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A serial killer is murdering strippers. But there's more to this case than just some loony with a taste for blood... it will take the talents of Orville Nesbit, psychic investigator, to find and stop the killer.

About 6,000 words

A short story from the best-selling and award winning team of Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald. Orville Nesbit also appears in the short story "A Tremble in the Air."

This story originally appeared in OtherWere, edited by Laura Anne Gilman and Keith R. A. DeCandido, Ace Books, 1996.

Praise for OtherWere:

"OtherWere as a whole does not disappoint. Editors Laura Anne Gilman and Keith R.A. DeCandido have assembled a remarkably solid anthology, and one with more diversity than might be expected from an 'alternate lycanthropes' premise. ... with scarcely an exception, the volume's contributors all achieve precisely what they've attempted, leaving editors Gilman and DeCandido with a rare and impressive batting average. This is a book that shouldn't be missed, from an editorial team that deserves to be seen again."
---John C. Bunnell, Tangent #16, Fall 1996

"If you find yourself more bored than horrified by typical tales of werewolves and other shapeshifting mayhem, read this book. ... This anthology restores the mystery and power of a classic horror motif. You won't know what to expect as you turn the pages. ... Most of all I enjoyed the clever diversity of theme, tone, and manifestation in this anthology. Aside from the transformation motif the stories had little in common except excellence. OtherWere offers something for everyone, whether you favor science fiction, fantasy, or horror."
---Elizabeth Barrette, Age of Wonder

"Fans who already know the work of these authors will enjoy this collection and newcomers will probably want to seek out their other writings. This anthology would make a solid addition to a YA fantasy collection."
---Karen Herc, VOYA


A rain-slicked night, and another murder.

The yellow crime-scene tape stretched all around the Third Street Laundromat. Black-and-white police cars, their blue lights strobing off the wet pavement, blocked the intersections to the north and south.

It was a good thing, Detective Lieutenant Paran reflected, that fingerprints weren't the only way to ID a Jane Doe. This killing made the fourth in the string, all with the same MO. The body tonight also made the second one this month. Could mean the psycho was getting itchy. Or maybe not. Not if the killer was following a lunar pattern like the profile suggested. Two full moons this month, and tonight - behind the rain and clouds - tonight was one of them.
A flashbulb exploded inside the Laundromat: the police photographer, getting the evidence shots.

Paran stopped at the door to light a cigar and anchor it between his teeth. Lots of the detectives in Homicide smoked them - they covered up some of the other smells. He waited until the stogie was burning evenly, its blue-white smoke forming a pale nimbus around his head. Then he pulled out a stubby pencil and a flip-up notebook and walked on into the Laundromat.

One of the big driers was still tumbling. Paran grabbed a uniformed officer by one arm and pulled him aside. "Watch that machine," he said, pointing. "Don't let anyone touch it. When it stops running, write down the exact time. Then tell me. Got it?"

All Madhouse Manor e-books are DRM-free.

This story is included in the collection "Vampires and Shape-shifters."


Used availability for Debra Doyle's Ecdysis

Kindle Editions

May 2011 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition

Title: Ecdysis (Orville Nesbit Book 2)
Author(s): Debra Doyle, James D Macdonald
Publisher: Madhouse Manor
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA