Suddenly, the room felt as if it was shrinking, a stifling, claustrophobically-heavy air threatened to smother all three of them. Seth pressed his hand against his chest while Kim fiddled with the thermostat. Even when the blower kicked in, it did not seem to break up the oppressive air clinging to the morgue.
“Are you guys okay?” Angela asked the others. “Both of you look really flushed.”
“It just felt like the air conditioner cut off but I’m fine,” Seth replied, smiling. “Kim? Are you okay?”
Angela’s eyes shifted back and forth between Seth and Kim. She couldn’t put her finger on it but something felt strange; she attributed it to the faulty air flow as she snapped photos.
“So, ladies? Are you two just going to leave me hanging? What else did he, you know, the killer, do?”
“Well, in addition to the branding, he also cut some pieces off of her. Basically, there was a slab from between her hip and knee as well as a strip from her back. We suspect he ate them since the one looked to be around the size of a steak and the other was…well, it would have been the tenderloin. It looks like your suspicion that he’s eating them is correct.”
“That sheet, or whatever it was, that he tied around her was made of human flesh. It had been treated so we’ll just have to see whether the lab will be able to gather any additional information as they run tests. This guy is…it’s like he’s just toying with us.”
Angela shook her head, frustrated that she was powerless to stop the madness. More than anything, that was what had upset her the most, the inability to speed up time so they could catch the killer.
“Kendra could be annoying but she didn’t deserve this. No one does. I just hate not being able to stop this guy before he kills again.”
“How do you know it’s a guy?” Seth asked. His eyes widened in anticipation. “Is there DNA or something?”
“No,” Angela sighed. “I guess I shouldn’t say ‘he’ it’s just that I really can’t fathom a woman doing something like this. I’m sorry. I should stay in the habit of remaining gender neutral until we know for sure. The last thing anyone needs is for me to accidentally slip and then the media goes wild with it.”
While the girls worked on their body, one not related to the killer, Seth read through the packet of information on the latest victim, Kendra. In addition to the information the girls had provided, Detective Crash had outlined each and every one of the victim’s wounds, no matter how insignificant. Everything from tiny lacerations to rope burns on her ankles had been identified on the report. Additionally, there was a handwritten note in the corner of the page. Bill’s hurried scrawl seemed better suited for a doctor than a lawman but Seth managed to decipher most of the words; only pausing occasionally to benefit from the experienced eyes of Angela or Kim to decode the mysteries hidden in the detective’s hieroglyphics. There was one note that none of them could read, Seth wondered if it meant he was getting closer to identifying the killer’s identity.