I spent the night in my van a couple miles away. When I woke up and checked my phone, I saw a bunch of news stories about a “bizarre incident” at the abandoned Angel Square Mall. A pack of wild dogs or wolves or coyotes had attacked and killed 11 men and 2 women.
There was a lot of talk about how this never happens. Stray dogs or dog-wolf hybrids sometimes bite people, but nothing like this. One site talked about how in 1450, a pack of wolves came into Paris and killed 40 people. That was the best historical incident they could come up with.
I drove back to Gary’s house and found him sitting by the pool with a bottle of gin. There was a pill bottle on the ground beside him as well. I asked him how he did it without the stone. He said that she “made” him do it. He kept saying it over and over again “she made me, I didn’t want to, she made me”.
I went downstairs and found her body. She was lying face-down with the upper part of her body in a suitcase that had been lined with plastic. For the blood. Her hair was matted with it so thick that it seemed like mud.
I keep hearing about how powerful blood magic is. I guess that’s true.
When I went to leave, Gary was standing in the entryway looking like a man defeated by life. I’ve seen the eyes of crack addicts and hope to die drunks. The look in his eye was the same. He said that he could still teach me the ritual to save Eterno. His voice was so quiet that I barely heard him. He said that he could still do something good.
I walked out the door.