I am so tired that I can’t even come up with a witty descriptive phrase. It’s been a busy past month or maybe six weeks. Time seems to have very little meaning these days. The girls have been doing extracurricular activities like pottery classes, tennis classes, ice skating classes on top of school work and being taken back and forth to TCAP tests, awards ceremonies and just the everyday things that girls between the ages of 8 and 12 do. It’s my fault; I wanted a daughter and I ended up with two.
And don’t get me started on Christopher. In the last three weeks of May alone he’s been a participant in numerous concerts for his high school concert band (he plays trumpet), numerous award ceremonies to acknowledge his academic achievements, and up until Memorial Day weekend, numerous Young Marines ceremonies and functions. It’s a mixed blessing that he’s no longer a Young Marine. He resigned in the last week of May due to moral differences between him/us and his new commanding officer. His morals were good to go; the CO and young adult leaders’ morals were found to be severely lacking. He resigned and we supported him in it. It was a good three years and he got what he needed.
So yeah, we’ve had a very busy month, and I’m terrible in the regards of keeping you faithful reader in the loop. I’m sorry about that.
To make up for that lack of communication on my part I’m posting a draft of the next chapter of Werewolves of the Dead. I’m still working on that book, and I think it’s coming along pretty well. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it so far.
Two nights later Shannon was readying for her next and last hunt in that state. The television was on and a local news station was droning on about a drive-by shooting. The shooting made for a nice change from flu reporting. It wasn’t until a report about another violent kidnapping that Shannon sat down on the bed to watch.
The Kizenski family had been paid a visit the night before, and the youngest, six year old Rebekah Kizenski, had been snatched from her bedroom. The family dog, a Siberian husky named Puddles, had been torn to shreds and dumped on the front lawn as a form of taunt. Shannon knew in her heart that the dog was killed out of malice more than to keep the family from being warned of the killer’s presence. More than half of the lycan community hated canines. Shannon wasn’t one of those. She loved dogs, and they loved her. Well, most of the time they did.
Shannon gripped her blue jeaned knees hard enough for her nails to cut through the fabric. The killer was abducting children with an audacity that made even the most protective of parents edgy. The fact that the kidnappings happened during the day as well as at night, along with the frequency meant something to Shannon. Faulder, a small community outside Tucson, had fourteen children abducted. Twelve of the fourteen had been snatched from bedrooms, yards and playgrounds in as many days. The age range was grisly; all the children were between the ages of six and ten.
Tucson PD, the local police department and even the FBI were working as best as they could to catch the child killer. Of the fourteen, three had been found dead, violated and heavily mutilated. Each of the three was missing their jawbones. Shannon had visited the first crime scene and the lycan scent was overwhelming. The next four scenes confirmed what she already knew.
She located her prey nine days ago. His scent had led to a brokerage firm in downtown Tucson. His name was Randall Deakins, aged thirty-four but probably much older. He was a nice looking, well kept white male who probably fancied himself a lady’s man but loved children the most. He drove a BMW 300i that still held California plates with renewal tags from two months earlier. The license plate told her that he was a new arrival to the state, hence the forceful string of surprise kidnappings and killings.
He lived on the opposite side of Tucson and was smart enough to do his hunting away from home, but arrogant enough to not worry about leaving his scent trail. This one urinated on some part of the abduction site. Somewhere the police wouldn’t look. She was sure there were lycan law enforcement; lycans like her. The trick was getting human bosses to listen and presenting the evidence the right way. Those were the lycans she avoided. They were true goodie-two-shoes that would jail her for murder…or worse.
Her prey did his urination for no other reason than to say I did this. I did this; you can’t touch me, so piss off. Shannon hated puns.
Unfortunately for her prey he was predictable. He kept to a schedule. Every Thursday and Friday it was a trip to a strip club where he’d pick up a prostitute either coming or going. Those women always disappeared. Which is another way of saying dead and devoured. Saturdays he feasted on the remains and on Sunday he had the occasional hunt. The other days he did his work.
