Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills


Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Spider's Justice...

Here's an excerpt – the opening paragraphs, in fact – of my contribution to Moonstone Books' The Spider Chronicles, a charming little potboiler of pulp pastiche and purple prose that I like to call (in the tradition of original Spider author Norvell Page), "The Spider and the Monster Makers"...

As Mickey "No-Nose" Norton plunged from the 31st floor of the Belmont Towers with the crimson likeness of an eight-limbed arachnid seared on his forehead, it was not his short, sordid, and utterly misspent life of petty larceny and craven violence that flashed before his gaping, mud-brown eyes.

No, in those last scant moments of awareness before his mortal existence came to an abrupt conclusion on the concrete sidewalk that bordered bustling Broad Street, all that occupied the pitiable hood's consciousness was the grotesque, leering face of the cloaked apparition known as the
Spider. The blazing demonic eyes gleaming behind a black domino mask and grinning, fang-filled maw of the Master of Men filled Norton's brief final thoughts, dominating them completely.

Even the roaring wind in "No-Nose's" ears could not compete with the
Spider's hellish laughter, a mirthless, soul-shattering cackle that drowned out Norton's own screams and echoed thunderingly within his skull.

The
Spider perched precariously on the narrow ledge and watched with grim amusement as the flat-faced felon splattered scarlet on the sidewalk thirty-one floors below. Pulling his black cloak tightly around himself, he turned to the sheer brick face of the building and began to ascend as effortlessly as the arachnid that was his namesake, his strong, deft fingers snagging purchase in the slightest of recesses.

There was some irony, the darkling figure mused, in "No-Nose's" unfortunate plummet, as the case which currently consumed the
Spider had begun with a different fatal plunge, just weeks before....

Want to read the rest? For ordering information, check out the previous post below.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cool, I'm a big Spider fan so will have to pick this up. Congrats.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Charles, great stuff. I love The Spider too, though I always found it harder to come across Spider reprints. I have only a couple of the books, though one includes two novels in one.

Doug Klauba said...

Awesome! I never had a chance to read any of the stories in the book that I had to illustrate the cover for, so this has been a very curious assignment. Can't wait to start reading...