Gregson counted out six bullets and slipped them into his retirement present. It was madness to give a cop a gun when they quit the force. He walked down the pedestrian trail into the woods. Only romantics and homeless stayed out this late. There were occasional muggers, but Gregson had long-ago learned that acting dangerous was the best way to avoid danger. He clenched his flashlight in his left hand and held his revolver in his right. He never used the light until he needed it. His eyes adjusted to the dark and his other senses turned on. Now it was just a matter of listening and following his nose. Gregson approached the cemetery wall and tried to climb it, but realized he was much fatter than he used to be. He found a wooden access door and picked the lock.
“I’ve still got it,” he whispered.
Not 40 paces away, a lantern was burning. A fresh hole had been dug at the base of a headstone and Gregson checked the perimeter like a pro. He didn’t want to make himself a target. A rotten casket lay next to the grave with bones strewn everywhere. Gregson walked forward and stepped on something; The Voodoo Queen and How to dig up a cursed graveyard. His heart was pumping adrenaline to the tips of his fingers and his gun started shaking. “I’ve been in tighter places than this before; keep it together.”
Holly Helfrich was carved into the headstone. Besides the dirt, books, and bones, there wasn’t much to see.
“Maybe I need to call it quits,” Gregson said. But then he noticed hoofmarks in the soil and his intuition began to work overtime. He checked behind the headstone. Rituals and Reign was propped up against a bloodied lance and a balistice covered in brain matter. Gold coins were scattered all over the place.
“Who had the time to learn the Secret of Chess-field Park?” Gregson asked out loud.