The alarm clock buzzed with the insistence of an angry wasp. Twice Shannon Morris slapped the snooze button, refusing to give in to the annoying noise. The third time it blared, she finally heeded its call.
She’d had a hard night hunting the bestial shadows that plagued the city of Tucson, AZ as well as countless others. Some might called Shannon a vigilante others might call her a savior. However, none called her anything at all. Hers was a personal mission that she preferred not to share with anyone although her nightly activities were well covered by the news. She also had numerous law enforcement agencies across the United States attempting to link her actions from one city to another. At the rate Shannon was going she would become the worlds greatest ‘serial killer’.
Fortunately for Shannon, it was near impossible for the police to find any evidence leading to the killer in any of the murders she had committed. She liked to think she was as thorough as Batman with her CSI style clean ups.
In fact, she considered herself, with no small amount of pride, a nightmare that would leave any nocturnal, lantern chinned crime fighter screaming for their mother, deceased or otherwise.
Shannon, headache ridden and tired, roused herself from her motel bed to see if she had received any injuries during the previous nights activities. As Shannon stretched her muscles screamed and she discovered that the night’s ventures had been more strenuous than she’d realized.
In all her time hunting, she’d never had such a challenge. Her primary target had been an older lycan, three hundred and fifty at least and he had known his way around a fight. Shannon felt his fighting experience with every move she made.
Shannon’s memories of the hunt were vivid. Even now she couldn’t shake the surprise she felt when she was confronted with more than one combatant. Her enemy had had an unwitting accomplice for all the good it did him.
Fighting an uneven battle wasn’t anything new to her but the appearance of the second target and the way the woman had fought seemed… different. And why was she there anyway, not that it made a difference to Shannon.
It’d been ten years since she’d began her lone campaign to rid the world of werewolves, and eleven since she’d been turned. The circumstances of which were less than humorous by any standard.
After six months of dating her boyfriend she’d finally had sex with him. Her boyfriend, later her ex-boyfriend and first official kill, had neglected to inform her that he was a lycanthrope. As it turned out, he had a nasty habit of spreading the infection through unprotected sex. Before Shannon killed him, he said it was his way of propagating the species. Unfortunately for him, he propagated more than he intended with Shannon.
Nineteen turned into twenty-nine with the speed of a whirling dervish and in that time Shannon had caused over four hundred lycan deaths. She stopped counting at four hundred. It was nothing she cared to keep track of any further.
On her side were her youthful looks and an ability to blend in. No one gave her a second glance because she made sure there was nothing remarkable about her that would attract attention.
Once Shannon had been an average young woman with an average college career. She was of average height; five foot seven and had the average body type of a person who seldom ate right, but was still fit from walking or riding a bicycle to wherever she needed to go. It’d been her dream to open her own veterinary practice. Now, she was just another dog in the street.
Shannon took a quick look in the mirror. She marveled at how her tussled, dirty blonde hair made her look like either an insane homeless harpy or that girl from The Ring. It wasn’t the first time she’d made that comparison and it certainly wouldn’t be the last. She ran her hands through her hair, trying to smooth the locks back into place to no avail.
Shannon’s mission wasn’t anything comparable to movies or comic books. She wasn’t looking to save the world only to kill all the werewolves in it because one had taken her meticulously planned life away from her. She didn’t see what she did as murderer though any more than she thought of herself to be performing a service.
Single handedly she’d become a wraith to the werewolf community. A vengeful spirit sprung up, striking fear into every lycan enclave on the planet. The fact that her accomplishments were global seemed ironic to her since she’d never set foot off the continent that had spawned either of her lives.
Shannon didn’t know any of the lycans she’d killed personally or by reputation. Frankly, she didn’t care. At first she worried she might be killing others that had been turned against their will like she had been but that was something she had quickly gotten over. Some had greeted her with open arms but most fought. Those were the kills she especially enjoyed. She didn’t need a psychiatrist to tell her she was doing to others what she couldn’t do to herself.
Her existence had morphed into a life of needs only living. She didn’t drink Starbucks, wear the latest fashions, own the newest uber-tech cell phone or keep up with the moral capacity or incapacity of celebrities. Shannon worked temporary jobs, in diners doing dishes or waiting tables, or tending bars. She was always in the background, watching, waiting and earning money so she could move anonymously from city to city.
Shannon mentally reviewed what she needed to do that day as she sipped her bitter motel coffee and turned on the TV. The dark brew was just as harsh as the ninety some odd cups she’d had every day during her morning ritual since she had arrived in Yeller. She sipped it, scoffing at the thought that it was good to the last drop. It definitely was not. She drank it anyway though only because she needed the caffeine it contained to wake up. The diner she waited tables at would have better. This cup was just for starters.
The diner she currently worked at was attached to the motel she was staying in. It had free cable TV, but she seldom used it. The local news was what interested her the most. Without fail the local media always covered her work.
Tucson, about forty miles away, was the city she was presently stalking. While it was all well and good to be familiar with your hunting territory, it is ill advised to live in it and that is how she came to be in Yeller.
Her workplace/domicile was two miles from Interstate 19 in Yeller, Arizona. Local legends were split on why the town had such a hickish name. Some said it was named for the town idiot who had a bad habit of yelling while others countered that when the town was first established “the sand was more yeller than light tan”. Either way it was a quaint, quiet town that suited Shannon’s needs.
The news told of her nighttime butchery. The footage was too graphic for sensitive viewers but that didn’t stop the network from showing it. She watched as the coroner’s people cut down the bodies she’d hung from an overpass. Even at the distance the cameras were at she could still see her accomplishments.
She’d taken her time with the older lycan. He was worse than a hunter/killer; he was also a rapist. Shannon wasn’t above brutal mutilation of the living in those circumstances. She had carved his faces off, wrenched open his chest and injected gasoline into his still beating heart then touched the fuel off.
Unfortunately, the second had expired before Shannon could do anything to defile the body. The woman had fought viciously, making numerous attempts to bite Shannon. In her anger she’d clubbed the woman repeatedly in the head with her M1911A1 pistol and the blows had killed her.
Not wanting to deviate from the way she operated though, she put her trademark silver jacketed .45ACP round in each of their heads and hung their bodies from the overpass archways. She snickered at the police attempts to figure out how she’d gotten them up there in the first place. Shannon loved her trade secrets and she held them close.
She poured the remainder of her coffee into the sink and turned to click the TV off but stopped. Evidently other killers had been busy also.
A family of four had been torn apart in their home by a person or persons unknown. The authorities called it another brutal home invasion in an increasing string of crime. Details were being held back but Shannon understood that the killings were vicious. It was the eighth killing like this in ten days. The cops were worried that there were two serial killers competing against each other. As far as Shannon knew, she was no one’s competition.
Shannon didn’t know how she knew, but she knew that werewolves didn’t do these new murders. The killings did intrigue her but not enough to investigate.
Her time in Arizona was coming to a close. She could feel it. Normally she spent no more than eight months in one corner of any given state and her time in Yeller was getting dangerously close to being a year.
Normally it took two to four months for her to get a feel for her prey’s routine. Usually in a six-month span she could hunt three lycans simultaneously. She had a photographic memory and could hunt multiple targets with ease. The past ten months had been unusually good hunting. She’d accumulated four kills in that time but she knew her time was nearly up. The local lycan community was running scared and going underground.
It was time to move on the next state. Maybe in five or ten years she’d return to Arizona. After all, time was on her side.