Warning: The author has noted that this contains the highest level of language.|
New Berwick Illinois, a land where witches rule under the watchful eye of the Dominions.
(Recap from previous chapters)
On the way to the state lab one early morning to get another opinion about the strange blood sample he took from the Sooner boy, (he’s a little werewolf) pathologist, Charlton (Charlie) Daniels, found out, quite by accident, that Dr. Lorac had lied about a short cut to the lab. Daniel’s curiosity got the best of him and he went anyway—ending up at Dead Man’s Creek. After a failed ambush, he was run off the road by teen werewolf cousins, Matthew and Rick. Now he hides in the deep, dark forest in the hollow of a tree. Will he give up the tube of werewolf blood, or lose his life or mortal soul?
(Continued from part 1)
River's wolf vision made it easy for him to scan the darkness. A wicked grin etched across his face when his gaze fell upon the hollowed tree. “Hey Charlie!” he called from the distance.
Charlton's body grew stiff, and his breathing deepened. He stuck his head out and took a quick peek to his left, and then snatched it back inside the tree hole.
Hushed laughter surrounding Rick's voice rang from the shadows. "Chaaar ... leee," Rick sang out.
Mathew cupped his mouth like a megaphone. “Come out, come out where ever you are."
Charlton whipped his head to the right. Nothing but the dark stood before him. His pulse pounded in the veins of his neck. His lips quivered.
“We can smell you, Charlie.”
“Did you piss yourself, you naughty boy?” More hushed laughter like an Igor tickled that he ate a spider.
Charlton’s eyes rolled back and forth. His forehead wrinkled as he slid a shaky hand to his crotch. It was wet. “Fuck."
“Funny thing about wolf noses, Charlie,” Dex said, posing against the hollowed tree where Charlton was hiding. Dex leaned around. “Boo!”
Charlton's spit caught in his throat as he crumbled to the bottom of the hole. “Jesus Christ! Who are you people?”
"Just give us the tube,” Rick said.
“And … we’ll let you go," said Matthew, raising his arms out to the side. He and Rick stepped into view and stood ten feet in front of him.
“You! Both of you!" Charlton pointed his finger at Matthew and Rick. “You’re the ones in the red van that ran me off the road. You could have killed me.”
River eased into a stream of sunlight. “Nobody wants to hurt you. Just give us the blood.”
“But, what do you want with it?” It’s just blood." He gave a nervous laugh. "I … I mean--"
“You know what's in that tube," Dex said, "that's why you're taking it to the state lab. So, don't play stupid."
River clenched his teeth. "Hand it over, Charlie. Now!"
Charlton stood straight up and stepped out of the hollow of the tree--an I'm not afraid of you smirk crept upon his face. “Or what?” he said, staring right at River.
"You kidding me, right?" asked Dex. "Don't you like your heart where it is?"
“You've got guts. I give you that,” River said. “It’s a shame, in about five seconds," he gave a quick nod to his right, ”they’re going to be hanging from the mouths of our friends here.”
“What do you mean?” Charlton said, squinting his eyes. "What friends?"
Six men withdrew from the blackness. Piece by piece, they stripped off their clothes.
“Wu' … what are they doing? You’re not going to let them rape me? Jesus Christ!” Charlton broke, got in three good steps, before River dashed, grabbed him and shoved him hard against the tree. “You try that again, and I will hurt you.”
Charlton stood--not so brave now. He looked past River and kept his eyes on the men. A lump rose in Charlton's throat. River turned, his face brightened. Aroused by what was about to happen, his chest rapidly rose and fell as he watched his six brethern go down on all fours—their eyes turned a deep yellow. Their skin darkened as fur grew out and covered their razor-bump skins. Bones cracked like trampled tree branches and faces elongated. Six inch fangs and claws sprang into place like fruit rapidly growing on a vine.
"Holy Mother of God," Charlton said, making the sign of the cross.
The wolves' howls scattered the buzzards out of the trees, and land scavengers shot in all directions. The wolves' paws, big as saucers, slowly inched toward Charlton. He slid down the tree like every muscle had left his body. Trembling with his knees up to his chest, he reached into his inside jacket pocket, pulled out the brown envelope with the tube of blood and handed it to no particular person.
“You think we should let him off that easy?” Dex joked, turning to River.
“Nah." River grinned. "How about making him play fetch with our friends?”
"Hm ... they don't seem to be in the mood," Dex said, looking over at them. The wolves stood, saliva stringing from their mouths, and the yellow balls of their eyes glaring at Charlton through tiny slits. "Let's just send one over to pick up our little package."
Charlton jumped forward. "No! Here." He placed it far from him on the ground.
"Go and pick it up," River ordered. "Or I'll have them to rip your face off."
"All right! All right! No need for that," he said. He crawled over, picked it up and scrambled back to the tree. He stretched out his arm with the envelope in his hand.
One of the wolves, his black fur streaked with silver, pranced over. He stopped in front of Charlton’s outstretched arm and stood. Charlton turned his head and shut his eyes tight. The wolf bypassed his arm and moved in a few inches from his head. He leaned in, curled back his lips and ran the tip of a fang across Charlton's face. The red line ran down his cheek. His shoulders shook. “Please, please. I don’t want to die. Just take it.” His eyes were still shut tight and a terrible smell rose from his trousers.
The wolf stepped back, took the envelope into his mouth and trotted away into the darkness followed by a string of the other five.
“Remember, we know where you live and work,” River said. He, Dex, Matthew and Rick strolled off into the forest, leaving Charlton alone and shaken.
Back to where the red Dodge and other Vans were parked, River stopped and opened the brown envelope he'd taken from the wolf. He pulled out the tube of blood, let it fall to the ground and smashed it under the heel of his boot. He tossed the envelope and raked his heel across some brush to clean the blood off. Then he turned to a naked teen wolf, who was getting dressed, and smacked him upside the head.
"Hey! What the hell --?"
"I told my wife I wouldn't draw blood. You made me break that promise."
"You said to scare him."
"He was scared! Don't you know human shit when you smell it?"
"Haaaaah!" The other wolves laughed.
"That crazy bastard really thought we were going to rape him," said another wolf.
"After he saw what we were really capable of, I bet he wished we had," Matthew said.
Their laughter filled the air. Several car doors banged. There were the sounds of tires crushing gravel, then total silence.
Chalton stumbled through the woods. Using his hands outstretched to feel his way, he looked more like the Frankenstein monster than a man searching through the dark. At one point, he scrambled away from one of his own shadows. Seeing his car up ahead, he ran to it, smacked the hood with a wet kiss, then jumped in. After several turns of the key, it choked and went dead. He called Ben for help, but within minutes of talking with Ben, dropped the phone from his ear. He twisted his mouth at Ben’s rapidly firing questions squeeking out of the ear part.
He yelled down at the phone. “Damn it! Just come get me!"
“All right. Ah … underwear, pants and a shirt. Okay, I’m leaving now.”
New Berwick, Illinois is comprised of four regions: Falcon Haven, Northern and Southern Greyscott Falls, Sheerfield County and Ironforge.
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
Beatrice ....... Jewel's best friend
Kayla Morrison.. Beatrice's niece
Wayne Tilbert....... Sheriff of Sheerfield County
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 County Coroner
Hollie Brewer...............Corina's sister/Sorcerer
New Berwick residents
Art Work: Her Eyes by Diane Azdamar at dianae.cgsociety.org