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“Now, look at this,” the pathologist pointed.
Vince lifted a scalpel and punctured the corpse’s
arm. A fine red powder spilled from the opening,
like he had poked into a bag of rusty sand.
“What is that?” Cole asked.
“That is blood, my friend. Extremely dehydrated
“What could possibly do that?”
“That certainly is the million dollar question of the
day, now isn’t it? For blood to turn to a powder
like this would take a sizable heat source or be
freeze dried. The outside of the body would start
to burn at such a temperature — but as you can
see, no burns.”
Vince turned to Cole. “You say there was a naked
woman in the room when you busted in?”
“That’s right. So?”
“Was she hot?” Vince snickered.
“I didn’t have time to assess her attractiveness,
Vince laughed. “Okay, okay. But here’s something
He pulled down the sheet to reveal the lower half
of Travis’ dead body.
It was obvious, even to Cole. Travis may have
been dead, but he sported an extreme erection.
“Why isn’t it decayed like the rest of the body?”
“I have a hypothesis,” Vince said. “The only time
a dead man has a hard-on like this is if he was
extremely aroused the moment he died. Whatever
this mystery girl of yours did to him, they where
having s-x when she did it. Pretty hot s-x, it
looks like.” He grinned at his own joke.
“Makes sense,” Cole thought. He did see her on
top of him when he entered the room. The wings,
tail, and horns were at the front of his mind,
“Let me know if you figure out anything else. The
captain put me on leave for a few days.”
Vince shook his head. “I think you’re fine. We’ve
known each other since college. After what
happened to Maria, no one would be able to
handle it well.”
Cole smiled. “Thanks, Vince.”
Cole came home after sunset to his empty
apartment. He hung his trench coat on the hook
on the kitchen door. The kitchen lay in shadow;
only a small bulb above the sink provided light.
He opened the refrigerator and grabbed a bottle of
beer. Maybe he could relax.
He had just popped the cap and taken a swig
when he noticed the unusual chill in his
apartment. This wasn’t the first time he had
thought to call the landlord to fix the heater, but
the temperature outside wasn’t all that cold
before he came in.
Cole stepped toward the thermostat, and then
stopped suddenly. A foreign scent tickled his
nostrils. He recognized that smell, but it shouldn’t
be in his apartment – a mix of lavender, cherry
blossom, and cotton candy. It was the same odor
in the room where he found Travis’ body. Cole’s
mind stirred uneasily.