I didn’t torture the nurses or tell them my thoughts on the fact that they didn’t let me sleep through the night. The bed had been more comfortable than my cot in the jail, but I had slept better in the jail. Now it was morning and Michael was booting up a computer and a projection screen. The nurses had been warned not to interrupt for a while.
The screen flickered just once as the video began. It was dark, but the clearing was bathed in an ominous glow. There were three halogen lights, on poles, set up in the snow, pointing towards the victim.
They bathed the victim in an eerie and surreal light. Making her seem even more horrifically posed. Her lack of movement and skin showed that she was already dead. Our killer was standing with his back to us. He had a cigar in one gloved hand. A mask covered his head, covering his hair and skin. At his thigh was what appeared to be a large filet knife. Xavier took a deep breath, loud enough for us all to hear.
The killer walked over to a large duffle bag on the ground. Out came a large bottle of Pine-Sol. He used a remote and the winch began to lower the victim. Her head was only a few inches from the ground when he stopped it. He flicked ash onto the ground and stared at the spot below her head.
He went back to his bag and pulled out something that looked like a tarp but crinkled like plastic. He set it on the ground under the victim, covering the cigar ash. He stood up and began pouring the Pine-Sol on the victim. It ran down from her feet, coating her body in the oily, smelly stuff. He stood for another several minutes and finished his cigar.
He stubbed it out on his Pine-Sol soaked glove and put it in his pocket. He checked the area and picked up any ash that had fallen. Then he rolled the black thing up carefully. The winch motor began again. It whirred and hummed as it pulled the victim to his desired height. She now towered over him.
The body in place, he went to the spike in the ground and tied the cable up. Once tied, he cut it. He walked to his winch and wrestled it from the hard, frozen ground. Something popped on the tape. He looked up, noticed something, tossed the winch onto the black thing, picked them both up and left. There was no motion for several minutes.
Then the reporter came into frame. She picked up the halogen lights. I nearly yelled at the TV.
Title: Elysium Dreams
Author: Hadena James
He skins his victims alive, taking pleasure from their pain.
In the cold, dark nights of Alaska, a hunter is stalking his prey. Once found, he takes them into the woods and skins them alive, prolonging the experience as much as he can, but the satisfaction always wanes.
Aislinn Cain and the Serial Crimes Tracking Unit have just finished up another case when they get the call. Now they are packing their bags and heading for Alaska in March. The team must overcome the hostile locals and harsh climate to catch a killer before he strikes again.
Hadena James began writing at the age of eight. By the time she graduated high school, she had published a couple of short stories in literary magazines. She completed writing her first novel at seventeen. Hadena began college as an English major, but quickly changed to a history major. However, she continued to write and took several extra classes in creative writing.
College showed her that while she could write short stories, novel writing was truly where her heart lay. She graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in European History with minors in German and Russian Studies. During this time, she received a couple of contract offers from publishing houses, but ultimately turned them all down.
In August 2012, she self-published her first novel. In retrospect, she is appreciative of the contracts offers she received when she was younger, but believes she made the right decision with self-publishing.
When she isn’t busy writing, Hadena enjoys playing in a steel-tip dart league. She loves to travel throughout North America and Europe. Her favorite cities to visit are Chicago, Illinois and Berlin, Germany. She is an avid reader, with her favorites being classic literature; Edgar Allen Poe, HP Lovecraft, Gaston LeRoux, and Jane Austen; modern favorites include Clive Barker, James Patterson, Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams. Her favorite book is “Good Omens” by Neil Gaimen and Terry Pratchett. She writes all of her books while listening to music and the bands tend to get “honorable mentions” within the pages. Some of her favorite bands are Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Rammstein, U2, Marilyn Manson, Oomph!, and Rob Zombie.