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Black Lens: Part VI

Story by Ken Bruen and Russell Ackerman

Ken Bruen is one of the most celebrated crime novelists of our time.

Black Lens is his most secret project.

Read on as the unveiling continues.

Every Wednesday on Mulholland Books.

With art by Jonathan Santlofer.

Fade in…

Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5.

‘HOWL, HOWL LIKE THE WOLF.’

2 Years Later

The wolf was a flurry of activity.

The word had finally come through from on high.

He had to stop,

packing that is,

take a deep breath,

then a line………..

or two.

Fifteen months ago several men who Romanski called on

For certain kinds of tasks had,

Been in touch.

Representatives of

A secret society.

A CABAL, if you will.

Men of mystery most of the world would find

Intriguing.

But to say that Wolfgang had hoped for a personal appearance from the maestro himself was

Putting it lightly.

Fortunately,

The totality of the situation made up for it.

At least for the moment.

They had given him:

First,

Cash.

Then,

Forged identity papers.

And finally,

phew-oh,

Training.

Like how to be a CNN talking head.

He had it down.

Down?

Who were they fucking kidding?

He was THE METHOD.

And thanks to the papers…

He could walk into the prison like he owned it.

He even believed the cover story his own self.

Award winning reporter.

Dispatched behind the walls to interview Ransom on his 40th anniversary of incarceration.

Of course the Cabal had thought of everything

Parole hearing looming, Ransom was agreeable to any gig that might get him favorable media.

Midway through the supposed interview, Romanski had given Wolfgang a script to

Interject.

Wolf had practiced.

Repeated the various phrases to find just the right inflection.

By now the words came easy.

“Happy Anniversary shithead.

And by the way…

Simon says:

‘May

you

roast

in

fucking

hell.’

Then

BANG

And the escape.

Ingenious.

A work of devilish art.

He had to pause, the coke hammering his heart.

Holy fuck, not only was he about to be global………….

Fucking A, Simon would owe him.

Fucking betcha.

The very first time he’d sat down with a member of the Cabal,

He was full of it, full of piss and vinegar,

And they’d sent a preppie, like some half-assed refugee from The Great Gatsby, who fucking

Get this?

Was……….

Quizzing him?

On his commitment.

He’d lost it

Ok

A little

But fucksakes, he’d pushed right back, said

Like he was Charles Bronson

‘Want me to prove it?’

Which almost became a problem because

Shit.

They did.

Whoops.

The preppie smiling, handing over a photo, saying,

In that patient tone you reserve for a difficult child

“Von Hecklau,

long suspected of being a shadowy supporter of Ransom.

He was a friend and sponsor of the Sand Boys, back in the day.

He’s been in hiding all these years, ultra protected, he wrote the book on paranoia.

We want you……………..

to cancel his check.”

Then almost contemptuously, the preppie flicked a platinum American Express card on the table, adding

“This is unlimited but the minute you screw up,

Voila,

It’s dead,

Like you,

claro?”

The Wolf had followed the example of the loser who killed Versace.

Simply walked up to Von Hecklau

Right on the street

Broad daylight

In front of his apartment in Berlin,

shot the fuck three times,

dropped the Glock,

walked away.

Got away.

Brazen and crazy.

For the first time in his life something had

Worked

Which was lucky because now he was playing for

Keeps.

Success or

Shark bait.

And the cabal

Believed.

The same preppie had come to laud him,

the Wolf,

high on a Meth jag,

listened,

then moved slowly to the punk,

grabbed him by his ivy league collar,

hissed

‘You ever diss me again,

I’ll get gut you FROM THE COLLAR

TO THAT LILY WHITE WASP WAIST OF YOURS……………..

ES CLARO.?

It was.

Lethally so.

Keep Reading

Ken Bruen has been a finalist for the Edgar and Anthony Awards, and has won a Macavity Award, a Barry Award, and two Shamus Awards for the Jack Taylor series. He lives in Galway, Ireland. Learn more at KenBruen.com.

Russell Ackerman is Guillermo del Toro’s Development Executive. He is currently working on the film MAMA to be directed by Andy Muschietti, DROOD based on Dan Simmons’ novel of the same name, adapted by Brian Helgeland, and MIDNIGHT DELIVERY written by Neil Cross, all set up at Universal Pictures. He lives in Los Angeles.