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A Short Story by James D. Pratt

Copyright 2010 James D. Pratt

Smashwords Edition

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

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Fortune City, 1963 – In the winding tunnels deep beneath the infamous Maligant Mansion, the man known as the Black Scarab stood leaning against a stone wall. He’d tracked down Evil Eye to the mansion, the rumored site of countless supernatural occurrences and battles between the forces of good and evil, to finish up some old business. Things weren’t going according to plan.

The Black Scarab remained on his feet only through a supreme effort. His features hidden and inscrutable, the heavy rasp of his breathing hinted that he was far from well. The Black Scarab’s chest felt like he’d been kicked by a mule. It was a given that he was sporting at least a few broken ribs. So far he hadn’t coughed up any blood so his lungs were probably still intact but that didn’t completely discount the possibility of internal bleeding. His modified pistol lay nearby but might as well have been on another continent. Evil Eye stood just a few feet away, staring into a mirror set into the stone wall, seemingly oblivious to his own brutal handiwork. To the Black Scarab, the worst part was that he’d some so close.

The Black Scarab had already caught up with Fat Cat, the Smiling Skull, and Card Shark. Most of the rest had already passed away. The Jersey Devil died of cancer years ago (probably from smoking all those smelly cigars), Dogface of old age (turns out he aged like a dog, too). So it went.

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