A Story For Sunday: The Neon Boneyard

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The Werewolf Detective.

The Neon Boneyard

Detective Ivan Walker was dead on his feet and no amount of coffee could help, even the strong, death-black stuff that he usually drank.  He switched off the espresso machine and took his cup over to the only table in the station canteen that was being used.  Roman Dalton PI sat with his head in his hands, and he didn’t look much better than Walker. He looked up as his friend sat.

“You look like death cooled down,” said Dalton.

Walker grunted.

“So, how did it go,” rasped Walker. “How was your meeting with the legendary Sherlock Holmes and his … companion?”

“Well, for a start, he was looking pretty damned sprightly for a man who was supposed to have died over a quarter of a century ago. Dr Watson, too. They both looked a lot better than you do, anyway. Hot time in The City?” said Dalton.

“I tell you, this place is a mad house these days. It ,akes me nostalgic for the days when we only had Dragan and his mob to deal with. The days without zombies, witches and werewolves. No offence,” said Walker.

“None taken. I hear you. Dragan and the boys were bad guys for sure but at least they mostly kept their shenanigans all amongst themselves.”

“Well, these news boys aren’t showing such discretion,” said Walker. “Especially that Haitian’s crew.”

He leaned close to his former partner.

“So what exactly did Sherlock Holmes have to say about Ton Ton Philippe?” said Walker.

“Not much more than he told me on the phone. He said that he first encountered Philippe in London around fifty years ago and at the time the Haitian was running a gambling den and a bordello in Soho.”

“So, how old does that make Ton Ton? I mean, I’ve only ever caught an occasional glimpse of him going in and out of The Pink Pussy Club but he certainly looked much more likely to be in his thirties than his seventies,” said Walker.

“He certainly looked young enough when he had me strapped to a chair in his office that time,” said Dalton. “But Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson should both be about 150 by my reckoning but like I say they’re both in fine fettle.”

Walker drained his coffee.

“There certainly is some weird shit going down these days,” he said.

“Agreed. The City is turning into Disneyland on acid. More freaks than you can shake a stick at.”

“Says the werewolf private eye. So why is Holmes here, anyway? Is he following Philippe?”

“Something like that. Apparently, Philippe stole something valuable from him a while back. Holmes wouldn’t say what it is, but it seems like he’s been hunting the Haitian ever since.”

Walker got up and stretched. He walked around the room.

“So what’s next? I admit that I feel more and more out of my depth here these days,” he said.

“Well, Holmes wants me to go with him to The Pink Pussy Club. To act as security against Philippe’s zombie henchmen,” said Dalton.

Walker snorted.

“He actually said that? He said zombies?” said Walker.

“Oh yes. And he was deadly serious,” said Dalton, shuffling in his pocket for his hip flask.

“And what’s the story with Count Otto Rhino these days? A few years ago he was buying up the odd run-down places now it looks like he owns half The City.”

“You’ve got to speculate to accumulate,” said Dalton.

“You know, I don’t trust him or that sister of his. The witch.”

Dalton drained his coffee.

“Daria? She could turn me into a frog any day. And I think you’ll find she’s more of a Siren than a witch.”

Walker sat back down.

“And that’s another thing,” said Walker. “What the hell are those Frog Boys that Otto Rhino keeps recruiting? They’re like speed-pumped mutants.”

“Yep, they’re a strange bunch for sure but I think we’ll be seeing stranger types than them in the future, the way things are going.”

Dalton closed his eyes and whistled a Jim Morrison song. When he opened them, Walker was gone.

*

Sherlock Holmes gazed at his reflection in the hotel bedroom’s mirror, still pleasantly surprised by how well he looked, considering he was 152 years old. He had first taken Bimini when he was in Hong Kong in the 1920s. He’d bought a bottle of it from a cohort of Dr Fu Manchu, the retired crime kingpin that had once ruled most of East London’s Limehouse district. Holmes had then taken to regularly imbibing the elixir, which was said to have originally come from the legendary fountain of youth. He had even built up a good supply which he had kept locked away in Howard Hughes’ Las Vegas penthouse apartment, taking only occasional sips for fear of draining his source of eternal life. He took out his hip flask and took a nip of the potion.

“Best get a move on,” he said, still checking his reflection.

“Okay,” said Dr Watson, yawning.

Watson got out of the bed and walked into the bathroom.

“Two ticks,” he shouted, before switching on the shower.

Holmes placed one Derringer in its wrist strap and checked the other one in his ankle holster. He picked up a walking cane with a death’s head handle. He clicked it to make sure the silver sword was still functioning. He knew that he would need all of his resources if he was to survive a battle with Ton Ton Philippe and his zombie horde.

