifacts from neighboring colony pods.

Age 13.

Bonnie, formerly Molly Xoa, sent away for withholding information about a murder involving a prominent Tranquillitatis Diplomat’s son.

She was 11. 

Together, the self proclaimed new Bonnie and Clyde, are wanted for 27 murders, and countless robberies, kidnappings, network hackings, malware attacks, and laser battles inside pressurized colony domes with Luna Fed agents and local municipality police forces. 

Bonnie, the titian-haired gunner, seems quite proud of her accuracy, as the laser pistol she uses shows a nifty digital display, tracking her hit percentage, and of course, number of headshots. At the time of publication, the counter read 7. Clyde usually handles the navigation computer, or manual guide stick when necessary, as Bonnie covers their daring exits. 

So far this month they have struck several small targets, refueling center, parts labs, and various farms and storage houses. The smoke, or alcho-bars, they treat as way stations and safe houses, always acting like Robin Hood dispensing stolen cryptocurrency, either in food rations and drink, or direct payment. 

In response to this latest killings of one of their own well loved agents, Tranquillitatis F.B.I are said to have laid roadblocks, as well deploying drone swarms to hunt and destroy the dangerous outlaws. But, as Bonnie & Clyde roll around in a stealth T Rover, with reinforced spiderweb Kevlar, a hacked driving computer, and bat wing doors that fly up as the start shooting starts, there may not be a more unstoppable force on the face of the Moon. 

A victim of the deranged, yet charming criminals, was released after a brief kidnapping that aided in their escape after the slaying of agent Jack. Another agent, who was working the checkpoint with Jack, Martin Shelly, was dropped at a small refueling outpost unharmed. 

Upon his rescue, he stated, “She told me no nice girl smokes cigars. Also, they told me to loose some weight.” After shaking his head for nearly one whole minute during his mental press conference, the Tranquillitatis agent went on to say, “When I was tied up in the back seat, she kept saying something about death and the wages of sin. I don’t know. But I swear, I am going to capture those little moonrats. Dead or alive.” 

Agent Shelly’s quote was later redacted by Federal authorities, saying the agent only meant to think dead or alive, not mentally broadcast his own personal opinion, which is understandable given the agent’s recent trauma, or so says the Tranquillitatis Fed Press Corps. 

After an explosive riot caused by co-conspirators working on the inside of the Hartford Lunar Prison, and the subsequent escape of over 100 high level convicts aided by Bonnie and Clyde, induced the Commonwealth of Colonies to offer up a 1,000,000,000 $M$ reward, in Tranquillitatis Goldbacks, for the capture of “the most dangerous desperadoes on the Moon.” 

Public opinion is split, as many colonists on the Moon sympathize with these hard scrabble youth, their rebelliousness, fearlessness. And, Luna Citizens may even be envious of their quick trigger fingers. Bonnie and Clyde were outcasts, colonist orphans, a burden on a hostile rock. 

A young Clyde, reported to refrain, “They may hate us together, but they can’t stop us.” While Bonnie has used her celebrity to call out local police and political figures, “You’re hardly doing your job. You ought to be home protecting the rights of poor folks, not out chasing after us!” 

These young members of a burgeoning new nation on the Moon are seen as Tranquillitatis’ dark side, a perfect example of Luna Craziness, otherwise known as Space Madness, an often cited reason Earth politicians do not want those on the Moon to govern themselves. But perhaps, these two criminal kids have grown too fast, seen too much, private prison abuse, murder, rape, kidnapping. All before 15 years of age.

Tranquillitatis Sheriffs have been more brazen in there intentions, “We’re shooting to kill, I’ll tell you that.” So informed us, Mare Serenitatis Sheriff, Weolo Manchester. “The John Dillinger Bot Gang is unimpressed with these two school children, playing a very dangerous game, and I have to say that I for once in my life agree with a criminal robot.” He went on to describe the latest activity and progress by Federal and Local law enforcement. 

“These criminal terrorists will get hunted down. They just struck near here, on Montes Caucasus, hitting another local cryptomining vault. 100,000 supercomputers at near zero gravity, in the cold of space. Supercharged AI assisted algorithmic mining. You can see why it was such a tempting target. It has been reported that The Bonnie & Clyde gang siphoned off millions. Information about their next target has been telepathically leaked, and Tranquillitatis agents are in pursuit. There has been a warning issued to remain indoors and be on the lookout for the young couple with well manicured hair. Last seen heading toward the penal colony near Lons Vista 7. And again, rumor has it, to free their siblings and friends held there in the work camps…” 

The Sheriffs mental press conference was cut short, local programming resumed. Here in Armstrong Prime, at a local coffee shop, the patrons can be heard discussing the youthful bandit couple, speaking in hushed tones of reverence about the duo’s vow, they will not be taken alive. 

My sources here on the Moon, with access to Tranquillitatis Police and Governmental RSS feeds, have informed us that the stealth Tesla T was last seen visible for just a moment on the route 99 darkside highway, between New Vegas, and Lacus Somniorum. 