Shannon watched him leave this Thursday night. She’d always put a lot of thought into each hunt and this one was no different. The down side to this current one was the makeup, streetwalker dress and human female pheromones she’d had to douse herself with. Her hunting attire was always bought a thrift stores and she made it a point to never wash them or reuse them. She needed the scent of the previous owners to mask her own and more often than not it worked.
She drove to the area he perused hookers. Parked her non-descript Chevy Nova and waited for him. She knew his type and unfortunately, blond wasn’t it. She dyed her hair a temporary red in the hopes that he’d pick her. If he didn’t, then she’d have to follow and put the target female under wraps first. Involving a third party was always risky… and sometimes messy.
Deakins arrived on time and slowly drove around the seedy part of Tucson looking the girls over. Showing skin had always been beneath Shannon, but for this she swallowed her pride and showed more than her usual amount of cleavage to Deakins. Her strap bag banged heavily against her right hip. The 1911 and two spare magazines gave it more weight than she would have liked.
Deakins made three revolutions before stopping a hundred feet from Shannon to talk to another prostitute. Her heart beat fast in anticipation and anger but she calmed as he pulled away from the other one to stop in front of her.
“Hey. How’s hanging,” he asked, leaning into the passenger seat. The smell of rage and death ebbed and flowed from his mouth. Shannon was sure she would gag but she kept it together. Deakins was a man who was filled with hate that boiled out of every millimeter of his skin.
“You tell me, baby. How is it hanging?” She knew how hookers talked, and she truly hated having the phrases spill from her mouth.
“It’s lonely for sure. How’d you like to make a little extra coin?”
“Doin’ what? Surely you’re not looking for day labor? Or maybe a cop, looking to pick up an illegal or two.” She hoped she was pulling this off well enough. She normally met guys like this in clubs and bars, never on the street.
Deakins laughed. It might’ve been a laugh touched with wry kindness but she knew better. “Nah, looking for night labor actually, and what we’re doing ain’t illegal in any sense. It’s all free market. Supply and demand.” He gave her a wink that curdled her intestines and stoked her anger. “How much for all three?”
“Don’t do backdoor, baby. But a hundred for the other two.” She considered letting him pull it out only to break it off. She’d probably scrub her hand red afterwards though.
“Not even for an extra five hundred? I can be very generous.” He said leering at her. She wanted to pull out her 1911 and pop him on the spot. She couldn’t though. The regular girls had eyed her with caution and swung wide of her position. For them it was a certainty she was a cop.
She stood still for a moment giving Deakins the impression she was considering it. Finally she agreed and got into his BMW.
They drove around aimlessly while Deakins talked about how rough he’d like to be with her. Shannon blanched mentally at his words and hoped to God that normal males didn’t think like he did.
Finally they pulled into a series of six dilapidated shacks ten miles outside of town. Two had been burned down years before and the smell of charred wood, blood and carnal feasting hung around the air. She knew the area. She knew almost every inch of her territory. What Deakins didn’t know was that Shannon had two primary escape routes planned out and two secondary routes in case those failed.
“All right, let’s get to work.” Deakins said pulling off his suit jacket. Shannon was thankful that he wasn’t being clichéd by going for his pants. “You may want to run now. Oh, and be sure to scream as loud as you can. No one’ll hear you and if they do… well, you’re just another whore in distress.”
Internally Shannon laughed. Externally she played along. “Look. You don’t want to do anything stupid. I’m known there. My pimp’ll fuck you up.”
“Sure you are, sweetie.” Deakins said wrestling himself out of his polo shirt next. He was confident that Shannon was stalling for time. He never bothered to notice that her fear scent was almost nonexistent. “You’re new there and not a cop. Economy’s tough. I get that.” He folded his shirt, placing it on top of the jacket that lay in the back seat. “You probably thought all you’d have to do it choke down some dick and act like you enjoy dirty old men fucking you. I can appreciate that too. Trouble is,” he said pulling off his shoes, “I’m not interested in sex. Yeah, I’m going to eat you but not in that way.”
