“Cabal” by Clive Barker (Pocket Books, 2001)

The Dark Weaveworld of Clive Barker,
Part 3 of 3: “Cabal”

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Cabal: The anthology starts off with this novel from Clive Barker.  In the remote town of Midian, there is a race of the undead, similar to vampires, and yet different; the sun kills them, they feed on human meat.  They also have strange powers, where they can metamorphose into flesh-hungry beats with astounding strength.

The min character, Boone, “thinks” he has committed an uncountable number of murders and goes to Midian, where he feels he will fit in.  There he is set-up, the murders are blamed on his without question, and he is shot and killed.  Except, for the trap fell, he was bitten by one of the Nightbreed, becoming one of them.

The time is now at hand.  The Breed have been in hiding for too long, and Boone now knows where the Breed reside.  En force they will come to wipe them out, but the Breed have other intentions in mind.  Led by Boone, they will combat the humans and fight for their right to survive.

Cabal was made into a movie, under the title Nightbreed.  The story is one of Barker’s short novels, only 195 pages long, but like his other works, it is a masterpiece in itself, reaching out and titillating the human psyche with its supernatural hands.

“The Life of Death”: A church from the seventeenth century is being demolished, while onlookers wish otherwise.  In the church is a crypt, but within are not a collection of organized bodies, but piles of them, tossed in without concern, and they appear to have suffered from some disease.  Now this disease has been released into the open; the problem is nobody knows it exists.

“How Spoilers Bleed”: Locke has “bought” a piece of land in the jungle of Brazil, but the Indians who have lived on this land for centuries do not agree.  What I the white man’s greedy answer?  To kill them all off with disease, but the Indians also have a disease of their own kind to give to the white man.  It is a disease that causes the skin to split and bleed upon touching any surface.  The death is most painful and unstoppable.

“Twilight at the Towers”: A member of the KGB wishes to be one no longer.  He wants to disappear into the democratic world, with the help of the British Security Service, in return for trade secrets.  There are also the inhuman experiments the KGB has been performing, creating their very own beasts.

“The Last Illusion”: The illusionist has had enough of the crowds and the life of trickery.  He has staged his last illusion, one in which he will disappear forever.  The wife of the illusionist hires a detective to find out what happened to him.  The detective, Harry D’Amour, goes on a great adventure in trying to find the master illusionist.  Along he way he will see sights that are not humanly possible, and feats that defy the wildest imagination.  “The Last Illusion” was made into a movie, under the title Lord of Illusions, starring Scott Bakula.

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Originally published on October 8th 2001 ©Alex C. Telander.

Originally published in the Long Beach Union.