The Perdition Score Sandman Slim Book 8 Kindle, PDF
The Perdition Score (Sandman Slim, Book 8) by Richard Kadrey
THE PERDITION SCORE
THOMAS ABBOT IS talking about the end of the world, but I can’t keep my eyes open. The inside of my head is all Disney dancing hippos and gators going at each other with knives like candy-colored Droogs.
Ever notice how the more pain you’re in, the funnier the world gets? Sometimes it’s peculiar funny. Sometimes it’s “ha ha” funny, but it’s always funny. I remember almost bleeding to death in Hellion arenas and all I could do was laugh. I understand if that seems a little strange. That’s what I mean about peculiar funny versus ha-ha funny. amazon kindle It’s all a matter of perspective. The more totally fucked you are, the funnier everything gets. Right now the world is hilarious.
What was I talking about? Right. Abbot. The end of the world. At least, I think it’s the end of the world he’s going on about. Maybe someone just keyed his Ferrari. Whatever it is, I’m not listening. It’s not that I’m bored. I’m tired, my head aches, and my eyes hurt like someone’s tunneling out with dynamite. It’s been a month since I’ve slept right. Epub At night, my dreams keep me awake. Awake, the daylight feels like someone scouring my skin off with steel wool. I laugh once and everybody looks at me because they’re not in on the joke. I’m squinting at the light too hard to explain it to them.
“You have something to add, Stark?” says Abbot.
“Not a thing. I’m hanging on every word. But I might have missed some of the last part.”
“I was saying the meeting was over. We’ve voted on everything on the agenda. I had to put you down as an abstention on, well, everything since you didn’t feel like joining in.”
The other ten members of the Sub Rosa council
the den of thieves, high rollers, and important families that run most of our little world—stare or shake their heads in my direction.
“I was with you in spirit, boss.”
“That’s what makes it all worthwhile.”
He turns from me and back to the room. People are getting up, gathering briefcases, purses, and jackets. You could feed every refugee in Europe with what these people have in their pockets.
“Thank you all for coming. It was a good meeting. I’ll see you next week,” says Abbot.
Good-byes to Abbot and general chitchat in the room. It’s like my brain is an open sore and their voices are salt. I don’t ever remember feeling this way, even Downtown.
“Hang around for a few minutes, Stark.”
I nod to Abbot. With my head like this, I wasn’t planning on going anywhere soon anyway.
When everyone leaves, Abbot comes over and sits down next to me. He’s a handsome fucker and that’s always bugged me. All-American boyish looks with all the power of the Sub Rosa at his disposal. We’re on his houseboat in Marina del Rey. The meeting room is trimmed in gold and exotic woods. There’s enough video monitors and other electronic gear along the back wall to launch a nuclear war. Abbot’s floating pad is like a comic-book supervillain’s orbiting death lair. Yet I kind of like the prick. He seems honest. He gave me a seat on the Sub Rosa council. And he hasn’t thrown me out for doing a lousy job. But I can’t help wondering if I’m about to get a Dear John letter. Things aren’t working out. It’s not you. It’s me. You know the routine.
Abbot laces his fingers together and leans back in his chair.
“You don’t look so good,” he says. “Please don’t tell me you’re missing meetings because you’re hungover.”
I shake my head and immediately regret it.
“If only. Then, at least, I’d have had a good time. This, though. It’s a Trotsky icepick.”
“Have you ever been checked out for migraines?”
“I don’t get migraines. I leap tall buildings in a single bound.”
Abbot gets up and looks through an expensive leather messenger bag.
“Let me give you my doctor’s name. He does great work. You’re aware, aren’t you, that as a council member you get health insurance?”
“It was in the packet I gave you when you started.”
“You gave me a packet?”
He comes back over with something in his hand.
“Maybe you lost it at home. Look for it. You even have a small expense account.”
He puts a business card on the table. It has a doctor’s name on it.
“Free money? I’ll find it. And thanks for the advice, but I have my own doctor.”
“Then go see him or her. Doctors are like aspirin. They don’t work if you don’t use them.”
“Speaking of aspirin, you have any?”
There’s something else in his hand. Kindle He sets down a small yellow prescription bottle.
“Aspirin won’t do much for a migraine. But you should try these. I get headaches myself and these clear them right up.”
“Your doctor’s Sub Rosa?”
“Of course. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know. You’re one of the moneyed chosen. pdf I always pictured you with your own hospital or something.”
“Just one wing. It’s all Dad could afford.”
I look at him.
“I’m kidding,” he says.
“Just give me the pills, Groucho.”
He hands me the bottle and points to the glass of water that’s been in front of me the whole meeting. If it had been a snake, I’d be taking a venom nap by now.I pop the pills in my mouth. They taste like flowers. Like one of those goddamn violet candy bars my mother used to gnaw on with her whiskey. Very classy. Very sophisticated. I want to spit them out, then remember they’re medicine, so I don’t. Abbot pushes the water to me and I take a long gulp.
“How was that?”
I finish the glass.
“It tastes like the wreaths at a mobster’s funeral.”
He puts the cap back on the prescription bottle.
“It does, doesn’t it? Anyway, you should feel better in a few minutes. I can give you a few extra if you’d like to take them with you.”
“Thanks. But I’ll bug my doctor for something that doesn’t taste like a hobbit’s lunch.”
“Suit yourself. But if you change your mind . . .”
“Thanks. But I won’t.”
Listen to yourself. Stop whining. This is your boss you’re talking to. He’s given you free drugs and is offering more. That’s what people do when they see someone in pain. Shut up. Be a person.
“I feel better already.”
Abbot gets up, tosses the bottle in the messenger bag, and brings it back to the table.
“I doubt that,” he says, “but you will. Amazon Is your head clear enough to talk? I want to discuss something with you.”
“Is this the part where you chew me out for being bad in class?”
“No. I understand how awful migraines can be. But tell me next time and maybe we can do something about it. No, I wanted to talk to you about the real agenda for the meeting.”
“Going to dish about your rich friends? What do you tell them about me?”
He sits back down.
“Nothing. But trust me, they ask. What I want to talk about is the real reason for the meeting. Did you hear anything I said tonight?”
“Something about charities. Climate change. The end of the world.”
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