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Chapter 10: "Foul Hook"


After his meal, Smith drove home to his last night of sleep before his caseload became the stuff of nightmare fantasy.

...



By eight Friday morning, he, Detective Thompson, and Coroner Thompson were southbound for the Thurston County Coroner's Office. Both detectives took their cars.

“In case one of us gets eaten by a shark,” Detective Thompson ribbed.

Dixie rode with Smith. When they arrived, Wallace was there waiting for them, and offered coffee. All declined except Detective Thompson. Coroner Thompson's Thurston County peer was a man named Ben Jones in his mid-forties with a curly gray-and-burgundy beard. He walked them back to the matter at hand. On one table was the wolf creature, and on another was the shark.

“It's the first time I've ever autopsied a shark,” Jones said.

“Sharktopsy,” echoed Thompson, and his ex-wife snickered.

Jones proceeded with his presentation.

“Specifically, what killed the Great White was not the axe in its throat—or rather it only did so indirectly, inasmuch as the axe was the lure that brought the fish from its water, where then it drowned in the dry air,” Jones said. “But by who, and with what line, I don't think we know,” he added, gesturing toward Wallace.

“And we don't, he's right,” Wallace offered. “Somebody must have hauled her out of the ocean with the axe, but I don't know how you get a shark or anything else to swallow an axe by its own volition. An unbaited hook.”

“Trumping that mystery, though, is this of course. What the fish ate before the axe,” Jones said. “This animal lost her top, and one of her canvas high tops; and into her black and pink and very waterlogged skirts is clearly stitched the word “Firepie” here. See?” Jones pointed with his pen.

“We know her,” Detective Thompson said. “So to speak. She killed the last person who attempted to autopsy her, down in Alameda County, after they fished the whole Chino Wheeled Beavers' womens banked track roller derby team out of the San Francisco Bay, and their team bus, a retired ambulance, all drowned like wet rats. Twenty girls, but this one was the only one they found to be weird and hairy like this—at first. Anyway, after she woke up from the dead and mauled the coroner, she ran off. Everyone unloaded their clips into her on her way out, and they trailed her to where she had jumped back into the bay. Later that week, the rest of the team disappeared from the morgue. And on Saturday night they all showed up in furry-zombie-lady glory in the parking lot after the derby match between the Tacoma Davey Jones Lickers and the Seattle Plaiden Switches. We killed four of them, and they killed seven people, all of whom are in our freezer even as we speak. I don't know if this “Firepie” was there Saturday night, or not, or if she made it up the coast by sea and just arrived up here later this week. Anyway these monstrous bitches not only capriciously come back from the dead—but they can make old, beat-up waterlogged ambulances turn over and run, too.”

“Now that's black magic,” Wallace warily smiled.

“So, for starters, I'd say tie her hands and feet. I'd say do it right now,” Detective Thompson said. "A stitch in time saves many and so too might the county rope."

Jones, nodded, and ordered one of his staff to bring some rope. A short time later, the thing was securely bound, just in case. Dixie spoke next.

“In our five wolflady specimens—Ricky's four from Saturday night and the one who was originally in our freezer as a plain regular human body—are human women, or former human women, whose canine evolutionary traits seem to have been suddenly hyper-accentuated. Like they have gone through some evolutionary retrofitting, instantaneously. Whatever is happening to them somehow disproportionately emphasizes certain latent or dormant embedded genomes and phenomes. The chemicals I had embalmed the first one with during her first autopsy when she was still normal physically, were not there when she returned as a creature. Though I did find a new cheeseburger in her gut," she said. "But under her fur, my previous forensic marks were, are, still visible, and her tattoos too. We think she might have transformed during sex, but the greater mystery there is how did she come back from the dead to begin with. And I'm sorry, but I cannot answer you that, Mr. Jones.”

“I'd say burn both of those fucking things, the shark and the wolfbitch,” Detective Thompson said. “Like we did with that drowned undead ambulance that wound up in our tow lot. And Dixie, it's probably due time for us to incinerate ours as well. I think they're probably less likely to return, yet again, if there is nothing left but ashes. We should have put them in that ambulance before we torched it.”

Jones and Wallace thanked the Thompsons for their input regarding their own experience on the mysterious issue. Coroners Thompson and Jones exchanged some technical and scientific paperwork regarding the matter. Wallace and Smith switched the subject over to the Santos and Wells cases, and the group all had a look at Wells' piecemeal remains before leaving.

“I talked to Wells' bandmates, and passively invited them to the wake Saturday. The Kelly Sammys bartender told me, that Santos' memorial will largely involve people drinking at that tavern. You get anything new?” Smith asked.

“Nope,” answered Wallace. “I plan to staff that funeral though. Do you think we should burn this shark and this big weird wolfmonkey thing?”

“I don't know. I guess if you want to. Seems like destruction of perfectly good evidence, but you don't want them waking up and causing additional trouble,” Smith said.
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