||[Feb. 23rd, 2007|05:55 pm]
Erotic Writers Anonymous
Section the 3.5th.
This is the section that was missing directly before section 4, but I think its enough to stand on its own that I'm not posting a revised section 4.
Looking for a second eye on concepts (please ignore spelling issues as I haven't gotten a chance to reread it yet). Personality issues, realism, visualization, environment, yadda yadda. I'm just glad I got it written. Its rough, deal =)
Pages: 10ish 12 pt, times new.
Once they were moving on the open road, Nalani unwrapped her sandwich and held it between her teeth long enough to toss the werewolf his. The egg tasted pleasant, if bland, when she could finally start chewing on it. Cheveyo, I need to ask him what his real name is, gulped his down in one bite.
By the time she couldn’t see her village in her rear view mirror Cheveyo was wobbling in his seat. She looked over at him. One moment he would be sitting quite upright, barely fitting on the vinyl seat, and the next his eyes were closed and his head was taking a dive towards the dashboard. She caught him by the collar before he could do damage to himself.
“So, where ever you’ve been tonight, it hasn’t been sleeping.”
He nodded before a yawn that showed off all his impressive, sharp teeth.
“Get some sleep then. Its going to be a long night, and I don’t need you collapsing into evidence.”
He didn’t even nod, just stretch out on the bench and put his head in her lap. She sighed, but guessed it was better than it could be, since his back legs were hanging over the end of the bench. Her truck was definitely not designed for large animals, be they actual dogs or werewolves.
She rested her hand on his head and gently rubbed his ear. Maybe once he was gone she’d get a real dog. She had to admit she liked having another living being in the house with her, and not many people had the opportunity to have their pet come into work with them.
Cheveyo had been too good to be true. Easy to train, took to the station right away, and seemed to understand everything she wanted of him. Just like Charlie. She chuckled inwardly at that. She really should have said something rather than just wait for him to slip up.
Nalani passed another truck and tried to not think of the past. She’d long ago acknowledged and accepted the pain. She missed her partner. In this cold, northern, land-locked state he’d brought warmth and fun back into her life.
Cheveyo snuggled deeper into her lap and threw a paw over one of her knees. She chuckled.
The roads became steeper, the turns sharper, as she traveled up the mountains and into the hunting territory. She passed through several other villages on her way to the lodge. Like hers, these villages were not much more than an intersection of roadways where people had built bars, homes, and the occasional school to settle down. Usually in that order.
A quarter mile or so outside the residential areas, the local speed limit would be posted – usually twenty-five or thirty-five – and would be echoed on the other side of the town by a sign stating clearly “End speed limit.”
That had taken her a long time to get used to. In every other location she’d lived in, there were always speed limits. It was just in this backwards little region that no one really cared how quickly you drove though the hunting regions and the few scattered farms. If you were stupid enough to drive recklessly – especially at dawn and dusk when the deer were most active – then you took your life into you own hands.
Normally she would drive at a reasonable fifty-five or so, and keep an eye out for anyone willing to pass her big truck in an unsafe manner so she could flip on her lights and catch them, but this time she really couldn’t spare the added time that going slower could cause.
The odometer pushed eighty on the downhill, and slowed to sixty or so on the up, as she pushed the big vehicle to do its best on the curving, steep roads. Luckily, no snow had yet to fall and stick to the asphalt, so it wasn’t so terribly dangerous. She certainly didn’t like driving this fast, but the longer the body remained exposed, the less likely it was they would be able to find the killer.
Then again, no telling how long the body had been out until she’d seen it for herself.
The last village she passed was dark and quiet. Nalani threw on her highbeams and shifted in her seat as adrenaline began to pump into her blood. Only a few more minutes.
Her high beams did little to light up the darkness that the encroaching forest made. She slowed her truck enough to start paying attention to the shadows playing over the trees on either side of the road as it narrowed and a few trees threatened to tear off her side view mirrors.
The trees were thin in this area, and tall enough that she couldn’t see any branches forming from the angle she could see the trunks from. She wondered if this had been an area that had been cleared a long time ago for the local baseball bat manufacturing plant, and then reseeded so that this area would be useful again in twenty-five years or so.
Part way into the forest the road dissolved from asphalt to loose gravel. Her tires kicked the rocks to the side as she took the corners fast and hard. Cheveyo’s hind end slid off of the seat during one sharp turn. She could feel his eyes on her and she offered an apologetic smile.
