So yeah, this novel totally shares the same name with a novella I wrote about a Christmas Horror Story. Yes, a horror story involving Christmas. It's free so check out the store. It's also beta-read only cuz I don't have the funds to get anything professionally edited. That in itself is a long story.
Anyway, this was novel 8 of the year, book 10 of the series which still has no name. It was completed sometime in June. June also marked the over 600,000 words in the year point. Oh, and I should mention that these novels weren't the only thing I counted towards MilWordy. There were a bunch of short stories and a few novellas as well. ONWARDS with the summary.
Word Count: 81,842
Prompt: Er, bloody snowmen. Don't ask. My brain is really weird.
Main Characters: James Reeves, Mia Liu, Lucy McGregor, Sable Abella, Michael Brown, and the killer.
Minor Characters of Note: Karma (Gavriila Saytakhmetov), Michael's online girlfriend. And if I'd know she'd become his online girlfriend I would've given her an easier Russian name. Let's say them together shall we? James, Mia, Lucy, Sable, Michael, Gavriila...ha. Anyway: David Jones, his boyfriend, and Cade Golding. They're ALL back.
Summation: People are being strangled to death then buried in snowmen with just their heads sticking out. Eventually they get stabbed to death so the snowmen become bloody.
High Points: Michael and Gavriila becoming a thing, well, more than a thing. Yeah. All their conversations.
Low Points: The last few chapters because, well, I can't say or I'd completely ruin the ending.
The World: Ours
"Faku it's cold." Mia muttered.
"Well, winter does that." James said.
"Yeah well, winter can fuck off." Mia returned.
"Well, let's head out. I was finally nice and warm too." McGregor said.
"I haven't even gotten warm yet." Mia told her.
"Sucks to be you." McGregor retorted." McGregor retorted.
"Yeah, yeah." Mia said.
"It's supposed to be "I know, I know". You know, like the song?" McGregor said.
James had no idea what McGregor was talking about but smirked at the look Mia gave her. Sable was pursing her lips to keep from giggling. Mia shrugged into her coat without breaking the glare she was giving McGregor.
"Yeah, sorry, I'm not a living Prozzak song." Mia said.
"Such a perfect opportunity and now it's completely wasted." McGregor said.
It was good that they could joke. it was one of the few things that would keep them sane doing what they did.
"Good news: she was strangled before being buried in the snow. Bad news: she's been here for 12 hours. This happened sometime around 9PM last night." McGregor said.
"I have a feeling this is going to be exceptionally difficult." James said.
"Oh yeah?" Mia asked.
"Yes." James answered.
That wasn't good. James was usually right on with his instincts. It was what got them on the Witch Hunter Case and what helped them with basically everything else. If James said this was going to be hard then it was going to be hard.
"How hard are we talking here?" Mia questioned.
"Probably one of the harder ones we've dealt with." James told her.
Yeah, that wasn't good.
So a bit of set-up: They found the first body at 9AM. It's now around 10PM on the same day:
James' phone rang and they all looked at it. He picked it up with a frown. Brown never called and the receptionist downstairs didn't know the particular name they would be looking for. Sable knew this call was not going to be good news.
"Pardon?" James asked.
His eyes were wide and he had become stiff in his chair. James scowled, thanked the person on the other end and hung up. He stood and Sable knew there was no way she was going to get her assignment done when James spoke:
"We have another body."
A better summary of the pace this is going to be set at:
"Second (victim) in 12 hours, well 13 now and we haven't even talked to the first victim's family yet. Brown just got the information on the first victim an hour ago because we just identified her two hours ago, give or take." James said.
"Anyway, thanks for sticking around and have a good night." James said.
"It's all up from here. Good luck." Davis (an officer) said.
James couldn't help but grin at that. Davis was right though. His and Moore's night couldn't get any worse.
Drag0n:D'aww course I'll ask kitten.
Brown waited for the impending nickname of doom.
Karma: Good. I'll leave you to it.
She left. Brown blinked at the screen and paused the videos. She hadn't called him out for calling her kitten. She hated being called kitten. At least, he thought she hated being called kitten. Maybe because they were kind of a thing she liked it. Brown shook that out of his head and went back to the videos.
...(Doesn't last long...poor guy)
Drag0n: I called you kitten.
Brown rolled his eyes. She wasn't going to make this easy and he'd never had a girlfriend (he's 27). That was kind of sad. (ha) He tried not to think of that as he typed.
Drag0n: Before you left. I called you kitten and you didn't say anything. Why?
Drag0n: I thought you hated that...
Karma: I got used to it...and we're kind of a thing or something so it's better than any other nickname you could give me.
It didn't make sense to him. If she hated it while they weren't together she should hate it more now that they were. Getting used to it made sense but despite Brown being called Mike or Mikey his whole life he still hated it.
He wasn't going to argue. Obviously she thought differently than him and he wasn't going to try to find the logic in her thinking. It might make his head explode and he really should be watching the video footage.
Karma: Get back to work, dorogaya. ;)
Brown watched as she left again and wondered what in the Hell she'd just called him. He didn't know any Russians besides her and had to resort to Google Translate. Brown grinned when he saw it meant "dear" or "sweetheart." It didn't sound like it would be a sweet thing but he supposed that was Russian.
It was too fucking cold to be standing in the snow. It was also too fucking early to be out in the cold. At 7AM a call had come in about another person buried in a snowman at the park. (That's 3 in 22 hours.)
