A Sneak Preview – The Book of Abaddon

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COPENHAGEN, JUNE 24TH, 2010, 4:28 AM

On such an early summer’s morning, when the growing light made Copenhagen glow, the city was so fucking beautiful. It was as if the cobblestones, the asphalt of the street and even the butter-yellow cemetery wall inhaled the light and exhaled possibilities, dreams and hopes in a chorus with the flowering elder trees behind the wall. Or else he was just yet another drunk poet.

It was the exact perfect time to wobble home to the lemon face and the harsh words that waited, but he was in no hurry to get home this magical summer morning when even the taxis were all gone, when the buses hadn’t started yet and when it seemed as if the entire city held its breath, but for what?

So fucking beautiful. While he stood a moment and enjoyed the sight of dawn breaking over the cobblestones, his nose caught something else. The merest hint, a trail he involuntarily stretched out his neck for and tried to follow. Was it a perfume? It smelled like heaven and the most sublime sex, like an otherworldly flower, like …

He turned to follow the scent trail. It continued down the street. He followed it, and the dizzying, fantastical scent grew stronger, received a brush of other flowers and darker desires, became almost overwhelmingly heavy in the cool pre-dawn air.

What the hell was it that perfumed everything this morning?

When he saw it, at first he thought it was one of the countless art installations that popped up everywhere in Copenhagen in unexpected places. He took a deep breath. For a split second, the street and the dawn span around him in a sickening waltz.

No art hung on the closed wrought iron gate to the cemetery.

It was a man. He was tall, in impeccable shape, young, maybe in his late twenties, with expensively cut blond hair and beard stubble that gave his face a certain romantic air, in sharp contrast to a well-worn t-shirt and a ripped pair of jeans. His arms were spread out like a crucified Jesus, and were tied like his feet to the gate by some vine-like plant that gripped him from head to toe. Here and there, purple-white flowers bloomed that all exhaled that heady, dizzying scent that drifted down the street like an invisible, perfumed fog.

He looked first in one direction, then the other down the street. Not one car, taxi, cyclist or pedestrian in sight. As if all the neighborhood, Copenhagen, Denmark and maybe even the world slept frozen in time on a Thursday morning in June, while a beautiful, dead young man was tied to a wrought-iron gate with this strange vine.

Not even eleven massive beers could kill his curiosity. He crossed the street and stood in front of the gate.

Close up, he could see that the young man was not tied so much as thrown by some colossal force into the gates, where the wrought iron had bent beneath the impact, outlining his body, but where the wrought iron ended and the vine began he couldn’t see if he tried.

There was no suggestion of blood anywhere, no discoloration or anything else that could make it more real, more brutal, more human, and that shocked him most of all. How could … who could? What in the world?

He grabbed for his phone in his jacket, but he had left it at home, along with the cow, the bitch, the wife. And two more phones.

He swayed in front of the dead man for a few long, silent minutes in the growing light, dizzy with the sight, the scent, the likelihood, before he took a deep breath, turned and ran across the street.

Ran like he had the Devil himself on his heels.

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Photo from Assistens Cemetery, Copenhagen, June 2010, the Jægersborggade gate. (The gate!)

With thanks to Henrik Sandbæk Harksen, and always, the Dude.

Shattering A Dream

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Today, I did a (very!) radical thing. I have reported my former publisher for copyright infringement to Amazon and requested that the sales pages for all editions of Quantum Demonology be removed.

For the longest time, I’ve always hoped it would never come to this, hoped nearly beyond hope that somehow, some day, the publisher of Nigel’s Flight would contact me, if only to say that our contract was presently null and void.

Yet in spite of several rather provocative blog posts, emails, letters, phone calls and direct/private messages delivered through her increasingly limited social media channels, I never heard a word back. Not since May 11th of last year, so you can imagine my horror and mortification when I discovered the announcement and subsequent publication of yet another book by that publisher later last year.

Well, I’ve cut the deadwood, clocked it all up to experience and… moved on.

What does the future hold for that strange, erotic story, Quantum Demonology? A few things… some of which I’m not currently at liberty to say since I don’t want to jinx anything, and some of which are definitely cooking.