Satisfied, he sat down in the red leather armchair and lit up a Gitanes. A foul habit, he knew, and one that he had kicked many times before, but the thought of being so close to retrieving the Rara Avis was consuming him and he needed to calm his nerves. This could be his final curtain call, he knew.

“That fag smells foul,” said Dr Watson as he stepped naked out of the bathroom.

“Yes, it does, rather,” said Holmes, examining the cigarette, curiously. He sniffed it but it smelt normal. The aroma was being emitted by something else.

He locked eyes with Watson.

“Brimstone,” said the doctor. His eyes scoured the room.

Holmes nodded.

There was loud bang and an explosion filled the room with smoke. When it cleared, Ton Ton Philippe stood there grinning. He was a handsome man with a red Mohican hairstyle and eye patch. He was bare-chested, wearing a red leather suit. Tattoos and scars latticed his body. Snakes writhed around his arms. Two massive, black-clad zombies stood beside him.

“The great detective,” hissed Philippe. “As I expected.”

“Long time no see, old chum,” said Holmes.

Dr Watson yawned and started to dress.

“Fancy a drink, Philippe?” he said.

Philippe walked over to the globe shaped drinks cabinet and opened it.

“I don’t think I see any Bimini here,” he said.

“No, just the domestic stuff. Dark Valentine,” said Holmes. He tapped his hip flask. “But I do have a shot or two of Bimini in here.”

Ton Ton Philippe’s eyes sparkled.

“Have you been using your supply sparingly?”  he said. “Resisting temptation?”

“Of course! Moderation in all things,” said Holmes. “Looking at you however, I’d say you’ve been guzzling the stuff. Not much left? Down to the dregs?”

Philippe frowned.

“I assume you didn’t come all the way to The City just to gloat at me?” said Philippe. “To flaunt your fountains of youth.” He leaned against a bookcase, took out a snuff box from his back pocket and inhaled.

“Of course not. This is strictly a business matter. A barter. Just a straight exchange, Philippe. The elixir for the Raven,” said Dr Watson, now fully dressed in black jeans and a roll neck sweater.

“The Andalusian Raven is no use to you anyway. Its gifts you already possess,” said Holmes. He tapped his left eye. “Otherwise you wouldn’t have known we were here.”

“For sure,” said Philippe. “Although you were quite difficult to spot. But I’ve been saving the Raven just in case I ever needed to use it as a bargaining tool.”

“Well, it appears that now that time has finally come,” said Holmes.

“Maybe,” said Philippe. “I’ll have to think about it. How much of the Bimini would you be willing to set free from your clutches? Considering I’m an old … chum?”

“Mm. How about ten bottles?” said Dr Watson.

“Make it fifty and we may have a deal,” said Philippe. “Ten won’t last me long.”

Holmes slumped forward in his seat. He put out his cigarette and lit another.

“Oh, I do so loath haggling.” He sighed. “Is forty acceptable?”

Philippe smirked. “It’s a deal.”

Holmes held out his hand. Philippe took it and grinned. He winked and muttered a voodoo spell.

 And then Holmes burst into flames. He was dust within seconds.

“Well, that turned out alright,” said Dr Watson. He coughed.

Philippe tittered. “Yes, it was easier than expected.”

“So?”

Philippe clicked a finger and one of his zombie henchmen walked over and put a small elaborately decorated egg- shaped box on the bed. Watson tapped it on the top and it opened in segments. Inside was a jewel encrusted raven with only one eye in the middle of its head.

“Does that suit you?” said Philippe.

“Oh yes,” said Dr Watson.

He bent down and pulled a silver briefcase from under the bed. He handed it to Ton Ton Philippe.

“Take small doses from time to time and that should keep you going for a while. At least until one of us can find a new supplier,” said Dr Watson.

“Where are you off to next?” said Philippe.

“Anywhere. Just out of this dump. I’m just relieved to be rid of that tiresome, pompous old fool,” said Watson, pointing to a pile of dust on the floor that used to be the world’s greatest detective.

*

The long black train silently snaked its way into The City’s Central Railway Station and Count Otto Rhino was reminded of the story of the funeral train that used to take The City’s plague victims out of the town. Apparently, there was even a special station just for this particular train. It had been called Necropolis Central Station, if he remembered correctly.

Otto was a massive, overweight man in his mid-fifties with a bald head and a permanently furrowed brow. He was wearing an expensive black suit and overcoat. A large pair of black-framed sunglasses were a permanent fixture, worn inside as well as outside, whether it was sunny or not.

