Zigs woke with a start on his mat. He shook his head vigorously against the fogginess of sleep. He tried to remember how he had made it home to bed, but the memory escaped him. His mouth felt dry. Maybe he’d been drinking?
He got up and poured some water in his bowl. The last thing he could remember was wracking his brain about the change in the killer’s MO. Bits and fragments of the night flashed back. He remembered the Monkey’s corpse partially tucked away. He remembered the crime scene unit arriving. He vaguely recalled his conversation with Liz, the head of the crime scene unit, but the details seemed fuzzy. Something about the angle of the body, the force required to break the bones and cram the corpse into so small a space. The killer was strong. Zigs knew he was smart too.
Then it came back to him. He had met his old partner, Chuck, later that night. They had talked about the case while they played some ball. Chuck had been great, and Zigs had been sorry to see him go. He had a doctor’s mind when it came to precision, and that was the kind of insight Zigs needed. They’d gone out for drinks afterwards, and the night must have gone well because Zigs could remember staggering outside to piss. They’d parted ways, and that’s where his memory vanished.
He finished his breakfast. It was the same gluten free gruel he ate every day, the product of a stress filled job and specific dietary requirements. He was just getting ready to head out the door when his phone rang. He was honestly amazed it hadn’t rung sooner.
“Zigs,” he answered.
“Get your ass over to the Dinging Room,” snapped Chief Weiss.
“Good morning to you too,” he barked back.
“There’s been another murder over by the nightclub. This might be our breakthrough. The killer left a weapon.”
Zigs felt a chill run up his spine, as if the hair on his back was standing on end. This was it. This was what he needed to nab the bastard. The murderer had already broken from his pattern, and now seemed to be devolving. He was getting sloppy, and that’s how he’d get caught.
“On my way,” Zigs said. “I should be there in ten minutes.”
There was a large crowd in the middle of the day. Weiss was already there, as well as CSU. It was the first time he had been late to the party. He made his way past the tape and over to the body. He nearly recoiled at the sight.
The monkey was on its back, its throat completely opened and its life spilled on the surrounding ground. The organs of the neck were pulled out like stuffing. The killed had acted like a wild dog; this was more than murder. This was enjoyment.
Zigs’ eyes were next drawn to the weapon haphazardly tossed across the monkey’s chest. It reminded him of a medieval flail, a studded ball attached to a wooden handle by a chain. It looked to have caused severe damage to the body of the monkey, but it was not responsible for the throat.
Zigs moved closer, hearing the words of Liz and Weiss, but not really listening. The same, sudden pain shot behind his eyes, and he shook his head against it. He knelt beside the body, looking into the panic stricken eyes. He could still smell the lingering terror. His eyes focused on the neck; he was no expert, but it looked like teeth.
“Liz,” he said, motioning for her. “The murderer used his teeth on this. Make sure you get a swab for DNA. And check that flail for prints.” He stood to leave.
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Weiss asked. “You just got here.”
“I’ve seen all I need to see,” he answered. “Only one place he could have gotten that weapon.”
“Are you going to share with us?” she asked testily.
“When I know more.”
He walked back to his car, his head throbbing. Why wouldn’t it go away? And why was his mouth dry again?
Follow along with Zigs from the beginning