Witness reports from automated vehicles traveling in the same direction describe the vehicle as a leopard striped floating affair, bat wings up, Clyde in the front seat, cigar and Browning Laser Rifle in hand. Bonnie, cigarette and pistol. Their doors were seen closing, and the vehicle vanishing into the charcoal horizon toward the Lons Vista 7 Penal Colony. 


 

The Dead of Venice (1914)

By Dan Klefstad


She promised to do it quickly. I promised to stay out of sight. All bodies float, which is why I brought two anchors – one for me, one for her victim. All she need do is throw us in, then the chainsfollowed by the weights. This far out the lagoon is forty feet deep, maybe fifty. From down there our lifeless ears might still enjoy the sounds of Vivaldi performed in St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Just as likely, we’ll hear the rattle of Europe’s emperors as they prepare – once again — to exterminate a generation of working class blokes like me. As I row, I point to Italy’s newest battleship which dares to keep its lights on; perfect target for a night raid. I ignore that bit as I play the tour guide for Fiona and tonight’s meal. “The Regina Elena. Faster than the HMS Dreadnought wot I helped build. Yup, this next war looks to be a doozie.” 

In the lamplight, Fiona toys with the gold dragonfly I pinned to her ball gown. I can see her eyes well up and her mouth tremble. Lorenzo, heir to the Duke of Parma, raises his fist at the glowing gunboat. “Viva l’Italia!” 

Toff. What does he know of war? I served in the Tibetan campaign, so I know it’s a nasty business for those who actually fight. I want to hit him now but we’re still within sight of ship and shore. Looking back, I see a city of free spirits being hemmed in by sandbags and barbed wire. Bloody hell, when did the Four Horses of the Quadriga flee the Basilica?  Someone said the statue might go to Rome for safe keeping. From what — So the Turks can’t take it back? 

I suppose I owe you an explanation as to why three people are in a boat, after dark, and two of them will soon head to the bottom. Hang on: The young swell is giving Fiona his kerchief. Blimey, he even recites a Shakespeare sonnet – in English. She tries to smile but struggles to contain her thirsty teeth and, guessing here, a broken heart? Concern for her future? Both hands cover her mouth as she leans forward, shoulders quaking. This exposes her breasts which prove such a distraction that Lorenzo misses the oars resting and the blackjack falling toward his scalp. I wanted to wait ‘til a hundred yards off the Main Island, our usual point, but the fog rolled in so … Boom. Done. Colazione is ready. 

uncork my wine and try not to stare as she sinks her canines into his neck. It always amazes me how efficient she is. No wasted drops. Her lips move gently as she slowly sucks him dry. I’ve never timed her, but bottle and body usually empty together. Then I chain him to the anchor and over he goes. The rest – hundreds of them – are a little further out in what I call “the cheap seats.” This will be my final resting place. I can barely stop my tears now, but they’re not for me. Creatures like her are vulnerable these days. She’ll need someone to look after her, but my pain is almost debilitating now; I couldn’t arrange a replacement. 

I take another sip and remember how our partnership began with an ad in the Daily Mail 

“Seeking Personal Assistant. Must be physically strong, and willing to work all hours. Compensation: copious. Benefits: worthy of a parliamentarian. Nota bene — People with the following characteristics should not apply: squeamish, weak-willed, illiterate, semi-literate, religious, superstitious, melancholic, alcoholic, xenophobic, agoraphobic, unimaginative, uninventive, uninspired, and with rigid moral standards.” 

I had to look up Nota Bene and, if pressed, would cop to some grumpiness without a few pints each night. But I posted a reply. Benefits worthy of a parliamentarian. What did that mean?

***

We met soon after sundown in Hampstead Heath, at the gazebo. I wore a suit that no longer fit and she wore a dress that barely contained her bosom. Her coal black hair waved gently across the palest shoulders I’ve ever seen. I thought she was a courtesan looking for some muscle, and she did nothing to dispel that notion. She gave me money to hire a carriage which took us to Charing Cross. We stopped outside a row of fancy homes and that’s when she turned and handed me the dragonfly. All that gold with emerald eyes; I couldn’t guess the value of this “down payment” as she called it. Then she lowered her voice and — without blinking — said, “A gentleman lives there. I am going to drink his blood and he will die. Your job is to wait in this carriage until I return. If you tell anyone what I just said I will know, and I’ll come after you to reclaim my dragonfly. And you. If, on the other hand, you wait as instructed, I will pay a handsome sum. But first you’ll need to get rid of the body. Think of a place to bury him. And start thinking of places for tomorrow night, and every night. Welcome to your new career.”

***

She didn’t tell me for a week that I was her first. Guardian, I mean. Or caretaker or whatever you call someone that works for a … Whoops, not supposed to say that word. Anyways, from backbreaking work in a shipyard I started breaking my back for Fiona, digging graves and such. That first week I made more than all the previous year and a half. I quit that job — Hello new job — and soon graduated to being the murderer. Things were getting hot for Fiona, what with Scotland Yard improving their detection and all. She needed someone to do the dirty work, which I didn’t mind. I killed before, but it always bothered me that the people you shoot, stab, or blow up often go to waste. You seal them in a coffin or burn them and that’s it; they serve no further purpose. These days, when a body goes limp in my hands, I know it’s about to give life. 

