Can’t you hear me knockin’, yeah, down the gas light street, now
Here’s a snippet from Chapter Five of “Vampire Syndrome”, in Damien’s point of view:
Interrogation Room Four. Taylor’s blonde girlfriend Lauren Heinrich has been chewing gum and filing her fingernail tips during my entire round of questioning. Vanity or nervousness? Probably both.
“Distinguishing characteristics?” I ask.
Lauren stops filing her nails.
She puts the nail file in her purse, then spits her gum into a tissue. Lauren fixes her gaze on mine.
“The kid had Down Syndrome,” Lauren says. “I used to live in Kansas City back in the forties, so I heard all about what you did to that one girl.”
Not only that, a bunch of damn loudmouth Vampires there are still yapping about it. Kansas City, Missouri. Home of great barbecue and “Damien killed the retarded Vampire girl” stories.
“When you were living there,” I ask Lauren, “did you happen to hear any rumors about who may have sexually assaulted her?”
“No,” she replies. “Kansas City Security never even named a suspect. Sorta like Jack The Ripper.”
I snicker, then say, “The Normal detectives at London Metro never considered the possibility of a Jill The Ripper.”
“No way,” Lauren gasps. “She was a Vampire, right?”
“Who?” Lauren asks.
“Classified,” I reply, with a wink.
Lilith Morrigan. Our president. Also known, only to me, as Jill The Ripper. She didn’t seem to think any of those London hookers I was scouting out were worthy of becoming a Vampire and keeping me company.
Lauren asks, “Was this Jill The Ripper using her surgical tools to cut out her victim’s bite marks?”
Great. Lauren’s now interrogating me.
“Possibly. We don’t know for sure, Miss Heinrich.”
I had to love Lilith’s use of surgical instruments as the signature clue to throw off the Normals. “They say I’m a doctor now,” ha ha. Lilly carved their bodies like Pures cutting body parts from cattle. A clue only I would get. And she knew it.
Lauren leans in closer to me, smiles and asks “Is Jill The Ripper still alive?”
I really shouldn’t be answering Lauren’s questions, of course, but I admire her thirst for knowledge.
“The Council of Thirteen ordered the Venators, including myself, to conduct an official investigation. The results were inconclusive.”
No wonder. Lilly was Chief Venator back then. Our dear boss. She even had me scribble the From Hell letter and post it to George Lusk. That same letter is now framed on my desk, and Lilly’s Saucy Jacky postcard is locked in her wall safe.
Lauren asks, “How could the investigation be inconclusive when you knew she was female?”
Good question, Lauren. You might be a candidate to become a Security detective like Betty when you get older. Then you could investigate your boyfriend’s stupid pranks.
“The only Vampire who witnessed one of her killings didn’t provide us with enough details to make a positive ID. Our report states only that the suspect was an unidentified female Vampire.”
That Vampire hooker who caught Lilly in the act was not about to report who the killer was, even to us. Lilly told me afterward she “swore that whore to silence or death.”
“Well, Mister Chief Venator,” Lauren says, “I sure hope you catch this Down Syndrome kid.”
“Thanks. And don’t worry, Miss Heinrich,” I reply. “He’s handicapped. Once I find him, he’s done for. It’s not like he’s gonna be another Ripper giving us the slip.”