Gregson wiped the windows of Gertrude’s Mercedes with his shirt sleeve—they were fogging-up from his animal passions. He was wooing the female. Then he punched the electricity, and they rolled onto the island. It was tall beach grass, and then—dark woods, and moorlands.

“If you walk out there—you won’t ever come back,” Gregson said.

“Why?” Madelynn asked.

“Underground streams—swamps that will swallow a city whole, if tempted by footsteps that don’t know their way.”

HOWLING.

“Those are the moor wolves. I did a bit of research on Wikipedia before we left. Nobody knows if they’re real, or if the howls are the crying of the wind. It’s theorized, there’s a moor bird, uncategorized by ornithologists. Whatever it is, people disappear out here. Locals say, it’s the mourning of those sunk into the mire.”

Madelynn put her hands on Gregson’s chest.

“Just stick with me, baby—and it will be all right,” he said.

The dirt road was turning to mud. Intermittent rains, like flurries of fury from the gods hit their automobile without mercy.

“It’s up ahead,” Gregson pointed through foggy windows.

“It looks like an abbey, or a mental institution, right up there on the cliff,” Madelynn gasped.

When they pulled up, there were warm lights on the inside. It was like they were entering the bowels of a steel octopus. A butler opened the doors, and Gregson glanced around. There was a Bugatti Veyron, Ferraris, and a Lime Green Lamborghini. Obviously, they were the poorest guests.

“Where are the starving artists?” Gregson asked.

“Oh—they’re parked out back,” the butler said. “There’s a Volkswagen Rabbit, and a junk-heap of a pickup truck. The creative conference has to keep-up appearances, if you know what I mean?”

“Yeah,” Gregson yawned.

Mac got out of his Ferrari.

“You must eat well,” Gregson said.

“What?”

“Never mind.”

They walked inside, and saw the spectacle. A staircase with yellow crime-scene tape. A head and a Body and a Chainsaw.

“I judge the murderer dropped it from the second-floor,” said the officer in charge. “What’s your name?”

“Gregson.”

“And your affiliation?”

“I’m working with Detective Murphy.”

“Oh—the maverick asshole. He’s over there. What’s your judgement of the situation?”

“My judgement is the poor bastard is dead. What else could it be?”

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