The woman's body was cold when officer Young got to the scene. She had died instantly, a .45 to the brain. Entrance wound in the right temple, exit wound directly opposite. She had died before she hit the floor. That was where normality in the case ended.

"Oh, no, no, no..." mumbled the dead woman's husband almost incoherently. "This isn't happening."

"I'm afraid it is, Mr..." Young looked at the case sheet. "Carter. It seems you haven't been locking up your guns safely."

"But we do! We keep the pistol in the safe, and the shotgun stays in the attic in a locked footlocker! We don't even keep the combinations to the locks written down anywhere! There's no way Susannah could've gotten to it!"

The man collapsed and wept uncontrollably. Young left the man to wallow, and walked outside to talk to officer Tyson, who had gotten to the scene first. A neighbor had heard the gun go off, and had called 911 immediately. The officer was pale and shaken.

"Okay, Tyson. What happened here?" Young asked, lighting a cigarette.

"I can't figure it out, Young. It don't make sense. The door was unlocked. I came right in. When I came into the kitchen, the woman was lying on the floor. Well, most of her. Some of her was all over the front of the refrigerator, but..."

"Go on." Young cut in.

"...yeah, so anyway, that little girl, Susannah, was sitting at the table, calm as could be, holding that big old gun in her hand. Only it was too heavy to hold really. She was sorta resting it on the table. She told me she was watching her mommy drip down the fridge." Tyson quivered. "That's it. It don't make sense."

"What do you mean? You think it was a suicide?" Young raised an eyebrow.

"What do I mean? No, couldn't have been suicide. Point blank shot from that gun woulda ripped her whole head off. That shot was taken from at least twenty feet. There's no place in that house twenty feet from the kitchen that coulda left a print on the fridge, being where it is, and all. Also, well, a gun that size, that girl could barely even lift it, let alone operate it. Even if it had gone off, it shoulda knocked her clean across the room. She didn't know the code to the safe. The girl and her mother were the only two in the house. It just don't make sense. Besides, a perfect shot to the right temple? A little child could never kill this clean."

Young's blood ran cold.

for more: Nephilim: A Brief Tale of Urban Warfare, Part I

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