Constable Shivers coughed and the last bit of spittle fell from his mouth, atop the pile of vomit on the floor that had exploded from his gullet mere moments ago.
“Jesus, I’ve never see anything like this,” he said, coughing one last time and catching his breath.
“I have,” said Captain Driscoll calmly, his pipe still clenched between his teeth.
The body in the corner was recognizable as such mainly from the fact the head remained, the skin upon it slashed in jagged cuts and exposing the bloody bone of the skull. The pile of flesh beneath looked as though it’d been put through a meat grinder: bones were snapped in half, muscle had been torn asunder revealing ligaments and the marbling of fat, and what remained of the body’s entrails were ground to a pulp in a pile nearby.
“My God, such savagery! What kind of man could do this? I fear The Ripper himself has come to Dunlet!” exclaimed Shivers.
Driscoll walked over to the pile of gore and bent down. He picked something up out of the carnage and wiped the blood from it with his handkerchief. Slowly and carefully, he his removed monocle and held the curved white object up to the single gas lamp overhead to examine it.
“This is the work of no man,” he said. “This poor soul was mauled – no, devoured – by an animal.”
“And that is one of the beast’s teeth left behind? My word, it must be enormous! A timberwolf, I’d venture, roaming wild in our streets?”
“No,” Driscoll said, replacing his monocle. He folded the tooth into his handkerchief and tucked it into his pocket. “Behold the door, Shivers. A wild beast has not within in his abilities to open a portal like so.”
Shivers looked down at the long, deep claw marks gouged around the door’s handle.
“It’s been nearly twenty years… I never thought I’d see this day,” said the Captain.
“The Dunlet Howler has returned.”