Supernatural Fiction posted March 16, 2015 Chapters:  ...12 13 -14- 15... 


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The Berwick Witches Series: Book One

A chapter in the book Dark Covenant

The Missing Link

by amahra




Background
New Berwick, Illinois--a mystic place where witches rule under the watchful eyes of the Dominions.

(Recap from previous chapter)

Sheerfield City’s Coroner, Bob Wilson, was disappointed when the werewolves’ dreaded enemies, the Shadow Hunters could not be located. Meanwhile, Jewel failed to get the blood of the young Sooner boy in time for the moon cure; and Sheriff Wayne Tilbert underestimated the wolves during a raid that nearly took his life, and did take the lives of many of his deputies, including his chief deputy, Pete Neilson.


As Illinois state police tried desperately to control the media frenzy outside of Saint Paul’s Church of the Dominions, hundreds of mourners packed its pews.  Caskets draped in the American flag lined the front of the sanctuary. And a large gold-plated cross towered over the pulpit.

"Mommy, which box is Daddy in?" three-year-old Tiara asked Lilly Neilson, Pete's widow. Lilly pointed and tearfully whispered the answer in the tot's ear.

But the child's question sent Wayne over the edge; he shot up from his seat and hurried off to the men’s room where he locked himself in a stall. His gut cry shook his body so, that he struggled to catch each small breath.

The bereaved loved ones had insisted that the service be kept short; and at the end of it, the families slowly filed out onto the street and into black limousines. One middle-aged woman fainted as her grandchildren clung to her bewildered daughter-in-law. Spectators were overcome as bagpipes played Amazing Grace, and Bishop Randall spoke comforting words from the Word of God.

At the burial site, a five-man rifle party gave the Three-Volley Salute to the fallen officers. The five men lined up with muzzles pointed over the caskets and shot blank cartridges into the air three times. After the flags were folded, white-gloved officers brought the flags and handed one to each surviving spouse and parent. Pete's widow held it tightly against her chest and wept.
*****

Later that afternoon, Bob Wilson called Wayne about the piece of ear Pete Neilson had ripped from his attacker.

“It’s an animal all right, but no animal God made.”

 “I don’t know how long we can keep a lid on this thing, Bob. There’s talk of werewolf buzzing all over the city. Before there’s an all-out panic, I think we need to give the search for the Shadow Hunters another try.”

“Now you're talking. When do we leave?”

“I’ll get back with you soon,” Wayne said, ending the call.

Still grasping the phone, Wayne’s eyes scanned over the many family pictures that were placed around the room and on the walls—as if imagining the pain they would have felt had it been his detached head and body that were buried.  He laid the phone aside and picked up a picture of his wife and children; he sighed and stared at it, as his eyes filled once more.
*****
 
“Sooner!”  Russell’s ten year old playmates yelled his last name from the sidewalk in front of his parent’s home.  Inside, Russell gulped down his milk, grabbed his baseball mitt from the floor by the leg of his chair and ran from the dinner table.

“Later!” Russell yelled back. It was a play on his name, Sooner or Later. Ever since kindergarten, it was how he and best friends, Mike and Todd greeted each other. It started as a tease, then became a personal greeting. No other kids were allowed to game-play with his name. That is, not unless they desired one of Russell’s knuckle sandwiches.

“Don’t stay out too late,” his mom yelled as Russell hit the door.

“Did you hear your mother?”

“Okay, Mom. Okay, Dad.”  Russell ran up on his friends, and they started for the baseball field.

The day was cool, but the sun was bright, and it lit up the shine on Russell’s dark, brown hair. He was an A student and very well liked in his school and neighborhood.  Rusty, as he was called outside the classroom, stood tall for his ten years and was very athletic. He was the only child of Tray and Caroline Sooner. Russell had a twin who died during childbirth. He’d always wanted a brother, and Mike and Todd filled that void.

Halfway to the field, the three picked up enough kids to overflow two baseball benches. Russell kept looking around and over his shoulder. For several weeks, he’d acted as if he thought someone was watching him—perhaps, stalking him. But when he would look around, whatever it was, had vanished. He’d shrug his shoulders and walk off.

Late one night, a noise woke him; he sat straight up and saw that his bedroom window was open.  Russell hit the light and snatched his play sword from the wall over his bed. He tipped around the room—his puppy brown eyes scanning every corner.  He opened his closet door and began poking around with the sword, and then he swished it several times under his bed. Appearing satisfied, he closed and locked his window before climbing back under the covers. He kept the sword by his pillow all night.

Outside, across the Sooners’ backyard, Matthew hopped away on one foot having landed wrong after leaping from the child’s bedroom window. 

"Damn!  Little asshole," he said, struggling to his truck. He leaned against the door and messaged his twisted ankle until he heard a bone snap.

