The Price of Immortality
The old woman looked upon the red star. Surrounded by a circle. All five points of the star met the circle. Maybe it was blood, or not. In some places, it was still wet, dripping down the wall. Who the hell'd do something like this?
“Sweet Jesus, I gotta wash that crap off. It's gonna take all day and I ain't even gettin paid. Stupid kids breakin into the church again.” She bent her stout body almost in half, wrapping her swollen fingers around the bucket handle to begin her trudge to the basement spigot. She hated the basement, engulfed in pitch darkness with a single cord hung from the middle of the large room, the only light.
She arrived at the end of the steep staircase and fumbled across the room, bumping her ancient shins into boxes, causing her to curse aloud. Just her and the damn mice down this musty old basement anyway, the priest was long gone by this time relaxing in that nice little house of his, she thought. She pulled the cord bringing light to the dark.
Exhausted from the exertion, she rubbed at her shins and then made her way to the spigot.
As she bent down to start the flow, the light dimmed back to darkness. She cursed loudly, dropping the bucket with a thud. She walked back toward the middle of the room, stumbling to fall on her knees and slicing them open. She felt trickles of blood beginning to leak onto her support hose as her fingers slid across a gathering pool of wetness.
“Holy Mother of God!” She exclaimed, the pool surrounded everywhere her fingers could touch. She groped for the pull cord above her head, pulling it completely loose as the light splashed around her, revealing the inverted form of Father Frank suspended above her not two feet away, throat slit.
Kate gingerly stepped into the church, a lapsed catholic at best, an agnostic at worst. She'd grown up with the church, but she and God had had a falling out.
“What the hell happened boys?” She slipped the booties on over her shoes. It was sure to be an awful mess, no sense ruining another pair of shoes.
“Lou, we just got here ourselves, what's it look like?” Barney glanced at his lieutenant, shrugging.
“Aw, crap, not another one.” Kate's second scene in one day with a pentagram painted in blood. Shit, what the hell was going? “This used to be the quiet part of town.” She muttered, turning away. “Show me the priest.”
“Down there Lou, the techs aren't done, it's a freaking mess. He's still strung up just like he was found.”
“Great. The janitor found him?” She glanced down the steps.
“That's what she said.”
“Where's she now?”
“Tough old bird, sittin over there.” Barney motioned with his head, pointing to the old woman smoking a filterless Camel, spitting pieces of tobacco.
“Hope they finish before parishioners start showing up.” Kate moved to the old woman.
“Mrs. …” She started.
“Maude, just Maude.”
“Okay, Maude, tell me from the beginning.”
Maude wearily started her story again.
Five murders now, all in sanctuaries, all priests with pentagrams, the last two with Latin, “blood of my blood.” What the hell was that suppose to mean? Kate looked over her file covered desk. She rubbed her forehead, Captain Mack had started chewing on Tums as well as her ass. Serial was being whispered.
“Lou, we just got a call, suspicious activity over at St. Pete's, Father Brian called it.”
“Let's roll Barney. Maybe we'll catch this bastard before he can slice and dice the good Father.”
St. Pete's was two blocks away, they could run faster than drive. This asshole was starting on churches close to home.
Kate and Barney burst through to the rectory, Father Brian, no where in sight. Shit, were they too late?
They crept toward the nave, guns drawn, looking down at the tile, blood spray. Shit.
“Freeze!” Kate bawled out. She couldn't believe her eyes. Before her stood a single man, knife to the priest's throat, catching the blood that poured from the wound in the Holy Chalice as the color drain away from the priest's body along with his life. The man drank thirstily from the Chalice.
“Oh Hell No! Freaking Vampire!” Barney trained his gun on the man.
“Drop the knife and step away!” Kate yelled out again, enraged.
Slowly, the man shifted his eyes to Kate's.
“Detective, so glad you could join me.” The bastard looked her right in the eye.
Before Kate could blink Barney's gun clattered to the floor along with his body as blood pumped between his groping fingers, the knife resting against her own throat.
“I've left you enough clues.” He ran a caressing thumb across her throat.
“You can't be here, this is sacred holy ground.”
“Do you believe everything you see in movies?”
I used to, she thought, as the knife pricked her throat.
“Who the Hell are you? Why are you doing this?” Panic swept Kate's body as unconsciousness tried to drag her away.
A chuckle met her ears. “Damien, my sweet Lieutenant.”
Kate awoke to crickets, parched. She felt Damien's presence surrounding her. He came up behind her, caressing her with his thoughts as well as his hands. “The night is young as is the hunger for the hunt.”
Kate would have fought against the thirst but it was useless. Life or death, it was all too strange, the hunter and the hunted were now one in the same.
© Dottie Taylor
Well, that's my entry, be it as it may. Murder in a Cathedral with a twist.
To get linked other entries: http://danielboshea.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/every-now-and-then-i-gotta-flash-someone/