With this never-before published follow up to Resurrection, John Frances hunts tracks down demons. A seasoned veteran from the Metro Police Division, Paul has built a renowned career from hunting down serial killers. It should have brought him everything he wished for, with fame, notoriety as well as respect, but rather, it's given him nightmares.
He dreams of torturing ladies, driving them to the actual brink of death as well as beyond, again and again. These visions torment his nights and haunt his daytime hours, and when he learns that he had been sleepwalking, disappearing for uncalculated hours at any given time, he can't help asking himself the question: has the demon hunter become a demon himself?
In the dream, Paul Frances meant to cut off the girl's fingers one by one, using what looked like a stainless steel set of gardening shears.
He could see her terror as he walked toward her. Her large blue eyes, tear-filled and ringed with smeared mascara, grew wide, and her voice escaped in high-pitched frantic mewls as she shook her head slightly back and forth.
"Vthhnnooo," she pleaded. She couldn't be more articulate, thanks to the gag in her mouth: a hard rubber ball held in place with straps of black leather that were belted around her head. He'd found it at a sex shop, in a fetish-toy discount bin.
Perfect, he'd thought, as he'd bought it.
The girl sat in a straight-back wooden chair that looked like pictures of early electric chairs he'd seen in criminal justice textbooks. It had arms with manacle cuffs built in so that her wrists were firmly bound. She wiggled her hands, twisting desperately enough that the edge of the cuff scraped her wrists raw and open.
"Vthhnnooo," she mewled again. "Theeeess...!" No,
She was naked, her pale skin pebbled with goose
bumps. He saw her clothes lying in a tumble next to the chair, the remnants of a blouse with pale blue and lime green vertical stripes, a lacy bra, khaki skirt, bikini-style panties. He'd cut them off of her piece by piece when he'd first delivered her there-the slowness of his actions, the methodical deliberateness with which he had undressed her had terrified her.
Her feet were crossed and lashed together. The end of a length of piano wire, a crude garrote looped taut about her throat and also bound her ankles. Every time she moved her legs, the noose around her neck tightened. She'd fought him enough to that point that the wire had cut through her skin in a thin, bloody seam. It had drawn tightly enough against her windpipe to leave her snuffling for breath. Her attempts to cry at him in implore quickly waned as she struggled to suck in air.
She'd been there for days, bound to the chair. Two lanterns set on opposite sides of the large room provided dim but adequate illumination. The ceiling was covered in crumbling, ruined plaster. The painted concrete walls were faded, chipped and cracked. The floor was littered in plaster and debris; he could hear it crunching beneath the soles of his shoes as he walked toward her.
Perfect, he thought.
He had found the shears on a small metal tray resting atop a wheeled dolly, like the sort dental hygienists use to wheel their supplies around examination rooms. There had been an assortment of picks, knives, scalpels and instruments there, all immaculate and glistening in the stark white light.
He felt no reservations about what he was about to do. Nothing in his mind screamed at him to stop-not even the part of him that had been a seasoned police officer, a homicide detective, for more than fifteen years. She couldn't pull her hand away, and he slipped the sharpened blades of the shears around her index finger.
She pleaded with him, her voice sodden and choked for breath, stifled around the ball. Paul flexed his hand, closing his fingers around the trigger grasp of the shears. He felt a moment of tension as the powerful blades closed, and then a sharp, wet, satisfying snict!
For a moment, less than a second, there was nothing but silence. And then he heard a soft whap as the length of her severed finger struck the concrete floor below, the faint scrape as the manicured tip of her fingernail hit the ground.
The girl began to scream. Nearly choked or not, garrote or not, she found the breath and voice to shriek hoarsely. She thrashed in the chair, shrugging her shoulders and when she tried to kick her feet, the line of piano wire whipped tightly. Her cry immediately dissolved into a strangled wheeze.