For a moment I didn’t know what to do. I was certain Nadine could take care of herself, but then I realized her ‘attacker’ was wearing the same uniform I went to work in.
Rushing forward I explained in a hushed voice, “Hold up, she’s with me!”
“Rhodes?” the officer turned and I saw it was my boss, Sheriff Jim Parkes, looking none-to-pleased. “What the hell…”
“Not so loud, we don’t want to give away our position,” I hissed and gestured that the three of us move out of the park.
Nodding, he let Nadine go, but gestured that she was to lead the way.
Once we were a safe distance Parkes growled, “Okay, this should be far enough. Now what the hell are you playin’ at? And you’d better not tell me you were going to try another decoy routine.”
“Would you believe…” Nadine began, but I cut her off.
“Actually we were, Chief. This Detective Nadine Collins from Maine. She and her people dealt with a similar set of murders but never caught the killer. She thinks our boy may be the same guy…”
“And you came to try and help us catch him,” my boss finished with a nod. “You know there are procedures to be followed like introducing yourself at the station.”
“You were already gone and Deputy Rhodes thought we might find you here,” Nadine supplied smoothly, while I gave him a rather believable account of what had supposedly happened up in Maine. As I spoke I noticed a faint greenish haze slowly building around us at ground level. I had an idea what that Nadine planned on letting my boss breathe her in so she could influence him, but I gave her the faintest head shake. You don’t work with a man for years without getting to know his mannerisms and way of thinking. And I could already tell he was buying my story because he trusted me. Hell the man had recruited me himself as soon as I had come back from the army He didn’t even bother to ask to see her credentials, instead he gave us the full rundown on the situation.
He’d managed to pull in some extra help from the state. Several troopers were hidden throughout the park, while others were quietly patrolling the streets in unmarked vehicles. If our perp struck, we were going to run him to ground tonight.
As we spoke I noticed the mist Nadine had created earlier was drifting off towards the park entrance and spread out until no trace of it could be seen. ‘Trying to do some recon, good plan,’ I thought to myself as Parkes continued to fill us in on the situation.
Once he’d finished, Nadine and I shared what we had figured out about our Killer’s targets. Like me at first he seemed unimpressed until we got to the part about the women having an air of confidence which impressed him as much as it had me.
“That would explain why he’s so violent with them,” he breathed after a moment. “Probably trying to kill the same woman over and over in his mind, but what about the cannibalism?”
“We’re dealing with a sick mind, Chief,” I shook my head, “There could a be dozen demented reasons why he’s eating them… sort a souvenir? A way of keeping them close to him? I don’t know…”?
At this point we both turned to my companion saying, “You got any…” and then stopped. She had started moving back towards the park, following the same path her mist had taken moments before. “Detective Collins? What is it?” Parkes shouted as the two of us started towards her.
But just as we were about to reach her, she shouted over her shoulder, “He’s here! And so is someone else… a girl!” A second later, she was gone. Normally, Nate… I mean Nadine wouldn’t have let anyone see her inhuman speed in action, but a life was in danger and this was no time for being subtle.
Not that I had any reason to worry, Parkes was busy barking orders into his radio alerting the rest of the team of the situation. He’d barely gotten the order out when a scream erupted from the darkness. The killer had struck.
Without pausing we both raced into the park trying to figure out what direction the scream had come from when it erupted again, this time calling for help repeatedly. Following the sound we veered off the path and into the trees and bushes off to our left. The cries were getting louder when suddenly a young woman burst out of the darkness and into our arms, tears streaming down her dirt covered cheeks.
“He’s near the lake and he’s got her…” she blubbed, still shaking. “He jumped me and had me on the ground when she came out of nowhere and threw him off me… She’d just helped me up when he jumped her from behind and stabbed her in the back… she just stared at me and told me to run…”
As she spoke two of my fellow deputies appeared on the scene.
Grabbing his shoulder radio Parkes barked, “Suspect sited near lake attacking a female detective, all boots on the ground converge on that area and engage. Patrol cars are to surround the park and form a perimeter, pursue anyone seen fleeing from the area.” Then turning to the new arrivals he ordered, “Take her to safety and call for a medical assistance and more back up. Rhodes you’re with me!”
Weapons drawn we raced towards the lake. I could hear the sounds of a struggle up ahead, which suddenly stopped, sending a chill down my spine. Had Nadine already finished the guy?
Still rushing forward we burst out of the trees and the sight that greeted us was more than a little unnerving. Both Nadine and the Cannibal Killer were on the ground, several feet from each other. The latter was rolling around clutching his head and like he was having convulsions. Whereas Nadine, was simply lying on the ground unmoving, eyes wide as if she were staring into the pits of Hell itself…