The sun rose behind the towering mesas of Red River Ridge, bathing the wide frontier in an orange glow. In the shadows of the natural structures, body parts lay scattered around a heaving, manic Catherine Cartwright. The head of the last teenager she’d decapitated rolled to a stop into the first ray of dawn, and dissipated like mist in high heat. Cat’s sigh matched the whisper of smoke that rose briefly from the hard packed earth where the head had come to rest.
The sheriff rode upon the scene astride his weathered, dappled mare. Cat clutched her machete in one hand and the last gun with ammo in it, her trusty derringer, in the other. Her peacemaker was lost somewhere amidst the piles of viscera and stray limbs. Her pig sticker jutted out of the torso of a raven-haired girl, abandoned in her haste to escape the girl’s gleaming, bared teeth.
Cat’s auburn hair clawed madly at the wind that rushed around the scene. Her bright, hazel eyes rolled wildly in her head. Adrenaline spent, she dropped her weapons and collapsed to the ground, splashing into the pool of blood at her feet.
Sheriff Adam Roberts gaped at the massacre before him. None but the cowboys that rode through these parts had ever taken a cotton to Catherine Cartwright, what with her running a whore house right there in the middle of town, but he’d have never pegged her for a killer. Not in a million years.