The Corpse
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There was no question that he had died a frightful death. The evidence of the terrible event was written in every line on his pained face. The eyes still bulged, the mouth agape, perhaps in a permanent scream, the hands clawing at the pavement - fingertips bloody from scratching at the ground, or his attacker since there could be no question that this had been murder. The gaunt figure of this man left an indelible impression on her mind, usually adept at handling situations of extreme horror. This was different; this seemed somehow unfinished and promoted the paranoid need to scream long fearful cries into the claustrophobic night.

She walked over to the hat, some five yards away from the body. This might help distract her from the weight of death that hung over the scene like a ghastly candelabra swinging from its chain and threatening to descend upon the head at any moment. It was an ordinary hat, a fedora of absolutely no consequence. It was olive green and had a black ribbon wrapped around the brim, nothing special, unlike the body. She examined the hat carefully, but it offered no clues. Only the distance presented the possibility of evidence.

  
 
Back to the body and an immediate fascination for the lips - curled back in that frightful scowl. What has done this? she wondered. What COULD have done this? The body was not dismembered, but the skin of every part had been carefully sliced, as though by a surgeon, in strips of milli-metric distance, exposing the muscle underneath, and in some places, the fat or the bone. It was as though someone or something had been interested in creating a perfect anatomical example of the human form. The skin was elevated and curled like pieces of cooked bacon, allowing what was underneath to peek through. Her stomach unhinged itself, and she had to turn away and be sick on the ground away from the rotten image. Why did I come here alone? her mind cursed.

Then, she heard the faint echo of a siren, and oh, thank God, it's the police.

As the vehicle approached, her apprehension returned. The car looked unlike any cop car she'd ever seen. There was something very unnatural about its appearance. The car came to a halt and two figures emerged in the darkness, shadows looming large and menacing in the white of the headlights. There was something not entirely human-looking about them, but she could not make out what her eyes were seeing because the headlights made it impossible to distinguish anything more than shadow. They approached with intimidating speed.

When she was finally able to make out their terrible faces, it was far too late. She screamed when the first one got a hold of her arm. She screamed louder when the second exposed its gruesome teeth, and as they both sliced into her throat, she screamed one last time.

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