Now, everything else I could tell you about the city's the kind of thing that you could look up in a book or see on the walls somewhere in town. Howard Hughes strolled on in here in the 60's and bought out the mob, which must have been something to see. I'm still not sure how the hell he pulled that off. There's some people that say he was a real wizard at making things happen, if you know what I mean.

You don't? Okay, never mind. That's just stuff you don't wanna hear about, then. Bottom line, he came in to town in `66 and decided he was going to play sheriff. I have no idea what got into him and I wasn't really in the capacity to ask. I was kinda doing my duty for the Legion at the time if you get my drift.

Yeah, duty spelled 't-h-r-a-l-l.' It ain't great but it sure beats the forges. There was a lot of the late fifties and early sixties I just plain missed out on and no one's been able to tell me much about. Some guy comes running in to say 'they shot Kennedy!' and I said 'who's that?' Yeah, that's thralldom for you, kid.

Anyway, Hughes shooed 'em on outta here and just dared them to come back. Then he went nuttier than a Penitent. You ask some people he was already loopy as a spaghetti farm to begin with, but there's a difference between bankrolling movies and making weird airplanes crazy and stay in a hotel room until your hair's a carpet and your
fingernails are ten feet long crazy. Me, I think someone put something in his water. But hey, I could be wrong. Speaking of which... Jimmy?

Thanks. Ah... where was I? Oh yeah. Progress. From there, progress marched on like change trolleys. Tiny hotels built huge expansions just behind them. Resorts became megaresorts. Bigger and better and louder and brighter all the fucking time. This city doesn't sleep anymore, it doesn't have to. All its dreams are right there in broad

I mean, Christ, you walk down the Strip and there's the big apple in miniature, a pirate ship going up in flames, a god damn pyramid with a castle next to it and... am I forgetting anything? Every time I walk down there it's like something new's cropped up, but to folks like us that new stuff's all old before it's even up. That's what really
stinks about being dead, you know? Nothing's NEW anymore. All this stuff's new to you, but after a few years you'll be rolling in boredom too.

Heh, some forecast, eh? Never mind Ratzy, kid. I just babble on--

Yeah, he's got that right. But let me tell you something, enfant... the worst bit's what he didn't tell you. That's what's gonna get your clock punched. Screw the Mormons and Gass and all that happy-crappy bullshit about railroads. That's just stories about what people were doing before the volcano went off.

He didn't tell you about why no one really messes with The Ten, or how they really got that name. He didn't tell you about what the Legions are up to, or why they're all shit scared since the fifties. He didn't tell you about The Family, or how they really run the show, or who they say runs The Family, and what he really is. And he didn't tell you a god damn thing about what's REALLY going on under our feet.

Yeah, that's right. You've felt it, haven't you. You can smell it. Everyone thinks its just anticipation and nerves, but we know better, you and I? It's what sent those Indians running away with shit trickling down their legs when they slept here. It's what really made the settlement fail. It's what Gass battled the whole time he was here and what finally made him really leave. It's what brought the mob here in the first place and what made them come back.

It's the Unnameable, kid. And it's right under your fucking feet. And it knows you know about it, and it's going to fucking eat you.

Yeah, that's right, faggot. Run. Run away while you can. Run all the way back to wherever the fuck you came from and you stay there, too. It's safer there. You can-

AGH! Fuck! Kid, wait... I'm sorry... it's just my Shadow talking! It's-


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