A novella of paranormal and supernatural horror
from Red Rose Publishing

Hi. My name is Alexis Hembree, and I'm a cop. My partner and I are good at our jobs, except we don't tend to work what others would call a normal beat. For some reason we draw evil to us like flies to sugar.
Sometimes there are things in this world we can't explain or anticipate. But when they cross that line between their existence and ours, when they show up, we have to deal with them as best we can.
Some cops fight criminals. We fight something that never should have existed.
The little Chinese woman looked at me, then turned her head to hurry down the alley. The wind blew past me, then turned and went down the alleyway to follow her. After her. Intent on her. The wind moaned. Its stomach growled. It turned to follow the little Chinese woman who smelled just like her kitchen. It blew past me like a cool winter wind on that muggy night, and went after the little Chinese wo—
I jerked awake, sitting up in bed so fast that I almost passed out. I was shivering uncontrollably, my teeth chattering, my jaws aching from the strain. I couldn’t stop rocking. I couldn’t stop clutching the bedcovers to my chest as my body flashed fiery hot, then freezing cold, as the pain in my chest threatened to crush me inward like an aluminum can.
A small cry started somewhere inside me and crawled up my windpipe until it escaped.
It went after the little Chinese woman. It stopped behind her and called out to her. Got her attention so that she turned to face it out of curiosity. Her eyes widened. She grew entranced, and she smiled. She reached out but took a step back. And another step. And another step. She backed into a pile of boxes, then crawled backwards into the pile until she was sitting on top of them. She smiled again. Her eyes glittered with a glorious rainbow of lights.
I knew.
I knew what had killed those women.
I knew why it had killed those women.
She opened her mouth to call out to it. She reached out to touch it and draw it to her. Her mouth continued to open, wider and wider, until her eyes no longer reflected the rainbow. Now they held fear. Fear and pain. Indescribable pain. She tried to scream, but the sound died in her throat as the blood began to pour back into her windpipe, choking her. Drowning her.
The skin on her lips peeled away, like the sloughing of sunburned skin. More skin slipped off, peeling, flayed down past the gums to the jaws. And then the bone was finally exposed, in all its baby pink beauty. The insides of the cheeks were next to go.
It was a steady, singular process, from lips to cheeks, to upper palate, then tongue. Yet it only took seconds. Less than a handful of breaths. Less than a dozen heartbeats.
The blood was a torrent of scarlet flooding her stomach and lungs. Then suddenly the intrusion stopped. The stomach was emptied. There was nothing there, nothing left to consume or absorb. She was found devoid…and therefore she became useless.