“Detective Preacher had always liked bad boys. She and her partner, Farley, were assigned to investigate a serial killer called the Cincinnati Skinner. The case that disturbed the other female investigators thrilled Preacher. She had always been fascinated with the occult and the dark corners of the human mind, and when she wasn’t watching terrible old science fiction movies, she was re-reading the case files of her favorite killers.
The Skinner liked sending letters to taunt investigators. When he took an interest in young Detective Preacher and sent a letter addressed to her, her superiors were worried that she might be collaborating with him. Unfortunately, taking Preacher off the case was not an option. Thanks to her insight, they had never been so close to catching the Skinner. Her partner was ordered to keep an eye on her.
Farley and Preacher eventually tracked the Skinner down. They discovered that the killer was not a mortal man. He told them his name was Triad and he was a prince. He took the detectives prisoner, hiding them away where no one would ever find them, and then the game was on. Triad used the lack of trust that had been building between the detectives to drive them further apart and manipulate Preacher. Eventually, she fell for him.
Triad had never shown such interest in a mortal before. His infatuation with Preacher was certainly not a good sign. After all, the Prince of the Absurd cannot love anyone. Only Preacher’s partner, Farley, could see this devil for who he was… but it was already too late for the young lady.”
“I know what you must be thinking,” said Triad, while Preacher happily stuffed her face with sandwiches. “You’re thinking dat I’m just playing nice to bring your guard down. You’re thinking it’s just a matter of time until I try and kill you.”
Preacher abruptly stopped eating, her sandwich in her teeth, and felt her heart miss a beat.
“That’s not what I was thinking,” Preacher said. It had certainly crossed her mind, though.
She hesitated. She knew from the academy that engaging mentally unstable suspects in conversation risked encouraging their delusions, but the silence was driving her mad.
“I was thinking, how come the sun still hasn’t come up? Why do the rooms in this place seem to move around? How come that pet lion of yours looks normal in the light, but she’s a zombie in the dark? How come you can pull stuff out of thin air?”
She looked at him, with difficulty.
“Just who the hell ARE you?”
“All very good questions,” said Triad, as though impressed with her perception. “I’ll tell you honestly, dough you won’t believe me. My mother was a very powerful woman. Some might even call her a god. When she decided she wanted to have children, her children were also gods. Dey had de power to alter reality around ‘em.”
He paused, looking thoughtful, his fork halfway to his mouth.
“I never knew my daddy. Momma never told me who he was, dough she talks about him sometimes. She says he owes us several billion years in child support.”
He shrugged. Preacher let his words wash over her, not absorbing anything he said. He reached out to wipe a smudge of peanut butter from her face with a napkin, and she flinched. Triad just smiled, as if amused by her poor manners.
“I can’t stand messy eaters, cher. As for Perdition, I already told you why she looks de way she does. Dis place is my own private retreat. It takes shape according to what I want. It’s always night, because dat’s how I like it. Sometimes I forget where de bathroom is, so it moves closer to me. Don’t worry, as long as Perdition is wid you, you won’t get lost. I cleaned up a little before you arrived, of course.”
Preacher didn’t think he had done much cleaning at all.
Triad put his fork down. “Does dat answer your questions?”
Not really, Preacher thought, though it does prove you’re absolutely insane. “Yeah, more or less.”
Triad smirked at her, blowing through his nose in amusement. “You must think I’m plumb crazy, huh? But I know dat sooner or later, Alice, you’ll believe me…”