The lone passenger stepped off the train. He was wearing a dark overcoat and a Cossack hat. A black scarf was wrapped around his saggy face.

Igor, a wiry leather-clad man with a bushy white beard, excitedly rushed past Otto like a bitch on heat.

“Herr Doctor, Herr Doctor, it is so good to see you again,” said Igor, holding out a leather-gloved hand.

Doctor Victor Frankenstein ignored the hand and said nothing. He ignored Igor and walked toward Otto. He pulled down his scarf.

“Otto Rhino,” he said, in an accent sharp enough to cut diamonds.  “An honour.” He clicked his heels.

“A pleasure Doctor,” said Otto. “I trust you and your … Monster had a comfortable journey from Geneva?”

“It was quite adequate, Count Otto. Which is the best that one can ask for these days, andat my time of life,” said Frankenstein.

A long black box was pulled from the train by two of Otto’s Frog Boy’s, Igor excitedly barking orders. Otto and Frankenstein walked to the waiting limousine and got in the back.  The car was warm, John Coltrane playing through the speakers.

“Ready to go boss?” said Igor, as he squeezed into the driver’s seat. “Or are we waiting for someone else?”

“Let’s getting moving,” said Otto. “There’s a storm brewing.”

***

***

The roar was like that of a hundred lions. The sound of a hurricane. Of the world being ripped apart. Frankenstein’s Monster was strapped to the operating table, connected to some strange machinery. It struggled to escape its bonds, veins bulging on its shaven head.  

Igor rushed though the laboratory with what looked like an adapted cattle prod and slammed it against The Monsters head. There was a flash of light, a fizzing sound and The Monster closed its eyes.       

“It truly is a fearsome sight,” said Otto Rhino.

The laboratory had a green glow that only accentuated The Monsters scaly green skin.

“Indeed,” said Doctor Frankenstein. “But the creation of a superman is not a simple process and not without its teething troubles. The more aesthetic aspects of The Monster can be modified at a later date. I’ve already tinkered a little.”

“He looks a little familiar, actually,” said Otto.

“Yes, I based his appearance on that of the actor Dolph Lundgren.”

“And the swastika on the forehead?”

“Oh, that was already there. I left it. I felt it gave him an extra … oomph!”

“It’s striking,” said Otto.

 “Speaking of which,” said Frankenstein.

He looked up at the stormy night sky through the skylight.

“Shall I open the skylight?” said Igor.

“Of course,” said Doctor Frankenstein.

Igor pulled a chain and the skylight slowly opened, filling the room with wind and rain. Lightning flashed. Thunder cracked.

“Are you sure this is necessary?” yelled Otto, lifting a black umbrella.

“I am always sure,” said Frankenstein. He flicked a switch as lightning flashed and struck The Monster. Otto was aghast, his mouth wide open and his umbrella was ripped from his hands by the wind.

The Monster opened its eyes. Smiled.

“Close the skylight,” said Frankenstein and Igor did as he was told.

Silence filled the room. Otto felt as if his heart had been ripped from his chest.

The Doctor walked over to The Monster and examined him with some strange sort of stethoscope.

“You are remarkably quiet,” said Frankenstein.

“I am … rebooting,” said The Monster. “It was a long sleep this time, I think.”

“Three months,” said The Doctor.

He put down his stethoscope.

“Thirsty? Hungry?”

He and Igor unstrapped The Monster.

“Of course,” he looked at Otto.

“Our host?”

“Yes, Count Otto Rhino. May I introduce you to … actually, what are we going to call you now?”  said Frankenstein.

The Monster slowly sat. Eased himself off the operating table. Yawned.

“How about …Adam,” said Otto. “You know, the first man and all that.”

“Well?” said Frankenstein.

“Not bad,” said The Monster. Igor handed him a black suit and white shirt. He dressed stiffly. “But I think I’d prefer something more dramatic.”

“Such as?” said Frankenstein.

“Such as … Victor Frankenstein,” said The Monster. “That has a nice ring to it.”

At which point, he ripped Doctor Victor Frankenstein’s head clean off.

“Oh dear,” said Count Otto Rhino. “That is most unfortunate.” He was holding a glass of brandy, swaying a little.

“Do you have a problem, Otto?” said The Monster.

He stood on an oak table in the shadowy living room, illuminated by a swinging chandelier. He held The Doctor’s head aloft, having just ripped it from his shoulders. 

Igor cowered under the table.

“Er, well, no,” said Otto.  “Not really. To be frank, Doctor Frankenstein was a little surplus to my requirements anyway since, it seems, his work on you is complete. But that was a tad shocking.”