"Yeah, spree killer with no pre meditation or warning kills. It's like this guy woke up one morning and decided he was going to strangle people to death and bury them in snow. That doesn't happen. There's a graduation, a pattern to follow. They don't just wake up and say "I think I'll kill someone today instead of making eggs for breakfast. It doesn't happen like that." (This shouldn't have been so funny...)
"I think my brain may have liquefied and come out my nose or ears."
"You're awesome. When we have more than 12 hours between bodies I'll bake you some cookies." McGregor said.
"Yes. Cookies. Dragon-God likes cookies. They make his tummy smiley." Michael said. (This is what happens when you get 3 bodies in less than 24 hours apparently...)
"James is calling the family now while Michael looks for footage and an id on victim three. He's also seeing if there's a link between the two. I feel like we're being over-shadowed." McGregor said.
"We're doing all we can and he's doing all he can. It just happens we deal in blood and guts while he deals with ones and zeros." Sable said.
McGregor stared at her until Sable looked up with wide eyes and a flush.
"That was the most profound thing I've heard come out of your mouth after being awake for this long. Congrats." McGregor said.
Karma: Everyone needs mental help and if you don't then you're weird. (This is why she became a recurring character.)
Brown couldn't help but grin at the pet name. It was such a stupid thing to get giddy over but every time her message box came up he smiled and got a weird feeling in his chest and tummy. Brown wondered if he should get that checked out.
He didn't want to see her failing, not now, but James had a feeling his wants weren't important.
"It's fine. One of us needs to be somewhat awake. James was asleep when you got here anyway." McGregor said.
"Yeah but he was injured." Sable said.
"He seems to be doing that a lot lately. We need to wrap him in bubble wrap." McGregor said.
"But you almost saved (victim four's) life." Sable said.
"Good point but there's a big difference between almost and did." McGregor told her.
"Your girlfriend wants you." Mia said.
"That's a good, wait, she's not my, well, we're, it's weird. Shut up." Michael said.
What was weird was that he barely left his office, was hardly socialized, and had a girlfriend. Well, a female that was more than a friend but less than a girlfriend. It was too odd to think about with no sleep.
"You're more than friends but not dating. Got it. Too bad she's the ocean away. You can't even be friends with benefits."
"Yeah that. Hey look, we have the start of a profile. Did you see the sketch artist yet?" McGregor asked.
"I was about to grab one." Mia said.
"Good, just don't be too touchy. They don't like it." McGregor said.
Mia blinked at that and looked to James. His eyebrows had risen a bit. Yeah, he was shocked that McGregor, not Lucy had made a joke. Michael was right to use some combination name. The two were combining.
"I'm too tired to think completely straight." McGregor said.
"You're not straight anyway." Brown mentioned.
(Yes, he came DOWN from his office to eat with them.)
"Look at me." James said.
"Huh?" McGregor asked.
"He wrote "Look at me" in the victim's blood." James told her.
(Guy taking a video with a phone as Mia and McGregor are putting a body in the CSI van):
"You think this is entertaining?" McGregor asked.
The guy's eyes went wide and the people around him backed off. He shook his head in the negative but kept staring at McGregor. That took balls. He didn't stop the phone from recording and didn't lower the camera.
"How would you like it if it was your mother, sister, or girlfriend in that alleyway, dead and someone was recording what was going on to get views on YouTube?" McGregor questioned.
At this the man paled and shut off the phone. He slinked back into the crowd and McGregor began moving the stretcher again. (By the way, victim 7 in four days.)
The fucking Targaryens talked about waking the dragon. They knew nothing. The bastard had woken the Dragon, God of All Hackers, Seer of All, and Burner of anyone who got in his way. This asshat was not going to get to a victim nine.
"Is it weird that you're making the person whose job is to cut up people, cut up the turkey?"
(James relays an entire conversation every one thought he missed):
"All right Mr. Smartass." Mom said.
"I don't know how you do it Boss." Michael said.
"It's a talent. He used to read fiction during all his classes but still got all the homework done perfectly before anyone else and had the highest marks in every class." Mom said.
"That's Dr. Smartass by the way. I have a degree, remember?" James questioned.
Mom rolled her eyes but Michael laughed. Mia and Lucy smirked.
"Well Dr. Smartass, you keep your butt planted in the chair while me and my little helpers deal with dessert and clean up." Mom said.
Mia stood at that but Lucy remained seated with a smirk. Mom gave her a look.
"You said little. I'm as tall as Dr. Smartass." Lucy said.
"You can cut the pie." Mom said.
"Yay, more cutting things." Lucy said.
She paused in getting up, considering.
"I really shouldn't be excited to cut things, should I?" Lucy asked.
"Hey, as long as you know it's weird." Mia offered.
"They need to see. They need to wake up. They need to see my snowmen. They love my snowmen."
"No. I had a feeling this was going to get worse before it got better. I'm not sure when it's going to get better."
"You cut up dead people, right?"
"That's the simple way to put it but yep." McGregor said.
"It was either that or become a surgeon. At least if they're dead I can't kill them worse." McGregor said.
"So, top or bottom bunk?"
"Bottom this way if I roll out of bed I won't have far to fall." McGregor said.
"Why would you roll out of bed?"
"I'm used to a King size, not a double. Less space lends to thinking you have more space and boom." McGregor explained.
They burst out laughing. Sable was right, McGregor had become more personable. That meant she and Lucy were blending more than anyone thought. It used to be a scary thought but now McGregor welcomed it. Maybe she could become whole.