So, quite a lot’s happened in the last week. My wife was admitted to hospital for a few days, and we had a scare and thought the baby was coming soon, but she’s home safe and still very pregnant. Lol, her regular consultant wasn’t happy that he was left out of the reviewing process, and the stand-in scared the shit out of us for apparently no reason. Joy!
On the writing side, The Package edits were done, and Kindle copies have gone out to beta readers. Any of you read it yet? Lol, I’m so impatient!
As for my beta readers, today’s Tale is for you guys, if you’ve finished to the end of The Case of the Empty Killer! Enjoy!
THE CASE OF THE CELEBRITY SHAPESHIFTER
“Tonight on Celebrity Entertainment, we delve behind the scenes on new war blockbuster holo-movie Risley’s Rhinos with interviews of the cast and crew and a sneak peak preview of never-before-seen footage.
But first, the latest on the story of a celebrity stalker posing as their spouses or romantic partners. This man is so convincing, the celebrities aren’t even aware that anything is wrong until the unstable person attacks them. Nothing is known of the person in question, baffling the NTPD and its forensic division. Could this be the perfect stalker? Or just another nutjob with a great disguise.
Just ask Zitaya Tau, star of this year’s biggest romantic comedy. Hailed as the most stunning thing since the invention of the FTL drive, Zitaya is every man’s dream girl and every woman’s nightmare.
Until recently, she was dating action heartthrob Carn Longer. That is, until they went on holiday last month, only to find that her boyfriend was in fact not the heartthrob, but the stalker disguised as him. Zitaya’s friends and family report that she is devastated by what she describes as a ‘massive betrayal of her person’. And Longer himself has severed their relationship, stating that she was just using the stalker story as an excuse to cheat on him.
More on this story later…”
* * *
The detective flew backwards into a tiled wall.
The tiles crunched and shattered under his weight and the air was knocked brutally from his lungs. He collapsed to the bathroom floor and his sidearm skittered away under one of the stalls. He cursed and tried to reach for it, receiving a kick to his ribs in response.
His client cowered in the corner, terrified beyond belief, tears streaming down her cheeks.
The attacker wore the client’s face, but it was subtly wrong, the sneer and angered expressions contra to the original’s usual bouncy self. The attacker strode forward, it’s current slight frame less menacing without the facial expressions.
The detective kicked it/he/she in the knees, bringing it down to the floor before following up with another kick to its face. It roared, falling back and holding its face with both hands.
Revulsion passed through the detective as the attacker looked up, removing its hands from its battered face. Its nose was bent around, almost touching its bottom eyelid, its jaw out of place and slightly distended.
Maroon blood –darker than a human’s- dribbled from its mouth and nose.
It pulled itself to its feet before the detective could recover again.
The attacker’s face and body started to ripple, filling out, and growing in size.
“What’s wrong, detective? Have you never looked in the mirror?”
The detective bit back a sarcastic reply, and watched with horror as the attacker changed its shape and appearance to match his own in every detail, even his unkempt hair and unshaven face.
The shapeshifter –previously a bane on celebrity society for months- had assaulted his client in a bathroom at the gossip vid program she was doing an interview for. The detective had been right outside, unaware there was a problem until she screamed in pain.
When he got in, the shapeshifter had been trying to drown Zitaya in one of the tatty old sinks. The shapeshifter was fast, faster than him certainly, and physically stronger, despite appearances.
The detective barely stood a chance, prior injuries slowing him down.
The shapeshifter grabbed him by the leg and started dragging him across the bathroom. The detective kicked its arm again and again until it let go. It roared with pain and frustration, and tried to grab again.
The detective smashed the heel of his boot into its face, ignoring the pain.
A water pipe had broken during the fight and the sterile floor was now awash with a centimetre of clear water. The detective used this to his advantage, and kicked off the nearest wall. He slid on his back along the floor.
The shapeshifter charged him, and he found what he had been looking for.
Despite being covered in water, his fallen plasma pistol fizzed and flashed. The teardrop-shaped energy round leapt from the barrel and slammed into the shapeshifter’s shoulder, spinning it around and onto the waterlogged floor.
The detective could already hear the sizzle of the wound cauterising and he could smell the acrid reek of burnt flesh.
The shapeshifter groaned, but didn’t move.
Ruul Vin-Bornn breathed a sigh of relief.
The bathroom doors smashed off their hinges, and the NTPD barged in, weapons trained around them, and boots sloshing through the water as it suddenly drained.
The detective in charge stepped forward, seeing the shape on the floor. Mando Alvis looked at Vin-Bornn.
“Are you, you know, you?”
“Yes, Mando. She needs medical attention.”
“Just a simple bodyguard job, huh?”