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Authors: Glenn Rolfe

Tags: #supernatural;werewolves

Blood and Rain (7 page)

BOOK: Blood and Rain
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He fired the last three silver bullets from his revolver, burying them into the chest of the beast. The howl died in its throat. Its bulk dropped backwards. The eyes closed, it lay there motionless.

Joe wasted no time reloading the silver bullets from his belt clip into the gun. He moved past the body of Curry and stood before the monster. His mind half expected the thing to lunge back up instantly and rip his head off. Without a second thought, he emptied the weapon into the chest and head of the creature lying before him.

Joe pulled a silver flask of Jameson from his coat pocket. He took a swig and reveled in the burn trickling down his throat. He would need to man up and pay his former mentor a visit. Stan had helped him before and would prove most resourceful if this situation blossomed into what he thought it would. Another full moon bloodbath was not on his list of things to do this summer.

Chapter Ten

Stan Springs dreamt of the old night watchman at the Augusta mental health facility, Harold Barnes. He watched Harold's eyes strain as he gazed through the bright ray reaching from his flashlight.

Stan had had this dream before. Harold had passed away the year Stan left the psychiatric hospital, but lived on to die over and over again in Stan's dreams.

This time Harold walked right over to Stan's hiding place just behind the pond. The dumb bastard normally had the sense to flee. Stan would give chase, but usually Harold's old legs carried him quick enough to survive another nightmare. Since falling off the wagon, Stan's dreams had not been so kind to Mr. Barnes.

“Whoever you are, you're on state property and I've got every right to drop you on sight.”

Stan shuffled left, hidden behind the large stone at the edge of the pond. The forest at his back held its breath as the beast in him prepared to introduce itself to the unsuspecting night watchman. Saliva pooled above the fingers he had firmly planted in the lawn. The change was swift, faster than it was in real life.

“Oh…my…God…” The light dropped from Harold's trembling hand and rolled down into the black pond.


The beast rose to its feet. It was a hulk in the darkness. Harold's lips moved, but no words came out.

The beast jumped the man-made pond and reared back a clawed hand.

“No, Stanley, no.”

The monster ripped out Harold's throat in one swipe, nearly decapitating the man. Harold's body dropped to its knees, falling forward.

The beast roared up at the heavens before descending upon its kill.

Stan Springs awoke. His bedsheets clung to his naked form. He wiped at his mouth. Harold's blood was not there. The dreams—he no longer considered them nightmares—were so vivid he could hardly tell them apart from the nights he surrendered to the monster within.

He stretched, then swiveled his feet to the hardwood floor. At his age joints should pop, bones should creak, and his muscles should ache after the kind of night he'd had. His secret held those problems at bay.
The dark, dirty, not-so-little secret secured him from the degenerating effects brought on by old age. It also left him alone and fucking hostile.

For years he'd held the rage in check, managing to drown the beast in a concoction of Klonopin and other similar drugs that kept him next to dead on the nights of a full moon. The true surprise came after he left the facility sans drugs. He came home to Gilson Creek, ready for whatever fate awaited him. Should the beast return, he was confident Sheriff Fischer would put him down for good.

The full moon came and went. The change, MIA. He'd read about a cursed Lithuanian priest who claimed a similar dormant state, but Stan had just swiped the story aside with the plethora of false myths he'd studied. The priest was said to have died alone in the mountains.

Despite returning home, Stan adopted the priest's solitary lifestyle. He spoke to no one. And they returned the favor. Even Fischer, whom he thought would engage him, seemed to sense that something wasn't right. As if he gave off a certain scent. A distinct pheromone. And maybe he did.

Whatever the case, Stan had managed to hide away from the monster and the town. Until last night.

A storm had raged outside and within. This time he relished the curse. He'd grown nasty in the years since he returned home. In a way, he'd hoped for the beast's return. The dirty looks from the people in his community, the way the punk kids giggled and mocked him as if he were no better than that dead fuck, Old Mike. While he'd initially been relieved by the sheriff's distance, there came a time when you acknowledged old friends, out of respect, if nothing else.

