In the big city, in the quiet nouveau district of Chelsea Street, Alec Nietupski sat sideways on his lighted front porch steps. His bulging yellowish eyes gazed intently at the mysterious winged portal above his front door.
I hope you know what you're doing, friend, he was thinking.
"You got bullets in that thing, don't you," Monks was asking Brad. "Won't matter how good a shot you are if . . . Angie? Angie?"
Brad looked up to see Monks' face drained of color. The big man, mouth wide, was gazing off over Brad's shoulder. Brad heard a sucking-pop and spun around to see a heavy set, naked woman walking toward them in the forty-degree night air. Like a sleep-walker, she slowly raised an arm toward Monks and mouthed theword "blood."
"Monks, what's going on?"
The big man was rooted, eyes wide and unseeing, like a coma patient.
"Monks!" Brad shouted, reaching up and shaking him by the shoulders. "Ernie. Who is that."
Monks shook his head and focused on Brad's face. "That's Angie," he muttered. "That's my girlfriend, Angie."
"Monks, you shithead, you told me that you killed your girlfriend."
"I did kill her. It can't be Angie, but it is. Oh, shit, it's the Memphis-Mangler. Angie's dead. It has to be the Memphis-Mangler fixed up to look like her. Kill it. Shoot it."
Brad turned toward the advancing woman. "Who are you?"
She ignored him. Did not show that she even knew Brad was there but kept advancing on Monks, who by now had retreated until his back was up against Brad's car.
Brad reached out a hand to grab her arm. The flesh was ice cold, slimy, and unyielding, like clutching a dead python. The girl kept walking, knocking Brad on his ass by the base of the big tree. This was when Brad saw the black murky shadow. A shadow so thick and viscid that it blocked out the sight of the leaves that should have been beneath it.
(Cast your shadow in his wake.)
Brad, swallowing his fear, looked up.
In a dim corner of the Morelli roof crouched an oval, purple figure, faintly glimmering against the night ski.
(Beware of watchers as you sleep, or to the eyrie your soul will creep.)
"I'm sorry Angie, so sorry. I didn't mean to do it You know I love you. I'm sorry." Monks blubbered as the Angie-thing moved in.
Brad saw her pointed finger slide into Monks' cheek like a stalk of celery into a Bloody Mary.
Brad stood and fired a shot above the thing on the roof. "I see you, bitch. I'm watching. Go to back to hell!"
A wild gust of stinking wind from the junkyard blew grit into Brad's eyes. A sobbing shriek rang out, deafening him momentarily.
Furiously rubbing his stinging eyes, with one hand, Brad lifted his gun to take a shot. This time he'd shoot the Wrenge.
It was gone.
Monks lay half under Brad's car, blood streamed from a hole in his face but he was still breathing.
Continued . . .
Link to Wrenge (1)
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