Claude Crabb

There are a million dumb, angry, violent young assholes like Claude out there. Hell, just about everybody knows somebody like him … or used to, back before it caught up with 'em, being that fuck-thick-stupid. The infamous Mr. Crabb is hardly a unique case even amongst 'Crashers: guys like him are a dime a dozen, spit out every year in "teams" by Mike Melslip and herded like lambs to the slaughter by people like Dennis From Moline for a quick buck. In fact, if you ask those boys from Tempe, that's the only way to 'Crash: ripped to the tits on cheap rum and angel dust, packing a six-shooter you bought in a parking lot, hunting for demons to shoot and dead girls to fuck.

And then, presumably, getting knifed to death in prison.

Point is: guys like Claude Crabb are compensating for size, smarts, style and sense with buckets of bloody, bully-minded bravado, and most folks can tell you that it ain't a winning trade. Of course, you don't want to say that in front of Claude - that fucker is nuts, and he don't mind going back to County Lock-up over this. He'll glass a mother-fucker just for calling him short.

In most instances, guys like Claude become famous amongst 'Crashers only for being slightly meaner than the rest of the snapping, snarling pack. Or maybe just for getting luckier. Or for dying in really spectacular ways. Or, I suppose, in the really rare cases, for figuring out early enough in the game that they've been hiding a brain somewhere behind that posturing all this time.

Mr. Crabb has never been accused of hiding a brain anywhere. And his luck isn't the sort that people wish for their friends. And while he's plenty mean, he's not up there in the range of scary guys like Brandish Spex, Demon Fucker, and he sure as hell isn't dead yet … although it's not for lack of trying on the part of Callus Detier Drogovich - and, through him, Bibb Graves.

See, the thing is that Claude Crabb is special: he can make Cherries "ripen". Or "swell up". Or something, and whatever the hell it is, it ain't cool. He walks close enough, and the whole thing starts "quivering & getting juicy", as he puts it, and he can do anything from forcing open a reluctant doorway with fancy locks to making a well-known entrance get a few feet bigger and a foot or two closer to Topside. And, story goes, he can lock 'em, too. And he's not subtle about it: he actually caused a small earthquake out in Nebraska a few years back, because he kept going back to an "over-ripe Cherry" lurking under an old farmhouse outside of Omaha until it "popped".

The tales that he was taking people down there and shoving them are unconfirmed. As are the theories that he's just one of the 36 "anti-tzadikim": the most awful and ugly of human souls, which together on earth prevent the Jewish messiah from appearing.

Now, as for that famous protection: the Shitheel Christ has named Claude Crabb a living saint of the one and only true, holy Church of the Abraxian Prophecy. And yes, that's actually distinct from the Abraxian's other, much more subtle ongoing operations; you'd have to ask the High Holy Himself or Bubba St. Germain to spell out the differences. But the thing is that every few months, the soldiers of Shitheel Christ come and track Claude down, wherever he is, and they bail him out of jail or they drag him out of a bar or they jump a prison-bus and steal him, and they score Mr. Crabb and they make him open up the Nether just a little bit more.

And one day, cry the doom-sayers, he's going to rip one open that won't stop until all the earth is swallowed.

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