I went to pick up some take out for Omega and I. while I was waiting for our order the television behind the counter suddenly switched channels - even though it was the wrong time of day it was a Candle Cove episode. Most patrons were shouting at the manager to switch off the static although a couple of people were watching with interest and one paled and ran out the door. The channel wouldn't change though and the power button wouldn't work. Janice was on screen, wearing a crown of snow and ice and shivering a bit. She was building a snow man around a shivering Percy with the help of the Frozen Prince. I suppose he's better known as Cold Boy in the blogosphere. She looked directly at the camera instead of at the Prince and asked "Can you help me pack this snow Your Highness?" but she strongly emphasized the "help me" like she was trying to communicate with anyone watching. Then the scene changed. A close up on the Skin-Taker in his own ship. Like Janice he was looking directly at the camera when he delivered his line. "I'm going to hunt you down. And when I find you I'M GOING TO GRIND YOUR SKIN!" He started cackling and his jaws began to swivel side to side in their trademark way. At that point I decided the person who had ran without waiting for his order had the right idea so I sprinted to my car and sped back to the hotel.
I was too late. I found Omega laying on the floor, his cloths were in bloody strips and his skin had been flayed from his body. He was impaled by a cutlass and there was a blood stained note laying on the floor next to him. I didn't get a chance to read the note right away though, as soon as I picked it up Omega's corpse jerked to it's feet as if pulled by strings. It tried to reach out and strangle me but I rolled backwards and grabbed my baseball bat from next to the door.
Funny thing about base ball bats. When the thing you're fighting doesn't feel pain and it's bones and tendons aren't necessary for it's movement because it's being operated like a marionette a base ball bat doesn't make it stop coming. Neither does pepper spray. The sword you rip out of its sternum and dismember it at the joints with? That's a lot more useful in that situation. I wish that sword were more practical to carry day to day. After cutting apart what was left of Omega I threw up what was left of breakfast, grabbed my bat, my computer, the sword, and the note. I quickly scrubbed myself off with a hotel towel, scrubbed the blade so the blood wouldn't rust it, and got the hell OUT of there before I could be found with a dismembered skinned corpse in my room. I have no idea why the fight didn't bring people running before I could do all that but I'm grateful it didn't. Even if I were able to avoid conviction the delay would have been catastrophic. I drove for about half an hour (never exceeding the speed limit once. The body was probably found shortly after I left. The last thing I need to do is show my ID to a cop now.) I found a parking garage and quickly switched my license plate with that of a random vehicle. I drove for a while longer before I pulled over to read the note.
"It appears I missed you James. Just as well, I normally prefer kid skin but your friend provided me with enough to make a cape all one piece and a matching hat. If you really want to find me I'll be at <I've removed the address he provided. I don't want any one getting curious and being skinned alive like Omega. I'll just say it's somewhere in Chicago. JCarlson>. Get there soon, I have other things to do."
The note was signed "T.S. Taker". Cute. Well, I'm coming for the bastard. I have a sword to return to him. I know he's mostly bone but maybe if I shove it through his rib cage hard enough I'll sever his spine.