No, this town had grown putrid. It was the
that was cursed. It was
job to deliver the dark enchantment's promise. It was
job to bring Gilson Creek to death's gate.

“You gonna knock?” Wes nudged Joel in the back.

“All right, man, but if his mom doesn't answer because there's a strange dude with a Mohawk at her door, that ain't on me.”

“I'm pretty sure she knows what kind of bizarre shit her twenty-nine-year-old son is in to.”

“Fuck yeah, good point.” Joel knocked.

A short, dark-haired woman with glasses and her hair pulled back in a tight bun answered.

“Hey, is this the Bruce residence?” Joel said.

“It's actually the Hersom residence; Bruce is my ex-husband's name. Are you boys looking for Nick?”

Wes stepped up next to Joel. “Ah, yes, ma'am. Is he in?”

“He's here.” She nodded for them to follow.

Joel looked to Wes and shrugged.

“He's been in his room since I got home this morning. Says he doesn't feel good.”

She led them past a bathroom and down a short hallway that stunk like cat piss and was taken up mostly by a washer and dryer. She rapped on the door. “Nick? You got visitors.”

There was no answer.

“Nick?” She turned back to them. “If he don't answer, feel free to walk on in. I gotta go get ready.”

Another shrug from Joel. Wes put his hand on the doorknob and turned.


He was on the floor, tangled up in a faded blue sheet and sweating like a pig. Wes walked over to him. “Hey, Nick. You okay?”


“It's Joel and Wes, man,” Joel said.

Wes watched Nick's eyes open. They rolled back in his head almost instantly. He moaned and clutched at his stomach.

“Shit, Wes. I think he's gonna throw up.”

“I saw the bathroom at the start of the hall. Help me get him up.”

“Look at this. Man, it smells too.” Joel held his head back from the bandaged wound on Nick's arm.

“Hurry up,” Wes said.

They got him down the hall and into the bathroom just in time. Nick flung himself at the toilet and hurled.

“I can't watch this, dude. I'll blow too.” Joel squeezed past Wes.

Wes heard the front door open and close.

Once Nick stopped puking, Wes spoke up, “Hey, Nick, you want us to come back tomorrow?”

Nick moaned and belched in response. The burp brought forth another round of vomiting.

“All right, Nick. We're staying at the Motel 6 in Hollis Oaks.” Wes pulled a business card and a pen from his pocket and scratched down the phone number and their room number. “This is where we'll be. Call me tomorrow when you're up and feeling better.” Wes stepped toward the door. “Do you need help back to your room?”

Nick didn't answer.

Wes met Joel at the car. He couldn't help but eye the moon. It looked full.

“Where to now?” Joel said.

“Let's see if we can find the crime scenes. Maybe we'll luck out and find something.”

“Fuck yeah. Let's do it.”

“This is the park where Nick took that picture.”

“Keep going, man.”

Joel was right. Police lines blocked off the park entrance. Something bad had happened.

“Shit, looks like we had another attack. That makes three total.”

“We don't know that for sure. This could be anything.”

Wes didn't believe it, but the scope of last night's events demanded he find out.

Nick tried to get up from the toilet. The chills that hijacked his body raked icy claws from the nape of his neck to his tailbone. All he could smell was the sour scent of death, like the time the squirrel curled up and died in the wall next to his bed. It was a sickly sweet rot.

His stomach tensed. Another hot wave of bile splashed the murky toilet water under his nose.

I'm dying. I'm fucking dying here.

His stomach lurched again, but this time came up empty.

Had he heard Wes and Joel? Or was that a fever dream?

He couldn't think straight. The walls inside his skull kept going from black to red, to dots and tracers. Awful, awful dreams. He couldn't recall of what, but knew his few waking moments had been filled with terror. Yet each time he reached for help, he was dragged back under.

Nick's arms shook as he pushed away from the puke-filled toilet and tried to open his eyes. He fought hard to keep them open against the undertow, but his will caved, followed by his consciousness.

Chapter Eleven

Joe Fischer's evening at work went pretty much like his first sexual encounter—too fast and too confusing. There was a throbbing behind his temples that he knew he'd better get used to.

