Photo of the great Mick Farren by Rebekah Weikel
An excerpt from Mick Farren’s nightmarish new “pulp fiction” novel, Road Movie, published by Penny-Ante Editions
A MORNING TOO FAR
Doc had been set up like a bowling pin. Sub-space gossip about GS-AS Pentecostal Fire Boys with snitches in tow, shaman mumblings from the jungle hinter world of insurrection and planned cannibalism, while much closer to home the ominous silence that follows and envelopes a pariah left him in no doubt that he was being fingered far and wide for Huxley Hahn’s Roman butchery at the notorious Cardinal’s fuck pad. Doc had no idea why he’d been chosen to take the fall – or if the motel interlude at the Red Barn had been a part of a long term setup – but it had clearly been decreed somewhere on the higher floors of Golgotha, and, in consequence, he was royally fucking screwed.
His only option was to run like hell until finally seeking sanctuary by holing up with The Blimp, and to hole up with The Blimp was nothing short of an application for extended turn-your-stomach revulsion. Not that Doc could exactly complain. Okay, so The Blimp was disgusting, rarely moved, and lay like a filthy, partially inflated Buddha, in a stained yukata, smoking some black sticky-bastard narcotic concoction muled out of highlands by tribesmen not much more civilized than their headhunter ancestors. Hits on the crusted pipe alternated with hits of over-proof Demerara rum straight from the bottle —the kind that would explode if brought in proximity to a lit cigarette—and all the while The Blimp was idly masturbating to bestial porn streaming from some Mongolian mob black satellite, under the constant forced observation of a purchased and paid-for, although barely legal, chained hermaphrodite.
Doc had tried a couple of hits on the glass and tinfoil burner, but it had only made him want to vomit. However, The Blimp was effectively and quite efficiently keeping Doc Forty alive, and, for that alone, Doc knew he was required to be appreciative. If he ever failed to remember, the noise from the street below the filtered up from the Blimp’s personal crew of bosozoku, known as the Dragon Gang—over-revving their lightweight Suzuki’s, all James-Dean mean, acting as his first-line lookouts—was always there to remind him.
While The Blimp stared blankly at his high definition porn parade of cocks, cunts, and come shots, rope and pulleys, blocks and tackles, Lucite heels, leather masks, and domestic animals on the huge loud flat-screen, Doc took a hamster run on the wheel of paranoia. He was wide open, exposed on every side. His reputation was shit. If they wanted him for a patsy, fuck it; they only needed to send a goddamned meter maid. No need for an extended setup or charade, Doc was a scapegoat for the asking.
When the porn and paranoia became too much, Doc retreated to the foul privacy of The Blimp’s spare bedroom—which was stuffed with old and mildewed security files and bundles of bondage magazines—in search of oblivion. Fourteen Valium had finally put him to sleep, but then he was unable to wake from the nightmare. And it was some fucking nightmare. Usually Doc came out of bad dreams screaming, in this one, he was screaming going in. He screamed until he was dizzy, but it didn’t make a blind bit of difference. The cacophony just smashed back at him with some Newtonian equal-and-opposite logic, along with a vast reverberating boom, like the towering rhythmic rage of some vast aquatic mammal. He was already getting the remote assault treatment even before they had him in custody.
Mercifully one of The Blimp’s batboy gofers had managed to score Doc a flask of Hungarian absinthe and a tiny dropper bottle of the near-impossible-to-find concentrated tincture of opium. It was about the best exit from reality that he could expect in his current situation. He quickly filled a glass with a stiff shot of the absinthe, and then placed the ornate perforated spoon across the rim. A few sugar cubes remained in the box and he put one in the spoon with a trembling hand. He filled the dropper and held it as, with his free hand, he applied a gas lighter to the sugar. When the sugar began to melt, he quickly dropped tincture on it, leaning forward to inhale the vapor that briefly curled up from the cube. Then, as the sugar and opium became a liquid sludge, he dumped the contents of the spoon into the glass and gave it a brisk stir. Pale green clouds blossomed in the absinthe, and, without any hesitation or need for ritual; he downed the unattractive cocktail in one foul tasting swallow. Oblivion did not have to taste good. They would come for him soon enough, and he might as well spend the intervening time knowing as little about it as possible.