Including a planned sequel I might have called Lilith’s Revenge (although that sounds like a very bad romance novel!), and a prequel – nothing less than the history of that fascinating entity, Dev – currently underway titled The Abaddon Yarn.

But before I dance off into cyberspace, should you, dear reader, be among those who bought the book in either Kindle or hardcover (and thank you if you are!), know that your edition is soon to be very rare indeed! 😉 If you haven’t and wish you did, you have 7-10 business days to remedy that oversight. Go!

As for the future – it might be so bright, I’ll have to wear shades! Stay tuned!

An excerpt – The Devil’s Prologue

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My awfully wedded wife had finally discovered how to utterly destroy humanity. It was a plan so simple, so elegant it couldn’t possibly fail, and being who I am, it couldn’t possibly succeed, either. Repercussions, logistics to sort out and questions we all wanted to avoid.

A nightmare enchilada of global proportion. She had to be stopped.

“You don’t think you’re going to stop me, do you? I’d handle your job so much better than you. You’ve gone far too soft these past few years. I’ve been here long enough by now, I know all the technicalities no matter what Saint Peter thinks, and poor Asmodeus needs something constructive to do, he gets bored so easily….”

Lilith paced the floor in front of my chair and thought out loud, but I had already tuned her out. Four thousand years of a miserable marriage will have that effect. As she kept talking and pacing, I just sat back and watched her, watched that long, leggy stride eat up the rug in six steps, watched her turn as elegant as any runway model, blonde hair swinging, before pacing back again.

She was flawless. Flawlessly beautiful in that twenty-first century porn-star manner that left no room for imperfections, quirks or doubts, and flawless bored me.

Besides, any woman who begins every single sentence with ‘I’ is nothing but trouble. Trust me. I know.

“You don’t understand at all, do you?” I finally said. “For you, it’s all so simple, all so black-and-white, all so nicely categorized into tidy little boxes that say it must be a cinch to do my job. Nothing is that simple, Lilith.”

“Four thousand years, and you still sound like a scratched vinyl LP, don’t you? ‘Nothing is that simple’ ” she taunted. “Bullshit. Just more male chauvinist pseudo-philosophical cant from someone who thinks he’s better than me simply for having a penis…”

Did I tell you that my lovely wife became a screaming lesbian just to spite me? Nothing against lesbians, but spite. Really.

She’s Queen of the Succubi. No coincidence.

The instant before I tuned her out again, my cell phone vibrated in my pocket. It was a text message from Saint Peter.

“God’s study. All done. Wait for it!”

If she only knew what I was planning.

I stood up to leave.

Surprised at the names? The truth would surprise you even more.

Once, you needed to give the personification of evil an evil face, needed to dehumanize and externalize it to make it easier to identify. If your history has taught you anything, it’s that true evil can wear any face at all. Including your own.

Forget the lies you’ve been force-fed since childhood. Forget that I am supposed to be God’s adversary. Like all dogma and most religion, it’s nothing but a select few shining truths wrapped around a hundred million incandescent, mind-controlling lies.

I’ve been called so many different names I can’t take them seriously any longer. Satan, The Devil, Lucifer, Apollyon, The Fallen One, Evil Incarnate, Mephistopheles, Son of the Morning Star, Shaitan, The Adversary – you humans have never lacked imagination. I don’t have cloven feet, do not in fact look or function much different than you should I choose.

I’m getting ahead of myself. I had a wife I needed to destroy before she destroyed humanity. I needed a little human help. Once upon a time the present Queen of the Succubi was human, before she forced herself upon me and refused to let me go.

So Saint Peter was given an assignment. To find a human intelligent enough to do the job, someone amenable to the benefits we could provide, who could handle the inevitable horrors that came with it. Over six billion humans on Earth, and we only needed one.

A woman.  Since nothing destroys a woman like another one.

But if I have to put myself on the line here Saint Peter, I thought to myself as I left Hell behind me and climbed the stairs to God’s study, make sure she’s got a nice pair of tits.

And if you can, please make her a blonde.

☠ ☠ ☠