Aside from his frequent hangovers, there really isn’t much to help break the monotony of day to day police work for Detective Rick Hoelscher. Transferring to the tourist town of Flagstaff had once seemed like a good idea, one that might even help him escape a somewhat tragic past.
With no ’real’ crime to investigate though, Rick soon finds himself doubting the wisdom behind his relocation, as well as his tedious career choice. Ironically, before his personal and professional life can completely unravel, his dreams for a renewed sense of personal worth and purpose seem to be miraculously, if not mysteriously, answered.
Suddenly, prominent members of the community begin turning up strangled, and before long, Rick and his partner find themselves embroiled in a serial homicide case that may be more dangerous than they ever could have imagined - and on the heels of a killer more powerful and diabolical than either of them could have dreamt.
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In the very next moment, the figure emerged. Rick’s eyes traced the dark form from the hem of the black cape, up, up, up, until his sight reached the face of the intruder. The head was oval, like an upturned egg, and the flesh the color of bone, sickly and pale. There was a long, hooked nose in the center of the skeletal face, and eyes that seemed long dead, but which stared forth with a crimson hue. There were no eyebrows, but the furrowed crease of the forehead gave the eyes a demonic expression. An expression which was focused directly on Rick.
Most noticeable of all, however, were the sores which marked the stranger’s face. Both blisters and scabs, some open and infected, some hardened and crusted, pocked the figure’s flesh. He seemed to take some pride in the disgust with which his audience gazed upon him, and even turned his face to one side and then the other so that they might have a better view.
Silently, the colossal figure seemed to glide in the direction of Salvatore’s dead body. Stopping beside the fat man, the black form bent down, and using a sharp, jagged nail, pried between the crack in the dead man’s skull, and then pulled the top of the cranium off to reveal the brain. With a demented relish, he inserted two slender fingers into the gray matter and stood up with the blood dripping from his fingertips.
As he did so, Rick could see the long, pointed ears of the stranger. He turned to the three of them and smiled, unmasking two rows of sharp, snaggy teeth; their yellow discoloration in sharp contrast to his waxen skin. He stuck out a long, red tongue and placed the fingers in his mouth, audibly sucking the brain material from between them.
“Mmmm,” he groaned, encircling his fingers with his tongue. “Salvatore always was such a good cook.”