With my luck, it's probably the beginning of an ulcer.

He chewed on aspirin between sips of Jameson. The whiskey felt good, but the pills, like this whole day, left a bitter taste in his mouth. He had two dead bodies and a shitload of questions that he wasn't sure he wanted the answers to.

After sitting at his desk for an hour, waiting on Seth Kimball's call about his three victims, he was ready to say to hell with it. He would just go talk to Nick Bruce first. The phone rang before he reached his office door.

“Hello, Seth. Help me out here. What did you find?”

“Hi, Joe. Okay, so let's start with the body from Christie Road. The damage is most definitely from an animal attack. Judging by the severity of the mutilation, it was something pretty big. Now, you said the driver-side window had been smashed and the victim's face was found outside of the vehicle, right?”


“Well, we're talking about something powerful and violent. In order for it to have punched through the window and come away with the side of the guy's face and most of the jaw, hell, I don't know, it's surreal. I've thought about that all day, and to tell you the truth, I don't have the slightest guess as to what kind of animal would be capable of something this aggressive, let alone one that would even attempt this sort of calculated move.”

“What are telling me, Seth? It was an animal, but it wasn't an animal? I'm confused.”

“So am I. Animals just don't think or act this way. The encounter seems, somehow, more human. Hypothetically, even if a person was strong enough to carry out the assault, he would need to have used a weapon of some sort, but the wounds on the victim were clean. No traces of a blade or tool of any kind. That brings it back to having been perpetrated by an animal. The wounds are more congruent with those caused by that of a large mammal with claws.”

“What does that leave us with? A bear, a mountain lion?” Joe said.

“A bear, a mountain lion, or maybe even a wolf, would be capable, though the beast does seem larger than the last two. But to go at a person who was sitting inside of a vehicle, in the kind of weather we had last night, it doesn't add up. The behavior itself is abnormal. Usually, the type of mammals capable of this sort of damage only attack humans to protect their babies. Sometimes, though rarely, they may attack for food.”

“And in this case, there was neither. So, how about the second victim, is there anything more there?”

“The second victim's death was caused by the car crushing down upon him. The leg you found on the workbench, however, was definitely torn from him before he stopped breathing. Physically, it certainly matches what I found with the first victim.

“The body I picked up today, like the first, also suffered severe facial trauma. His arm was torn from his body. Again, the strength and savagery in these attacks is perplexing. The mutilated chest cavity looks as though something nuzzled right into it. We're definitely looking at an animal, where this one is concerned, more than likely the same one that attacked the first.”

“Thank you for your diligence, Seth. Call me if you find anything else.”

“Will do, Sheriff,” he said.

Joe did not want to sit alone with the information, any longer than he had to. He got up and headed out of the station.

Ted McKinney resided in a small apartment over Ken Jenks's garage.

He opened the door and welcomed Joe in.

“Evening, Ted.”

“Sheriff.” Ted pulled out a fresh pack of smokes and tapped the package against his palm. “Care if I light up?”

“It's your house.”

“You want something to drink? I have beer or water.”

“I'm good.”

Ted unwrapped the cellophane from the cigarette box, opened the lid and drew one from the pack. He placed it between his lips and raised the lighter to it. “What do you need from me?”

Joe picked at a banana sticker clinging to the bare counter next to the sink. He saw the empty grave. He saw the ravaged bodies. Despite his friendship with Ted's brother, Jack, Joe had never really been close with Ted. He wasn't sure which side of the debate Ted's feelings on the supernatural lay—the sane wild-animal types or the crazy werewolf zealots.

“You didn't happen to see anyone or anything else at the park while you were there this morning, did you?”

“You mean like a psycho killer or a black bear?”


“Or something else?”

Joe stroked his fresh whiskers. He wasn't going to feed it to the man.

“No. I didn't see anyone or anything there. I just saw…what was left.”

Joe nodded. “And you were there because…”

“I don't know. I wish I hadn't been. It's just these killings…I sometimes cruise by the park and think, ya know?”