She looks ravishing afterwards. Her hair gets full and wavy. Her skin glows like the moon. And her eyes – you could drown in them, they’re like a clear lake with a bottom so deep, so full of secrets that you’d need to swim forever to discover them. It’s the opposite, though, when she doesn’t get her ten pints. That’s the nightly quota. The first night without a victim is bad, but her hair starts to fall out on the second. Then her skin wrinkles and begins to smell, and her eyes harden to the point where I think she’d eat an entire schoolyard of children. I work very hard to make sure I never see that look again.

***

“We have to move,” she announced one night. “Detectives, newspapers – I feel like we’re surrounded. Did you know Venice has lots of people and very few policemen? It’s also easier to get rid of bodies there.” 

“Where will I dig? It’s a city built on water,” I said before realizing her point. “Fairly deep water actually, between the islands.” 

“Yes.” She frowned. “The only problem is getting there.” 

Before the night is over, I’m nailing her into a trunk with an unconscious bloke beside her. The journey would take two weeks by ship so she warned me: Some passengers would have to die. When I asked how many, she wouldn’t answer. I think she didn’t know the minimum needed to sustain her. In the end, I tossed three bodies over the rail; we couldn’t risk any more. To this day, I pity that poor bastard that crossed our path after we landed. I did a rum job of subduing him, and Fiona ripped him so terrible that half his blood painted the alley. Absolute horror show. We didn’t have a boat yet, no weights. Just my blackjack smashing his nose, a knock-down drag-out into the alley, and Fiona attacking his throat like a rabid dog. The musical accompaniment, though, was amazing. A lively melody emanated from a church across the street. I’d never heard a string ensemble perform, so I was unprepared for the effect it had. The bowing and plucking lifted my spirits, opened my heart, and stimulated an awareness I’d never felt before. 

A spark of inspiration – Let’s make this disaster look like a Mafia hit. I took my knife, severed his head, and tossed it into the nearest canal. Wouldn’t you know, that did the trick. The next morning, I scoured the papers and saw nothing. No mention of a blood-sprayed alley, headless body, or bobbing face screaming in silent agony – Niente. There was, however, an article about another event on that same street: a review of a concert featuring music by the baroque master Antonio Vivaldi. It said they did five shows a week at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and they always sold out when performing The Four Seasons. 

***

St. Stephen’s became our main hunting ground. Fiona and I surveyed the crowd and she picked the swain who’d leave with her as the musicians stood to rapturous applause. That’s how we claimed the cream of European societyToo bad I won’t see the job through to its finish. Here, off the Piazza San Marco, this dying East-Ender is preparing for his curtain call. I am not even good enough for an emergency snack because the cancer makes my blood smell bad. When she said that, when I realized could serve no further purpose, I replied “Enough. Let’s end it.” 

“Well,” I stand chained to my anchor, “you found me. You’ll find someone else.” I wipe my nose and eyes and lower my head toward her. “I’m ready.” 

Her hands caress my face as her lips melt against mine; I taste a little of bit of Lorenzo. Now our foreheads rest against each other. “You’ll feel a brief shock but no pain. I promise you.” 

“Will I hear the music from St. Stephen’s?” 

“Vivaldi? Yes. And Bach …” 

I nod, tears mingling with hers in a puddle at our feet. She drapes her right hand around the back of my head, stroking my hair, while her left tightens around my chin. “And Corelli … Scarlatti…” 

I close my eyes. 

“… Handel … Monteverdi…” 

I feel the shock but the flash behind my eyelids is a surprise. From inside the boat I hear a series of sobs. Then a splash, followed by a slight wailing sound, which gets wobbly as I sink beneath the waves. Her voice grows fainter and fainter as I take my place among our Venetians. 

Her timing was perfect. The concertmaster is tuning up the ensemble. I hear a pause. Then, glory of glories, they launch into the first movement, La Primavera. Four violins, one viola, a cello and bass fill my ears. Even the bells of the Regina Elena keep time with the bowing. I’ve seen this show dozens of times and never got tired of it. But the water bends the music in ways I couldn’t imagine. Antonio, if you’re in the ground somewhere, find a way to get yourself down here. Your Four Seasons never sounded better. 

Best seats in the house, eh boys? You can thank Fiona for that. Better yet, keep her in your prayers. It’s the least we can do for her. God, what an amazing place to spend eternity. 

###


‘The Dead of Venice’ is a chapter-excerpt from Dan Klefstad’s upcoming novel, ‘Fiona’s Guardians.’

Red Shadows (1928)

“This Solomon Kane is a demon from Hell, I tell you.”

