“Fifth Girl Found Butchered in South Dallas County” the headline blared. Homicide assigned McCoy and Harper to the series of brutal murders, all with similar touches of indescribable cruelty and sadism. The bodies showed signs of cannibalism. They lifted a DNA trace on the last kid and damned if they didn’t get a hit on Charlie Bob Sneezel, called “Snark”, with five priors for child molestation.

They should have known better, but before hauling him downtown, they sweated him at his mama’s house. Snark, textbook arrogant, squinted his gouch eye and blurted, “Mama always said little girls was dirty.”

“But tasty?” McCoy snapped.

Big, tough and never without a nasty cigar, Harper suggested they pull off the suspect’s head. McCoy, whose give a damn factor was usually dead even with the floor, thought instant eternity was too much and argued they jail Snark so other prisoners could “entertain” him. Child murderers have a tough time surviving in Texas prisons and if they do, usually end up some alpha con’s bitch.

The plan went to hell on three wheels. The murdering little rodent slipped the cuffs, slithered through a hole in the floor, and fled north on St. Augustine Road. McCoy chased on foot, Harper followed in the old Dodge McCoy had driven out there.

Snark, frantically veered into a convenience store. McCoy followed. Harper roared up, unfamiliar with the brakes. He crashed through the front and squashed the fugitive beneath the porno bookrack like a sidewalk wooly-worm.

Flossie, the whore, on the clear side of checkout, fainted. The clerk pissed himself.

Harper and McCoy studied Snark’s remains somberly.

“Harper, do you realize there’s not enough left for the medical school to even try to part this sucker out,” McCoy said somberly.

Rolling his cigar, Harper said, “Betcha a brake job would been a hell of a lot less paperwork.”


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