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Chapter 20

The ringing of the telephone in my hotel room woke me early the next morning. I was groggy, still half-asleep when I picked up.  It was Jamilla, and she sounded a little breathless. ‘I got a call late last night from my friend Tim at The Examiner,’ she told me.’He’s got a lead for us. This could be good stuff.’ She quickly rilled me in on the sketchy details of an attempted murder, an old case. We had a witness this time. She and I were going on the road again. She didn’t ask if I wanted to go - it was apparently a done deal.  ‘I’ll pick you up in half an hour, forty minutes at the latest. We’re going to LA. Wear black. Maybe you’ll get discovered.’
United flies an hourly shuttle between San Francisco and Los Angeles. We just made the nine o’clock and were in LA an hour or so later. We didn’t stop talking for the entire trip. We rented a car at Budget and headed to Brent-wood. I was as pumped up about the new lead as she was. The FBI was also in on the game in LA.  On the way to Brentwood, she checked in with her pal Tim at The Examiner. I wondered if Tim was a boyfriend. ‘You find out any more for us?’ she asked. She listened, then repeated what she heard for me. Part of it we already knew.
‘Two men attacked the woman we’re going to see. She managed to get away from them. Lucky girl, incredibly lucky. They bit her severely. Chest, neck, stomach, face. She thought the perps were in their mid-forties to mid-fifties. The attack occurred over a year ago, Alex. It was a big story in the supermarket tabloids.’
I didn’t say anything, just listened to her, took it all in. This case was so strange. I hadn’t seen anything quite like it.  ‘They were going to hang her from a tree. There was no mention of a tiger in any of the articles my friend was able to dig up. A detective from the LAPD is meeting us at the station house. I’m sure we’ll hear more details from him. He was the lead detective on the case.’ She looked over at me. She had something here, something good.  ‘Here’s the kicker, Alex. According to my source, the woman believes her attackers were vampires.’



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