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The Dark Edge


Taken by Force


Hidden from View


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THE VICTIM IN THE BATH --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Where's the lights?"

"I'm looking," said Eddon. "Don't touch anything."

"I'm not."

They spoke with their hands clamped over their mouths and noses. Inside the bathroom the smell was overpowering. It was not a smell of fresh blood, but tainted and slightly putrescent.

"Ow!" cried Vail suddenly.

"What?"

"I think I just stepped on one of those metal-carving tools."

The lights in the corridor cast scarcely any illumination into the bathroom. Eddon ran his hands over the walls by the door, searching for the light-switch. At last he found it.

The tiny glowing lights seemed to spring out from all sides, reflected and multiplied in sheets of mirror glass. There were mirrors set into the walls, and mirrors set into the panelling around the bath. The bath itself was made of stainless steel, with brass taps sculptured into fantastically contorted shapes.

Eddon looked around for the body. There were smears of blood everywhere. The tools used by the killer lay scattered on the floor, along with various articles of clothing. But no body. Vail dropped her bag with a bang. She let out a gulping choking sound.

"In the bath," she said.

The bath was half-filled with a murky slop, dark red with bits of pink and browny-purple. The pink bits were segments of human flesh, the browny-purple were human organs. They protruded above the surface of the slop like meat in a casserole.

Eddon stepped up beside her.

"Ugh!" he said. "Dismembered. He must've chopped her up right here in the bath."

 

 
   
   
   
 

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Richard Harland.