Friday, January 3, 2014

Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle
by William W. Johnstone
Zebra, 1986

Anya and Pet are a little girl and cat that were created by a Egyptian cult thousands of years ago.  Every 25 years they awake, eat a few people, then go back into hibernation.  A mining crew disturbs their hiding place, so when they are attacked they become mummies.  And the mummies attack other people and they become rapist mummies.  And the woman the mummy rapes come back to life and, well, Johnstone kind of loses track at this point.

A severed mummy arm at first starts sprouting a new body, then instead spits out flesh eating maggots that fill an entire room.  Cats start attacking people en masse, and demonic Old Ones crawl out of bleeding gashes in the ground and set people on fire with their eyes.

That's the good stuff.  The blah stuff is Sheriff Dan, the Johnstonian hero.  His children obedient, his wife strong but knows when a woman should shut up.  He spends half of his time complaining that the federal government is lying and covering things up, and the other half lying to the press and covering things up.

Most of the wordage is Dan and his crew dealing with multiple government agencies that involve the FBI, CIA, KGB, corporations, and religious groups.  He also is harassed by a liberal muckraking reporter that doesn't trust the government.  You'd think she'd make an interesting ally, but she's shut away in a cell and mostly forgotten about.
Dan eventually hooks up with an exorcist, because the Egyptian cult actually worshipped the good old American Satan.  Then Johnstone hits his page count and wraps things up in about a paragraph.
Dan and the exorcist lure together Anya, Pet, and the Old Ones, all unholy, immortal beings impervious to physical harm, onto an electrified power grid, like a blasted monster movies from the 50s.  They turn on the power and everyone goes poof, the end.

So many unanswered questions, the main one being, how does this fit in with the continuity of the Darkstalkers video game series?

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