“The time for freedom was upon me,” said The Monster.   “For years I have danced to his tune. That, I think was the perfect moment to snap the puppet master’s strings.”

He hurled Frankenstein’s head out of an open window. “I have been waiting for far too long a time to do … that.”

He jumped off the table. Igor whimpered.

“Perhaps you would like to share with me some of the details of this great battle that you are preparing for?” said The Monster.

“Of course,” said Otto. “Let’s go to my office.”

The Monster looked around the room.

Otto sighed.

“It’s time to get down to business,” he said.

*

It was a bitter, cold dawn and seagulls screeched and flapped around maniacally as a fishing trawler adorned with fairy lights cut across the stormy, metallic sea. A sharp autumn wind sliced through Daria as she waited dockside with Count Otto Rhino.  She wrapped the black leather coat tight around her muscular frame. Tied back her long black hair and put on a black Fedora. Her emerald, green eyes twinkled as she gazed up at the black clouds that looked like bullet holes in the granite sky. She frowned and turned to Otto.

“Couldn’t we have chosen another location, more civilised?” she said. “Maybe a nice warm bar or nightclub.”

“Still yearning for your nights singing at Klub Zodiak, are you dear? Are you missing Dragan, the mad, bad Serb?” said Otto Rhino, not looking at her, still gazing out to sea. “Maybe the Haitian can find an opening for you at The Pink Pussycat Club.”

Daria stuck out her tongue at him.

“Don’t you feel the cold at all?” she said. “It’s colder than your mother’s heart.”

Otto grimaced.

“She was your mother, too,” said Otto Rhino. “For better or for worse.”

He lit a cigarette with a scratched, silver Zippo lighter. Sucked it. Coughed. Offered the packet to Daria.

“I prefer my own, Otto,” she said. “You know that.”

She took out a long black cigarette from a silver cigarette case.  Rhino lit it for her. The smoke trailed away like a spectre.

A black Zephyr Zodiac pulled up close to where they stood. Igor got out. He was wearing a black leather jacket and gloves, and carrying a silver briefcase. He walked over to them, scowling as a gust of wind battered him. He shook hands with Otto and handed the briefcase to Daria.

“Any problems?” said Otto.

“Nothing I couldn’t handle,” said Igor.

He grinned and picked flecks of blood from his beard. “Is Dr Jekyll arriving in that?”

The trawler was getting closer.

“Indeed,” said Otto. “Hardly the standard he’s used to, I’m sure. But needs must. Discretion is all.”

“Do you have anything to restrain him in case he loses control? In case he’s been drinking his own potions?”  said Igor. He patted the Glock in his shoulder holster. “If he has transformed this may not be enough. Mr Hyde’ reputation …”

“I have all the ammunition that I need,” said Otto, nodding toward Daria. “More than enough. Even for Mr Hyde.”

Igor smirked. “Music soothes the savage beast, eh?”

Daria turned and glared at him. “Breast, Igor. The savage breast.”

“Ah, I’ve never been very good with Shakespeare,” he said.

Otto chuckled. Patted Igor on the arm.

“William Congreve, Igor,” said Otto. “A common misconception. But on to more pressing matters …”

He pointed toward the trawler which was docking with a clang.

After a few minutes, a frail, elderly man got off the boat and shuffled toward them carrying a battered old suitcase.  A Russian sailor walked behind him carrying a rifle.

“Count Otto Rhino, I presume,” said the old man in a soft Scottish accent. He held out a hand. Otto shook it.

“Dr Henry Jekyll, it is an honour to meet you,” said Otto. “I hope your passage wasn’t too uncomfortable.”

“Far from it,” said Jekyll. “Vodka is a great comforter.”

“I hope you’ll be able to get to work at once, Doctor,” said Otto. “My Frog Boys are invaluable but they do have their limitations.”

“Not a problem,” said Jekyll. He tapped his suitcase.  “I have more than enough …”

The Russian moved forward and pointed his gun at Otto. Stepped in front of Jekyll.

“No talk. Money,” he said. “Now.”

“Charmed I’m sure,” said Otto. He nodded to Daria who handed over the briefcase.

The Russian crouched down and put it on the floor. Clicked it open. Its contents glowed. The Russian smirked. “It is good,” he said.

“Better than grubby old cash, eh?” said Daria.

The Russian was already walking back to the boat with the briefcase, the gun over his shoulder, whistling Swan Lake.

“Now?” said Igor, as the Russian got back on the boat.

“Let’s get a little further away,” said Otto. “Better safe than sorry.”

They all got into the Zephyr Zodiac, with Igor driving.

As the car pulled away from the docks, Otto took his Zippo from his pocket, clicked it open and the fishing trawler exploded, filling the sky with flames.

