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Bloodshot by Cherie Priest

By Cherie Priest

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Sample text

It began with a card I received in the mail. A simple card doesn’t sound so strange, but the extenuating circumstances were these: (1) The card arrived at my home address; (2) it was addressed to me, personally, by name; and (3) I didn’t recognize the handwriting. I can count on one hand the number of people who might send me a note at home, and I’ve known each of those folks for decades. This was somebody new. And instinct and experience told me that this was Not A Good Thing. The envelope also lacked a postmark, which was a neat trick considering the locked residential boxes downstairs.

A few decades of service (or however long) in exchange for a steady supply of your favorite drug and eventually … eternal life. Yeah. I can see what’s in it for the ghouls. But like any addict of any stripe, sometimes they get greedy. Or they get angry, or they fall in unrequited love with their boss, or any number of other monkey wrenches that can trash your arrangement. It doesn’t happen often, but every now and again a ghoul will snap and rebel. Those folks I mentioned before that vampires worked over?

Profitable, yes, but there’s no dignity in it, and I don’t need the money that badly. In fact, I don’t need the money at all. I’ve been at this gig for nearly a century, and in that time I’ve stored up quite a healthy little nest egg. I suppose this begs the question of why I’d even bother with loathsome cases, if all I’m going to do is bitch about them. It can’t be mere boredom, can it? Mere boredom cannot explain why I willingly breached the bedroom of a fifty-year-old man with a penchant for stuffed animals in Star Trek uniforms.

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