The Order of Brigid's Cross - The Wild Hunt (Book 1): The Wild Hunt

BOOK: The Order of Brigid's Cross - The Wild Hunt (Book 1): The Wild Hunt
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The
Order of Brigid’s Cross

The Wild Hunt

(Book One)

by

Terri Reid

 
 
 
 
 

Come
cuddle close in daddy's coat
Beside the fire so bright
,
And hear about the fairy folk
That wander in the night.

Robert Montgomery Bird

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

THE ORDER OF BRIGID’S CROSS – THE WILD
HUNT (Book One)

by

Terri
Reid

Copyright
© 2015 by Terri Reid

All
rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no
part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written
permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

This
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are
either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. The
author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various
products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without
permission. The publication/ use of these trademarks is not authorized,
associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

This
ebook
is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.
This
ebook
may not be resold or given away to other
people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please
purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you’re
reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use
only, then you should purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s
work.

The author would like to thank all those
who have contributed to the creation of this book: Richard Reid, Sarah Powers,
Virginia Onines, Denise Carpenter, Juliette Wilson, Jennifer Bates, Lori
Langham
and
the amazing Hillary Gadd.

 
 

Table of Contents

Prologue
..
2

Chapter One
..
7

Chapter Two
..
12

Chapter Three
..
16

Chapter Four
.
21

Chapter Five
..
26

Chapter Six
..
33

Chapter Seven
..
42

Chapter Eight
.
48

Chapter Nine
..
51

Chapter Ten
..
56

Chapter Eleven
..
62

Chapter Twelve
..
67

Chapter Thirteen
..
72

Chapter Fourteen
..
78

Chapter Fifteen
..
83

Chapter Sixteen
..
85

Chapter Seventeen
..
92

Chapter Eighteen
..
95

Chapter Nineteen
..
101

Chapter Twenty
..
104

Chapter Twenty-one
..
111

Chapter Twenty-two
..
115

Chapter Twenty-three
..
120

Chapter Twenty-four
.
125

Chapter Twenty-five
..
128

Chapter Twenty-six
..
133

Chapter Twenty-seven
..
140

Chapter Twenty-eight
.
143

Chapter Twenty-nine
..
146

Chapter Thirty
..
152

Chapter Thirty-one
..
155

Chapter Thirty-two
..
161

Chapter Thirty-three
..
165

Chapter Thirty-four
.
168

Chapter Thirty-five
..
173

Chapter Thirty-six
..
178

Chapter Thirty-seven
..
183

Chapter Thirty-eight
.
186

Chapter Thirty-nine
..
190

Chapter Forty
..
196

Chapter Forty-one
..
202

Chapter Forty-two
..
206

Chapter Forty-three
..
209

Chapter Forty-four
.
212

Chapter Forty-five
..
215

Chapter Forty-six
..
219

Chapter Forty-seven
..
223

Chapter Forty-eight
.
227

Chapter Forty-nine
..
231

Chapter Fifty
..
235

Chapter Fifty-one
..
239

Chapter Fifty-two
..
244

Chapter Fifty-three
..
248

Chapter Fifty-four
.
250

Chapter Fifty-five
..
255

Chapter Fifty-six
..
258

Chapter Fifty-seven
..
262

Chapter Fifty-eight
.
266

Chapter Fifty-nine
..
269

Chapter Sixty
..
273

Chapter Sixty-one
..
277

Chapter Sixty-two
..
280

Chapter Sixty-three
..
283

Chapter Sixty-four
.
285

Chapter Sixty-five
..
288

Chapter Sixty-six
..
292

Chapter Sixty-seven
..
296

Chapter Sixty-eight
.
302

Chapter Sixty-nine
..
304

Chapter Seventy
..
306

Chapter Seventy-one
..
309

Chapter Seventy-two
..
313

Chapter Seventy-three
..
317

 
 
Prologue
 

The air was cold and damp and smelled of mold and rotting
garbage with an underlying hint of urine.
 