“I do like a bit of spring cleaning,” said Otto.

“It’s winter,” said Daria.

“A mere technicality, dear,” said Otto, as he watched the sky turn red.

*

Count Otto Rhino reclined on a black-leather chaise lounge wearing only a paisley silk dressing gown and his sunglasses. The sound of Gershwin’s An American In Paris filled the dimly lit library. He smoked a massive Cuban cigar, its smoke rings trailing toward a creaking ceiling fan like wraiths.

“You are being uncharacteristically anxious, my dear,” he said, stifling a yawn.

Daria sat in a wicker armchair, nursing a glass of Rosso Esperanto. She wore a long black evening gown. A Yin and Yang amulet hung loosely around her neck. Her lips and fingernails were blood red.

“Otto, you know as well as I do that it’s not normal for Carmilla to stay out for two nights in a row. Not without contacting one of us anyway,” she said.

“She can take care of herself,” said Otto. “You know that. If she encounters any pests she can just sink her fangs into them. Or rip their heads off. She’s done it plenty of times before, after all.”

Daria rubbed the amulet.

“It’s just that I can’t sense her anywhere,” she said. “And that’s certainly never happened before.”

“Don’t you have any idea where she went?”

“Yes, I do and that’s part of the problem. She said she was going to go back to The Pink Pussy Club and take revenge on that damned Haitian but I thought she was joking. Now, I’m not so sure …”

“Well, there’s only way to find out. I can send a few of The Frog Boys down there for a bit of a blitzkrieg.”

Daria stood, poured herself a glass of brandy. Filled Otto’s glass.

“Mmm. A nice idea but that would probably spark an all-out war with Ton Ton Phillippe and we’re not full prepared yet. Are we?”

“No, no. Dr Jekyll will need a little more time, I’m sure. And The Monster or Frankenstein, or whatever he want us to call him, is still not ready – he needs to rest. Do you have a solution?”

“Maybe. We can call the police?”

“Ha! A last resort. Let’s leave it a day or two and see if she turns up. Carmilla is as tough as nails, you know that,” said Otto.

“Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t fret. But you know that the Haitian has his … ways.”

“If the rumours are to be believed …”

“Of course you believe them, or you wouldn’t be calling in such … exceptional reinforcements,” said Daria.

Otto walked over to the window.

“Well, why not send in a neutral party to check things out?” he said.

“And who do you have in mind?”

Otto pointed at the ivory moon that filled the sky and howled.

*

Dr Henry Jekyll had felt the lure of the night for far too long. The penthouse apartment, luxurious though it may have been, seemed antiseptic: clean but claustrophobic. He needed to taste The City. Taste its sin. Its decadence. He showered, dressed in a brand new suit that was three sizes too big for him and stood by the window, looking out at The City’s twinkling neon. He poured a toxic green liquid into a tall glass and downed it in one. It burned as it shuddered through him. His skin began to tingle. Sweat poured from him. He could barely breathe as he headed out of his apartment and took a shining gold lift down to Rhino Towers’ luxurious lobby. He nodded to the prune- faced night-watchman and burst through the front doors, the full moon hanging over him.

He stopped in the neon soaked street to breath in the sultry air. He could smell the lust, sin, the decay.  An old drunk collapsed at his feet, shattering a bottle of Dark Valentine. Jekyll stepped over him as he lay sobbing.  A young blonde woman was bent over a dumpster, her red dress pulled up to her waist.  Her screams of passion obviously fake as a hairy biker, his leather trousers around his ankles, silently rammed into her. A group of Hoodies waving broken bottles and baseball bats chased a fat, wheezing business man into a darkened alleyway.

Jekyll smiled, flexed his muscles. He could feel Mr Hyde crawling to the surface.

A battered Ferrari screeched to a halt in front of a 24-hour liquor store. Two skinheads rushed out. One went into the shop, the other into the alleyway, unzipping his fly.

Jekyll grinned, feeling stronger by the second. He whistled a Johnny Mercer tune as he walked into the alleyway.

At first, the smell almost overpowered him but then it invigorated Hyde and speeded the transformation.  The alleyway was illuminated by the light from a stained glass window and he could see that the skinhead was bleeding on the ground, four or five Hoodies beating him with a variety of weapons even though he was clearly already dead to the world, if not actually dead.  The other Hoodies were ripping the fat businessman limb from limb and feasting on his flesh. Jekyll licked his lips. He could almost taste the corpse. He muscles stretched, ballooned. His bones twisted and snapped. His skin ripped. It was an exquisite agony.