Ted took a long drag, exhaled and continued, “All this shit and the storm and the moon last night…damn, I don't know. It just made me think of what happened to Michele and Jack and Kelly.”

“Me too.”

Ted looked up at him. “You really think this was just some wild animal passing through town or coming down from the hills?”

Joe stood up straight and fixed his Stetson. “Thanks, Ted.” He tapped the counter and started for the door.


Joe waited at the door.

“Is that really what you think?”

Joe saw the empty grave. “Ted, I don't know what to think. Just stay in tonight, okay?”



Joe closed the door behind him. He stared up at the darkening sky. The moon was still round and bright. He hoped the legends were right. He needed some quiet tonight.

At the station, Joe found his deputies standing a little closer to each other than he'd like to see.

“Clarke! Glescoe!”

They both jumped like a couple of teenagers caught sitting too close in a room alone. He wasn't sure how serious their relationship was, but he knew they were screwing. Although that violated his personal policy for workplace etiquette, there was nothing on the books that prevented it. Besides, Shelly Glescoe was a looker, and the pickings around this town were slim for both the men and women. Regardless, he didn't want them fucking in his station.

“How did things go with Ted?” Dwayne said.

Shelly's face was flushed. “I can't believe he found a dead body. Is he okay?” she said.

Joe walked up to the reception desk across from his two frisky deputies and leaned his elbows upon the solid, worn wood. He stood there looking down at the dispatch radio, trying to swim through all the drama flowing through his head. After taking a moment to collect his thoughts, he looked up at the two of them.

“Nah, but he will be. Ain't easy seeing someone the way he did. Where's Earl?”

“In the bathroom. Maria made her meat loaf again.”

“Hmm.” Joe almost smiled. He made his way to the right of the reception desk, toward his office, before pausing. “Glescoe.”

“Yeah, Boss?”

“I want you guys being extra cautious out there tonight.”

“Yeah, Dwayne already told me. We'll be armed and ready for…whatever.”

Joe was happy to see Deputy Clarke had some of his priorities in order. “Exactly, keep your shotgun loaded and in the front seat of your cruiser at all times while you're patrolling.” He paused for a moment before continuing. “Seth Kimball said it had to be a pretty big animal that did this. Very aggressive, very volatile. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be safe tonight. Call me if you see anything.” He turned back in the direction of his office.

Deputy Glescoe spoke up, “Sir?”

Joe stopped and turned back around. “Yes, Glescoe?”

“What are you going to be doing? Shouldn't you go home to Sonya and get some rest?”

He knew she meant well, and that he must look tired as all hell, but he had research to do and another phone call to make before he could call it a night. “I've got a couple of old case files I need to take a peek at. Sonya is at her friend's for the night. I'll be sure to stay out of your hair. Go ahead and act like I'm not here.”

“Okay, Boss, but I usually save all my singing for the midnight hour. I hope you don't mind a little Destiny's Child.”

Joe turned back toward his office so as not to let them see him smirk. “I'm okay with them, but I'm not one for bad karaoke.”

Glescoe made a face of mocked offense.

Clarke laughed.

Joe swung the door closed. It felt good to have a minute of frivolity. Both Glescoe and Clarke were in for some confounding discoveries. He wouldn't wish this knowledge on anyone. It was the sense of burdening these two young officers, and the impending corruption of their innocence, that caused the smile to disappear from his face as he sat down at his desk.

After making a quick check-in call to Sonya, and urging them all to continue to stay put, he dove head on into a nightmare he had thought was behind him.

That night, lying passed out in his bed from half a bottle of scotch, Deputy Randy Hines twisted and turned in his sleep. In his dream, he was hunted through the dark woods behind Paulson Park by a massive beast that walked upright like a man, but howled like an animal at the blood-red moon high in the night sky. Randy saw himself running buck naked through trees that looked as though they had been dead for ages. Adorned with cuts and gashes from scraping into branches, his own blood decorated his hands. He had a thought within the dream—something about covering up the truth. A low growl sounded from directly behind him and, then, a monstrous howl.

Randy Hines woke up screaming, lying in his own piss.

BOOK: Blood and Rain
11.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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