“Sorry. I want to get there ASAP, so hold on.”
He stayed where he was, apparently deciding that having his rear in the passenger side foot well was a more stable location than on a seat he barely fit on.
Nalani wondered at who owned this particular piece of property. Gravel made a nice enough road when you had to worry about seepage and muddy areas, but it needed replacing often whenever snow plows moved though.
Coleman had mentioned that the neighbor found her. Considering the distance that this road took from higher populated areas, she wondered if there were several houses located close by, so that they could work together to maintain the roadways and such.
The trees fell away from the road with a suddenness that was startling; the headlights sweeping over an open field were a moment before they had been reflected off of surfaces only feet away from Nalani’s nose. An open area had been cleared to accommodate what was clearly a brand new, and in some parts not yet completed, house. The hunting lodge was huge, had at least three levels too it, and looked so inefficient Nalani cringed. Somehow she doubted that the “salt of the earth” folk from around here had anything to do with this house; it was being built either by someone who was doing one of those new Hunting B&Bs, or an out-of-towner just looking for a cheap place to spend his vacation times.
She sighed. She rather liked this out-of-the-way little area; it would be a shame if city folk learned such a place existed.
A small sedan was parked against one side of the house. Nalani reversed her truck in next to it, in case she needed to pull out quickly, and turned off the engine. With it off she could hear the wind buffeting around the cabin and the steady ticking sound of the engine rapidly cooling in the high-altitude air.
Nalani plucked the radio from her belt before the heat inside the cabin radiated out the uninsulated roof. Hopefully, she thought, she’d get okay signal up here in the mountains. She was in luck.
“Chief, I’m 10-97.”
“10-4. I’m an hour out. Any sightseers?”
“Negative. One car at scene, presuming it’s the person who called it in.”
“Got it. Proceed with caution until backup arrives.”
“10-4 and out.” She tucked the radio away. “Always do.” This neck of the woods, when the nearest village might be an hour away, the station three? You got used to being cautious.
She looked over at the werewolf beside her. He was staring intently, unblinking, at her. His ear up, his body tense and alert. The nap had done him some good.
“If you smell anything out of the ordinary, point it out to me, okay?” she asked. He nodded. “And keep an ear out for anyone in the building or the woods. Until we see the body, I have no clue if this was done an hour ago or a week ago.” Another nod. “And if it comes to it… If I pull out my gun, duck down. Get under some cover. I don’t want to have to try and aim around your fuzzy butt if anyone starts shooting.”
He blinked then slow, and lowed his head and whined.
“Come on. The body isn’t getting any warmer.”
She opened the door and tossed back the blanket. The frigged air seemed to shoot icy blades into her legs then crawl up the edges of her jacket. Nalani shivered and quickly hopped out. More than time to be wearing the long johns, she decided. Not quite Thanksgiving yet and already she needed them. Cheveyo hopped out after her and sniffed the area directly around her feet.
She slammed the front door closed and opened up the back. In tackle box she had a basic kit with gloves, a Polaroid camera, note pad, sterile bags with the funny yellow seals, and a few other things. She grabbed the whole box and turned back to the house.
The porch light turned on, revealing the silhouette of a woman standing in the doorway.
“Best behavior,” Nalani whispered. She closed the back door and headed to the open doorway.
Nalani gladly stepped inside when the woman directed her in. A quick, stiff breeze made it difficult for the woman to get the door latched.
Nalani shifted her tackle box from her right hand to her left, expecting to shake hands with her. The woman looked to be about sixty, her hair pulled back into a loose, frazzled bun. She had a bright crocheted shawl wrapped tightly around her shoulders and looked like she’d rather be sitting in front of the fire, maybe with a good book or a movie.
She showed Nalani her back without taking her offered hand, disappearing through another door. Nalani glanced down at the werewolf at her side and followed deeper into the house.
The kitchen was huge. The space was separated by an open fireplace; she could see a table with linens on it set out on the other side. Only two chairs. On this side the kitchen floor covered in smooth brown and grey stones, the counters covered in marble. The cabinets looked like they must be made of something expensive, the way they were glossy and a deep honey color. Nalani couldn’t care less.
“Ma’am? Did you call in to the police?”
“Yes, I did. When will the chief be here?”