 

—Red Shadows, 1928


§.00 In the introduction to The Elements of Style (Strunk & White, 1999, p. xv.), the authors implore the reader thrice over to “Omit needles words!” Robert E. Howard’s Red Shadows (first published in Weird Tales, August 1928)—the first of the Solomon Kane stories—follows this dictum to a near-fanatical degree. No word is wasted and no description is deployed that does not advance the plot. The bare bones approach is so pronounced that at numerous points in the tale I wished it was less minimalistic.

In almost every way, Howard’s spare, swift, repetitive and concise style is the complete opposite of his friend, H. P. Lovecraft’s, whose writing is long, winding, labyrinthian and baroque (though both maintained a thoroughgoing interest in historicity, evidenced by Lovecraft’s remark to E. Hoffman Price after Howard’s death, “I always gasped at his profound knowledge of history… and admired still more his really astonishing assimilation and visualisation of it. He was almost unique in his ability to understand and mentally inhabit past ages…”).

reh_studio_side.jpg
Robert E. Howard.

§.01 (*The following contains details concerning the plot) The tale begins in a unspecified location (presumably France), with the titular protagonist, Solomon Kane, a Puritan wanderer, stumbling across a terribly wounded young woman near a ruined village. Kane inquires what happened and is told that a bandit named Le Loup (the wolf) descended with a band and waylaid the town. The woman then tells the traveler that it was none other than the bandit leader who had ravaged and mortally wounded her. The woman then succumbs to her wounds and Kane swears vengeance upon the criminals.

§.02 What is really compelling about the tale is, firstly, its protagonist, who is quite a unique creation. Kane is a somber man, with a “gentle voice,” polite (described as “not a profane man”) and yet obsessed with violently stamping out evil wherever it may reside. It is this latter quality which throws him into conflict with his religion, for how can a cool-blooded murderer (albeit of other murderers) be also a man of God, a Puritan? His answer is simple: He is an instrument of providence, an agent of divine retribution. Yet, he waxes uncertain as to the veracity of this belief and it is this uncertainty that lends him a depth of humanity and the believability required of his status as protagonist.

Le Loup himself is also a interesting character and a effective villain. Intelligent and debonair, yet haughty, vain and avaricious. So consumed by greed is the detestable rogue that he murders his own subordinate, Rat, so that the plunder need not be split two ways. Despite this, towards the end of the tale, when he could have ambushed Kane, he decides instead to meet him in a duel in the open, suggesting some lingering chivalric sentiments, some as-yet uncorroded honor.

The other two main antagonists, introduced in the latter-half of the tale, though they don’t recieve as much development as the wolf, also prove effective, particularly in driving the themes of the tale, for the thing which all three of the central opponents of Kane—Songa, Gulka and Le Loup—share is a penchant for capricious betrayal.

Le Loup betrays his own men, then the African sorceror, N’Longa, whilst Gulka and Songa both join in on the usurpation. As a consequence, they rise high—for a time—but end up facing death alone for want of aid. Yet Kane, despite constantly being thrust into similarly harrowing circumstances, receives aid firstly, and intentionally, from N’Longa, and secondarily, and unintentionally, from the gorilla that hunts Gulka down. The actions of the three knaves ultimately bring about their demise—Songa meets his end at N’Longa’s hand, Gulka is slain by the gorilla whose mate he cruelly slew, and Le Loup is struck down by Kane. Not a hand raises to aid them. Condemned by their selfsame, corrosive agency, their eschewing of all civility. For such creatures, death at the hands of their vengeful fellows is all but assured, when they are not first claimed by Solomon Kane.


Sources

  1. Robert E. Howard. (2007) The Best of Robert E. Howard, Vol. 1.
  2. Strunk & White. (1999) The Elements of Style.

The Silence & The Howl (§.25)

§.25


Harmon begin typing as soon as he returned from his encounter with the literate watchman. A new story occurred to him, and, inspired by the day’s events and the memory of the thriller Andy had played when Lyla had come over, he set himself to the task of its completion. A dull, irregular clacking emanated from his keyboard until the light crept over the edges of the world and eschewed the darkness for a magnificent plume of solar irridescence.

After seven hours without a break, Harmon paused, shifted in his chair, lit up a cigarette, smoked a moment and then withdrew to the kitchen and poured himself a glass of ice water and another cup of coffee as Marla came ambling clumsily down the thick-carpeted stairs. Her hair was wild and rabbit slippers obscured her slender, shuffling feet.

“Mornin.”

“G’morning,” she groaned, rubbing sleep from her puffy eyes, “You been up all night?”

“Yeah. Writing.”

“Sheesh, don’t you ever sleep?”

“Couldn’t.”

“You aren’t a vampire, are you?”

“Not last time I checked.”

She chuckled and leaned against the kitchen counter.

“Andy told me you were a writer. Fiction, right?”

He nodded and handed the foggy woman a cup of coffee, which she readily accepted with a broad smile and a mumble of thanks. For a long moment they stood staring at each other before the sound of Andy’s footsteps reverberated on the linoleum above. They both turned to greet him, confused by his furrowed brow and the cloudy expression in his eyes and mouth.

“Sonsofbitches.” He muttered leaning against the wall.

