The Devil's Hunt

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"I told you," Sarah said, rubbing her temple, "my battery died. He took me home, dropped me off, and left. This morning, I found him in the road."

"And you're sure no one followed you?" Chief Thomas said for the hundredth time. "You didn't see any lights in the forest, no cars parked at the side of the road, nothing suspicious?"

"If I had, I would have told you," she said, glancing up at the clock on the wall. "There was just that stupid horse--"

"Yes, we have a record of your call to animal control at eleven thirty-seven. Is that right?"

"It sounds about right. Did they find the horse?"

"No," Chief Thomas said with an annoyed shake of his head. "County budget only allows for non-emergency calls on Tuesdays and Fridays. Are you sure you don't remember--"

"I'm sorry, Chief," Sarah said, rising from the hard, metal chair and grabbing her purse off the corner of the desk, "that's all I remember. I have to see if Sean can put a new battery in my car and then I have to get to work. If I think of anything else, I'll call you."

"Are you sure you want to go to work after..."

The image of Harold's throat lying on the pavement beside his body flashed before her eyes, but she banished it with a sharp shake of her head. "If I don't go in, Steve'll fire me."

"What time do you get off?" Chief Thomas asked as he walked her across the station and to the door.

"About a quarter after eleven," Sarah replied. "Why?"

"I'll have Kurt follow you home tonight."

"Is--is that really necessary?" Sarah asked, frowning. "You don't think he--he's still in the area, do you?"

"Nah," the Chief said with a shake of his head, "he's probably miles away by now." But she noticed that he wouldn't meet her eyes. "Better safe than sorry, though."

"Thanks, Chief," Sarah said, clutching her purse as she stepped out into the glaring morning sunlight. If that animal was still around, a police escort didn't make her feel any safer.

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