Rise of the Beast

Rise of the Beast by Kenneth Zeigler Read Free Book Online

Book: Rise of the Beast by Kenneth Zeigler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Kenneth Zeigler
Tags: Fiction, General, Religious, Christian, Devil, heaven, Hell, Future life
love you too, Mom,” said Julio. “Thanks for not giving up on me.”
    Consuela only nodded as her son closed the door. She prayed as she turned off the lights and headed to bed. “Oh Mother Mary, please, don’t let my son change his mind,” she whispered. “Oh, Jesus, guide him.”
    “See how easy it is to be nice to your mother?” said Krugloe. “Don’t you feel better now?”
    “What are you going to do now?” asked Julio, in a voice that was heard only in his mind.
    “Exactly as I said we shall do,” was the silent reply. You are getting your GED, and you are going to be a good student and a good son. Then you are going to go to community college. You are going to major in criminal justice. We need you, Julio.”
    Julio faded away to sleep. He didn’t seem to have much choice. In sleep was his only release.

    Flashes of the cameras illuminated the Central Park crime scene as 29-year-old detective Bill Strom looked over the grim landscape. He’d earned quite a reputation over the last four years as an astute investigator, but for the moment, this one had him mystified. He turned to his boss, Lieutenant Phil Stoddard, a 44-year-old NYPD veteran. “The wounds have an almost surgical precision about them. One clean slice in each case.”
    “You think it was done with a machete, maybe, or something like that?” asked Stoddard.
    “More like a broad sword,” replied Strom, jotting down an additional note in his book.
    “Okay, what are we looking at here?” posed the lieutenant. “Three Latin Kings, sliced down like this, no apparent witnesses beyond the perpetrator or perpetrators—you think maybe the Bloods?”
    “They’re in the midst of a war with the Kings right now,” confirmed Strom. “Still, I’ve never seen the Bloods do something like this. It’s just not their MO. And they usually leave a calling card of some kind, but not this time.”
    “I’m thinking it could be a hit by the Mob,” posed Stoddard, looking about at the carnage. “The Kings were horning in on one of their pet operations so they used this act as a something-less-than subtle statement to the Kings to stay out.
    “Could be,” said Strom. “Still, in your 22 years with the force, have you ever seen the Mob do a hit like this?”
    “No,” replied Stoddard, “can’t say I have.”
    “I’d not be surprised if we have a new player in town, someone with a grudge against the Kings,” said Strom.
    “Who, the Samurai?” said Stoddard, almost jokingly.
    Strom smiled, though only slightly. “I don’t get it, Phil. These were just kids. Who’d want to go to this kind of length to kill them?”
    “Someone they tried to mess with?” posed Stoddard. “Some guy walking around the city with what, a three-foot broadsword hidden in his trench coat? You’d besurprised at the stuff we’ve found hidden in trench coats over the years.”
    Strom nodded. “You’re thinking maybe this is the work of some sort of vigilante?”
    “I don’t know,” said Stoddard. “Your garden-variety vigilante might shoot them, maybe even knife them, but this—this is practically a ritual killing.” He shook his head. “Maybe we’ll know more once the forensics guys have a better look at this.”
    “Yeah, I’ll follow up on that,” said Strom.
    Stoddard scanned the scene one more time. “This work isn’t getting any easier with the years. This isn’t quite the same city I knew as a patrolman in the early ‘90s. It changed some after 9/11, but that was only the beginning. America itself has changed, and not for the better.”
    “The meltdown was rough on everyone,” noted Strom.
    “That isn’t even all of it,” continued Stoddard. “The city is just getting weird. It feels like there is this evil, oppressive spirit hanging over the city, you know? And what happened tonight is just a part of it.” There was a pause. “I feel like it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.” Again Stoddard paused. He

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