A fun introduction to my latest book... or, me having a bit of fun!
“Hiya, Mack,” he acknowledged stepping across the threshold ruining my carpet.
“I thought I was done with you,” I complained.
“Not on your life. I just came off one helluva train ride, and you are going to write about it.”
“I’d rather be insane and alive, than sane and dead. I need a drink.”
“No liquor in the house, will coffee do?”
“Forget it, the problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind. Sit down and start writing. I lost my Roscoe and shiv, but you’ll do as I tell ya if you know what’s good for ya.”
The Detective is over six-foot and had at least fifty pounds on me, probably all muscle; I was too afraid to find out. I sat down at my desk, him opposite straddling a chair with the back firmly against his chest, soggy and dripping. He was wild-eyed, hurriedly rubbing his hands together as if struggling to find the proper words to start.
In due course, he declared, “It seems that destiny had taken a hand,” staring at the open space behind me. “It was supposed to be a vacation for me, a first-class ticket on the Arkham Express. A relaxing joy ride back home. Providence has its way with me, a calling, that wherever I go, evil follows.”
First-class on the Arkham Express, as it unfolded, was once an elegant way to travel, but the Great Depression and time had taken its toll. Of that journey, that he related, if only half-true, it would make the average individual jump off the speeding train screaming into the night. He kept staring at me with those crazy eyes, never giving me a moment's rest. By 2 a.m. I stopped taking dictation; I had an urgent call of nature. When I rose he challenged, “Where are you going?”
“I need to use the bathroom.”
“But I’ll wet myself,” I protested.
“I’m already wet. Sit down and keep writing!” he bellowed.
I spent the rest of the wee hours cross-legged. By sunup, we had completed the first draft, and he allowed me a bathroom break while he read. It is a horror tale of unequaled comparisons. The passengers of the Express met with such murder and mayhem that it makes “Murder on the Orient Express” pale by comparison. The fate of the numerous victims made my skin crawl. It made me swear off train travel for good. Flying is definitely a safer way to travel.
I promised to put the finishing touches on the manuscript, and he promised not to wring my neck. The clouds had parted, and the rain had stopped when he left. At the opened door he turned my way, minus the crazy look on his kisser, smiled and said, “See ya in the funny papers, Mack.”
No spoilers here, the complete story can now be had at amazon, titled “Death on the Arkham Express.” Check it out, if you dare!