Drinker of Souls
Sometime after midnight, a young gymnast in his mid twenties was running hard through Central Park, as he was being chased by a man, who wore a black mask over his eyes, a tuxedo, and a long black cloak, as if he thought of himself as a mix of Zorro and James Bond. The gymnast had been there to meet up with someone he had met online, but when he arrived, he found this man, whoever he was, waiting for him instead.
As he took off running in hopes of finding help, he struggled to call 911 on his cell phone, but dropped it because he was shaking in fear and he didn't stop to pick it back up. As he was about to reach the exit, the young man suddenly ran into a woman, causing them both to crumble to the ground. He struggled to get back up as he started begging her for help, but the woman began to try to seduce him, rather than pay attention to what he was saying. From the way she was dressed, he quickly deduced that she was a prostitute.
Once he was back up on his feet, he turned to run again, but ended up running straight into his attacker, who suddenly thrust a long, dark sword through his chest, then pulled it back out with just as much strength. The woman, still on the ground, screamed hysterically as she watched the masked man stab the younger man and in order to quiet her, stuck his sword into her abdomen, holding it there until she was dead.
The gymnast struggled to breathe while he looked up into his attacker's eyes, which appeared to glow red, as the man knelt down over him. The man smiled and then began to wipe off his victim's blood from the sword slowly in hopes of taunting him. The young man softly begged for him to spare his life, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.
As the attacker finished, he put the weapon back into the sheath on his belt and said, "I'm sorry you won't make it for your date. Your soul called out to us. We can feel it and we can feel hers as well. Thank you."
The man stood up, as the gymnast died after his body had wilted and shriveled up, then slowly walked away, leaving behind the two bodies for anyone to find. As he did so, he was mesmerized by a whispering voice that only he could hear, as it spoke to him, telling him it was thirsty and ordered him to find it another. The masked murderer only nodded as he smiled and disappeared into the shadows.
Univille, South Dakota…
The next morning, Myka, Artie, Claudia, and Leena were all sitting at the dining room table at Leena's bed and breakfast, while Pete was jumping all around the room, wildly telling them all about the big fight on TV he had watched on his own the night before. Everyone was laughing, except for Artie, as he was trying to concentrate on a voicemail left for him by Vanessa.
"For crying out loud, Pete, sometimes you can be such a child!" Artie said in exasperation after finally hanging up the phone. "Couldn't you see I was on the phone?"
"Of course, Artie, but oh you should have seen it!" Pete cried out animatedly. "Kingpin took down The Hammer with a knuckle punch to the left side of his head and then finished him off with a rabbit punch. It may have disqualified him from the match, but it was amazing!"
Artie stared at Pete as he responded, "If I had any idea what you just said, I would try to join in on your excitement, but as usual, I don't."
Myka spoke up as she replied, "A rabbit punch, is an illegal punch to the back of the boxer's head or his body. The Kingpin is a dirty fighter with a hot temper, who's been disqualified on several occasions."
The others looked at her in surprise as Claudia asked, "And how on earth do you know that?"
"I may have listened to Pete briefly once or twice when he's gone on and on about this stuff," Myka answered in shame.
"Forgive me, Myka, but these boxing matches are not stuff," Pete protested. 'It's the ultimate sport. It's raw power and anger. It's awesome!"
"You say that every sport you get into is the ultimate sport," Leena said. "You said it when we watched this year's Superbowl."
Claudia added, "That's right! And you said it when you watched the Daytona 400, as well as the World Series."
Pete finally spoke up again as he retorted, "First of all, it's the Daytona 500, not 400. Secondly, I don't say every sport is the ultimate sport. I hate golf because it's boring, volleyball, unless it's played by women, is, I don't know what it is, and rugby is just stupid. Believe me, I don't like every sport."
"Whatever!" Artie spoke up again finally. "I've got a new case for you and Myka. I got a voice message from Vanessa…"
"Ooh, Vanessa, your girlfriend!" Pete interrupted in fun.
Artie barked, "Grow up!"
Pete quickly sat down in his seat as he softly responded sheepishly, "Sorry."
"As I was saying," the older man continued. "Vanessa wants the two of you to investigate the unnatural and freaky deaths of three victims, the third one being found in Central Park. She wants you to meet her at the morgue. I'll text you the address."
"New York City; all right!" Pete replied again in excitement. "Are you sure you don't want to come so you can see your, lady friend?"
Artie glared at the younger agent as he said, "You will never change, will you?"
Pete smiled as he answered, "You know you wouldn't have it any other way."
"Pete's right, Artie," Myka agreed. "As annoying as he is, you would miss him if he left and so would the rest of us."
"Just get out of here and go pack, will you?" Artie responded in frustration. "I will call her back to let her know that you're on your way. Good bye!"
Claudia followed Pete and Myka out of the room and up the stairs as she said, "I'd say Mr. Grumpy woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning."
Artie shouted out from the dining room, "I heard that!"
"Sorry!" she shouted back.
About forty minutes later, Pete and Myka had finished packing their bags, then left Univille to drive to the nearest airport in order to catch the next flight out to New York City. On the plane, Myka read her latest book she was currently reading, while Pete struggled to sleep, as he had not been sleeping much over the last few days. He's been getting strange vibes that were telling him that something bad was going to happen soon, but he had no idea what it was and it's troubled him. He wanted to tell Myka, but decided against it until he could figure it out.