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Authors: Tom Piccirilli

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Clown in the Moonlight

BOOK: Clown in the Moonlight
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Clown in the Moonlight

 

By Tom Piccirilli

 

 

Digital Edition published by Crossroad Press

Copyright 2012 by Tom Piccirilli

 

Copy-edited by: David Dodd

Cover Design By: David Dodd

Background Image provided by:

http://www.sxc.hu/profile/henry_azui

LICENSE NOTES
 

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
 
This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people.
 
If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with.
 
If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to the vendor of your choice and purchase your own copy.
 
Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

OTHER CROSSROAD PRESS PRODUCTS BY
TOM PICCIRILLI
FOR YOUR KINDLE
 

NOVELS:

A Lower Deep: A Self Novel

Nightjack

Sorrow's Crown – A Felicity Grove Mystery

The Dead Past – A Felicity Grove Mystery

The Fever Kill

The Night Class

 

NOVELLAS:

All You Despise

Cast in Dark Waters
(with Ed Gorman)

Frayed

Fuckin' Lie Down Already

Loss

Short Ride to Nowhere

The Last Deep Breath

The Nobody

Thrust

You'd Better Watch Out

 

COLLECTIONS:

Futile Efforts

Pentacle – A Self Collection

Tales From the Crossroad, Vol 1

 

UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOKS:

All You Despise – Narrated by Brett Barry

Loss – Narrated by Chris Patton

Nightjack – Narrated by Chet Williamson

The Fever Kill – Narrated by Scott Slocum

Buy Direct From Crossroad Press & Save

 

Try any title from CROSSROAD PRESS – use the Coupon Code FIRSTBOOK for a one-time 20% savings!
 
We have a wide variety of eBook and Audiobook titles available.

 

Find us at:
 
http://store.crossroadpress.com

SPECIAL LEAP YEAR OFFER
 

In honor of Leap Year giving us one day more this year, we at Crossroad Press thought we'd join the fun.
 
If you visit the CROSSROAD PRESS STORE and use the coupon code
LeapYear
(case sensitive) you will receive $2.99 (The normal cover price of this book) off of your purchase.
 
A great number of our books are priced at $2.99, so you can either get a free book, or a good discount on a more expensive selection.
 
Happy shopping!

CONTENTS
 

Clown in the Moonlight

 

The Last Kind Words – A Preview

Shadder – A short story from the collection Futile Efforts

Nightjack – A preview

PART I
 

AND THE TREES BOWED DOWN

1.
 

T
he fever takes hold, my heart begins to hammer, and I can taste the sweet dollop of murder in the night.
 
I shake my head and try not to laugh.
 
No matter where you go, what you do, you can't outmaneuver your fate.
 
Linda has a tight hold on my wrist as she leads me through the park into Aztakea Woods.
 
She's a powerful little cheerleader, barely five foot tall but all tendon and tit and muscle, and when we make love on the floor of the gazebo or the back of my Mustang, she nearly bucks me off.
 
I've got bruises and welts all over.
 
So does she, but she likes them.

She's excited now in a way I haven't seen before, guiding me down a barely recognizable dirt trail.
 
She knows where she's going, even in the dark. She's been here before.

The wind's risen and I can hear the heavy lapping of the Long Island sound, the salty scent heavy in the air.
 

"The Acid King showed me," she says, and there's an odd lilt of laughter in her voice.
 

I'm new to town and still don't recognize all the players.
 
I've known Linda two weeks and they've been fun and freaky days.
 
She tries to draw out the worst in me.
 
It's not difficult.
 
If someone cuts us off on 25a she attempts to goad me into racing or fighting with strangers.
 
She whispers what she'll do to me if I win.

We move into a clearing and the moonlight ignites her perfect teeth.
 
Her pale skin glows as she smiles at me and presents the scene on the ground.
 
She can't help snickering.
 
It's an ugly but sexy sound.
 
She moves against the breeze and her long hair rises against my lips, tickling.
 
I taste fruity shampoo and stale sweat.
 
I glance down and I'm staring at a mutilated corpse without any eyes.

She places her hand on my chest as if she expects my heart to stop.
 
She waits for me to suck in enough air to scream.
 
Her nails dig deep.
 
I like the pain she offers.
 
It's minor and only scratches the surface.
 
Her beautiful face shifts into an expression of delighted anticipation.
 
She expects cursing, crying, or perhaps terrorized whining. Or maybe depraved laughter.
 
It's obvious she's brought other boys here before.
 
Weaker boys, ones she can control, ones she abuses and scoffs at callously.
 
I take a shallow breath and let it out slow.
 

Apparently she enjoys my non-reaction.
 
She throws herself into my arms and kisses me passionately.
 
Our tongues tangle.
 
Her moans are so loud, full of a kind of torment, that I can imagine them coming from the dead guy.
 
She says my name and couches it in lust and demand.
 
I know which way this is going.
 
Maybe I want it to go there, maybe not, but I won't resist. A growl works down my throat, a snarl works up it.
 
I try to break her hold but I don't try very hard.
 
Her tongue's burying itself in my throat, her breasts heaving.
 
She draws away and gives a rasping cackle.
 
That laugh drives into my head like metal shavings.

The corpse is my age and size.
 
He's got good muscle mass.
 
I'm not paranoid and I don't think Linda's a murderer, she digs the dramatic reveal too much, but I keep my eyes open through our kiss.
 
So does she.
 
Our tongues grapple.
 
I reach for her hands to make sure they're empty.
 

He's been dead for a couple of days at least.
 
Maggots ravage the flesh in the June heat, the body poorly hidden beneath a thin layer of leaves and dirt.
 

"Don't tell anyone," she says.

She knows I can't tell anyone about this.
 
I've got what the courts call "anger management issues, " "impulse control difficulties," and "violent tendencies."
 
They've forced my old man to move us three times around Long Island in the past few years.
 
I've been in jail and I've been in Bellvue under suicide watch.
 
All told I preferred my year-long stint in prison to the six-month stay in the psych ward.
 
My father was more embarrassed visiting me in the hospital.
 
He's been in jail himself, which he considers a natural part of the rites of manhood.
 
He's never been in group therapy, which he thinks is for mama's boys and queers.

The face is unrecognizable, utterly disfigured, more like shredded meat than anything else.
 
Whoever did this took his time.
 
I spot teeth marks and a lot of stab wounds, perhaps as many as fifty.
 
The remains of a small blackened campfire sit in a ring of flat stones at the center of the clearing.
 
I can still smell a hint of smoke.
 
The area is covered in muddy footprints and matted leaves.
 
It must've been raining the night it happened.
 
Since then at least a dozen visitors have come through.

The Acid King has brought a lot of folks by to see his handiwork.

Linda reaches under my T-shirt and untucks it from my jeans.
 
She groans and launches herself into my arms again, the scent of her hot cooze overwhelming the stink of the rotting corpse.
 
Death sets her to trembling like razor-wire.
 
There were a ton of guys on C-Block who'd been sent to the bin because of girls just like her.
 
Some of them had regrets.
 
Some of them didn't.

BOOK: Clown in the Moonlight
6.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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