Deakins angled his upper half toward Shannon. She leaned back, watching him grip the wheel with his left hand. He had begun his change and wanted her to know it. He bent forward, grunting with the pain of the newly growing flesh and muscle. “Better… run…honey. This is going… to hurt you more…than me.” Should’ve gone into acting instead of this shit, she thought as she feigned panic in looking for the door handle. She threw the door open, taking a moment to fall onto the ground. She needed him to be overconfident in feeling that he’d made her afraid.
A hill stood one hundred yards away from the passenger side of the car. She ran away, letting her high heels fall away from her feet. She wanted them to be found easily afterwards. She liked those shoes enough to wear in her real off hours.
Topping the small hill she heard Deakins painful howl. He was close to beginning his chase. She took cover before removing her own dress. She peered through the weeds and watched him steep from the vehicle. He was at his full seven-foot tall height. He gripped the car’s roof and thrust forward as the change’s pain subsided.
Calmly she pulled out the 1911, pulling the slide back with ease. Aside from her bikini underwear and lacy bra she was naked. She tucked the two spare magazines into her bra cups and began flanking Deakins as he sniffed the night air, looking for her. He got her inside of his scent cone and followed her trail.
“There’s something different about you, baby,” he called in his guttural voice. “Whatever it is, it won’t be enough. I’ve killed dozens like you and more than that not like you. I’m getting the feeling that you’re not gonna beg. That’s fine, I hate it when you all beg.”
He made his way up the hill, sweeping brush aside with his massive hands. He paused, looking around before pulling Shannon’s dress from the brush. “What the fuck is this?” He looked at it curiously before casting it down. “Do you really think this delaying tactic will save you?” He tossed it aside before moving along, following in Shannon’s wake.
Shannon allowed her own transformation to come. Slowly to protect her feet and knees from the rocky, glass strewn landscape. She held the pistol to her side as she watched him stop to scan for any movement.
Something ran off through the brush; Deakins leaped off, giving chase. Shannon was thankful for the distraction and gave a brief thanks to the animal that gave her time to get into position.
She ran to one of the buildings, her legs burning with the change, her chest crying out to finish what she had willed to start.
With ease Shannon leapt through a glassless window. She positioned herself near a window with some glass still intact because it gave her a reflection to track by. Nothing moved outside. That caused her concern. She raised her head to look out when the ceiling exploded above her.
Deakins landed on the harsh wooden floor, dust and debris drifted around him. “There you are. You’re proving to be more fun…”
BAM, BAM! Shannon whirled around, firing before Deakins could finish his taunt. Being a lycan gave her an edge on even the most accomplished professional shooters. Both silver jacketed .45 caliber rounds slammed into Deakins kneecaps. He cried out in pain and surprise as he slumped to the ground.
“You got a gun!” he bellowed. “You got a mother fucking gun?” When did fucking whores start carrying hand cannons?”
She didn’t know how to take his words. It was a serious question from him and a plea to God to explain how things could go so bad for him.
Deakins tried to stand but fell back down. He looked at his legs. Through the blood and ruined bone, human skin started to appear around the wounds. In places around the bullet holes, the transformation back to human was more than apparent. Rage pushed him to drag himself across the floor toward her. “Tear your fucking heart out, bitch!”
Shannon watched, almost in a detached way as she raised her gun hand and fired into Deakins’ left shoulder. He slumped back to floor, howling louder than before at the pain from the newly destroyed limb.
“Hurts, right?” she said, up righting a table and placing her pistol on it. “Now, you and I are going to talk about some things.” She doubled over and threw herself back as she rushed the change. Deakins was down but could still be a threat.
