Killer

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Prologue:Moonlight dappled the dark, smooth surface of the lake, and something large made a quiet plunking sound as it broke the still water, somewhere out in the blackness. A huge, naked man dragged the brutalized carcass of what was once a pretty teenage girl named Jessica carelessly along a rotting old dock that jutted out over the water. The full, silvery moon gave him light enough to pick his way, carefully stepping around loose, spongy boards to avoid falling through. There were things in this lake even he was wary of. He came to the edge of the dock and inhaled the night air deeply, expanding his massive chest. Except for the water lapping at the dock, all was quiet. Few animals ever snuck out of the woods to drink or hunt here, and those that braved the lake only did so out of desperation. And the people that built the camp where he lived, and this dock; they all disappeared long ago. Another human hadn't willingly stepped in these still woods in years.A sharp, gore-stained hunting knife glittered in his free hand. More drying blood covered his naked body from head to toe. The faint smell of the blood and the dead meat he carried would attract those that lived in the lake, driving them into a blood-frenzy; but that was expected. The man was not afraid or overly concerned; he had made the offering many times before. The scars covering his body would protect him with their magic, for a time. Not long, but time enough to finish his grisly chore, and keep the nameless things he served appeased for yet another day.The splash came again, but louder, and now joined by another, and yet another, jarring the man from his reverie. He shook himself from the daze and reversed the knife in his grip, then bent over the body and stabbed the blade deep into the dead girls' cold, mutilated flesh. Her glazed eyes seemed to stare up at him, pleading. Vexed, he cut the eyes out of their sockets and threw them into the water for the waiting, hungry things to fight over. Then he gutted the body like a fish, working slowly and methodically, hacking off thick chunks of the pale flesh and tossing the offal into the water. Instantly, the mirror surface around the dock turned into a frothing, churning mass of gnashing fangs. The whorls of scar tissue covering his hairless body glowed red, then white-hot as the things fed. He whistled to himself while he finished his grisly chore, finally filling the corpses' empty belly with heavy stones, and tossing the remains into the lake.He watched her sink in a bloody cloud. He knew that even the bones would be gone by morning.The man wiped sweat and blood from his eyes and started back to camp. The work had aroused him. The moon was still bright, calling him, and he still had two more pretty toys to play with before eventually, they too would find their ultimate fate at the water's edge.*** There's a rest stop up ahead. Mary's husband Gus pointed at the faded, bullet-pocked green road sign as they passed. Half a mile. He turned to her and stretched, scratching at what was left of his wispy-grey hair. Up for a break? I sure am. Mary rubbed her tired, drooping eyes with the heel of her hand, trying to wipe away the scratchy, itchy-burning sensation that felt like sandpaper under her eyelids. It didn't help. Hadn't for hours, really. She was half-asleep, driving by instinct. Only Gus's rip-saw snores from the passenger seat had kept her awake these last several miles. He'd finally mumbled something incoherent about pumpkins and woke up when she rolled down her window to get some fresh air. It was dusk; the purple streaks from the sunset were fading black, and the thick growth of trees lining the steep embankment blotted out what was left of the sunlight. She inhaled the cool night breeze blowing through the car and smelled the moist air from the creek running along the bottom of the hillside to their right. They were on their way back North to Seattle from California, after a two-week visit with their daughter Jenny and her family. They loved the kids dearly, but after two weeks of hyper, sugar-fueled grandchildren; the non-stop, go-go-go to every theme park, marina, and beach in the state, as well as all of the other things they had cram in on the visit