BLOOD & SWINE: A Comedy of Terrors
(2009, unpublished) - a novel by A.R.Yngve - Sample Chapters
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CHAPTER 7: Nobody Gets Out Alive
Carl climbed out of the container and hid behind a crate. Inside the warehouse, the music played so loudly that nobody could have heard him come. He peered at the open space near the entrance door, where the floor had been cleared. A battery of colored lamps and strobe lights illuminated at least fifty dancing men and women. Carl sniffed at some strange, sweet odor and realized the warehouse was reeking with pot, tobacco and perhaps other smokes.
Over the speaker system, some artist with a German accent shouted bombastic lines in English:
I am the dance floor master!
I am the eardrum blaster!
The techno priest from afar!
It's 3 AM, do you know where your feet are!
Without the phone (and its camera), Carl felt very vulnerable. The best he could do was to try and bring back some evidence of crime, but he worried that the two UGG thugs might see him.
As he hesitated, hunching down behind the crate, his knees aching, he noticed a movement in the upper corner of his vision and looked up. From a high open window near the ceiling, a thick wispy spiral of white smoke drifted in from outside. Or was it smoke? It seemed to move independently of the draft. Carl blinked hard and looked again; now the smoke was gone... and in its place stood a tall male figure on the walkway beneath the window. The man bent his neck to look down on the party floor. He was dressed in a dark jacket and pants, and had a full head of gray hair. His face was obscured by shadow, and yet his eyes seemed to reflect the flickering primary colors of the light show.
The tall figure stirred, and a reflex made Carl duck down; for some reason he couldn't explain, the sight of the stranger sent an icy chill down Carl's already quite chilled spine. He drew a few half-choked breaths and peeked up again; now the stranger had vanished from the walkway. It occurred to Carl that he might have been hallucinating.
Then he looked at the dance floor, and spotted the stranger in the dancing crowd. The gray-haired man started to dance with a young woman; she seemed familiar. Carl snuck out of the shadow of the crate and moved in behind a pile covered by canvas to get a closer look.
Now he recognized the girl: Martina Voytola. The black wig and tight tank top she was wearing made her look different from her activist persona. She danced frenetically with the much older stranger, grinding her hips as she raised her bare arms. The stranger moved his feet with surprisingly graceful, but more restrained movements.
Carl wanted to shout a warning to her, but then he saw Boris and Vlad walk up to the couple. Martina and the stranger ignored them and continued to dance, until the large Russian grabbed the stranger's arm...
And then, for a brief while, Carl's mind went blank. He saw and heard, but wasn't fully aware. It was as if he were dreaming awake. And what a silly dream he was having! It was so preposterous, so absurdly violent, he giggled moronically even as his limbs moved and he fled the place.
With a frightened yelp, he awoke to full awareness. He was standing outside a police station. A neon-sign clock on a nearby building indicated the time: four in the morning. Carl became aware that his clothes were torn, dirty and soaked with sweat. He panicked at the thought that he might still be in the vicinity of danger, looked about himself and realized that the warehouse lay several blocks away; he had ran the whole way, in a trance.
“What... what happened?”
Memories from the warehouse seeped into his conscious mind, and his body trembled as the recall came. He could remember terrified screams from the dance floor, and a strange growl from some kind of creature not quite like any other animal he had seen before.
He had seen the creature attack Boris and Vlad with unnatural speed, and...
“Oh my God.” Carl doubled over and threw up on the steps to the police station. A cop on night duty walked out from the reception and grabbed him by the lapel.
“What the hell do you think you're doing? You're going to pay a fine for soiling the entrance!”
Carl let the officer drag him indoors. “Thank you, sir, thank you!”
The cop gave him a questioning look. “Are you on drugs?”
Carl rambled: “A rave party... down in the docklands warehouse... people got killed! Please send in the cops! With guns... lots of guns!”
The policeman halted and looked into Carl's pale, drawn face. “What rave? Where?”
Carl had to sit down and calm down a little before he could give an accurate description of the warehouse. The officer radioed for patrol cars and a van to investigate the address.
Carl sat on a couch in the reception and waited, while he tried to stop his hands from shaking. The dread still made him sick to his stomach, and it got worse when he thought about Martina, who he last saw dancing with the creepy stranger.
Please let her be okay, he prayed in his mind, though he had never considered himself a particularly religious man. Please, Jesus Christ, save her from... from that thing on the dance floor. It wasn't human, it couldn't be. Did I see spikes shoot out of its elbows and mouth, or was that only in my mind...?
In his shocked state, Carl lost all sense of time. When a young, short-haired plainclothes detective entered the room and showed his police badge, Carl did not know how long he had waited. “Malko Janoszko, Metropolitan Homicide. Please stay seated, you look dead tired. Was it you who reported a killing during a rave party in the docklands area?”
“Two killings...” Carl began, but the detective cut him off: “We've been to the address you gave us, and we did find signs of the rave party, some illegal drugs and contraband... but the place was deserted. No bodies, no blood.” He crossed his arms and regarded Carl. “We would like you to take a drug test here in the station. You may have had a 'bad trip'.”
Carl stared at him and flew up from his seat. “No, you've got it all wrong! Something did happen there! Ask the guests...”
“So you know these people?”
“Not really, no...”
“Not really, no. Come with me.”
Fatigue overwhelmed Carl; it was all he could muster to come along quietly and take the drug test.
The cops didn't find any drugs on him, or in him, and in any case they had no evidence to hold him on, so they let him go - but the detective took down his name and address, and warned him not to leave town without notice.
Early in the morning, Carl returned to Lucia's apartment. He rang the doorbell.
“I tried to call you!” she said the moment she opened the door. She was fully dressed and bleary-eyed. He ignored her and sleepwalked in. “Listen to me! Where have you been all night? And look at you. You're a mess!”
Carl felt cranky and thought of retorting: What are you, my wife? But he was too tired to speak. He staggered into the living room and fell onto a couch. Thirty seconds later he was snoring soundly. The noise woke up Lucia's roommate, who came to look at the sleeping guest.
“That's him? The Swedish-Polish hick?” the girl asked Lucia, and yawned. “He's cute. Looks like a bum, though.”
Lucia shook her head. “God knows what the boss sees in him.”
“I'd like to meet your boss someday.”
“You stay away from him, he's mine. You can have that guy.” Lucia nodded at the snoring Carl.
Her phone rang and she picked it up.
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