Immortal Remains 2 - 30 Days of Night, page 27
“I never knew his last name,” he said. “And I didn’t even realize it.”
“Who is it?” Andy asked. The name rang a bell but he couldn’t place it.
“AJ. The man who let them use his car and house and boat,” Merrin said.
“And was he here?” Andy asked. “In this house?”
“Yes, of course.”
“And he was tortured,” Andy said, nodding. “Okay. We have to get out of here. Right now. Now.”
“We don’t know that he said anything,” Merrin said. “And the baby…”
“We don’t know that he didn’t. If the cops were able to identify the body and they put him together with known associates, they might have found Mitch, who just called us, and if they had a tap on Mitch’s phone, then—”
“Yes, I see. Well then. There’s not a moment to waste, I suppose,” Merrin said.
“Babies are pretty resilient little creatures, I’ve heard,” Stella said. “Especially this one, I imagine.”
“But where will we—?”
“Not you, Ferrando,” Stella said. “I mean, you have been a huge help, and we appreciate everything. But the fewer who know where we’re going, the better. You rented this place through a friend or something, right? They might be able to trace it to you eventually, so I don’t want you to know too much.”
“Who is it that we’re all hiding from?” Merrin asked.
Stella was already on her feet, putting the slumbering baby down in a padded carrier. “I think it’s Operation Red-Blooded,” Andy said. “They’re FBI, or maybe an interagency task force, I never could find that out for sure. I do know we’ve got to get out, get far away from here before they do.”
They ran about, taking precious few minutes to grab the things they would need, and rushed toward the car. Andy had installed a car seat that Merrin had bought in the rental. They would make their way back to Barrow, he knew—and what happened next was anyone’s guess. They were making this up as they went along.
On the way out the door, Stella stopped to kiss Merrin’s cheek.
“Take good care of—bother, I expect he’ll need a name, right?”
“He will indeed,” Stella said.
“Any ideas?” Andy asked.
“I have one,” Stella said.
“As do I,” Merrin said. “There seems to be only one reasonable option, to me.”
Stella attempted to again maintain her composure, even as she gave the baby in the carrier a small smile. The infant’s head waggling slightly in his sleep, mouth puckering as if ready to nurse. “Well,” Andy said. “Can somebody fill me in?”
“I’m surprised you even have to ask.” Stella said.
She raised the carrier to her lips, planting a gentle kiss on the infant’s forehead. She already looked like a mother, like motherhood had been in her all along, just dormant.
“He has to be Dane,” Stella announced. “Andy Gray, Ferrando Merrin…meet little Dane.”
As if responding to the name, the infant tilted his head and opened his blue eyes wide, looking up at his new mother. Perhaps it was a trick of the light, Andy thought. It probably was.
But just maybe, he could have sworn he saw little Dane smile.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
STEVE NILES is one of the writers responsible for bringing horror comics back to prominence, and was recently named by Fangoria magazine as one of one of its “13 rising talents who promise to keep us terrified for the next 25 years.” Among his works are 30 Days of Night: Dark Days; 30 Days of Night: Return to Barrow; 30 Days of Night: Bloodsucker Tales; Criminal Macabre; Wake the Dead; Freaks of the Heartland; Hyde; Alistair Arcane; and Fused. 30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre, Wake the Dead, Hyde, and Alistair Arcane are currently in development as major motion pictures. Niles got his start in the industry when he formed his own publishing company called Arcane Comix, where he published, edited, and adapted several comics and anthologies for Eclipse Comics. His adaptations include works by Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, and Harlan Ellison. He also recently formed Creep Entertainment with Rob Zombie, as well as the film production company Raw Entertainment with Tom Jane. Niles resides in Los Angeles with the love of his life, one black cat, a tortoise, and a turtle.
JEFF MARIOTTE is the author of more than thirty novels, including several set in the universes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Charmed, Las Vegas, Conan, Star Trek, and Andromeda; the original novels Missing White Girl and The Slab; and Stoker Award–nominated teen horror series Witch Season, as well as more comic books than he has time to count, some of which have been nominated for Bram Stoker and International Horror Guild awards. With his wife, Maryelizabeth Hart, and partner Terry Gilman, he co-owns Mysterious Galaxy, a bookstore specializing in science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and horror. He lives on the Flying M Ranch in southeastern Arizona with his family and pets, in a home filled with books, music, toys, and other examples of American pop culture. More information than you would ever want to know about him is at www.jeffmariotte.com.
Steve Niles, Immortal Remains 2 - 30 Days of Night