He tried to pull himself over with his lone good arm but couldn’t manage anything more than a dreadfully slow, bloody crawl. When he looked up he saw Shannon in all her lycanthropic glory. “Now tell me what I want and I won’t tear your fucking heart out, bitch.”
“Clever… aren’t you? Turning my…words…against me.” He was in pain and Shannon loved it. He spat a bloody silver tinged wad on her foot. She growled deep at his fiery defiance. The silver in the blood meant that she’d hit a vein. The silver was coursing through his system faster than she wanted. Shannon knew she’d have to work faster than she thought.
“Well,” she said, kicking him onto his back. Shannon bent down. “I am clever. I got you here didn’t I? Have to admit that I do wing it a lot though. Now, where are the children? I smell them on you. I know you’re wanting to make sure those little lambs get back to their parents.” She picked up her pistol, ejecting an unfired round then poked it into his wounded in his left leg halfway down the silver casing. The blood around the wound boiled at the newly introduced silver. His body was trying to reform itself but was loosing the battle against the precious metal.
Deakins made to howl in pain but Shannon gripped his muzzle closed. The force she held on it was more powerful than her grip on the pistol. He growled, tears flowing from his eyes. “Well,” she said, sounding more patient than she was. “Where are they? Now don’t act defiant or brave or that you don’t deserve this. You do. At the risk of sounding obvious, you are a murdering asshole after all.”
“Fuck you!” he cried through her furry fingers.
“Wrong,” she said, driving the mainspring housing’s lanyard onto the round. The force set the round off. It exploded under her fingers, singing her fur while exploding Deakins’ leg wound further. The smell of her singed fur and skin aroused her blood lust. Sadism was her dirty little secret when dealing with lycans like Deakins.
More tears poured from Deakin’s eyes. The silver poisoning was creeping to his face. Little strains of human skin appeared and flashed away in little more than the blink of an eye. She knew it was only a matter of time before the poisoning met his brain, making interrogation useless. “I know about your brother. Don’t think that by not telling me that I won’t do the same to him.” It was a bluff and she knew it. Deakins did have a brother and by all accounts he loved him.
The younger Deakins was lycan but harmless. He preferred a life of literature and solitude to eating humans and their offspring. At the end of the day, Shannon would leave the junior Deakins alone. She hoped the elder wouldn’t feel that way.
“You bitch! You…” he grunted, trying to get past his pain… “wouldn’t!”
“Tell me where the kids are and I won’t. You lie and I’ll kill him. I don’t care how gentle he is. He’ll be just as dead because of you.”
Deakins considered her proposal for a few seconds before telling her that he kept them at an abandoned mental hospital outside of the city. “You’ll… have a fucking bitch…” he moaned, his body spasmed as the silver worked faster to his brain. His chest shown great patches of tanned skin. The silver was at his heart. It was a matter of time before the real pain began. “You’ll have… a bitch of a time… getting to them though. I’m not alone.”
In all her surveillance she’d never seen him meet with anyone. If it was bluff she wasn’t going to take it lightly. “How many?” She ejected another round, placed it into his shoulder and held the pistol over her head as a hammer again.
“TWO! ONLY TWO! WE’RE SAVING THEM! THEY”RE NOT DEAD YET! I SWEAR!” His eyes told her that he was telling the truth. Their human appearance was returning and fear of more torture filled them. “”Please no more, I beg you, please don’t hurt me any more.”
“Wonder how many times you heard that.” Shannon stood up, dropping the magazine and replacing the unspent round. She looked around until she found what she was looking for, a broken, rusted bit of metal pole. “Can’t say that this will hurt me more than you but it’ll make me feel a damn site better.”
Shannon raised the pole over her head. She drove into his chest, missing his heart. Wrenching it back and forth, forcing Deakins’ chest cavity open. The blood roiled out of his chest, the silver more than easy to see. He gripped the pole in a weak attempt to stop her but it was for naught.