“What is it?”

Andy worked his jaw and then looked towards his guest.

“We’re outta work.”

“What’d Swain say?” Harmon inquired without emotion, crossing his arms and leaning against the counter as Marla.

“Just said we were fired—excuse me—’let go.’ I hate that bullshit. Fucking weasel words. ‘Let go.’ ‘Passed on.’ Bullshit. Fucking bullshit.”

“Sorry baby,” Marla replied, with a pout. She massaged Andy’s shoulder as the man shook his head and glared at the scuffed linoleum of the floor.

Harmon reached up to the cabinet and withdrew a coffee cup and then slid it across the counter to Andy who nodded back in thanks.

“No point complaining about what we can’t change. Other jobs to do.”

“Hell – like what?”

“Well, what are you good at?”

“Ain’t good at nothing.”

“That’s not true,” Marla chided sadly.

Harmon inhaled deeply and then moved off of the counter and looked out the window. Not a single soul stirred upon the barren street, now covered in a thin skin of dead leaves that skittered with the wind like hollow bugs beneath the swaying skeletal boughs.

“Its a lovely day. We should go out. We can go to the cafe I was telling you about and stop by the river.”

Marla smiled and nodded, “That’s sounds nice.”

“Alright,” Andy intoned sullenly.

Harmon turned back to the window and sipped his coffee, watching as a flock of crows tore a red-stained eagle from the sky.

*

Riven Cage

The body had no face.

Guiles Dörre recoiled from the bars of the tiger cage, inhaling deeply to steady himself. A horrified moan, stifled in his throat, choked by his slowly eroding constitution. The zoo’s emergency sirens blaring in the din. Scent of blood, heavy in the air, mingling odiously with the pungent alloy of the bars and the urine and gore of the caged and disemboweled.

The Bengal tiger crouched over what had once been a woman, canines and carnassials sanguine from the killing bite and its play thereafter. The body’s faceless head was strangely angled, one ear skyward as if to better hear the ringing alarm; the neck, clearly broken.

Fear further enveloped the night watchman as he realized the entryway into the animal’s cage had been rent by heavy bolt-cutters which swung wide with the night wind—bolt-cutters which lay within the cage beside the body of the dead woman.

He locked eyes with the moonlit beast, but thirty five feet away, as it dropped the ruddy, mangled corpse, arched its back and bared its fangs. Amber eyes glinting full with the pale bone of the moon.

Dörre raised his shotgun and fired.

Once. Twice.

The great feline collapsed in a bloody, matted heap.

Dörre swiftly reloaded, then cautiously moved through the wind-blown door and inspected the carcass of the beast where it lay upon the rutted ground beside its prey.

The body had no face.

The Silence & The Howl | Part 24

§.24


After Marla returned upstairs, and his exercises were finished, Harmon showered, dressed in a plain black T and blue jeans and went for a walk. He headed for the convenience store to the north of Andy’s abode where he hoped he might obtain cigarettes, coffee, jerky and a newspaper. He felt light, relaxed and more than a little confused at the utter absence of guilt and nervousness upon a thorough re-consideration of his recent actions.

He’d put Sprawls back behind bars and brought heat on the local cartel. It was a dangerous gambit, yet Harmon felt no tinge of unease. He stretched his arms against the flooding warmth of the bright, morning sun, smiling slightly as a mild gale swirled his short, black locks. He fished out the pack containing his few remaining cigarettes, lit one and studied the building stormwall in the distance. As the man approached the shoebox-like houses, set just before the intersection that girded his destination, a unfamiliar voice rang out from the sidewalk to his immediate left.

“Well… well. Look who it is.”

Harmon shifted his head to behold the same gang of mestizo and negro toughs he’d spied many days earlier approaching him from the stoop of one of the battered tenements. They hung in a loose throng behind a mulatto with large ears, heavy brows and a shaved head and small stubbly chin. Numerous tattoos ran down the left side of his dark, porous skin, from brow to neck.

The tattooed man stopped directly before Harmon who likewise paused so as to avoid colliding with the interloper.

“Seen you before. Driving. Flicked a cigarette. Out your car.”

“Forgot an ashtray.”

“Uh huh. Well, we don’t take kindly to littering. Right?”

The three men behind the tattooed man looked one to the other and smiled wickedly.

“That’s right,” one of them ejaculated with a strange and sudden fervor, bloodshot eyes bulging dry and brittle in thin, cloud-palled light.

Harmon exhaled to his left so as to keep the smoke from the interloper’s face and then sought a rightward path round him but found his way blocked. He paused and grimaced.

“You got some kinda problem?”

“No,” the tattooed man replied, “But you do.”

“You mind moving?”

“What if I do?”

The men behind the bald man yammered like hyenas. Harmon remained impassive. His fierce emerald eyes narrowing, fixed upon the fleshy, impudent bulwark. He’d a mind to say several inflammatory things to his waylayers and would have had he not been suddenly interrupted by a security guard who wandered out from the shade of the tenement to Harmon’s immediate right. The guard was an old and weathered man, with a stooped posture, hawkish features and a beard, thick, graying and neatly trimmed.