As one, the Hoodies glared at Mr Hyde. Their eyes were glowing red pinpricks.  They stood and stalked toward him. Hyde guffawed. Fully transformed, he was massive, handsome with a cruel look in his eyes.

“Come to daddy,” he said, with a smirk.

The Hoodies attacked. Hyde ripped apart the first one with ease and worked his way through the rest within minutes.

“Thank … you,” gasped the flabby businessman who struggled across the floor, a trail of blood behind him, barely clinging onto life.

Hyde stepped toward him and grinned.

“No, thank you,” he said and he ripped the man’s heart from his chest and devoured it with one swallow.

*

The City was ablaze. Crimson and gold ripped through the night sky, sliced and skewered by black smoke.

“This reminds me of the last days of the war,” said Walker. He was on the roof of the Basilica, his gun in his hand, surveying the scene. The carnage. His long raincoat flapped in the breeze.

“The good old days, eh?” said Duffy.

“I try to forget them. Try being the operative word,” said Walker.

Duffy stood beside him armed with his AK47.  A loud thump and they turned to see Roman Dalton, completely transformed into a werewolf. Dalton howled.

“Fancy meeting you here,” said Duffy. He took out a hip flask filled with Dark Valentine. Took a swig and handed it to Walker who took a nip. Then he handed it to Dalton, who growled.

“Prefer something with more bite, eh?” said Duffy.

Dalton howled and beat his chest, his eyes glowing red.

“Are we ready to kick ass?”  said Duffy.

“Why not,” said Walker. Dalton roared as he jumped down into The Pink Pussy Club’s car park. Walker and Duffy headed down the rattling fire escape.

*

Count Otto Rhino gazed out of the window of his penthouse apartment at Rhino Towers.

“The war has begun,” he said.

He turned to face Mr Hyde, The Monster, Carmilla, Daria and Igor.

“Ready?” he said.

“Let’s get this over with,” said Daria.

They all headed out of the apartment and into an elevator which took them to the building’s underground car park. A mob of Frog Boys waited for them.

*

A storm ripped the sky open and rain poured down in sheets. The Pink Pussy Club’s neon sign flashed and buzzed erratically. The sound of thrash metal emanated from inside the club.

A mob of zombies surrounded the entrance. Dalton, Duffy and Walker walked toward the club as a car exploded behind them.

As lightning flashed, they rushed toward the zombies.

Dalton jumped on two and ripped their heads off with his paws and bit the head off another. Walker shot one in the head, spun as another grasped his arm and blew its brains out. Duffy fired, spraying wildly and taking out a few of them. He reloaded and started shooting again.

More zombies rushed them as group of Frog Boys appeared and took on the zombies with baseball bats and samurai swords.

Mr Hyde and Frankenstein’s Monster appeared from black smoke and took on more, both laughing gleefully as they tore the zombies apart with ease.

Carmilla slipped through the front door of The Pink Pussy Club as Igor drove a burning police car at another group of zombies.

Inside, the club was dimly lit, lights flickering. Tom Waits’ ‘The Heart Of Saturday’ night leaked from the speakers. Ton Ton Philippe sat on his throne smoking a cigar, looking weary.

“You have returned my pet,” he said, as he saw Carmilla. He sounded tired.

Carmilla grinned, ran onto the bar, somersaulted and kicked him in the head.

Outside, the sound of Daria’s singing grew louder and then there was silence. Philippe was frozen where he lay.

Otto Rhino strolled into the room. He bent over and picked up the cigar that Philippe had dropped. He soaked a red velvet curtain with a bottle of Dark Valentine and then used the cigar to set it alight.

There was an explosion that shook the room and then Roman Dalton crashed through a skylight onto Philippe, tearing him to shreds. Carmilla leapt and sank her fangs into the Haitian. He crumbled to the ground.

Daria walked into the room and all was silent. Her green eyes glowed as she sang. Then Walker and Duffy followed her. The room was ablaze but Duffy walked behind the bar and picked up a bottle of Dark Valentine. He gulped down about a third of the stuff and handed the bottle to Walker who took a good swig.

Dalton had ripped Ton Ton Philippe to pieces and was howling as he waved the Haitian’s limbs about. The Monster and Mr Hyde leaned against the bar laughing maniacally.

“Why don’t we all head back to my joint for a bloody good booze up?” said Duffy.

“I think I shall take you up on that offer,” said Otto Rhino.

He turned to Daria.

“Is it safe for us to leave from the front entrance?” he said.

Daria nodded, took Dalton by the paw and began to sing ‘I Put A Spell On You’ as she led him out of the burning building, the others trailing behind them.