Despite that, Detective Sean O’Reilly had always liked the feeling of
the Grant Park Underground Garage. It was like an ancient castle, solid and
unyielding.
 
A place like what he was
sure his Irish ancestors had inhabited, although the family joke was that
they’d have been in the kitchens doing the grunt work rather than in the throne
room being served.

There were only a few cars down at the lowest level when he
got off work, usually no earlier
than
nine
o’clock.
 
Most of the daytime residents
of downtown Chicago had already been home for several hours and were watching
their favorite televisions shows. But Sean stayed late, knowing his cat, Tiny,
would understand. He’d complain, loudly, Sean smiled as he thought about it,
but he’d understand.

The rubberized soles of his shoes didn’t echo on the
concrete garage floor, but Sean thought they ought to.
 
Echo off the floor and bounce off the walls,
like a scene from an old film noire movie, everything dark shadows and ominous
sounds.
 

Sean liked being down in the bowels of the city. He thought
it was an appropriate place for a cop to park.
 
Kind of like his own personal Bat Cave.

Walking down the center of the garage, he passed from one
section to the next. The thick concrete walls and faded black numbers on the
floor were the only things that distinguished one area from another.
 
But as he moved farther away from the
staircase and into the farthest reaches of the garage, he began to notice vapor
hovering above the garage floor, like a thin, barely perceptible mist that was
moving towards him from the far end of the garage.
Must have something to do with all this moisture,
he thought
absently.

The concrete wall in the next section was surrounded by a
dark puddle.
 
The dark liquid pooled
around the side he could see and looked like it continued to the other side.
 
He glanced up to the low ceiling to see signs
of leakage.
 
Must have been a pretty heavy rain,
he thought,
to reach all the way down here.

He started to bypass it when the scent caught his
attention.
 
The copper taste in his mouth
turned his stomach. It wasn’t a puddle of rain water.
 
It was blood.

His mind immediately flashed back to the images of the
victims, eight of them, who had been massacred on the streets of Chicago in the
past few weeks. What little remained of the victims had to be identified by
either dental records or, in two even more disturbing cases, DNA.
 
This guy was an animal, and the sooner they
caught him and tossed him in some dark, lonely place for the rest of his life
the better, as far as Sean was concerned.

Pulling out his radio, he swore softly when he realized
there was no signal this far down in the garage.
 
Now he had to make a choice: turn around and
get
backup
or continue on and finally get a chance to
catch the bastard.
 
The choice was easy.

Sean slapped the radio back into its holster and pulled out
his gun. He was going to catch the killer.

He slipped past the wall, and his stomach turned as he spied
the remains of the latest victim.
 
There
was a sparkling gold, high heel shoe in the middle of puddle. The victim had
been a woman.
 
He looked at the
disemboweled remains. There was nothing he could do for her now, but her blood
was still putting off steam in the cold spring air.
 
So she hadn’t been dead for long. And Sean
knew that meant the killer couldn’t be too far away.
 

At the edge of the puddle was another, smaller, mark on the
ground. He hurried over to examine what looked like a partial footprint saved
in blood.
 
The track, diminishing in size
as it moved away from the crime scene, led farther into the garage.
 
He flicked off the safety of his gun.
 
He was going hunting.

He noiselessly jogged in the direction the killer’s path
led.
 
Moving through each new section, he
stayed close to the few remaining vehicles for cover, listening for any noise
that might convey the killer’s whereabouts.

Finally, as he moved to the last section, he heard the slow,
shuffling footsteps of the killer.
 
He must have been wounded
, Sean thought,
to be moving so slowly
.
 
He crouched low, his gun drawn, and darted
alongside a panel van parked in the far corner of the garage.
 
He inched his way alongside and peered
through the driver’s window into the shadowed section ahead.
 
He saw a shadow.
 
The guy was a freaking hulk!
 

That’s okay, the
bigger they are, the harder they fall
.

He sprinted forward.
“Police!
Freeze!” he shouted, his voice echoing throughout the garage.

