Disclaimer: Most of what will be found belongs to the wonderful and very talented Kelley Armstrong. I only own a few characters that will be found through the story.
Another night. Another body. Another grave.
Josef was getting used to the routine. Digging a grave never bothered him of course. Considering the amount of people he had killed before, he had grown used to it. There was no need for him to leave traces of what he did where anyone would be able to see. So after any kill, he'd bury the body. He had enough experience to even consider himself skilled in it.
Of course, the bodies were usually much bigger. This one, the one he was burying tonight, had been the smallest one. The person had been small though. Just a boy, a tiny thing having just turned five. Josef knew because it had been the boy's birthday the night he had taken him. He knew that from seeing all the balloons and gifts that were still scattered in the yard. One said gift was the reason why he had even managed to get the boy. The child had wanted a toy and mommy had let him get it, too busy speaking on the phone to do it herself. Easy picking, without even the need to kill anyone.
Josef didn't really like it. Picking children like this, giving them to her... And then burying them when it failed. Because it always did. No child could survive what she wanted. So they all died, all fell away, unable to go through with it. It was a shame really. If only they could find a child strong enough to withstand everything... Then there wouldn't be any more death. Or rather, there wouldn't be for the reason there was now.
The man sighed as he finished filling the grave with dirt. Gone would be the child. No one would find him. No one would know. They moved around enough that even if someone did, no one would know what would happen. They probably wouldn't even figure it was a child. The boy had lasted longer than the others, given her just a bit of hope. Josef didn't care about the hope. But he did care about how it safer it made things for them. If someone found the little body, they wouldn't know what it was. For that's what the boy looked like now. Just an it, a thing, not even human enough to be considered one.
He patted the dirt one last time, making sure the body couldn't be seen anymore. He knew it was fine though, but he always did it more than once, just to reassure himself. Plus, if someone came about, the chances of smelling anything were slim. Although not many would be able to smell anything; it would be hard even for him to do. There one other reason why he always packed the dirty nice and tight. If a necromancer came about, the chances of them waking the child up and making him dig himself out were slim. The dirt would be too tightly packed for that. He knew the chances of anything of the sort happening were slim. She had told him necromancers didn't usually do anything like that. But Josef was always careful. He had found that he could never be too careful.
Only once he was satisfied did he start heading back home. Or rather, where home now was. They never stayed in one place for too long. If too many disappeared, it would be bad for them. Plus, she had it in mind that different states had different children, ones that might be stronger than the ones in whatever state they had been in before. Something about the water, or the food. Josef never complained. For someone like him, it was better to always be moving. He didn't want anyone to come sniffing at his door and doing something to him. Such something, which, he knew, would be very bad for him. Just the thought of what some of them-or at least one in particular-could do to him made him shiver. He wasn't proud of it of course-being afraid of someone was never something anyone would be proud of. But at least, he kept telling himself, there was plenty more people like him. There was at least that. He wasn't the only one afraid.
Josef walked away from the grave. He was deep in the woods, but knew he'd have no troubles finding his truck again. As he walked, he wondered how she would be. Probably indifferent, he knew. She never seemed to be too bothered whenever a child died. The kid failed, and she'd move on, asking him to find another one. Just like that, as easy as that. And Josef knew he'd do just like she wanted the next time to. It was easier, for all of them, if he did. And besides, he loved her. He'd do anything for her. All she had to do was ask. And ask, she always did.
Author's Note: Just a little prologue and nothing else. Hope you'll enjoy the story!