First edition (US)
|Cover artist||Clive Barker|
|Publisher||Poseidon Press (US)
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
Cabal is a 1988 horror novella by British author Clive Barker. It was originally published in the United States as part of a collection comprising the novel and several short stories from Barker's sixth and final volume of the Books of Blood.
||This section may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (December 2012)|
The story concerns a young man named Boone, who is suffering from an unspecified mental disorder. He is seeing a psychiatrist, named Decker. To his horror, Boone is informed by Decker that he is responsible for the brutal murders of eleven people. On top of this, he is informed he is responsible for murders that have recently been committed by a serial killer that has terrorized the City of Calgary. Boone does not recall these actions, apparently because he has blanked them from his consciousness.
He initially tries to kill himself, but when he fails he begins to believe he can save himself in a place known as "Midian", a semi-mythical city, which has appeared in his dreams as a place that offers sanctuary to monsters (both human and otherwise) known as the Night Breed. He hurriedly begins to seek Midian, unaware of the truth behind the insidious events that set him on this course.
Boone eventually finds Midian, but discovers that the town is deserted and that Midian in fact lies beneath a cemetery. Two of the Night Breed appear and attack him. One of them bites him, but he is able to escape. Boone returns to the abandoned town where he is confronted by Decker. Decker reveals that Boone is innocent of the killings, and that Decker is the one who actually committed the murders, intending to use Boone as a scapegoat. Soon after, Boone is shot to death by Decker and the police, who were following his trail. Boone's body is then placed in a morgue, but his body mysteriously disappears.
After Boone's apparent death, his lover, Lori, travels to Midian after hearing of his corpse's disappearance. Along the way she makes friends with Sheryl, who decides to accompany Lori. When they arrive at Midian, Lori encounters two of the Night Breed: Babbette, a small child, and Rachel, her mother. Lori is refused entrance to the underground. Lori and Sheryl depart Midian and return to a nearby inn. Sheryl brings Lori to a restaurant to meet her new boyfriend, who is revealed to be Decker. Decker, who possesses a button faced mask that houses his murderous personality, kills Sheryl, and Lori narrowly escapes. She returns to Midian, where Decker pursues her. She is saved by Boone, who goes above ground and reveals himself, being banished for doing so. Before he leaves, Boone sees Midian’s creator, Baphomet, who appears as a dismembered body in a large fire.
Boone and Lori depart Midian as demanded and return to the hotel where Lori had stayed with Sheryl. They soon discover that Decker was at the hotel, and has killed many inside. The police arrive and Lori is able to flee, while Boone degenerates to an animalistic state and is quickly arrested. Decker goes to the police himself, and is able to convince them to go to Midian and capture or kill everyone living there.
Lori meets up with the Narcisse, a former human who like Boone traveled to Midian and became part of the Night Breed. They enter the jail where Boone is being held and break him out. They return to Midian, which is overrun by the police, who have killed or captured many of the Night Breed, forcing them out from the underground by setting it aflame. Boone and the others engage in the fight and he has his final confrontation with Decker, killing him. The remaining policemen are all either killed or chased off, but Midian is completely destroyed. The remaining Night Breed binds up the parts of Baphomet and leave, in search of a new home.