Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
Jonathan L. Howard
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A charmingly gothic, fiendishly funny Faustian tale about a brilliant scientist who makes a deal with the Devil, twice.
Johannes Cabal sold his soul years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. Now he wants it back. Amused and slightly bored, Satan proposes a little wager: Johannes has to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever. This time for real. Accepting the bargain, Jonathan is given one calendar year and a traveling carnival to complete his task. With little time to waste, Johannes raises a motley crew from the dead and enlists his brother, Horst, a charismatic vampire to help him run his nefarious road show, resulting in mayhem at every turn.
around here!” Cabal watched him run. The man found a large grimy piece of silvered glass that may have once been part of a mirror and held it up to his face. He couldn’t quite believe what he was seeing and scrubbed at the surface. It didn’t improve things. “Look at me,” he wailed. “Look at me. You’ve made me the skinniest guy in the whole world!” “I did nothing of the sort,” said Cabal testily. Everybody was such a critic. “I summoned you. That’s just the way you turned up. Don’t presume to
press gets excited about. But the ghost isn’t an entity. It’s more like a series of practical jokes left behind by a wilful man or woman. It may give the impression of intelligence, but you can’t reason with it. It has no reason.” Cabal rubbed ruminatively at his shoulder blade and remembered a provincial theatre that gossip held to be haunted. He’d been lucky to get away with only a fractured scapula. “And that leaves us with the third type, and the only type that I really think of as a true
someone,” said Cabal, and immediately several men with scuffed knuckles and nosebleeds went to it, eager to show that they were good people who wouldn’t get involved in a common brawl—oh, no. Bobbins was brought before Cabal like a spoil of victory and dumped at his feet. “What do you mean, they’ve gone?” Bobbins painfully picked himself up and looked around. “There were two blokes. One was sort of ugly, and the other was sort of fat and ugly. They had a go on the bowls and won. That’s when
“Aye, everybody was very kind.” “Yes. We were all very upset when you hanged yourself from the bridge.” “Aye,” said Wilf ruminatively. Then he brightened up. “Anyway, I’ve got work to do. We’ve got a train coming in this evening. Mustn’t show up the station for our visitors. Morning, Frank, Joe. Drop around when things aren’t so busy. Have a cuppa.” He turned and walked back down the platform, pausing to wave to them as he went back into his office. “Oh, God,” said Carlton quietly. “Oh God, oh
dead,” said Barrow, hoping he was reading Horst’s character properly. “Undead, technically. Not Johannes’s doing, I hasten to add. Not directly, at any rate. He had promised to find some way of bringing me back to the land of the living. Not that I’m not in the land of the living now, you understand? I’m speaking figuratively. Now I’m not so sure. I need a little time to think.” “I don’t understand you.” “Neither do I, I’m afraid. That’s why I need to think. It all comes to some sort of