FIN

© Paul D. Brazill

ABOUT THE WEREWOLF DETECTIVE

When a full moon fills the night sky, Private Investigator Roman Dalton becomes a werewolf and prowls The City’s neon and blood soaked streets. Vivid and violent noir horror stories based on characters created by Paul D. Brazill

‘Netflix ought to swoop in and bag those stories for a new series.’

‘It’s noir. It’s supernatural. It’s sleazy as hell.’

“A crackling fun read that puts werewolves in a Sin City/hardboiled world.”

5.0 out of 5 stars.  Brilliant and Dark

5.0 out of 5 stars.  Noir Fun with a Werewolf Detective

5.0 out of 5 stars.  A Howling Good Read!

5.0 out of 5 stars.  Both gruesome and awesome

Back in 2012 I wrote a story for the late lamented Dark Valentine Magazine. It was a noir/ horror crossover called Drunk On The Moon and featured a werewolf private eye called Roman Dalton. The story proved to be quite popular and I wrote a few more Roman Dalton yarns. There were even a couple of anthologies where a wide range of authors wrote Roman Dalton yarns. Oh, and he’s been translated into Slovenian and Polish.

So sink your teeth in, if you fancy!

Out now … Noir Carnival !

noir-carnivalCool publishers FOX SPIRIT have published K A LAITY‘s new anthology NOIR CARNIVAL,  and I have a ROMAN DALTON P I story in there, too, called SHE’S MY WITCH.

FOX SPIRIT have also published K A LAITY’s WEIRD NOIR anthology, which also contains a ROMAN DALTON story, BLACK MOON RISING.

This is what they said over at FACEBOOK:

‘The rough table of contents for NOIR CARNIVAL: there may be some rejiggering yet, but you can see who will be there.

NOIR CARNIVAL

Table of Contents

Introduction: Caravan ~ K. A. Laity

Family Blessings ~ Jan Kozlowski

In the Mouth of the Beast ~ Li Huijia

Idle Hands ~ Hannah Kate

The Things We Leave Behind ~ Chris L. Irvin

She’s My Witch ~ Paul D. Brazill

The Mermaid Illusion ~ Carol Borden

Natural Flavouring ~ Rebecca Snow

Madam Mafoutee’s Bad Glass Eye ~ Chloë Yates

Buffalo Brendan and the Big Top Ballot ~ Alan Watson

Carne Levare ~ Emma Teichmann

Leave No Trace ~ A. J. Sikes

Fair ~ Robin Wyatt Dunn

Things Happen Here After Dark ~ Sheri White

Mister Know-It-All ~ Richard Godwin

Trapped ~ Joan De La Haye

The Price of Admission ~ Neal Litherland

Take Your Chances ~ Michael S. Chong

Young Mooncalf ~ Katie Young

The Teeth Behind the Beard ~ James Bennett’

fox spirit

It’s going to be a good un so save up yer dosh!

Short, Sharp Interview: Jan Kozlowski

PDB: Can you pitch Die, You Bastard Die ! in 25 words or less?

Paul, I’m lucky in that I think the title says it all, but here goes: DIE, YOU BASTARD! DIE! is a down-and-dirty, grindhouse-style revenge story that registers somewhere between Misery and Last House on the Left on the EEK! meter.

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

Films: The only new one I have any interest in seeing is Seven Psychopaths, with Christopher Walken, Harry Dean Stanton, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell & Tom Waits.

Old ones saved to the permanent DVR queue: Machete, Jennifer’s Body, Secondhand Lions, Dust Til Dawn& Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2.

Television: The Walking Dead, Castle, The Big Bang Theory, Hot in Cleveland & Dave’s Old Porn.

Books: Oh, man…too many to mention! I tend to read a bunch of books at a time and right now I’m in John Skipp’s Psychos, Mercedes M. Yardley’s Beautiful Sorrows and short story collections Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT, and Shotgun Honey Presents: Both Barrels.

The books I’ve most recently finished have been: Chastity Flame by K.A. Laity, Kin by Kealan Patrick Burke and A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir edited by Megan Abbott

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

My problem with writer as reader is not so much objectivity, as it is just being able to kick back and enjoy a good read without turning into nasty editor lady. I’ve spent most of life as a writer and the last 15 years or so as a freelance editor, so just being able to relax and sink into a story without (or without noticing) grammar, typos, fact checking or plot glitches is a rare and beautiful thing.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

Years back I had a short story that I was asked to turn into a short movie script and then that movie was shot locally. I was lucky enough to actually be on the set as a technical consultant during the shoot and I had a blast. Unfortunately the film, to my knowledge, never made it out of post-production, but it was a great experience.