“Whats going on here?”

The half-blooded leader turned to the guard, annoyance clear writ upon his crinkled brow.

“Nothing.”

“Then get the hell out the street.”

“It look like there’s a car comin?”

“Don’t care if there’s no car.”

The mulatto frowned. The guard’s feet remained firmly planted.

“I ain’t keen on repeating myself, young man.”

The mulatto shook his head and turned hesitantly, casting one last look at Harmon, who returned the gaze. Dual visages charged with ferine animosity. Neither said a word and shortly the toughs left out and vanished within the concrete sepulchre.

“Shambling ghouls,” Harmon muttered reflexively as he made way to the right side of the street, opposite the way the mulatto had departed. There the old security guard greeted him and pointed to the black portal where once a door had been in the tough’s two story flat.

“Those punks bothering you?”

“Much as a mosquito might.”

The man extended his veiny and surprisingly muscular left hand.

“Names Harold La’Far.”

“Harmon Kessel.”

The man’s brows shot up.

“Harmon K… say… you ain’t a writer, are you?”

“Why, yes, yes I am.”

“I recently read this story online, called ‘The Factory At The Edge Of The World.'”

“That’s one of my stories.”

“Don’t that just beat all.”

“You liked it?”

“Liked it? No. I loved it. Say, I was headed up to the corner store for lunch, you wanna join me?”

“Be happy to. I was headed that way.”

The old man smiled broadly, crinkling up his azure-blue eyes, delighted. Harmon knew that, in such a neighborhood, a literary man would be hard-pressed for likeminded company. The degenerate hoards who slipped and slithered between the dark and crumbling facades of the barton were inimical to artistry, in appearance and behavior alike, more akin to premodern savages than civilized Man.

As Harmon strode beside the old man, to his right, in between the passing, trash-stuffed alleys of the dingy, peeling projects, he wondered when a new civilization would arise from the ruins of the old, convinced that such a eventuality was not a question of ‘if’ but only of ‘when’ and ‘how.’ His futurism subsided when they reached the graffittied corner store, which sat to the right side of the street. The duo passed within and ordered two cups of coffee to which Harmon added a new pack of cigarettes, beef jerky, and a paperback novel whose narrative remained opaque despite a thorough reading of its back-jacket synopsis.

The two men sat in the back of the stucco and linoleum box and drank their coffee in silence as a plain-faced woman mopped the floor beside them. She looked familiar. Harmon couldn’t see her face. La’Far cast his gaze over the paperback which peeked out from the confines of the plastic bag, which lay upon the right of the scratched and arm-worn table.

“Whatcha pick up?”

“Not sure. Synopsis was pretty vague. Had just been a while since I’d read anything new. Especially fiction.”

“Sometimes its good to just spin the wheel and see where it lands.”

Harmon nodded and sipped the aromatic brew as the cleaning lady moved past them with a forced smile and set down the sandwich that La’Far had ordered. He thanked her and fished out the pickle.

“I hope its a naturalist work.”

“Why is that?”

“All the journalists have become novelists, so its only fitting that the novelists should become journalists.”

The old guard straightened and sipped his coffee, “Maybe we never needed journalists to begin with.”

“Someone needs to swiftly disseminate pertinent information to the public.”

“Reckon so. Just get to thinking we’ve got too many people in the yappin trade. Too many people talking, not enough thinkin.”

“A consequence of aesthetic diffidence. Or rather, a diffidence towards a shared cultural aesthetic.”

“You mean like the national anthem, flag and so forth?”

“Rather more than that. But it doesn’t matter. Not in the present climate. To take art seriously, outside of the academy, is looked down upon. Art today is not thought of as a endeavour which should be great, it should only be fun. Everyone should be a hobbyist, a dilletante and if one is not, then one is being too self serious or pretentious or whatever other highhanded dismissal is fashionable with the critical establishment. Its rather like telling an engineer he’s being too self serious about his trade.”

Harold chuckled and nodded.

“You’ve got a way of putting things.”

Harmon flashed the man the faint-trace of a smile and stubbed his coffin nail in a beige ashtray upon the table.

“Art has become disconnected from its subject, which is always, in someway, the society in which it is done. Art only for the individual is not art at all, for there is no audience and failing one, no message to communicate and eventually no message at all but only vague intuitions and suggestions of emotion. Abstractions of abstractions. You can see this in the modern novels, more so in shorter works, the great bulk of which consist largely of impressions alone. The disconnected, as opposed to the distanced, the dispersive rather than the syncretic, works solely from the mold of other books which, often, have been written based on nothing but other, older, works. And so it is that the modern author produces a copy of a copy of a copy, without even realizing it. The public, unaware of what has come before, bedazzled by the occassional transgressive mediocrity, is want to treat the facsimile as something profoundly original and meaningful and yet, more often than not, would never think of reading those old works upon which they are based because they don’t speak to or of the spirit of the times and yet no one askes whether or not the spirit of our time should be spoken of at all.”

