The Praying Mantis Bride by Dean Koontz EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Status: Available For Free Download
- Author: Dean Koontz
- Genre: Occult Fiction, Occult Suspense, Occult Horror
- Publish Date: 12 November 2019
- Size: 2 MB
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Avail for Download
- Price: Free
Valjean Jones is only fifty-eight years old, but she looks as if she’s been
on Social Security since it was first instituted. Her stringy gray hair
might at any moment writhe and braid itself into snakes, revealing her as
Medusa. Her facial wrinkles are as deep and numerous as those of a
pharaoh’s mistress who’s been mummified for the next world. Gathered in
the armchair in the cat-littered living room of her corroded and immobile
mobile home, she is wasted into a bony form that suggests some species of
spider that, instead of building webs, spins misery that sustains her in place of
The room reeks of decades of cigarette addiction underlaid with enough
tarry residue from marijuana smoke to pave a mile of highway. Currently she
is smoking regular cigarettes, a brand styled as the one for ladies, an
alternative to masculine brands like Marlboro. At ten forty on a July morning,
she’s sipping whiskey over ice.
“I haven’t seen the bitch in twenty years,” Mrs. Jones reports.
“You mean your daughter, Lucia?”
“Who else we talkin’ about? You don’t seem too damn good at this, Mr.
—what’d you say your name was?”
“Shepherd Shaw.” It’s a special name, one she’s heard before, long ago.
She should remember it, respond to it, but she doesn’t.
“What insurance company you say you investigate for, Mr. Shaw?”
The man who isn’t Shepherd Shaw, who is nameless, literally
Nameless, tells another lie. “Nifelheim Casualty and Life. It’s owned by
Lloyds of London.”
“Lloyds I heard of. The ungrateful bitch calls me once a year, see if I’m
still alive. Sends me just twenty cartons of cigarettes for Christmas, and her
worth a billion. It’s all to mock me.”
“She’s actually worth about a hundred forty million dollars.”
“I guess to earn that much,” says the mother, “she had to keep her legs
spread so wide for so long she can’t close them no more.”
“She married well,” he says.
“Three times.” Mrs. Jones blows out a cancerous cloud. “Once was
good enough for me.”
“Has she ever spoken to you about any of her husbands?”
“Me and her don’t talk but three minutes each December. What’s she
gonna tell me? How well they’re hung? She tells me squat.”
In spite of the air-conditioning, the five cats lying about the room look
as limp as though they’re melting like the clocks in the surreal paintings of
Salvador Dalí. The only evidence that they’re alive is the occasional twitch of
an ear or a thin meow.
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