“Was she wearing red lipstick?” Bill asked.

“I’m sorry?” the coroner said.

“The killer,” Bill said. “Henley said the girl that attacked him and murdered the others was wearing red lipstick.”  

“No lipstick, but…” The coroner paused and rubbed his receding hairline absently.


“Your boys put so many bullets in her that she bled clean out, sheriff,” the coroner said. “Except. Well, it’s the damnedest thing.”

“What is?”

“Not a drop in her body, except,” the coroner lowered his voice. “Except her lips. They’re as red as if she were still alive!”

Bill scratched his chin, taking in this bit of information. An uncomfortable silence fell between them broken only by the whirring of the ceiling fan.

“What else can you tell me about her?” Bill said at last.

“Long nails,” the coroner said. “Thick ones. A lot of dirt and skin under them, too.”


“From her victims.”

“Anything else?” Bill asked.

“That’s all we know so far,” the coroner shrugged. “I got my assistant working on her now.” 

Bill’s body stiffened. “You mean she ain’t on ice anymore?” he asked.

“Not right now,” the coroner said. “We’re just starting the—”

Suddenly, a terrible scream split the air. They rushed out of the coroner’s office and down the hallway to the exam room. Bill whipped out his revolver and burst through the door.

The coroner’s assistant lay on the floor, blood pooling around his body. Crouching in the window at the far end of the room was a white, vaguely feminine figure. It turned it’s hairless head and gazed at them with huge and fearful eyes. A pair of blood-red lips writhed in a ghastly imitation of a smile. Then it sprang through the window and vanished into the night.

“Shit,” Bill sighed, holstering his gun. “Not again.”