Beyond the pulpit, there was a human body. He was an old man in a dark blue suit, with gray hair and beard, his feet and shoulder jammed against something that forced his knees and head into the air. He was pinned onto the lid of a big wooden chest with what looked like a wooden stake, pushed all the way through his torso and into the wooden container beneath. Death was always ugly, and Mike had seen his share, but he’d never seen it this ugly, or weird. He couldn’t see blood anywhere, despite the gaping hole in the man’s body. The chest underneath him had two sphinxes carved into its lid, facing left and right away from each other.
The old guy was still moving, though not very much. He muttered something inaudible, just a gasp through twitching lips—
and his skin bubbled. It crawled, and jumped and wiggled like it was loose over the body it covered, and something small, a thousand small somethings, were crawling all over underneath it.
“Jeez.” Mike stopped just inside the gnawed-down pulpit and stared. “Vampire?”
“Worse,” Twitch shook her head. “Rabbi.”