She lay there, naked, her long dark hair her pillow and cape. She was beautiful, once.
“Do you have a cause of death, Doctor?”
“No, Detective, I do not.”
“How long will it take?” asked Detective Martinez.
“That's the thing. There is no known cause of death. I've checked: there are no wounds – not even needle marks – no toxicology, no diseases, and every significant organ is in perfect shape except one...”
“That must be the cause,” said the Detective.
“Oh, come, Detective. What kind of fool do you take me for? Do you think I don't know what can cause a death and what can be caused by a death? No, the problem is the heart. Take a look.”
Doctor Martinez leaned over the corpse and withdrew her heart. He held it up, one side face to Detective Kowaloski. It had been carved with a strange, angry figure in it.
“What is it?”
“Near as I can tell, Detective, this is some kind of demon's mark carved into the heart.”
“Carved into it postmortem – after death – and without opening the body at all. Whatever killed this young woman was carved into her before she was cut open, too,” said the Doctor.
"Not as impossible as us switching identities halfway through our conversation."
"What?" asked Detective Kowaloski.
"You came in here, pretending to be Zack Martinez. Well, sir. I know Zack Martinez personally, and you, sir, are no Zack Martinez."
"What--what gave me away?"
Doctor Martinez sneered. "Well, for one thing, he's my brother. For another--" the physician snatched the mask from Kowalski's face--"he's not a demon."
Kozzwalllskyky slumped to the floor. How was he going to survive this humiliation back in Hell?
Opening: D Jason Cooper.....Continuation: Khazar-khum