I, Lucifer

I, LuciferKSabre-Tooth


From this printing: Modesty never had more lethal adversaries: Lucifer, whose world is fantasy; Seff, who gives unspeakable puppet shows, and Jack Wise, the executioner.


Wish waved Sangro back and moved away until he stood between the combatants but well clear of the line of fire. He carried his heavy Colt Commander in one hand. With the other he held up a white handkerchief. "Watch it," he said. "When I drop the rag you can make your play.
Collier, standing a little apart from Seffs group, and with a Moro rifle menacing hirn, whispered obscene and bitter curses to himself. His overstrung nerves were making his hands and face twitch uncontrollably.
The handkerchief fell. Two hands moved in a blur of speed. Willie Garvins hand scarcely seemed to touch the knife, yet it was in his grasp, held by the blade, and he was throwing. Modesty ducked as she fired, and steel glinted above her head as the knife flashed past.
Collier saw Willie Garvin stagger. His hand clutched at his bare stomach, then he stood still, crouched a little, head lifted to stare at Modesty. She was frozen in the pose she had fired from, the Colt held at waist height in front of her. A breeze stirred the hem of her green cheong sam.
Collier looked again at Willie and saw that the hand pressed to his stomach was streaked with crimson that crept between his fingers. From the Moros had come a brief outcry of excitement, but now all was quiet, so quiet that even at forty paces Collier could hear the agonised wheeze of Willies breathing.
Still he did not fall. His voice, cracked with pain, came clearly. "You didnt have to make it the slow way ..! There was almost ludicrous resentment in the shrill cry.
Willie Garvin turned. Panting, stumbling, doubled over in agony, he went blundering towards the cliff edge. Nobody moved. He lurched over the edge and plunged down head first.
Modestys hand holding the empty gun fell limply to her side. She walked forward slowly. Seff, Regina, everybody was moving forward now.
Collier retched, spat, wiped a clammy face, and went forward with the rest.
Willie Garvin lay sprawled face down on the wet sand below. Half his body lay across one of the small boulders that jutted above the surface here and there. Blood was on the side of his face and on the rock.
Lucifer said with regal serenity, "Now you have seen, Asmodeus. Now you have all seen.
A roller swirled round the curve of the bay and lapped at Willie Garvins body. Modesty turned and found Colliers eye. "I had to go for the body," she said tautly. "I couldnt risk a head shot. I couldnt!"
 Collier turned his eyes quickly away, looking down at Willie Garvin again. A big roller was coming. It plucked up the limp figure and swirled on and round, carrying it out past the raft, the limbs trailing and twisting bonelessly like the limbs of a broken doll.
Now the powerful current along the bays southern arm took charge. Collier saw a flash of brown flesh as a wave lifted the body and rolled it over, sweeping it on past the Moro boats.
Lucifer put an arm about Modestys shoulders, smiling. "You must not be disturbed," he said. "The time bad come for this man to be sent to the lower levels. The power and the decision were mine, Modesty, not yours. I have only used you as my instrument, to satisfy Asmocleus."
Collier, looking drearily out over the bay, saw the body swallowed up by the rolling white morning mist. "I thought she did it splendidly," he said.

Peter O´Donnell, I, Lucifer 1967