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Out of Nowhere by Patrick LeClerc.
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"All dead. Four of them. They never stood a chance. Guess they picked the wrong house to break into tonight." Mortimer Gibbons had been the night coroner for Windsor county for fourteen years and had yet to see anything like this. He looked at the cop standing in the doorway and waited for him to say something, anything.
 
Detective Munson had been woken up to come out because shit was too strange on this one to wait. Four intruders all brutally dispatched and no sign of the residents of the home. All the bad guys had weapons, two with knives and one a pistol, one brought a friggin' hatchet. Seems like 'overkill city' for a strong arm robbery. Hell it seemed like over kill to tackle anything less than a brown bear. It hadn't been enough to save them from whatever was here though. It hadn't saved then from having their goddamn hearts tore out of their chests and.....eaten? It sure as hell looked like it to Munson.
 
"So the single dad and daughter lived here?" Munson looked at the pasty and thin Gibbons for the answer.
 
"The neighbors say they moved in eight months ago. He would drop her off around the corner at school and then go to work, pick her up right away after school. They never really talked to anyone, he seemed very preoccupied with not causing a fuss whenever anyone heard him say anything at all. He only got upset with the little one when she made a fuss at school and drew attention. Low key folks, living low key lives. Neighbors never had a problem with them. They say he was always very attentive and kind to the little girl whenever anyone noticed, he just didn't like to be 'noticed'. All and all they say he was a good neighbor."
 
Munson puckered his eyes. Shit he should have stopped for coffee before coming here, this was first rate bullshit. " Ok so are they dead, Mort?"
 
"Nah, I don't think so. Can't be 100% sure but the amount of blood in this kitchen is about right for these four. I don't see any sign of anything else anywhere in the house that says a body should be somewhere."
 
"So where are my 40 year old man and his 8 year old daughter, Mort?"
 
"Dunno. The neighbors heard the screams of these upright citizens and called the State Police. Billy and Sam both responded and found pretty much what you are looking at now, then I got here about 10 minutes before you."
 
Munson shook his head. "Well there are bodies everywhere and no victims other than theses fools. What do you think happened?"
 
The little coroner pursed his lips. Munson wasn't in the mood. "Fucking spit it out Mort."
 
"Well it is VT and we aren't that far from the woods and Canada. Look at the bodies man. Those two have a large hole in them in the chest cavity and those two have a smaller hole. I'd say Wendigo. The daddy and daughter just wanted to lay low and be left alone. These jackasses either found out and had a prejudice but no common sense or just came to rob the wrong house. The Wendigo family wasn't going to let them go to waste after doing the self defense thing so they ate up. That's my best guess. The furry family probably didn't want to stick around to explain eating 4 hearts whether they started it or not."
 
"Goddamn super-naturals. Do me a favor and list the cause of death as gunshot wound. No one ever believes the other stuff and I don't need this shit. Where ever they ran to I ain't going looking. There are signs of forced entry everywhere and I don't think a single thing about the missing dad and kid is true anyway."
 
The pale little coroner looked at his cousin, the detective. " Yup, shit Stan looks like shotgun blasts to me. People should learn to leave well enough alone and not bust into the houses of folks who are just trying to live their lives and get along."
 
"You said a mouthful Mort." Munson turned and started down to his car, he needed a smoke.



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