Nalani sighed and forced herself to not growl in frustration. She might not be the chief, but she was a police officer just the same.
“Well, I’m the First Officer on the scene, so you’ll have to put up with me, for the moment.”
Nalani set the tackle box down on a counter and retrieved a notebook, pen, and tape recorder, which she immediately turned on.
“I will make an audio recording as I ask you questions,” Nalani stated. “This is simply to make sure that all the facts are recorded as you state them. Do you consent to this?”
“Is that really necessary?”
“Yes, ma’am, it is. We don’t get murder calls in these parts too often, and I don’t want anything overlooked.”
“Fine. As long as I don’t hear my voice on the radio tonight.”
Nalani closed her eyes in a long blink to stop from rolling them. “I do not make a practice of releasing confidential information to the news stations, ma’am. Could I get your name, please?”
Nalani wrote this down. She checked her wrist watch and stated the time and date for the audio recording while jotting it down at the same time. Damn. Nearly midnight already, and no telling how long it would take until the scene was secure enough to go home and go back to bed.
“When did you find the body, ma’am?”
“About fifteen minutes before I called you, and you bloody well know it. I don’t know why it took two hours for anyone to come here.”
Nalani sighed quietly. “The body was found at approximately nine thirty, then?”
“Maybe closer to nine,” she replied, her voice suddenly a little quieter. “I got up here at seven to start opening things back up. How long will it take you to get the body out of here? Mr. Jacobs won’t like the fact that I had the police crawling around.”
Nalani ignored the question. “Mr. Jacobs? Who is he, and could you give me his full name.”
“Mathew Jacobs. He owns the place. I just tend to it during the off season.”
“Are you the only one with a key?”
“Only one in the state with a key. Mr. Jacobs has one. I’d presume his hunting buddy does too.”
“What’s his friend’s name?”
“I think its Stewart something.”
“Do you have their legal residences?”
She shifted through a pile of envelopes on the counter, retrieving one. She handed it to Nalani. It was addressed to Ms. Sloane, from Mr. Jabocs himself, and in his own hand writing no less. Fancy that. She wrote down both addresses quickly.
“May I keep this envelope, ma’am?”
“Go ahead. I get one just like it every month with enough money to cover the electricity and water bills and my bit to keep the roadways clear and make sure no one’s gotten in and all.”
“Right. So how long have you been looking after this property?”
“Oh, three or seven years. Don’t rightly remember. Not more than ten.”
Nalani blinked. “Please, if you could be more specific, that would be helpful.”
“Well I don’t see how it could be. What’s how long I’ve been looking after the place have to do with some dead… body.”
“From the outside, the house appears new, perhaps unfinished. If it’s new, then how have you been watching the place for ‘three or seven years’?”
“Oh, that.” The older woman chuckled. “They knocked the place down a couple years ago and took a while rebuilding it. Started off a bit smaller, then decided to enlarge it before they even had all the dry rock up.”
“Fine. So, you arrived at seven. Could you walk me through what happened?”
“Well, I got up here and started off by sweeping the leaves up outside while it was still light out.”
Nalani drew a quick question mark next to this note. This time of the year the sun set closer to six than seven, and in the woods the light wouldn’t get in very well at all.
“So you swept outside, then what.”
“I came in the back door, same one I let you in, and started turning on all the lights to make sure they were good.” She lifted her hands and started ticking off tasks on her fingertips, looking up as she remembered. “Turned on the heaters to start the pipes thawing. Did the dusting and took off the drop cloths and put linens on the beds and the table and towels in the showers. Got some meals out of the deep freezer down stairs, Mr. Jacobs isn’t very much of a cook, you know. Throws in extra if I prepare a few meals for him until Mr. Stevens arrives. That boy can cook something fierce.”
“Please, just the facts, ma’am.” Nalani felt a little like Friday from Dragnet. “I can get the rest of the details later after I’ve secured everything.”
“Fine, fine. So I figured that there might be a snow storm soon, my knee’s acting up you see, so I went out to the shed to get some rock salt. Thought if I could lay some down before I left and it snowed it’d make the trip back up easier. I turned on the light out on the path going over there, got out my keys as I was walking, unlocked the door, and nearly threw up when I realized what was already hanging in there.”
“Well it’s the shed they put the deer in, when they’re letting them freeze through. At first I thought Mr. Jacobs just left a deer in there, but I remembered going through there with a hose sometime in the summer ‘cause it stank so bad.”