“The way you lay things out, I’d assume you were a professional artist.”

“No. I’m a roofer. Writing is a passion of mine but I’ve yet to figure out how to make anything off of it.”

“You work construction?”

Harmon nodded and withdrew one of his freshly purchased cigarettes, placed it in his mouth and lit it as a gaggle of middle aged wastrels spilled into the store.

“Been working construction for five years now.”

“That’s rough work. You like it?”

He nodded again, “Its rough but rewarding. I don’t mind the sore back or the stiffness or the long hours, its good exercise, I just mind the thanklessness.”

Harmon held up his cigarette pack and turned it in the pale, bluish shop-light.

“Someone made this design and most will never know who it was.”

*

The Silence & The Howl | Part 23

§.23


Muscles burned and sweat dribbled to the floor as Harmon reached sixty pull ups. The sound of footsteps echoing off the cool concrete failed to deter. Only when Marla spoke his name did he drop from the exposed steel ceiling beam and turned to face the interloper. Marla’s eyes roamed to the man’s pale, naked torso, shrinking and swelling from his labored breath, muscles starkly defined from his ardent regime. Marla swiftly returned her gaze to the man’s shadowed face and spoke with great agitation.

“That friend of yours, the one you used to room with, he’s in the news. Been arrested. Thought you should know.”

She held up her phone, proffering it to the half naked man, who slowly ambled forth and took the device and beheld upon the screen a news article titled, ‘Local man arrested for possession of fentanyl after posting about it on social media.’ Adjacent the title was a large photograph of Sprawls, presumably taken after his arrest. His eyes were watery and his face was marred by creases of tension. He looked terrified.

Harmon nearly laughed aloud. Nearly. Exerting considerable willpower, he stayed his excitement and returned the phone to Marla.

“He never was big on self control.”

She studied what little of his face was visible through the basement’s murky gloom.

“You two were close, right?”

“Used to be.”

“Fentanyl. Been cropping up everywhere.”

“100 times more potent than morphine.”

“Mmhm,” she nodded, “Story says your friend had tons of it. Huge bagful. The odd thing was that it wasn’t the usual kind. Preliminary investigation revealed he had connections with a suspected local drug dealer named Evrik Karst, police suspect he’s manufacturing some kind of fentanyl, among other things, but can’t find any proof.”

Harmon’s mind reeled back to the shifty, strange-scented vagrants at the old coalbreaker. Thought to the rumors he’d heard that cooks moved among them and remembered how he’d nearly followed them to their queer abode in that blasted reach.

“Doesn’t surprise me,” Harmon responded, wiping the sweat from his brow, “Sprawls never had much in the way of character assessment. Thanks for letting me know.”

The woman stood expectantly a while, observing Harmon’s half-shaded face, backlit by the faint, filtered light of the single slated basement window, then turned and left the man to his exertions.

*

Fiction Writer’s Compendium: Drug Street Names

Editor’s note: Provided below are a lengthy list of popular street-names (slang) for a wide variety of drugs, both legal and illicit. A ‘drug’ being define in the pharmacological sense of a non-nutritional substance of known structure, which when ingested, produces a biological effect. In addition to elucidating the general public, I hope this list aids fiction authors in better constructing stories wherein ‘hard’ drugs play a significant role.


Slang for Ketamine (and variant mixes)

  1. Cat Tranquilizer
  2. Horse Tranquilizer, etc — from its use as a veterinary anaesthetic
  3. K — shortened form of Ketamine
  4. Keezy
  5. Ket
  6. Ketapillars — a combination of ketamine and ecstasy pills (Keta- Pill- ars)
  7. Kenny
  8. K-Hole
  9. Kitty
  10. Kitty Flipping — a combination of Ketamine and ecstasy
  11. Old Man — as opposed to Madman (slang for Mdma/ecstacy)
  12. Regretamine
  13. Special K — humorous; from the breakfast cereal of the same name
  14. Super K
  15. Triple K or (KKK)– used in rave clubs in Southern Washington State
  16. Vetamine
  17. Vitamin K
  18. K wire
  19. KFC
  20. Wonky

