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I poured myself some tea, laced it with rum, and thought. Couldn't be a 'thrope killing, the moon wasn't right. Vampires were only after the blood. Most of the predator species would rend and tear the whole body. The wounds were neat, not even ragged from hacking or a saw. It looked as if someone had just run a super sharp knife around the legs at the bottom of the underpants and the top of the knee. I had an image of flesh being split away from the bone like foam insulation off a pipe. The cleanness of the removal made something tickle in my brain but I couldn't think what it was.
No. This was a human, or mostly human, killing. But not the usual kind. They wouldn't call me in for a guy mad at his girlfriend or a pissed off stepdad who decides to take it out on the kids because it will hurt the woman more. There was something Nightside about this case, and I couldn't figure it out. I had better get on the stick, though. I had twenty-one days to save the next ankle-biter from a nasty death.
Nightside work again. Once you get a rep for it in this business, you never work with humans again. Not that I care about being around people, just that I like my corpses to stay dead. On the Nightside of Memphis there are all kinds of dead, from walking-around-working-dead like the zombies on President's Island to running-the-whole-vampire-underworld dead, like Elvis. I don't mind those. It's the ripping-the-throat-out-of-the-neighborhood-PI dead I object to.
Me, I wasn't dead. Not yet and I planned to keep it that way for a while.
And I was going to do my best to make sure some parent didn't wake up to a horrible surprise on Halloween morning. Full moon on Halloween, it was going to be a hot time in the old town that night. Full moons made the pixies frisky and a lot of Nightsiders more active. The vampires tended to stay in on Halloween, but the werewolves would be running.
We didn't have many local 'thropes. It had been a family unit of three with a couple cousins not in the pack proper. The late Old Man Camomescro ran tight herd on his son and grandson. Nice folks. Grandson Dan taught English at a local college before he'd moved to Wisconsin. His uncle, Zoltan, was in logistics and had stayed in town. The cousins were on my payroll. They were still at the bottom of my suspect list.
Vamps were out of the question. We hadn't had an exsanguination in over a decade. Elvis keeps his people in line. Zombies didn't eat people, unless they got out from under their spell. Those that did seldom got more than a bite or two out of the foreman before being put down. Ghosts didn't kill. Or rather, they compelled people into dangerous situations instead of outright attacks.That eliminated the most obvious Nightsiders. Yay for new and exciting cases.
I hoped it wasn't another demon.