TITLE: Smoke and Wait
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
Dmitry sat on the ground between the two bodies. The bloated stinking corpse to his left would never move again. The young girl on his right would stir soon. He could have been on his way hours ago. Instead, he sat and waited.
Their numbers were increasing and far outstripping Dmitry’s abilities to contain them. He hadn’t the first idea where to turn. The others would do nothing unless paid. Dmitry wished, not for the first time, that he didn’t care.
The girl was no more than nineteen. A broken heart dangled from a chain around her neck, the small golden charm engraved with a name: Annie. Was this Annie? Or was Annie wearing this girl’s heart against her chest. Whoever she was, the girl had suffered a lonely death on the forest floor. The part of him that wasn’t exhausted, that very small part, mourned for her.
Dmitry didn’t believe in ghosts or angels. He believed in what he could see and touch. And what he could remember. He remembered the smell of Elena’s perfume, the sound of her voice. She’d loved him until she’d died a normal, human death. Elena never let him forget he cared, even when he wanted to.
And that was why, when the dead girl’s eyes opened, Dmitry apologized before he cut off her head.