*Authors' Note: Sorry for the delay between posts. We work for the county and are currently winding down the fiscal year which runs from July 2017-June 2018, so we've been run off our feet. But things will be calming down in another few weeks so please bear with us. In the meantime, here is a lengthy entry to help make up for the lack of posts. We hope to get back on our more regular posting schedule before July is out. Thank you for you patience - Allan and Helen Krummenacker
“Nadine!” I screamed and rushed to her side, while my boss and our back up started moving slowly towards our suspect. The Cannibal Killer was still on the ground having spasms, and seemed to be completely unaware of our presence.
I carefully rolled Nadine on her side and studied the knife handle which was all I could see. The bastard and really rammed it in deep. Luckily, I knew from past experiences that it would take more than a knife in the back to stop Nadine. Even if the guy had struck where her heart should be it would've failed, because her body would've moved the vital organ or created another to keep her going. For all the similarities between her and the vampires of legend, she was something more.
Still something wasn't right. Even though her eyes were open and staring right at me, she didn't speak. And the look on her face... what was happening?
That's when I noticed her bare shoulder and nearly threw up. It took me a moment to get myself under control. I've seen a lot of injuries in my line of work, including what our perp had done to his other victims... but none of them had still been alive at the time. The bastard had literally taken a bite out of her.
But the thing that was getting me was the fact that the wound was... doing things. The ragged edges of the wound kept moving, as if they knew they should be reaching across to their counterparts to seal the injury but couldn't. Instead, they simply kept waving about likes streamers attached to a fan... only bloodier.
I was almost grateful when I heard the sounds of a struggle breaking out behind me... almost. Before I could turn, one of my fellow deputies landed hard beside me and Nadine and rolled.
Whirling I saw I saw our perp was back on his feet tossing both my boss and another deputy aside as if they were a couple of five year olds. Then instead of fleeing the scene, the guy just stood there... laughing.
“Oh... Joanie,” he called and turned in my direction, only his eyes were fixed on the prone form of Nadine in my arms. “I'm not finished with you, not by a long shot!”
Before he could take a single step I raised my gun and fired.
I saw the pocket covering his heart explode as the bullet hit. The impact knocked him back yet he managed to keep standing. For a moment he stared at the hole in his jacket dumbly, as the cloth slowly turned dark then stopped. Then to his shock, and mine, the stain slowly began to shrink.
Immediately the true horror of our situation hit. The guy had eaten and swallowed of not only a piece of Nadine but the Sangui-Sapio life form from that Para-Earth she'd landed up in back in 1862. And just as it had changed Nadine from a simple human into a pseudo-vampire in order to save her life, it was now doing the same to the maniac standing a few yards away from me. But the change was only beginning.
Our psycho staggered and fell to his knees. His eyes were glassy-looking and he seemed confused.
This was our chance! I started to get to my feet when Sheriff Parkes waived me off as he and three more officers, who had materialized out of the darkness, descended on the Cannibal. They were able to grab his arms and cuff them behind his back without the slightest bit of effort. In fact, they well into the process of removing other weapons he had secreted about his person before he seemed to realize what was happening.
Then he laughed.
Something about that sound made all of us back up and draw our weapons. “On the ground! Or you will be shot!” my boss warned.
For a second no one spoke or moved.
Then the killer began to murmur and giggle, “Now I get it... you were right, Joanie. I wasn't man enough for you before. How could I be... you had a secret but wouldn't share it with me. But now I know it...”
“I said don't move!” my boss repeated cocking his weapon.
But the Cannibal didn't listen, instead he turned towards where Nadine lay and whispered almost sweetly, “...Because I taken from you. But it's not enough, I want it ALL!”
In flash he was on his feet, snapping the handcuffs behind his back in the process. But we were faster and opened fire
At point blank range, every one of our shots struck home and I watched as the Cannibal jerked with each impact. But he never went down. Instead, he lashed out with superhuman strength and speed. His first blow sent Sheriff Parkes sailing over Nadine and into the pond beyond her, while another sent our backup rolling a good twenty yards in opposite directions.
Instinctively, I started to turn towards the pond, but my superior was already getting back to his feet, bellowing, “Stay where you are, protect Collins!”
He was right. At this point I was the only one left to keep the super-powered Cannibal from reaching his target.
Weapon raised, I wracked my brain for ideas as our perp started towards me. Bullets weren't going to stop this guy, but maybe one in each of his eyes would at least buy us time to regroup...
Suddenly, Nadine appeared between us. Arms outstretched she stood protectively in front of me.
I could see her shoulder was finally healing, but it was doing so slowly, as was the spot in her back where the knife had been. Her entire frame trembled for a moment and I feared she might collapse, but she held her ground and spoke.
“You're scared... confused. This isn't what you expected,” she said gently.
The Cannibal Killer chuckled, “No I'm not, Joanie. I'm seeing things clearer than ever before. This is how come you never stayed dead. You kept coming back over and over again, taunting me, laughing at me. But now I know how you did it. And now you can't stop me. No one can! I'm like you... only better.”
Now he started moving towards us, yet Nadine didn't move. Instead she gently reached out a hand and said gently, “We both know what you really want.”
That made him stop as he stared at her stupidly at her for a moment.
Behind him, the two deputies he'd thrown were getting to their feet and regrouping so silently, if I hadn't seen them I'd have never known. Still I kept a poker face, so as not to give anything away.
Yet, without looking away from us the Cannibal Killer pointed at them saying, “And don't expect them to stop me Joanie... because they're going to be the warm up act. Once I'm done with them and the one behind you, I'm going to start on you and not stop...”
“You're in pain,” Nadine cut in, “Don't let it hold you back, let go.”
“YOU'RE GOING TO BE THE ONE IN PAIN JOA... UNGH!” Suddenly, the killer froze and began to jerk uncontrollably like a marionette whose strings had gotten tangled.
“I wasn't talking to you,” Nadine smiled and took a step toward him.
The look in the Cannibal's eyes changed from hungry rage to horror as she drew closer.
Just then the other two deputies rushed forward and tried to tackle him from behind. At the last second the killer spun, grabbed each of them and threw the pair directly at us.
Unfortunately, Nadine was not fully recovered. In spite of her attempt to catch my fellow deputies, their combined mass and speed knocked her back into me and the four of us went down in a sprawl. By the time any of us were able to get up, the Cannibal was already gone.
TO BE CONCLUDED....