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.I blinked into the mirror a couple of times, then went back for the far room.I could do this.I had to do this.I had to be able to see what was there, and think about it logically.It was an awful thing to ask of myself.I'd finally acknowledged that.Acknowledged that seeing things like what lay in the next room were soul-destroying.Acknowledged and moved on.I was back in the bathroom door.Zerbrowski had come with me, though, standing just behind me.There really wasn't room to stand in the doorway together, not comfortably.I looked at the room, at the walls with their coating of blood and gore."How many people were killed in here?""Why?" he asked."Don't be coy, Zerbrowski, I don't have the patience for it today.""Why?" he asked again, and this time there was a note of defensiveness in his voice.I glanced back at him."What is your problem?"He didn't point at the carnage.In fact for a second, or two, I thought he was going to tell me to mind my own business, but he didn't."If Dolph said why, you'd just answer him, not argue with him."I sighed."Dolph's shoes hard to fill?" I asked."No, but I'm damned tired of repeating myself when I know that nobody makes Dolph fucking repeat himself."I looked up at him and felt a smile creep across my face."Well, actually, I make Dolph repeat himself, too."He smiled."Alright, alright, maybe you do, but you are such a fucking pain in the ass, Anita.""It's a talent," I said.We stood in the doorway and smiled at each other.Nothing had changed in that small horror chamber.There wasn't a drop less of blood, or an inch less of gory bits plastered to the walls, but we both felt better."Now," I said, still smiling, "how many people were killed in the bathroom."His smile slid into a full grin."Why do you ask?""You bastard," I said.He wiggled his eyebrows above the rims of his glasses."Not what my mom says, though you're not the first to speculate."I half laughed and knew that I'd lost."Because, Zerbrowski, there are only two full walls in that room, both of them are so thick with blood and heavier bits that it's like two kills, one at one wall, one at the other.""What about the bathtub?" he asked."The water's pale.I've never seen anyone bled out in a bathtub, so I don't know if the water would be this pale, or if it would be darker.But my gut tells me that no one was bled out in the tub.They may have been killed in the tub, but most of the blood is on the floor and walls.""You sure about that?""No, like I said, I've never seen anyone bled out in a bathtub before, but I'm also wondering why the tub is so full, almost to the brim.You can't fill most tubs that full; they've got that little hole that stops it from overflowing.This one is so full that you couldn't even step into it without sloshing water all over the floor."He watched my face while I talked, then his gaze slid away to look into the room beyond, then to the clean section of floor we were standing on."I'm right about at least two people being killed, aren't I?"He had control of his expression now, and met my gaze."Maybe."I sighed, but it was more frustration now."Look, I've worked with Dolph for years, and I like him.I respect his work methods, but damn it, Zerbrowski, you don't have to play it as close to the chest as he does.I've always hated playing twenty fucking questions.Let's try something new and different.I ask questions, you answer them."He almost smiled."Maybe."I fought an urge to yell.I spoke very calmly, very quietly."At least two people were killed, slaughtered against the walls." I forced myself to turn back and look at the two walls in question again.Now that I had another human being to talk to, and he'd made me a little angry, I could think again.The walls weren't literally painted with blood.There were spots where the tile showed through, but the tile was a medium brown color, so that at first it looked worse than it was, and God knew, it was bad enough.I turned back to Zerbrowski."Okay, two kills one against each wall.Or at least they were sliced open, up, whatever, against each wall." I looked at the tub again."Are there bits of bodies in the tub?""Dolph would make you go fish."I stared up at him."Maybe, probably.But you're not Dolph, and I'm not in the mood.""We left the bits in there special for you, Anita.No joke." He held up his hands."You're our monster expert, and if this isn't a monster, I don't know what is."He had me there [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]