Slang for Khat

  1. Cat
  2. Chat
  3. Clarkie cat
  4. Qat
  5. Quaadka

Slang for LSD

  1. Acid
  2. Acid tabs
  3. Alice — from Alice in Wonderland’s psychedelic adventures
  4. Alphabet
  5. Blotters — from the blotter paper it comes on
  6. California Sunshine
  7. Doses
  8. DSL — LSD backwards
  9. Eye Candy — LSD sold in Visine bottles
  10. Glories
  11. Lavender
  12. Lake Shore Drive — as in, “I’m cruisin’ down Lakeshore Drive” — Detroit area Lucy in the sky with diamonds — slang originally from The Beatles song about a painting done by Lennon’s son
  13. Magic Tickets — pieces of paper containing LSD
  14. Microdots — from tiny tablets
  15. Monterey Purple– a form of LSD that Jimi Hendrix used before his famous guitar burning performance at Woodstock
  16. Paper — from the blotter paper it comes on
  17. Rips — Abbreviation of ‘trips’
  18. Cid-drip the Entertainer — wordplay on ‘Cedric the Entertainer’
  19. Sugar cubes
  20. Sunshine Acid — The acid made by hippies Square dancing tickets
  21. Tabs — LSD is sometimes blotted onto sheets of paper, cut up into little squares called tabs
  22. Timothy Leary Ticket
  23. Trade names — e.g. Strawberries, Orange Sunshine, Felix
  24. Tickets – often used to describe blotter paper
  25. Trip — note than an LSD experience is known as a trip; being on LSD is known as tripping
  26. Uncle Sidney, Uncle Sid, Sid, Syd (as in Syd Barrett), ‘Cid — contraction of A-cid
  27. White lightning Window Pane
  28. Yellow sunshine

Slang for Mescaline

  1. Cactus
  2. Dusty
  3. M — used in PiHKAL
  4. Mesc
  5. Peyote
  6. Pixie sticks — so-named for the dream-like hallucinations induced by consumption

Slang for Methamphetamine

  1. Amp — Amphetamine
  2. Batu
  3. Billy — A reference to Billy Whizz, a Brit comic character who could move at high speeds (Beano comics)
  4. Cale
  5. Gerst
  6. Champagne
  7. Chris
  8. Christina
  9. Crank — noncrystalline methamphetamine powder prepared for insufflation or injection
  10. Crystal — from the crystalline form of pure methamphetamine
  11. Crystal Meth
  12. Devil’s Dandruff – a term common with law enforcement. Brought to popularity by the US-based A&E TV Show ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’
  13. Dope — a term for drugs in general but also used for meth
  14. Flash — slang used in the 1970s
  15. Fluff — crank of higher quality, commonly as powder
  16. G — glass
  17. Gak
  18. Geek
  19. Glass – from the shards that resemble pieces of glass
  20. Goose-Egg
  21. Go or Go Fast
  22. Go Pills — military slang, especially pilots (Japan, Germany, USA)
  23. Ice — crystalline methamphetamine, resembles ice
  24. Ink — reference to “pen” short for penitentiary, refers to the harsh penalties for possession, use or distribution of the drug.
  25. Jenny Crank — wordplay on ‘Jenny Craig’; from the idea that Methamphetamine makes you lose weight.
  26. Jib — Canadian Meth
  27. Meth
  28. Methedrine — a brand name
  29. P — short for ‘Pure’
  30. Pervatine — produced in the Czech Republic
  31. Philopon Poor man’s Cocaine
  32. Poot
  33. Pure
  34. Redneck cocaine
  35. Rudy — a reference to Rudies or Rude Boys
  36. Sean
  37. Shabu — Japanese street name
  38. Shards — resembles glass or crystal shards
  39. Shit
  40. Speed
  41. Tanner
  42. Terry
  43. Texas Tea
  44. Tina
  45. Tik — South African street name
  46. Twack
  47. Upside-down b — A reference to ‘P’, popularized in New Zealand by animated TV show Bro’Town
  48. Uppers
  49. Whiz Yaba — a powerful Asian meth tablet contain caffeine, often colored and flavored Zip
  50. Chicken Feed

Slang for Morphine

  1. Adolf
  2. Block
  3. C & M — refers to the use of cocaine and morphine simultaneously
  4. Cotton Brothers — cocaine, heroin and morphine
  5. Cube
  6. Dreamer
  7. Drugstore
  8. Dope
  9. Emsel
  10. First line
  11. German boy
  12. God’s drug
  13. Goma
  14. Gunk
  15. Hardcore
  16. Hardstuff — refers to both heroin and morphine

Slang for Phencyclidine [former trade names, Sernyl, Sernylan]

  1. Angel
  2. Angel Dust
  3. Cyclone
  4. Disembalming
  5. Fluid
  6. Dust
  7. Ice
  8. Juicy (when smoked with marijuana)
  9. Krystal
  10. Leak
  11. Love Boat
  12. Magic dust
  13. Mesk
  14. Monkey dust
  15. PCP
  16. Rocketfuel
  17. Sherm or Sherms — Sherman Hemsley
  18. Sugar
  19. Wack
  20. Wet

Slang for Promethazine w/Codeine [pain reliever and a cough suppressant]

  1. Barre
  2. Lean
  3. Oil
  4. Paint
  5. Purple Drank
  6. Purple Punch
  7. Rainbow
  8. Colors
  9. Sizzurp
  10. Syrup
  11. Tuss

Slang for psychedelic mushrooms

  1. Benzies
  2. Blue Rimmers
  3. Boomers
  4. Caps
  5. FireWorks
  6. Fly agarics — a form of mushroom (Amanita muscaria) containing no Psilocybin, or Psilocyn, the active ingredient in standard magic mushroom
  7. Fun Gus
  8. Fun Guys
  9. Fungus
  10. Goombas
  11. Gus
  12. Jesus
  13. Lalkas