When faced with adversity, even the best of us need help.
It just depends on where we get it.
Detective Joaquim Abito is burned out, fairly typical for a cop who’s seen all the horrors that humanity has to offer. With his family gone, he’s running on empty, and then he finds himself working the case of a particularly brutal serial killer who leaves the most grisly calling cards. Desperate to solve the case, Abito enlists some help. But it’s help that doesn’t come cheap… Walk a mile in Abito’s shoes in the brutal “Devil Rides Shotgun” by Eric Del Carlo, featured in Splatterlands, coming October 22, 2013.
Terrify yourself with “Devil Rides Shotgun” by Eric Del Carlo
Detective Joaquim Abito, twenty-two years after lacing up his polished Florsheims on the morning of Academy graduation, and now teetering on the brink of mental-emotional-spiritual collapse, drove out to the desolate crossroads at midnight and summoned a demon.
It was something you learned on the force, if you worked the bloodiest cases long enough and didn’t retreat to a pussy desk post. Some older detective might hip you to the stygian underside of police work.
For Joaquim, it had been Det. Sal Popovich. Sal, whose craggy face had looked like a mountainside after an avalanche, was hard-drinking and hard-driven, using up wives as fast as his liver. He had been a committed cop. Normal people never understood that the real ones did the job full-out. No restraints and no squeamishness. Use everything. Risk anything. To hell with consequences.
Sal Popovich’s rough face wavered momentarily in Abito’s unsteady mind’s eye, then erupted into a goulash of blood, bone and matter. He’d eaten the licorice. Joaquim had seen the body before the bag boys came. He hadn’t flinched or even looked away. Sal had shot himself in his easy chair, with the game on the TV, and hadn’t given a cold fuck about the mess that sprayed his living room. Det. Abito took that as a final lesson from his mentor.
Truth be told, he’d seen himself following Sal someday. Angelica had finally left and taken their daughter, long after both females had become strangers to him. Joaquim understood that doing the job with unchecked fervor meant collateral damage. The trick was never to calculate too carefully the price you or others were paying for this hallowed work.
Get more information on Splatterlands coming to Amazon.com on October 22, 2013.
Illustrations by Luke Spooner/Carrion House.