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Short Story: Blood and Claws


The blood was splattered up the wall, the perfect arterial spray. It stretched from the ground all the way up to head height. The human body contained an average of eight pints of blood, but when it spilt it looked like much, much more. The victim on the ground had been almost completely drained, and not cleanly.

Around the body was the rest of his blood, pooled around two large rips in his chest and neck. The flesh from those areas was missing. A search of the area had found nothing outside the attack radius. In fact, once you stepped away from the body and the blood spillage, it could have been almost any other street in the city. The attacker had kept things simple. And, wherever those chunks of flesh had gone, they had been completely removed from the scene without a trace.

Next to the body sat what looked like a bullet casing. The detective, his raincoat protecting him from the slow drizzle that had continued for more than an hour, picked it up. His gloved hands preserved the grime and dirt that had collected on its surface. No, not a bullet casing. A claw. He turned it over in his hand, inspecting it closely. He knew that this claw would match the marks that had been scoured into the victim’s body. He placed it in a see through zip bag and left it in his coat pocket.

He looked over the scene. The victim had been alone when they had been attacked. The attacker had approached the victim from behind, slashing at his back and throat with quick swipes. Then the victim had fallen to the ground, blood spraying up the wall and collecting in pools beneath their body. It was then that the attacker had taken two large bites from the victim.

Something must have spooked the attacker, otherwise there was no doubt that there would have been more than just a couple of bites.

It bore all the hallmarks of a large animal attack, but the patterns were all wrong. The attacker had been stood on two legs when it had reached the victim. There were no such animals in this part of the world, let alone in a city like this. Except for one.

There had been no witnesses. At least, none that had been willing to come forward so far. The detective thought that there might be at least a few homeless vagrants nearby that had seen the whole thing, but they were the least likely to make themselves known to the authorities. That was one less complication to worry about.

The detective turned up his collar, hiding his face from the light of the full moon. He slipped into the shadows and away from the crime scene. Now that he had the only true piece of evidence in his possession, it was unlikely that the source of the attack would be found. It had been foolish of him to think that the curse had left him, that he could walk freely in the light of the moon.

Next time his fate might be the same as his unfortunate victim.

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