Both hands clasped the knife wrist…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s dictionary words are: sebesten, seacunny, sealyham, sebum, seannachie, sebaptist, and hendecasyllable. Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Professor Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. The Professor has recently been bitten by a playful sealyham and will be wearing a large pink sticking plaster on his nose – you must not incur the professor’s wrath by pointing at, or making remarks about this.

DSCN2907Good God! What’s this?
It’s alright, it’s just another 1960s British pulp paperback supernatural novel, a Badger Book from my modest collection. This one is by someone with the unlikely name of Pel Torro, actually one of the many pseudonyms of R. L. Fanthorpe, MBIS, who wrote nearly all of the Badger science fiction and supernatural Badger novels – he managed one every two weeks apparently. (RLF)
Shall we have a look at the blurb on the back cover and see what is in store for us?:
Tharnos, assistant to the High Priest of the Holy Mysteries at Karnak was disturbed when strange alterations appeared in the ritual. Was it Kakos the silent High Priest who was introducing these dark ceremonies…?
If not, was there a presence from Beyond lurking in the shadows of the great temple?…
…The world was threatened with an Aeon of Darkness such as it had never witnessed before…
Hm okay… Let’s turn the book over again and examine this lovely front cover. This painting is unsigned, but the style suggests it is the work of the great Henry Fox, the creator of most of these stylish Badger covers.
There were dark secrets older than time itself. What a very silly statement – older than time indeed! Right then, let’s have a look, there’s a statue of a pharaoh/god nicely lit in green and yellow light – he looks pretty good… Hang on, I don’t know much about ancient Egypt, but I seem to recognise that face – see that very long chin – I reckon that’s Akhenaten, you could spot him anywhere, I saw him buying rice in Tescos just yesterday. (Akhenaten) Now, who is this lass offering up a nice glass bowl of amber liquid, it looks a bit like tea? Perhaps she is Fatima the ‘sacred Temple Virgin’ I spotted when I thumbed through the book earlier? She’s saying, ‘Come on, don’t be mean, sitting there staring straight ahead like that Akhy, look what I’ve brought for you!’ – But he maintains his aloof posture and ignores her – but that’s religion for you!…
I do like her outfit though; an ancient Egyptian bikini with added transparent flimsy skirt! Super! Gosh her arms must be aching by now, she’s been holding that beverage up all day – let’s move on, give the poor girl a rest, and peep inside these crumbling brown pages and get a feel of the style of writing:
‘Deep within himself Tharnos felt tired of the priesthood. It didn’t appeal. There was nothing about it that attracted him any longer… In the course of thirty-five summers and winters, Tharnos had lived and moved and had his being upon the warm red sands of the desert.’
‘”I dived over the side as the ship went down into the maw of that monstrous thing. I saw the frog-faced one sitting on the shoulder of the monster, screaming and waving his arms in joy and exultation; there was a fiendish light in its eyes and a hideous expression of joy on its face, evil joy, ecstasy. It screamed in an unknown tongue, like the priest…”‘
‘”Master,” panted Thub, “master, help me!”
The Greek moved forward and his panther-like muscles rippled in the dim light of the oil lamp on the wall above him. Both hands clasped the knife wrist. There was a horrible clammy deadness in the flesh. And the strength! It was like trying to hold up a falling tree trunk! It was like trying to support the side of a collapsing building… It was like holding a long iron bar by the end furthest from the heavy weight. Sweat broke out on the powerful Greek’s forehead…
“I can’t hold him!” he grunted…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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11 Responses to Both hands clasped the knife wrist…

  1. shammy says:

    That man (RLF) was a true genius. I loved the description of cleaning her teeth….

  2. I had to google what the 2/6 was…..

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