I am enormously thankful for fetishists.
The things I’ve ordered from various websites are mostly harmless but, all together would paint quite a bad picture of me. Chains. Metal cuffs – not handcuffs, mind you, actual proper thick metal cuffs. A little like you’d see in old movies (old England or France or wherever) when they throw a prisoner in the deepest dungeon with his hands chained to the wall until they lead him out to be beheaded.
Which, to be honest, is pretty close to what I’m doing.
The murders started about eight months ago. Grisly things. Bad enough that you wouldn’t really call them ‘bodies’ anymore. I think ‘carcass’ is closer to it. It started with animals. Large and small. The first person to die was the month after that. Just one person and then more animals. The third month, five people died. Although, only one was reported. The fourth month? Ten. Three locals. And, so on. It’s getting shorter between killing.
The town is relatively small but we get a lot of drifters. There’s a big mine about twenty-five miles outside of town so people pass through. Most of the money in the town is catering to these workers. The three small hotels here charge premium and the restaurants aren’t far behind.
So you can see why the sheriff isn’t exactly jumping at the chance to advertise what’s happening. His salary and position depends on the flow of people. Hell, the entire town depends on it. You can see the desperate strain in everyone’s eyes. The hooded, dark-eyed smiles from your waiter or waitress with the owner constantly in ear-shot.
Local hunters were used. Six ended up dead and the rest swore off from looking. I’m guessing I wasn’t the first out-of-towner they called in but they won’t say. I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest were all dead, too.
I came down a month ago. Got a phone call from a friend who’d heard from a friend about the job. I’m in the phone book but most of what I get is referrals. I do good work and that spreads. Five years out of the military and I don’t have many “real world” skills so I found something I could do once I was out.
It’s not an ideal job. There’s no pattern. So, I show up. I dig. I talk to a few people that’ll talk about it. The only common factor is that the killings are taking place in the forest. Well, they call it national park – Elk Grove National Park – but there’s nothing fancy or special out here. It’s just a damn big forest. No specific times of the month. No specific area. Although, tracking the various kills, it looks like it’s getting closer to the tree line. Slowly. So, it’s widening its area or just getting more bold. There’s no specific terrain it favors, either. The only other thing I know is that it’s nocturnal. That sums everything up.