Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rue: Snow Ghosts Part 2


"Afternoon. Mr Joseph Fiddler?"

"I am he."

"Mind if I ask you a couple of questions?"


"Sure. Come in."

"No, but thank you anyway. Your father should be returning soon and I'd hate to be caught in your den between the two of you."

"I don't know what you mean."

"I only wanted to ask when you two first ate human flesh. Was it in prison? Or was it the woman you claimed was becoming a wendigo?"

"You should leave."

"I honestly shouldn't have come at all. I was just curious what he gained from the deaths at the factory the other night."

The door closed on my nose. I scratched my head, shrugged, and headed back to the car.

A pair of Wendigos. How interesting.

Joseph was sloppy. Or unconcerned. He watched me go from the window as his hands turned into claws, thick white fur sprouted from tanned leather skin. His father would be disappointed in him. Jack had been tailing me since I left the library.

I switched on my car and started driving. Not sure where yet. Just driving.

Something was missing. I made a call.

"Medical Examiner Hoffman speaking."

"Hey Hoff. Get anything on the other corpses yet?"

"Nothing unusual so far. I can tell you one thing though."

"What's that?"

"That thing's claws didn't kill anybody. Cause of death was... well... each other. Still working on finding physical evidence why they would've slaughtered each other."

"Thanks Hoff."

Back to the warehouse it was then.


As the sun went down, the snow stopped. Less cover for the Fiddlers. If they had been concerned with keeping out of sight.

Instead, they stayed the corner of my sight. Only in view for a blink before fading away again.

I parked the car near the factory entrance and climbed out. Something was missing.

They had covered every inch of the factory floor and found nothing but corpses. Same amount of nothing on the roof. I made a circle around the building, ignoring the shadows hopping from rooftop to rooftop.

The boys were getting antsy.

"Hello Morgan."

"Hello Amy."

She drifted out of the shadows and squeezed me tightly.

"How's the investigation coming?"

"It's alright. Some things still aren't making sense. I'm getting there though."

"I have faith in you. Ms. Onne is moving out."

"The snow ghost from two apartments down?"

Amy nodded.

"She's moving on for the season. Says the people she used to work with might come looking for her and she doesn't want to be found. She even has a new boyfriend and everything."

"I hope things go alright for her."

"I'm sure they will. I told her about your case. She said she had something information for you."

"Do tell."

"She said that her boyfriend was the one that beat the wendigo on the rooftop. Doesn't know how they got into the city. She did say that the one claimed to want to use the city as a hunting ground."

"That helps a great deal Amy. I still have a few loose ends to tie up because I don't think they got in on their own."

She pouted behind a lock of red hair.

"Well when will you be home? I was going to have dinner ready at 8."

"Make it 9 honey. I won't be home until then. Still have the Fiddlers to handle."

"Those ugly fellows following you? They're herding you along you know."

"I know. I figure they want to show off what they're up to before they try to kill me."

"Do try to be careful. Just call if you need a hand."

"Will do."

She smiled and vanished. That was the trouble with being married to a dead woman. So flighty.

An alleyway presented itself to me as I rounded the furthest corner of the factory, a faint light flickering at the end. I wandered down the alleyway, running my hand along the dumpster lining the south wall. A new thirty foot auto-compacting model. The kind with three hatches, each the size of an old style dumpster. One hatch at each end and one in the center. The center hatch was raised up, about two feet higher than the rest of the dumpster. That's where they pumped the cleaning solution in. It was raised up so as the fluid was pumped in, it'd flood out the other two. All just in case someone was caught inside while it was compacting.

Waste-disposal technology at its finest.

At the far end of the dumpster, half of a hobo lay stuck in the snow near a barely lit barrel.

"So, tell me Jack, why light the fire?"

"Believe it or not detective, it never went out."

Behind the flaming barrel, an old native american man stood, his hands in his pockets. He sauntered around the barrel, his only remaining eye locked onto mine.

"You were getting hungry. Even though your instructions told you to wait. You thought you'd just have a snack. It'd be alright."

The old man smiled thin, the tips of sharp teeth showing.

"We know what happens when a Wendigo gets hungry. Everyone else does too. They were making toys detective. Toys give hope. I eat flesh and despair."

"So they died, driven mad by you. You went to take the toys and someone stopped you. They didn't kill you, just left you bound with that shard of silver in your eye."

"Your medical examiner was kind enough to remove it for me. I'll have to thank him in person."

I scratched my head and search my pockets. All out of ProTabs. Rats.

"I'm just curious who let you into the city. Your records are in the system, but you haven't always been here."

"Some secrets are kept to the grave detective."

I sighed softly.

"True enough. I know you're with The Sleepers, but it took a human contact to get you in this far. Somebody wants to be spared if The Sleepers ever manage to take the city. So they helped you two get in to stir things up."

"Should I applaud?"

"Nah. You're animal based, so the Sleeper connection fits. The rest is just common sense."

"If you're done, it's time we kill you."

I took a sip of coffee from my styrofoam cup.

"Yeah. I'm about done. Want some coffee?"


I tossed the cup at his remaining eye, the hot coffee burning his skin. I turned and leap into the dumpster, not waiting to watch Jack Fiddler change into the beast he had hunted for so many years.

Bent nearly in half, I hurried down the dumpster. I heard Jack drop through the hatch behind me as I saw Joseph enter from the other side.

I kept running. Woodchip and butcher shop breath over my shoulder. I kept running.

I met Joseph halfway with a fist to his jaw. Three curved teeth cracked and he whimpered with pain.

I jumped up, up through the center hatch and punched the manual compact button. The steel center hatch slammed closed on Jack's hand. The other two hatches followed half a second behind.

Inside, they howled and screamed and slashed at the walls.

"They make these things awful sturdy anymore. Hit the manual button, the entire thing locks down so no one can fall in while it's compacting. Of course, I could always just hit this button again and make it release. It won't ever open those hatches otherwise.

I don't think I will though.

The center hatch is raised up about two feet above the others. There's probably just enough room for one body to press up into it. Maybe two if you get creative. I'll leave that up to you. I'll send a team to come pick you up in the morning but my dinner's waiting for me. And you know what?

I sure am getting hungry."

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