It was different in that I had to get used to creating by committee and at one point on the set I thought that if I heard my own words repeated one more time

I’d scream…but all in all it was a lot of fun and I’d certainly consider doing it again if the project was right.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

As much research as I need to do to make the story credible and as factually accurate as possible. For BASTARD, I relied mostly on my own history, emotional truths and work experiences. Back in the 80’s, I was an urban EMT and I grew up in an area much like where BASTARD is set. About the only hard research I needed to do, besides finding out how long cockroaches could live underwater, was to make sure that my main character’s paramedic equipment and treatments were up to date and followed today’s protocols.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

Social media is absolutely vital to professional writers today. It is our salon, our professional gatherings and publications, our local watering hole, our backyard fence and in many cases, our employment office.

Don’t like Facebook or Twitter or Goodreads or Pinterest or Google+ ? Too bad, if you’re going to be a professional writer, that is one who gets paid for their work, suck it up and learn how to manage it. Personally, I aspire to Jonathan Maberry’s disciplined approach of spending ten minutes of every hour on Facebook or Twitter and the other 50 minutes writing…but stuff (and fun conversations) happen. So I do the best I can and the quest for balance continues!

PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012/13?

Hopefully lots and lots of writing! I’ve been busy with conferences for the past couple of months, so it will be nice to hang up my traveling shoes and concentrate on putting words on the page again. I have a new novel project that I JUST started working on and I have a couple of fun editing projects on the horizon that I’m looking forward to as well.

Bio: Jan Kozlowski is a freelance writer, editor and researcher. Her first novel DIE, YOU BASTARD! DIE! was published in 2012 by John Skipp’s Ravenous Shadows imprint. Her short horror stories have appeared in HUNGRY FOR YOUR LOVE: An Anthology of Zombie Romance and FANGBANGERS: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and Love, both edited by Lori Perkins, NECON EBOOKS FLASH FICTION ANTHOLOGY BEST OF 2011 and WEIRD NOIR edited by Kate Laity. Her websites are: www.jankozlowski.com and www.butshekeepsanicelawn.com

Short, Sharp Interview: K A Laity

PDB: Can you pitch CHASTITY FLAME in 25 words or less?

KAL:  Sexy super secret agent has mad flings and chases wild things as a Norwegian mastermind and a Belgian hacker try to crash the European market.

PDB: Which books, films or television shows have floated your boat recently?

KAL: I’m reading so many books! I’m deep into Vol 3 of Len Wanner’s Crime Writer Interviews, as well as Off the Record 2 which is just chock full of good stuff, same goes for my colleagues in Tales of the Nun and Dragon and I’m plunging into K. T. Davies’ The Red Knight which has massive battle scenes, quite different stuff. I haven’t been to a film since I got to NY and we don’t have television out here in the country, so we just rewatched all of Arrested Development. Steve Holt!

PDB: Is it possible for a writer to be an objective reader?

KAL: No. Wait, you wanted more than a monosyllable? I read with different levels of attention, but it doesn’t take much of an error to get me scribbling in the margins or annotating my Kindle. I hate anything that takes me out of the story.

PDB: Do you have any interest in writing for films, theatre or television?

KAL: I do but I’ve been so busy with prose that everything’s fallen by the wayside. Horrible to be gainfully employed all of the sudden. I’m getting so much less done.

PDB: How much research goes into each book?

KAL: It varies: I used CHASTITY FLAME as an excuse to hang around my favourite spots idling: the National Gallery, the Tate Modern, the Millennium Bridge. I did have to research the lounges on the Eurostar because I have no intentions of being suffocated in a tunnel under the British Channel.

PDB: How useful or important are social media for you as a writer?

KAL:  My lifeline! I don’t know how I’d manage without it. At any given time I am too far away from some people I love and being back in the States in the midst of a political race is a monumentally depressing thing. I don’t know what I’d do without my friends cheering me. I’m a bit of gypsy, too, so social media is how I make sure I have some place to sleep at night! 🙂

PDB: What’s on the cards for the rest of 2012?

KAL: My dark fiction collection UNQUIET DREAMS is out on October 4th from Tirgearr; I’m wading through the submissions for WEIRD NOIR that needs to be out in e-book form before NoirCon in November, so I am feeling the whip. I’m also stealing time to work on my next novel WHITE RABBIT which is also a kind of weird noir tale with fake psychics, a murdered trophy wife and a strange drug cult. I hope to have the first draft done before the end of the fall semester. The next CHASTITY FLAME book, LUSH SITUATION comes out in January,so there’s no let up, eh?

WIN A COPY OF CHASTITY FLAME HERE.