Hurley Pulp: L. A. General


was standing at the psych ward’s intake desk before I realized I might not be insane.

“It’s that damn tonic, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Also it’s one hundred proof,” said Doc. “You get your money’s worth.”

The nurse tapped her pen. “A lot of you head cases talk to yourselves, but mostly you don’t walk yourselves in.”

“She can’t see you,” I said.

I think Doc grinned. It was hard to tell under all that mustache.

The nurse whistled for an orderly.

“Time to go,” I said.

“Let’s stay,” Doc said. “This will be fun.”

The orderly had no neck. His eyes were right between his clavicles.

“Big fella,” I said.

Doc kicked him in the testicles.

“Nice boots,” I said.

The orderly was lying on his side, gasping for air.

“I never touched him,” I told the nurse.

Three goons in white scrubs appeared and surrounded me. Doc leaned in and bit one on the ear. The goon whirled around, but saw no one.

The second goon swung at me, but Doc caught his arm in both hands and shoved. The goon stumbled.

“Don’t look at me,” I told the third. “I’m harmless.”

He took a step forward. Doc kicked him in the knee.

I held out my arms. “I’m all yours,” I said.

The four men were crab-walking away.

“Hey,” I said. “I’m a man who needs help.”

Doc pulled a silver flask from his hip pocket and emptied it on the linoleum.

“Doc?” I said.

He dug out a box of matches and lit one on his fly.

“Now we can go,” he said. He bent and ignited the whiskey.

“Thank you, ma’am,” I told the nurse.

We walked out onto Marengo.

Fritz Bogott

Hurley Pulp: Desert Sunrise


he sun rose orange and shimmering over the desert. Dr. Hurley rose from the bed he had fashioned from his saddle and a bright, patterned blanket he had received in trade for a remedy some days back. His horse stood tethered to an impossibly tall cactus nearby. He shook off the night’s sleep and the morning’s dew and stood, stretching, pondering the day’s plans. Today he would ride into town, make himself known, and wait for them to come. With any luck, he would stand over his enemy’s corpse by sundown. He mounted up and rode off toward his fate.


Hurley Pulp: Vetyver


astard with the tricksy eyes was in the apple tree again. “Psst! Deirdre!” How did he know my name, this Seamus. Like I knew his. Rumour and gossip in Clonakilty. He’d watched me prepare the khus grass delivered by Guriben Singh. The dark sweet earth fragrance rose around me. How could this boy talk so much? He was studying how compounds from roots could be leached into oil. He dropped to the ground. I put some on my tongue to check the quality. “Can I taste it?” He put a pinch of root quickly in his pocket. He leaned forward.


Hurley Pulp: The Snake-Men of Orgel 7


f he could only lift his feet further from the ground, if the breath came just a little easier, he could make it to the top. Behind him, green-skinned creatures scrambled on multiple limbs and bayed like hounds. Above the rocky incline, the moons of Orgel 7 softly rose.

Keep moving, Seamus!

The mercenaries’ footfall grew louder, stirring up the dust and turning the air a dark magenta. As the incline leveled out, the engines of the Ulysses growled overhead. But a sea of reptilian skin was about to swallow him whole. Seamus closed his eyes, and thought of home.

Daniel Le Ray

Hurley Pulp: The Extraordinary Case of Dr Hurley’s Remains


he moon cast long shadows on the gravestones as Jonathan’s shovel hit something solid with a thunk. A look of triumph passed over his face. Now he’d prove all those believers wrong.

Immortality, ha!

He began prying the lid off, the nails popped out of the rotten wood easily. Jonathan took a deep breath, expecting to be overwhelmed by the stench of decay at any second. But it never came.

He stared at the contents aghast.

“It can’t be…”

All that remained of Dr Hurley was a perfectly preserved clutch of lilies and a bottle of his famous snake oil.

Louise Kane

Hurley Pulp: Emerald Eyes


e reminded me of Freud, with his beard and glasses. I had never seen eyes like his.

Nobody in the city had emerald eyes.

He had come to Calcutta to consult with my husband, Dr. Dibyendu Sur, about the
medicinal properties of neem.

I didn’t see much of Dr. Hurley. Often, he would work late into the night at the temporary
lab he had set up.

I became pregnant shortly after he left India. My husband was overjoyed and bought me
an expensive Benarasi silk sari.

It was a boy. He had his father’s looks. Dark hair. And, emerald eyes.

Sanchari Sur

Hurley Pulp: A Cure for What Ails Her


ow can I help?” Dr. Hurley had only glanced up at her before returning to the small burner by the window. The air was pungent – rosemary, vinegar, something warm – star anise?

She gazed at him, wondering why she had come, what this quickening in her heart – and elsewhere – meant.

“Miss? Are you all right?” She began to sweat.

“Yes… I… no, I don’t know…” She swayed and fainted.

When she awoke she was in his arms and the vapor had dissipated. Yet, her heart still pounded.

“Excellent – my Potionem Amoris works,” he whispered.


Hurley Pulp: Tricky Trader


hat’s he done that got your knickers in such a twist anyhow Joe? Sold your wife some fancy soap?”

“I wish that were it sheriff. But Betty, she been diff’rent since he rolled in, coming home with notions.”


“Notions sheriff. ‘Pinions ’bout things…you know, private things, ‘atween man and wife.”

The sheriff raised his eyebrows.

Next day, Dr Hurley was nowhere to be found. A mob was gathering on main street, Joe at the head.

The sheriff held up his hand as he approached. “Don’t worry Joe. That Irish quack is long gone.”

“Yeah,” said Joe. “And so’s our wimmen.”

Louise Kane