The Scabbed Wings of Abaddon ------------------------------by------------------------------ S E A N K E N N E D Y --------------------------------------------------------------- Edited by Michael Jones 1.
The God or gods that created the universe look in on us from time to time, and witnesses all the worlds suffering. Seeing this, they weep tears of despair that fall to the Earth and become people. These people fight the world’s suffering by spreading joy and love with their every motion and thought. This is for my wife. She is a teardrop from God. 2.
Prologue “Demons are angels reflected in the eyes of judgment.” - Professor Scott Harker As a member of the Klu Klux Klan, you have certain responsibilities. Scott Bartlet stood in his rancher, gazing at the uniform donned by the man in the mirror. The white cloak, the scarlet crest of The Klan and his hood, gave him a feeling of nobility. Outside, the day’s sticky humidity was fading under the Alabama night sky, but another dampness would drench him soon. Tonight, the Klan had unfinished business. It started just after their last ride, almost a month ago now. Young Sandra Pinto was seen kissing a nigger just beyond the edge of Shantytown. Now, it’s all well and good if a woman, who had no business being out that late, wound up having too much fun with some of the boys, but when little Sandra was pawed by one of those filthy creatures, steps had to be taken. This sort of thing that had to be nipped in the bud. After all, in 1937 a man had enough problems without having to worry 4.
about his family. Those niggers only understood one thing, force, and a message had to be sent. They had to remember their place. And so, it was that the Klan rallied twenty-five good, God- fearing men, strong and true. They donned their honored hoods and called that filthy monkey out of his pathetic shack and into the street. Three families lived in that hole. When the cloak called his name, they all knew the master’s voice. That bastard child came slinking out onto the porch like a crippled dog. They heard the young boy’s mother screaming, restrained; other cowards were holding her back. It wouldn’t have mattered if his family or neighbors did put up a fight. The Klan killed niggers; it was their God-given duty. Whether it was one hanging from a tree that night, or three families of six, it made no difference to them. Scott had always been good with a bullwhip and the boy’s stringy neck was an easy target for the oiled, leather lash. Even in the low glow of the torchlight, the whip found its mark, and with a quick twist around the saddle horn, they gave him the final ride. They dragged him through the dirt. Excited yells, choked screams, beating hooves, the strain of flesh torn asunder drifted past the cricket whispers. The sounds of hate and fear filled the night. The young man was found hanging in a tree the next morning, broken and bloody, amidst the buzz of the morning flies. Scott smiled, thinking of the fear those savages must have felt, but they couldn’t just take their medicine like men. No, they had to use the cowardice of their people. Through the perversion of their rituals, they called something from the festering pits of their homeland. No one knew where he came from, or when he had arrived, but it wasn’t long after the hanging. The blacks called him a Houngan. They said he was a priest sent by their tribal Gods to punish the Klan for what they had done. They called him the 5.
Skatman, and though their gods had sent him, he was the embodiment of their most ancient fears. People started to die. Bob Deegan was the first. A family man with three children, he was torn awake one night, so terrified he couldn’t stop screaming. He thrashed wildly in his bed, waking everyone in the house. He was raving about the ‘beasts beyond the veil’, and how they were all damned. His wife tried to comfort him, but he rammed his bedside shotgun under his chin and pulled the trigger. Another man on that fateful night ride was Jim Sedbanks. He was found trampled to death in his horse barn. Later, the sheriff mumbled the tale of how Jim’s horse was found eating his intestines, whinnying through gurgling, bloody bubbles. A bizarre rotting sickness took Mark Hawthorn. Within three days, he went from the picture of health to a festering corpse. Near the end, he watched his flesh drop off, in splatters, over the sounds of his screaming children. Luke was torn apart by wild dogs. Jacob choked to death on his own chitlins, and they still hadn’t found Old Man Rogers, the Grand Wizard that night. The good minister spoke of God working through men to purge this evil from the town. He may as well have asked the Klan to ride by a formal letter, and Scott wasn’t about to let the good people of this town down. Distant thunder roared in the night. Scott walked from the rancher. The night air was cool and wet on his face as he mounted his horse. He could see Tommy, his four-year-old son, from the side of the house watching with wide eyes of wonder. Tommy was too young to understand The Klan, but he knew his father rode for him and the rest of the white children. Scott made sure his bullwhip was fastened, and was off amongst a savage flurry of hooves. Old Man Rogers had hand picked young Scott for Grand Wizard in case something should have happened to him. Barely 6.