“So the body is outside?”
Nalani fought down a curse. So much for figuring she had the entrance covered.
“Right. Well. If you could show me were the shed is please?”
She stuffed the pencil into the spiraling of the notebook and put it and the recorder into her top breast pocket.
Ms. Sloane lead the way back out into the darkness. This time she flipped a switch next to the entranceway which turned a set of floodlights on that illuminated the whole clearing. Once they were all out she closed the door behind them and shivered in her brightly colored shawl.
A quick gust of wind pushed Cheveyo’s shoulder against her leg. She paused in her stride a moment so that he could regain his balance.
Nalani followed a couple paces behind the woman, mindful of where she put her feet and trying to keep an eye on the shifting wall of trees. The bright light would be good for looking at the details, and for ruining the night vision of anything outside the circle of light. It also meant, however, that she had no way of seeing into the darkness.
The werewolf beside her continued, relaxed and unaffected, also scanning the area. The fact that he didn’t sense anything comforted her somewhat, but anyone could still be lurking downwind.
The shed was off to the side of the house, well out of view of the driveway. No windows faced it directly. Wouldn’t want the guests to see where you keep the bodies. It was plain, and small, probably six feet by ten, with double doors on the shorter side. Covered in the same trim and siding as the building. How quaint.
Ms. Sloane stopped a couple yards from the entrance. She turned, and held out a set of keys.
“I locked it back up,” she had to raise her voice over the wind that was picking up. “I don’t want to see it again.”
Nalani nodded. She didn’t particularly want to see it at all. She took the keys. “Go on back inside, ma’am. I’ll take care of it.”
She nodded in return and shuffled back along the dirt path.
“Should I brew a pot of coffee?”
Nalani smiled. “That would be lovely, thank you.”
Ms. Sloane wandered off. Nalani trusted she wouldn’t run away; hell, she had the keys. She glanced down. Yup, one larger than the rest with the same icon she saw on the sedan. Toyota. Given half a moment’s thought she’d be able to remember the license plate number too. After a while you start to memorize those things without even noticing it anymore.
At least long enough to get it written down someplace useful. She pulled out the notebook quickly to do just that.
Nanali set the tackle box against a wall of the shed and retrieved a pair of latex gloves and the Polaroid camera.
“Stay out here, okay? I don’t need dog fur contaminating the evidence.”
Cheveyo let out a short bark. She looked up at him. Even furred she could see a grin on his muzzle.
“Okay, wolf fur. Either way. We’re not exactly the most state of the art up here.”
Mindful of the handle and the flat surfaces most likely holding fingerprints, she carefully unlocked the door and picked down the lever handle with the very tip of her little finger. The door swung open smoothly on his hinges, caught in a sudden gust, and wrapped around to bang loudly on the outside wall.
Before she could deal with the door, her eyes caught something in the semidarkness inside. She opened the other door to let in more light, holding the edge tightly as the wind tried to slam it shut again.
At first all she could see was red. Not the bright, vibrant red from fresh blood, but the red that had gone brown after being left out too long.
It was hanging by one of the hooks in the ceiling normally meant for deer. Skinned, like any side of meat. Some playful finger of air tried to twist the frozen body so she could see it better. It turned, then caught, the hook was set and wouldn’t rotate. She stared up at them. Ankles. She could make them out as it turned. The metal hook had been struck through between the tendon of the ankle and the bone.
She swallowed. Human. No doubt about it.
Nalani felt part of herself shut down as she raised the dinky Polaroid camera and started taking photographs. The flash sparked, illuminating the body in a flood of unfriendly white light. She started up by the hook and worked her way down the back of the body, ending at the hands that were tied together, but dangling loose, fingertips only just brushing the bare floor. No blood dripped down. Who ever had killed this person, they did it somewhere else and simply stored the body here.
This wasn’t the first dead person Nalani had ever seen. Of course she had seen the usually gussied up bodies at funerals, but part of her training had been with forensics and she’d seen the inside of a morgue before. She’d done her training in Good Ol’ San Fran. She’d seen people shot through the chest, stabbed, bloody… but not like this.
She slowly moved around the body, circling carefully so she touched neither the walls or the skinless flesh.
The body had been stripped completely naked of all of its skin, her organs removed: scooped out like some visceral, organ flavored ice-cream. Nalani swallowed. She could think of no degradation worse than being gutted like some prey animal.
