Raven Storm lay on a dirt floor so hard it was almost concrete. She could smell old manure, kerosene, death and blood, scents that made her feel weak and queasy. She opened her eyes and looked up at a sliver of light that hung just a few feet away. As her mind cleared she realized it was Muldoon’s Mirror, but it couldn’t… shouldn’t be here. It had blown up in Riscassi’s office, she was certain of it.
Raven climbed to her feet and wiped the blood from her eyes, clearing her vision. She was in an old barn, beaten by time and weather until the boards were as thin as paper. They creaked in the wind and cast shadows of moonlight on the floor and an old tractor that sat nearby leaking oil onto a new-looking canvas tarp. Other tarp-covered oblongs were arranged in rows that stretched to the back of the barn. Raven counted more than a dozen, and she didn’t need to see them to know what they were, her nose told her they were corpses, rotting away.
A sound from behind caught her attention and she turned. The mirror was rocking back and forth on its nail, reflecting the light of the moon. In the glow, she saw the faces, hundreds of them. They were stretched and nailed to the wall on either side of the mirror.
“They’re your trophies, you sick bastard,” she muttered.
“Not trophies! Every soul must be honored. Every soul, even one as depraved as yours!”
The clown rammed into her from behind and she felt his blade bite deep into her chest. She cried out in pain and pulled away, taking the blade with her. When she turned, it was to see the clown, covered in her blood. He was smaller and less sinister than he’d appeared in the mirror.
Raven raised her pistol and leveled it at him. “You’re back in my world, and your ass is under arrest. Get your hands up!”
The clown smiled. “My job is done, God is calling me.”
He raised his arms and Raven saw it wasn’t just her blood covering him, but his own. All the places she’d struck him were bleeding, including the two holes in his chest.
Raven sank to her knees, the blood pouring from her back was making her lightheaded. “Sorry, pal, that isn’t God you hear. Tell Riscassi, Storm sends her regards.”
The look of joy on the clown’s face faded, to be replaced with one of fear. He drew a breath, and pitched onto his face, dead. Raven watched him for a moment then rose to her feet and pulled the knife from her back. She tossed it down beside the clown’s body and retrieved her phone out of her pocket. It was still working, but there was no signal.
“Swell, where the hell am I?”
The barn door behind her opened and a familiar voice said, “You shouldn’t be here!”
She turned and shielded her eyes from the headlights of a car sitting in the field beyond.