Once the chest was exposed she saw the still beating heart. It beat erratically but still it beat. She forced the pole into the floor, nailing Deakins in place so she could retrieve gas from the car’s gas tank. “Now don’t go away. You’ll love this.”
Silver tinged blood flew from Deakins’ mouth as he tried to speak. He coughed before getting the words out. “Please, don’t. Please…I won’t hurt…humans again. Please. Why are… you… even doing this?” His poisoned life fluids sprayed from his mouth with effort. Shannon had done this for so long that she couldn’t even feel pleasure at the kill any longer.
“You know why,” she said, leaving for the car.
Shannon looked into the glove box and was surprised to see a small roll of hundred dollar bills. Sometimes hunting could be profitable. She could make use of the cash he had in his wallet also. The credit cards meant nothing to her but the Zippo lighter he carried did. Checking his jacket pockets she found the cigarettes that went with the lighter. She always marveled at why lycans smoked and drank. Neither addictive substance took with werewolves yet somehow a few insisted on making the habits theirs. She tucked the cigarettes into her bra strap. She didn’t want to leave Deakins without a final comfort.
She moved on to the trunk. There was nothing there for her to salvage. The hard work was finding pans to catch the gasoline from the tank. Once she did find three old cooking pots, she tore through the plastic wall of the gas tank. Making sure not to loose the precious combustible fluid was hard.
Deakins had been nice enough to have three quarters of a tank for her to use. She poured half all over the cars interior. The other half was meant for Deakins himself.
She set Deakins’ suit jacket aflame, touching off the gas. She paid no attention to the flames as she calmly walked into the shack.
Deakins was barely breathing. He’d pulled the pole inches from his chest before collapsing from the exertion. He’d past out from the work. It displeased her only slightly that he was unconscious.
“Hey. Wake up”, she said kicking his human right foot. The left was still lycan but showed evidence of turning. “Come one, wake up. You’re going to miss all the fun.” She poured gas on his face, waking him up but only just.
He screamed an all too human scream as she dumped more into his open chest. “Hey. Hey, you. Got a match?” she said bending down to him. Deakins said nothing as he stared blankly at her. “No? Well what good are you then. Fucking smoke and don’t have a match. Luckily you do have a lighter. A nice one too. What is this? Silver? Now that’s pretty messed up. You keep a silver lighter and you’re a werewolf.”
She stuck a cigarette between his weakened lips then tossed the unused pack unto the opened chest. She took great care to cover his entire body with the remaining gas. “Let me light that for you.” She bent down one last time, lighting his cigarette. It dropped onto his throat and rolled off, failing to set off the gas. The gas hadn’t been sitting long enough to leave combustible fumes. “Oh look. You dropped your smoke. Here let me help you.”
She dropped the still burning lighter into the chest wound. Shannon never tired of hearing the whoosh that came from touching gasoline off. She enjoyed it and realized that she enjoyed the taunting she gave in the murderous lycan’s last moments also. The joy hadn’t totally left her heart as much as she’d thought.
With his last remaining strength, Deakins thrashed against the pole and the flames. His breath grew in renewed strength as he yelled at the flames.
Shannon let him burn for two minutes before putting a final silver jacketed round into his head. Deakins’ screams and movements ceased abruptly.
Watching the flames, she allowed herself to return to human form. Her mind whirled as the rest of the shack began to burn. Even as she dressed herself she planned feverishly quickly at how to infiltrate and save the missing children.
She knew the hospital but she’d never visited it. It had been built in the mid nineteenth century for the clinically insane and like all of its time it dealt in almost medieval solutions to the problems of human insanity. Like most from that time it had a dark past even though when it was operating ‘dark’ was normal SOP.
She needed to return to her room and dress appropriately. She didn’t want the kids, if they were alive, to ID their savior as a warrior prostitute. Dress for the occasion meant something to her.