Nalani bent to take pictures of skinless face. Her eyes had been plucked out. The cavities were hollow and dark until the camera’s flashed filled them momentarily with light. Nalani hoped, fervently, that the woman had died before she was skinned.
She blinked at the assumption of female. The body was short, short than her, she figured. She looked up at the pubic bone. With no external genitalia or organs she couldn’t be certain, but she still felt like this was a woman.
The camera clicked empty. She pocketed the Polaroid’s and pulled out her notebook.
“Vi- victim has been hu- hung upside down by the ankles, wrists bound over her head.” The rest of the station was probably going to get a real laugh when they heard her voice shake over the recording. She’d chock it up to the cold. Maybe. She took a deep breath and let it out.
“Skin and organs have been removed. Do not appear to be on scene. Victim appears to be frozen, but looks as though it might have gone through a couple freezing and thawing periods.”
She swallowed. For a moment, the thigh muscle directly in front of her looked and felt like any side of meat she’d pulled from her refrigerator, had prepared for her table, had herself killed.
The Chief had a plot of land a couple mountaintops over that he let everyone use for hunting. It was a competition every year, which officer would bag the biggest buck. Anything under eight points and you’d have to put a hundred into the coffee can on the coffee counter in the office. The winner got the pot at the end of the hunting season.
She swayed slightly on her feet and got out of the shed as quickly as she could without touching anything.
Outside the wind whipped a tendril of hair into her eyes. She knelt down next to the side of the shed and put her palms flat on the ground.
Cheveyo stood beside her and whined quietly.
“Will not throw up,” she whispered to herself. “Will not. Just a body. Like any other.”
The werewolf licked her cheek tentatively. She put an arm around him and hid her face against the ruff of his neck. Who had done that? The body had been there a while. The killer could be long gone, or still here. Waiting.
She swallowed down the last of the bile in her throat.
Nalani rubbed her face against his coarse coat one more time, trying to rid herself of the image and draw whatever comfort she could. She had to go back in there. It was her job, her duty. If she wanted to protect her jurisdiction, bring justice and yes, even vengeance, she’d have to go back in there. She took in one last, deep breath, and let it out.
“Stay out here,” she ordered after covering the mic with her gloved hand. She stood up, glad that her legs supported her weight. “You’re a civilian. …besides, no one should have to see that.”
Stepping into the shed a second time was worse than the first. She knew what was in there now; the woman’s body firmly cemented in her minds eye.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in through her nose, wishing for a moment that she had her pelt with her and could change shapes and take in all the smells.
If the body had been gutted here, or near hear, she’d be able to smell the sickly sweet stench of the lower intestines and the acidic tang from the stomach, even as a human. As it was, she couldn’t smell anything but the faint ozone smell that heralded snow and an undercurrent of decaying meat.
She swallowed again. She could taste it now; the scent was deep enough in her nose. Come morning the body might even thaw out some. She didn’t want to be here long enough for that.
Identify victim is deceased, check. I didn’t need to go in there to tell that.
Identify and secure path to victim. Only exit or entrance would be the door.
She looked down. Underneath her boots was a solid slab of concrete that went from inside the shed to form a small porch around the building. No footprints to disturb. She breathed a sigh of relief and quickly closed the doors and latched them shut. No need to deal with the key if she stayed here standing guard. Might be prints around the barrel of the lock anyway.
Isolate perimeter. She looked around and frowned. No one to isolate it from, not much sense wasting the yellow caution tape. Besides, she’d have to introduce foreign objects to the scene to create a barrier to wrap the tape around anyway.
Isolate witness. Well, she’s inside and unlikely to want to come out again considering how late it is and how cold it is.
Identify any evidence. She didn’t see anything in the room other than the body and the hooks in the ceiling. Not much evidence to be had there, and if she wanted to investigate anything inside she’d have to leave the body un guarded. Not a good plan.
Request additional units as needed. Already done. In fact….
She smiled a little as she saw headlights brighten up the corner of the house.
She pulled out her radio. “Chief, that you?”
“10-4. Where is your location?”
“Around the far side of the house, by the shed. The witness is inside; she’ll probably see you before I do.”
“Got it. Callahan’ll come around to relieve ya.”
She stuck the radio back in her belt, took off the latex gloves, and flipped off the recorder.
