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Lord of the Harvest

      Detective Jared Taylor peered around the entrance to the house, letting his eyes soak up visual details as he groped for the ability to understand what he saw. The cabin was a swank, backwoods retreat for a rich family; a place for them to unwind from the stresses of city life. The Jameson family was well liked in the area, cosmopolitan though they were. That amiable relationship made the scene in front of him that much harder to accept. Taylor had arrived late to the crime scene, the victim of his own Thanksgiving feast and the prying eyes and lips of his wife’s family.

      Taylor slowly moved into the house. The mudroom was relatively unscathed. A single trail of bloody footprints led from the gore-drenched living room to the front door. Taylor glanced back one final time at the suspect, the 17 year old boy. He was in shock, something of a mystery since he’d been found holding a bloody knife, hands covered in blood with his family, or what was left of them, strewn across the dining and living rooms. The house had been dark when the responding officers had arrived, but they were on now. He’d always thought Donnie had been a good kid, but maybe he’d misjudged the young man.

      The scene before him as he entered the living room was like something out of a horror movie. Blood drenched the entire house, floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall. Taylor was used to crime scenes, but the scale of this was as incredible as it was terrifying. They’d had to take pictures before entering any room, since they had to walk through the blood slicked hallway in order to examine the dining room. As he moved down the hallway, past the living room, Taylor forced his stomach not to void it’s contents, so nauseating was the atmosphere in the house.

      He’d thought the living room was terrifying, but the dining room made him forget the other room completely. Taylor was a seasoned veteran, with nearly 25 years behind him. He’d investigated everything from drownings to bear attacks, suicides to rapes. But nothing in his career had prepared him for the scene in front of him. Body parts littered the room, some simply laying on the floor while others had literally been mounted on the chandelier hanging over the large oak table, blood dripping onto the untouched turkey set upon it. But the part that made his skin crawl, made him want to just run the from the house and drink away the images, were the heads. Eyes open, as if staring at him, they’d been mounted on the antlers on the far wall.

      Taylor turned from the dismembered scene, covering his mouth with the back of his hand. He was about to make his way from the room, when he stopped. He briefly looked back at the heads on the wall. Walter, Denise, Roger, Sarah… Where was Jenny? The youngest of the family, she surely would have been present. His pace quickened as he left the bloodbath behind, now desperately searching for the little girl with the red bow in her hair and the ready smile. He was so intent on clearing the dining room that he almost didn’t notice the movement on the floor. It was a trickle of blood, slowly flowing from behind one of the closed doors in the hallway. No one had cleared the rest of the house, the suspect being in custody already. They were still dealing with the main crime scene. He gingerly stepper towards the door, gloved hand gripping the silver-plated handle.

      He pulled the oaken door open as he twisted the knob. The walk-in closet was dark, but the light from the room showed him everything he needed to see. Jenny lay on the floor, blood pooling around the gash in her neck, obviously dead. But the body of the child on the floor was not what caused Taylor’s heart to skip a beat. The figure in the closet stood, dressed in all black, like the shadow of death incarnate. The man smiled as he saw the blood drain from Taylor’s face, the knife in his hand turning in the light to show the still fresh blood dripping from it.

      “Happy Thanksgiving, Detective. Glad you could make it.”

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