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Authors: Richard Laymon

Body Rides

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Body Rides
 

Richard Laymon

 

Copyright © 1996 Richard Laymon

The right of Richard Laymon to be identified as the Author of the Work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

Apart from any use permitted under UK copyright law, this publication may only be reproduced, stored, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, with prior permission in writing of the publishers or, in the case of reprographic production, in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency.

First published as an Ebook by Headline Publishing Group in 2012

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Cover photograph © Michaela Stejskalova/Shutterstock

Cataloguing in Publication Data is available from the British Library

eISBN: 978 0 7553 9172 1

HEADLINE PUBLISHING GROUP
An Hachette UK Company
338 Euston Road
London NW1 3BH

www.headline.co.uk
www.hachette.co.uk

Contents
 

Title Page

Copyright Page

About the Author

Also in the Richard Laymon

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-One

Chapter Twenty-Two

Chapter Twenty-Three

Chapter Twenty-Four

Chapter Twenty-Five

Chapter Twenty-Six

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Chapter Twenty-Eight

Chapter Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-One

Chapter Thirty-Two

Chapter Thirty-Three

Chapter Thirty-Four

Chapter Thirty-Five

Chapter Thirty-Six

Chapter Thirty-Seven

Chapter Thirty-Eight

Chapter Thirty-Nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-One

Chapter Forty-Two

Chapter Forty-Three

Chapter Forty-Four

Chapter Forty-Five

Chapter Forty-Six

Chapter Forty-Seven

Chapter Forty-Eight

Chapter Forty-Nine

Chapter Fifty

Chapter Fifty-One

Chapter Fifty-Two

Chapter Fifty-Three

Chapter Fifty-Four

Chapter Fifty-Five

Chapter Fifty-Six

 

Marta And Sue

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

 

Later

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Richard Laymon wrote over thirty novels and seventy short stories. In May 2001, The
Travelling Vampire Show
won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel, a prize for which Laymon had previously been shortlisted with
Flesh
,
Funland
,
A Good, Secret Place
(Best Anthology) and
A Writer’s Tale
(Best Non-fiction). Laymon’s works include the books of the Beast House Chronicles:
The Cellar
,
The Beast House
and
The Midnight Tour
. Some of his recent novels have been
Night in the Lonesome October
,
No Sanctuary
and
Amara
.

A native of Chicago, Laymon attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, and took an MA in English Literature from Loyola University, Los Angeles. In 2000, he was elected President of the Horror Writers’ Association. He died in February 2001.

Laymon’s fiction is published in the United Kingdom by Headline, and in the United States by Leisure Books and Cemetery Dance Publications.

 

Praise for Richard Laymon:

 

‘A brilliant writer’
Sunday Express

 

‘Stephen King without a conscience’ Dan Marlowe

 

‘This is an author that does not pull his punches … A gripping, and at times genuinely shocking read’
SFX Magazine

 

‘In Laymon’s books, blood doesn’t so much as drip as explode, splatter and coagulate’
Independent

 

‘No one writes like Laymon and you’re going to have a good time with anything he writes’ Dean Koontz

 

‘Incapable of writing a disappointing book’
New York Review of Science Fiction

 

‘One of the best, and most underrated, writers working in the genre today’
Cemetery Dance

 

Also in the Richard Laymon Collection published by Headline
:

 

The Beast House Trilogy
:

The Cellar

The Beast House

The Midnight Tour

 

Beware!

Dark Mountain*

The Woods are Dark

Out are the Lights

Night Show

Allhallow’s Eve

Flesh

Resurrection Dreams

Darkness, Tell Us

One Rainy Night

Alarums

Blood Games

Endless Night

Savage

In the Dark

Island

Quake

Fiends

After Midnight

Among the Missing

Come Out Tonight

The Travelling Vampire Show

Dreadful Tales

Night in the Lonesome October

No Sanctuary

Amara

The Lake

The Glory Bus

Funland

The Stake

 

*previously published under the pseudonym of Richard Kelly

One
 

Neal Darden, alone in his car, took backroads to stay away from Robertson Boulevard. He wasn’t worried about too much traffic on Robertson; he was worried about getting shot for no good reason.

After all, this was night in Los Angeles.

Anybody could get shot at any time of the day or night, but night was worse. And the well-traveled boulevards such as Robertson seemed more dangerous to Neal than the hidden roads that twisted through quiet, residential neighborhoods.

His theory was simple: the fewer cars in sight, the less likely you were to encounter a load of trigger-happy gangsters.

The very best way to stay alive was to avoid going out at all. Especially at night. Especially
late
at night. He refused to live that way, though. He was only twenty-eight years old, too young to become a hermit. For safety’s sake, he might make a few concessions – but he wouldn’t surrender and stay home for the rest of his life.

You take precautions and you go anyway.

Even if it’s just to return the video rentals.

The two movies were due before midnight. Marta had stayed later than usual, actually changing for work in his bedroom so she wouldn’t have to leave until the very last moment. By the time she’d gone and Neal had finished rewinding the tapes, it had been nearly 11:30.

Plenty of time to reach the store.

But a bad time to be out in your car on the streets of Los Angeles.

Neal knew that he could’ve waited and returned the videos tomorrow. There would be a late charge. Five or six bucks, he supposed. A small amount to pay, compared to the risk of taking
them back at this hour of the night. But there was a larger price in waiting for daylight: a payment made in freedom and self-respect.

What kind of chicken-shit’s afraid to drive five miles?
he’d asked himself.

Marta, who worked the graveyard shift at LAX, had to drive
thirty
miles, five nights a week. What would she think if she found out that Neal was afraid to take the videos back?

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