She stood and wobbled slightly on her five inch spike heels. Barbarella looked at her with concern. “Girl, you okay?”
Waving her hand in a pshaw gesture, she said “I really shouldn’t have had that last cosmo. It’s done my head in.”
“What you shouldn’t have had was all those joints, cocaine and poppers.” Moira said.
Valhalla glared at her. “Bitch, I don’t think I was talking to you was I?”
“Whatever.” Moira replied. “At least I don’t have to dress like a woman to feel like a whole person.”
Giving her the finger, Valhalla walked to the window and was about to open it for some fresh air when Moira stopped her. “What do you think you’re doing? Don’t you know that there’s a killer out there, not to mention those little demon dogs? Why not just invite them in?”
“What is up your ass?” Valhalla snapped.
“You’re up my ass. You don’t have any sense, so you? Think we’re just here having a slumber party.”
“Aren’t you a Wal Mart greeter?” Barbarella asked. “You’re awfully grumpy.”
“My dogs tried to kill me, I lost the man I loved and my best friend is passed out on the floor from who knows what. So yes, I’m not feeling very chipper right now. Why don’t you do something useful and find out more about Helen and her dead kids for fuck sake.”
“FINE! I fucking will you wrinkled old bitch!”
“Val, this isn’t helping.” Barbarella said. “Just look up the info in a corner or something, separate yourself.”
“I can’t think with all those fucking cats.”
“Those cats are keeping us safe. And you look like you’d have trouble thinking anyway.” Moira said.
“FINE! I’m going to find another room.”
“You can use Diane’s bedroom. Just wipe the pancake make-up from your ass off the bed when you’re done.”
“Bitchzilla!” Valhalla snapped.
“Ooooh, I’m shaking.” Moira said.
Valhalla stomped to the bedroom and shut the door behind her. She saw Diane’s laptop and went to that. Once she had booted up the internet and found Google, she started searching.
It didn’t take her long. What most people didn’t know about Valhalla was that, as her male self Victor, she was an accomplished computer programmer. She could search for shit in her sleep.
She clicked open the first article;
December 21st 1996
Police are stymied at a murder that took place in the small neighborhood of Grave’s Hollow last night. Mary Fitzpatrick, wife of the late Oliver Hersch, was found dead in what police are saying is a torture killing. She was found with fourteen lines of The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe’s masterpiece, carved into her skin…
Valhalla wondered if it would be polite to throw up on Diane’s laptop. She clicked the next related article and it was about Mary’s son and daughter.
December 22nd 1996
Police are confounded. The second murder in as many days, Lenore Hersch was found in her home strung up like her mother, tied to a contraption with lines from Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven carved into her skin. Police were further confused by evidence found in Lenore’s house that ties her to the murders of thirty five other people in this year alone…
“Okay, they win the most fucked up family award.” Valhalla said. She wondered if she should look at the next article but knew she had no choice. She clicked it open.
December 23rd, 1996
The Hersch family is no more. Police reported this morning that Oliver Hersch’s son, Frederick, was found this morning. Unlike his mother and sister however, the poem that was carved into their skin was absent. What was found on his body was a large black raven, burned into his skin. There was also evidence that points to the fact that Frederick might have been the Grave’s Hollow slasher…
Valhalla didn’t know what to say or do. She sat stunned, staring at the computer. She wished she wasn’t so stoned. She went to get up and run from the bedroom so that she could tell Barbarella who the killer they were dealing with was when the monitor in front of her began to flicker.
Soon, it flickered again and then went black. She pushed some buttons and pounded the keyboard to get it to come back on. When it did, she was looking at the chest of a man. On his chest was burnt skin, black as night, in the shape of a raven.
“Oh my god.” Valhalla said.
“God can’t help you now.” Said a dark whisper. “Didn’t anyone tell you that snooping is wrong?”
Valhalla screamed as the raven on the screen began to turn into a real bird. She screamed even louder when the bird began to poke at the monitor screen as if wanting to break through.
Not waiting to see if the bird got out of the monitor, Valhalla ran out of the room and straight for her stash of drugs. She was going to calm herself down by rolling a joint bigger than a Cuban cigar.
She hated birds. And Tippy fucking Hndren she wasn’t.