Then he saw it, and his blood ran cold.
 
There it was.
The creature
from his nightmares.
 
The
bear-like monster with long claws and fanged teeth had haunted his dreams since
he’d seen it in a forest in Ireland when he was a boy.
 
The scars the beast had inflicted on his arm
started to burn and, for a moment, he was twelve again and terrified he was
going to die.

The creature turned and looked at him, blood, still fresh,
dripping from its teeth.
 
The victim’s blood.
 
That was all it took to bring him back to reality.
 
Tonight an innocent woman had been killed by
this creature, and others had died the same way.
 
This wasn’t Ireland, and this wasn’t some
damn enchanted forest.
 
This was
Chicago.
 
This was his city. And he
wasn’t going to let some oversized beast get away with murder.

“Hey,
Magilla
, I’m not twelve
anymore,” Sean growled through gritted teeth. “I said it once, and I’m only
going to say it one more time. Police!
Freeze!”

The creature started to lunge, and Sean lifted his gun and
shot it in the heart.
 
The impact knocked
it back a few feet, but it regained its footing and came at him again.
 

Sean shot again, and again, and again.
 
He emptied the entire magazine into the
beast, but it only slowed it down.
 
He
was out of ammunition, so he pulled out his taser.
 
He set it at the highest possible setting,
aimed and shot.
 
The probes attached
themselves to the creature’s chest, and Sean shot 50,000 volts of electricity
into its body.
 

The creature roared, grabbed the lines and ripped them from
his chest, pulling the taser out of Sean’s hands.
 
The gun clattered uselessly to the ground.

Sean reached back and pulled out the final weapon in his
arsenal, his wooden nightstick.
 
He moved
into a hand-to-hand combat position, his stick in his right hand, and faced the
creature.
 
He knew he needed to stay away
from its poisonous talons; he’d already seen what those could do.
 
He prayed he could find some spot of weakness
before he became victim number nine.

The beast approached him slowly, its black tongue darting in
and out along its elongated jawline, its yellow, reptilian eyes never blinking,
staring coldly into Sean’s soul.
 
He
remembered those eyes.
 
He remembered the
last time he faced the beast clearly now.
 
He remembered thinking he was going to die.

He lifted his right arm up and waited.
 
He needed it to be close enough to get around
it and attack it from the rear.
 
It moved
closer.
 
Sean feinted to the left and
dashed to the right, but the creature quickly mirrored his movement.
 
He tried moving to the left, but the creature
moved just as fast, blocking him and forcing him past the section wall and
towards the corner of the garage.

Sean knew the only way out was through the beast. And he
knew he was out of options.
 
He screamed
at the top of his lungs and ran towards the creature, his right arm and
nightstick raised defensively.
 
The
creature bellowed back and raised its arm, talons clicking into place, to
attack.

A glimmer of light.
 
Sean heard the soft sound of air being pushed,
and the beast suddenly froze in its tracks. Coldblooded eyes widened in shock
and the creature bobbled forward. Sean jumped back and watched as, instead of moving,
only the monster’s head tottered forward, leaving the stump of its neck exposed
as it fell with a crash to the ground. The skull split in half, green ooze
spilling out, but a moment later, both the creature and its remains crumbled to
dust.

Sean looked up from the dust on the cement floor and saw
her.
 
Once again she was wiping the green
ooze from the blade of her broadsword.
 
But, she was no longer the little girl who had saved him in Ireland.
 
She was a woman.
A tall,
strikingly beautiful woman.

“You,” he stuttered.

“Aye, and here you are trying to fight off a Heldeofol with
naught but a stick again,” she said, shaking her head. “Did you learn nothing
from your last experience?”

“Aren’t you a hallucination?” he asked.

She smiled brightly at him. “Aye, Sean the Brave, I’m only a
dream.”

And then she disappeared.

 
BOOK: The Order of Brigid's Cross - The Wild Hunt (Book 1): The Wild Hunt
7.76Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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