twenty-five, Scott had the sense of duty and cold conviction needed by a Grand Wizard in order to keep the race clean and pure. He had been The Grand Wizard, the master of the local Klan, for only the short time since Old Man Rogers’ strange disappearance. The night opened her arms to Scott. She barked forth a stuttered wink of lightning; lighting the path before him for eternal moments. Ahead, he saw his torch-lit brothers waiting by the edge of the wood: thirty klansmen, all waiting anxiously for their master. Scott slowed as he approached while several voices called a greeting in awkward unison. “Hail and well met, Grand Wizard!” “Hail and well met Brothers,” was the proper response. Scott paused, catching breath before the initiatory rite. “Is there any man here who is not pure of body, mind, blood, and soul?” Silence ran through the twisted ghosts. “Then we have work to do, Brothers!” The words brought the normality of the meeting; now they could all speak clearly to assess the matters at hand. Scott cleared his throat. “Y’all know what we got to do tonight. That filth outside Shantytown is attacking our loved ones, and has to be put down. Do we know where his den is?” A single voice answered, “The far side of Shantytown, just by the riverbank.” Scott’s commands seeped dark authority, like a surgeon’s death sentence. “Then know that the method of cleansing we’ll use tonight will be the same used on black witches in the past. We’ll take him for the ride, lash him to a tree, and burn him. Brother Elkson, Brother Donald, is the cleansing site ready where we discussed?” Another voice from the crowd, “Yes, Grand Wizard.” “Aw’ight. Any questions?” An uneasy, expectant murmur went through the sheeted posse. 7.
“Then let’s go kill us some niggers!” A hoof beat choir sang into the night. It was the thrill of the hunt: intoxicating, sadistic dreams that made these men grunt a little louder when they fucked their smiling, southern wives. The darkness swirled around their torchlight as they rode. A thousand tiny eyes watched; a thousand, tiny tongues would whisper to those who could hear them. The area where the blacks were allowed to live was nothing more than garbage dump. They had been forced to settle there by the Klan’s constant threat. In Shantytown, everyone took shelter at the unmistakable sound of Klan hooves. The Klan was riding, and this was to be a night of pain. The light from candles came into view from the tendrils of darkness. Small shacks built from stolen fence boards loomed out of the night. Candlelight slipped through the awkward branches and rag curtains. The warning of the Klan’s approach had long since been heeded. Whole families were in the shelter of darkness, anticipating each approaching hoof beat of hate. The buildings of Shantytown watched the Klan’s approach, like a child watching his father coming home drunk, yelling for his mother again. It was a silent dignity that promised: Someday…someday. The Skatman lived on the outskirts of town. These people knew the dark power he held, power that brought fear and respect in equal serving. Some said he didn’t even exist and was only a ghost to frighten the children in the night. Old women said he was the spirit of a sacrificed goat, rejected by the voodoo god Dambala, only to return and become a vengeful spirit of death. Now he, and the massive rooster familiar he kept, traveled throughout the world as dark mercenaries. He was a legend amongst these people, a myth, until he appeared plying his trade, called by the scent of vengeance to the victim’s door. His work would come to pass, and the Skatman would vanish back into the darkness from which he came. Of course, there was always the matter of his fee, which most assuredly would be paid. 8.
Death by trade, evil by virtue, and his currency was the pain of others. The Klan rode onwards through the village. Scott thought of how the niggers would shake, seeing their witch-priest dragged through these streets. The Klan feared no pagan god of the black man. The horses’ hooves beat harder and faster against the soil, and each of the hooded men could feel the anxiety’s tightening grip as they approached the hollow darkness where the Skatman’s shack stood. As they approached the forbidden place, the orange glow from the torches threw shadows of madness singing into the trees. This place did not have the pride of Shantytown. Instead, there was the feeling of abandonment, like an electric chair thrown into the prison trash. Scott saw the twisted sticks of his hovel, sitting like the nest of some great river rat on the banks. It was a mass of strangely warped branches intertwining impossibly together. Their torchlight fell on the gaping entrance of the stick hut, but no light was permitted inside this night. Scott called the traditional challenge of the Klan. “This is your master’s voice, boy! You come on out here!” The others’ horses slowed and filed into a wide crescent beside their leader. Crickets dared not whisper; this was the world created by hatred come home. The confidence that had flowed as a raging river within the Klansmen slowed to a sickening trickle. The silence continued. “Skatman!” Silence. Guillotine silence. Through the slight filter of hoods, the acrid, sweet scent of rotting flesh began to fill the air. The horses became uneasier with each breath of the horrid stench, tossing their heads and whinnying as they staggered. Above them, in the darkness, the source of the scent shifted its weight and positioned itself for an attack. Eyes, neither living nor dead, looked upon these men of hate, preparing to show them what hate really was. 9.