On the way back, Matthew needed to come up with another excuse.  Certainly being surprised by a ten year old with a fake sword wasn't something to tell an impatient witch. He had never bitten a child before and had several arguments with Jewel when he tried to back out of it. As he pulled in front of his home, there were several cars and trucks parked in the driveway. One of those cars belonged to his uncle River. “What now?” he mumbled.  There was shouting coming through the door.  When he opened it, the shouting stopped and all eyes fell on him. Matthew limped across the floor.

“What happened to you?” his mom asked.

“Never mind that.  What’s going on?”

His cousin Rick stood next to Raymond and his mom, Debbie. Everyone seemed angry at each other, and Rick kept his eyes to the floor.

“Is it true?” Dex asked.

“Is what true, Dad?”

“Rick said it was you, him, Raymond and a few other young wolves who attacked the sheriff and his deputies.”

Matthew glanced over at Rick and said nothing. He looked around as if to gather his thoughts so he could speak. Before he could, Rick blurted... “I had to, Matt. They were talking about taking Raymond out and shooting him.  I … I had to tell them it wasn’t just him.”

“What I want to know is how did you get loose?” River asked.

Raymond’s mom, Debbie looked over at River. “I’m afraid, I did that. And I’m not sorry. The Dominions vowed to kill you all. I simply prevented it.”

“By turning our boys loose?" Dex yelled at her. "You could have gotten them killed!"

Debbie smirked. “Oh, I knew those idiots were no match for our boys when I found out they were going to use plain bullets,” she said.

“No match, except your son has half an ear,” River said sharply.

One of the Northern wolves spoke up. “Gee, I wonder where the other half went. Now they know our secret … you stupid bitch.”

Raymond jumped forward with a right cross to the side of the man's face, sending him thudding to the floor. “Nobody talks to my mother that way!”

 The man quickly hopped to his feet, but River stepped in front of him, while Dex held Raymond back.

"That's enough, you two," River snapped.

"I guess that's it," Dex said. "We've been exposed."

Jewel weighed in. “Maybe not. I can break that curse. I know I can.  If ...” she said sarcastically, looking at Matthew, “… I can get that certain little ingredient I need to complete the spell.”

“Matthew sighed, “I’m working on it.”

“You’ve had weeks,” she said.

Matthew appeared agitated. “Okay!  I’ll have it.”

“So this spell ...  it will really work?”  A southern wolf asked. “What is this ingredient? Maybe I can get it.”

“No need. Matt is going to take care of that.  Right Matt?”

“Yes, Aunt Jewel,” he said, tightening his jaw.
*****

To break the tension, someone got the right idea and sent out for beer, liquor and barbecue spare ribs. The crowd began to mingle and chatter; Jewel grabbed Matthew gently by the arm and pushed him in a corner. He limped along making a pain-face with every hop.

“What the hell, Matt? And what’s with that limp?”

“Look, the kid's not stupid. I think he suspects something. I just need a better element of surprise.”

“For a ten year old? Shit!  You’re a werewolf, damn it. I need that kid.” She looked under her lashes at him. "You're stalling."

“No I'm not. I’ll have him by the end of the week. I promise.”

With a look of uncertainty on her face, Jewel left Matthew and rejoined the others. He sat alone near the side entrance. Scotch on the rocks flowed heavily as laughter replaced shouting.  Matthew ran his fingers through his silky, dark hair; his deep blue eyes darted back and forth menacingly.  If Matthew's deep thought expression was any indication, Russell Sooner’s days as a normal little boy was about to end.









 



Recognized


New Berwick, Illinois is comprised of four regions: Falcon Haven, Northern and Southern Greyscott Falls, Sheerfield City and Ironforge.

Main Characters

Northern Greyscott Falls:

River Porter....... Main Character
Jewel Porter....... River's wife
Their daughters....Chelsey, Abby, Dria, and Becca

Southern Greyscott Falls:

Dex Porter.........River's brother
Matthew (Matt) Porter... Dex's son
Jan Porter ....Dex's wife and Jewel's cousin/sister-in-law
Raymond Carter.. Dex's neighbor
Debbie Carter... Raymond's mother

Falcon Haven:

Beatrice ....... Jewel's best friend
Kayla Morrison.. Beatrice's niece

Sheerfield City:

Wayne Tilbert....... Sheriff of Sheerfield City
Reece Tilbert....... Wayne's wife/Sheerfield Bank president
Veronica (Ronnie) Tilbert...Wayne daughter/Kayla's BFF
Christopher Tilbert.........Wayne and Reece's son
Christa......................Veronica and Kayla's BFF
Bob Wilson..................Sheerfield City Coroner

Ironforge:

Corina Brewer...............Sorcerer
Hollie Brewer...............Corina's sister/Sorcerer
Gunner Lenox................Sorcerer
Amber Moore.................Sorcerer

Supporting Cast

New Berwick residents


Art Work: Her Eyes by Diane Azdamar at dianae.cgsociety.org
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