Lawrence Callahan took longer than he should have to come around back, but by the sight of the big mug balance between his hands, Nalani could guess where he’d been waylaid. He looked older than his nearly-forty years, or would if his face wasn’t silhouetted by the house’s floodlights. He had the typical push broom mustache, already graying in the center, so sometimes it looked like he had two separate sections of facial hair growing a the corners of his mouth. He had one of those hats with the earflapps on, the flapps still tied back. Cold didn’t bother him much, though his wife always made sure he was dressed well for the seasons.
“Chief said you should head in.”
“Great. The body’s in the shed. Been dead a while, but keep an eye on the trees anyway.” She pulled the keys out of her pocket. “The little silver one is the one that’ll lock it. I left it unlocked incase there was trace, but the witness has already opened and shut the door a couple times.”
He took the keys and shoved them into his own pocket.
“Take the dog in with ya, will ya? Last thing I need is to start sneezing up here on the mountain.”
Callahan was one of the few people who didn’t like the K-9 program at all, and wouldn’t’ mind in the slightest if all three dogs went down during some firefight. His allergies, Nalani suspected, were more psychological than physical, but short of secretly dropping some hairs down the back of his jacket, she’d never know.
She pulled an extra set of gloves from her tackle box before shutting it. She handed them to Callahan, in case he needed to get in, and headed for the house. Cheveyo followed without being told.
Inside felt a good deal warmer, for nothing else than the wind no longer blew about. The Chief and Stephen Kline were in the kitchen, already asking Ms. Sloane all the same questions she had before. They’d all give they’re separate reports and see if there were any discrepancies in the story she told. Little fluctuations were fine, but big details off could mean she couldn’t keep her lies straight.
Nalani wondered how useful her testimony would be anyway, considering she couldn’t even remember how long she’d been working there.
Kline was dutifully taking notes while the Chief asked questions. He paused when Coleman raised a hand to pause the conversation.
They all looked up at Nalani. Ms. Sloane looked less than hospitable, Coleman with a look of worry. He’d been here longer than a lof ot the other officers; how long had it been since he’d seen a murder? And surely, at least hopefully, none this bad. He hadn’t even seen the body yet. Kline looked tired. He had a new kid at home, and it was past the end of his shift. Poor guy.
“Yes, Officer Tahe?”
“Scene is secure, sir. If you would like Cheveyo and I to search the parameter for any sighs of-“
“That won’t be necessary. Miller is coming up with Mr. Z. They’ll search the area.”
Nalani felt a little crestfallen with that, but he was right. She hadn’t had time to do enough training with the new “dog” to be able to do this sort of tracking, and there was no way she could say “Oh, by the way boss, my partner here actually understands everything your saying ‘cause he just so happens to be a werewolf. Where did I get a were you ask? Well, see, that’s a bit of a story, but the long and the short of it is….”
Not so much a good idea.
“Fine.” She did her best not to sound disappointed.
“Go home, Tahe. We’ve got the situation covered. Report in at the office at nine to make your report.”
“But sir, the first officer should-“
He waved a hand. “Miller is picking up the doc to pronounce. You were off-duty when I called you in. You’re off-duty. Now.”
Nalani silently counted down from ten. Fine. She wasn’t invited on the scene any more. The big boys have got everything under control. Feh.
She shook her head, and like that the anger was gone. She was the “new kid on the block” as it were. While she could use more experience with this sort of thing in a rural area, she’d seen it before. And, truth be told, she was tired. The investigation wasn’t over. There’d be plenty left to do. Miles of forest to walk, neighbors to question, reports to write. The office was just too small for her to be cut out completely.
She pulled out the photographs and handed them, blank side up, to Coleman, so he wouldn’t have to take more of them.
“Night Chief. Night, Ms. Sloane.”
“That’s Mrs. Sloane.”
“Mrs. Sloane, my apologizes. Night Kline.”
She turned on her heal and walked out, hand deep in her pockets. It’d be a long, quiet ride home, and she had a conversation to look forward to that might very well end with her foot making contact with a certain furry butt.
Well, she doubted it, but it made for an amusing mental image, for what good the amusement would last her.
She took one last peek around the corner of the house at the shed. Callahan was opening the door. She turned her back on that as well. She wouldn’t need to look at the body again to remember every minute detail.
Her big black and white truck looked more welcoming than usual.