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Monday, September 29

Last Rites: Part 2 – The Terror Begins

RUNVILLE, MA—Runville was tiny and isolated. A narrow, lumpy dead-end road wound through dreary marshes that often flooded the road in the winter. Inland, the road joined a state highway.

The town was carved out of the bluff below, well above the sea but the streets were built on tiers like a lopsided wedding cake. Below the fishermen, who lived on the lowest level, was a shingle-covered beach and a sheltering cove. The Springer Mansion was the sole exception, a sprawling manor that included a private dock to the shore. A lighthouse, situated on a notorious shoal a few miles out into the Atlantic, gave a baleful glare as it rotated its all-seeing eye into the chilling fog.

The team arrived at a cabin on the highest level of Runville, starkly illuminated by the lights of the county sheriff’s vehicle.

"This is the town where Robert said the three remaining cultists were hiding out," Hammer whispered to Jim-Bean.

Sheriff Maurice Talbott was on the scene, along with his deputy, Toby Ettringer. A grossly bloody sheet was lifted into a nearby ambulance.

Hammer flashed his badge. "Federal agent. What have we got?"

“Two kids in one of the cabins nearby here," said Talbott to Hammer. "One was knifed in the head, the other looks like her head was crushed.”

He shot Hammer a sideways glance. “If the Feds are snooping around then that confirms my worst suspicions. This is a serial killer we got on our hands, huh?” He shook his head. “Hard to believe a little girl like that could do so much harm.”

"Lucinda Ennis is the suspect?" asked Jim-Bean.

Talbott nodded. “We’ve got all officers, all units and stations within a fifty-mile radius alerted about this wacko kid. Lucy came running into the sheriff’s office, claiming that her father was alive. She said she dug up his body and poured something over it, some crazy potion she got from her boyfriend. Lucy said her father came back to life, but she couldn’t control him. When we didn’t immediately agree to help her, she made a grab for one of our rifles. Locked her ass up. Should have stayed there too.”

“Locked her up? How did she get out?” asked Hammer.

“We were told to let her out.” Talbott took his hat off and scratched his head. “We even took her to the Eternal Rest cemetery to prove that her father was still dead, but that wasn’t enough for her either. Lucy said someone covered up her father’s grave.” Talbott shook his head. “I don’t find it amusing that the nut house Lucy belonged to thought she was responsible enough to be released into the Doc’s care here.”

"What nuthouse is that?" asked Guppy quietly.

"Arkham Asylum," said a familiar soft voice behind them.

Tablott looked over Guppy's shoulder him a glare. “Where’s my manners? This here’s Dr. Alan Ettringer, a psychiatrist from Arkham Asylum. We released Lucy into his custody.”

Jim-Bean was very still. Did Ettringer even remember him? [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:06 AM


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