Hayward Blues

I wrote a short story two weeks ago. I used the HBO drama True Detective as my writing prompt for the story. Hayward Blues is a straight cop procedural with a few supernatural flourishes. The Detective in the story is an everyman named Jeff Lowe and the town he grew up in is changing around him in a negative way, but he feels powerless to slow its demise even as a detective. I was trying to capture a noir feel and I think I succeeded.

Enjoy.

There was a drive-by shooting. A gang of Native Americans came from the nearby Indian reservation and fired automatic weapons into the woods where a house was set a hundred yards deep into the trees. Their goal was to send a message to a rival from town. He had shacked up with his old lady. No one died, but the girlfriend has to use a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Jeff closed his eyes and took a deep breath before he got closer to the body. “Have we I.D.ed the body?”

“Kelley Molson.” One of the uniformed officers answered.

“I know that name.” He crouched next to the body. Kelley Molson’s hands were missing and a strange symbol was carved into his forehead. “He works with Richard Heller.”

“Yeah.” The officer replied. “You think he did this?”

“Maybe.” A thin path of dry blood trailed from the corner of Kelley’s mouth to his chin where it turned into a gummy stalactite. “I grew up with Richard.”

The author claims no writes to this photo.

Heidi Crus was home one afternoon when she heard a knock at the door. Jeff stood on the stoop with his badge hung at his chest. Her eyes scanned the badge and traced back up to his face, her face was neutral, almost bored. She left the door open and receded into her apartment. He entered. The coffee table was littered with items, cocaine on a mirror, a powdered credit card, two iguanas with their toes hanging limply over the edge of the table and a large hookah at the center. Heidi flopped on the couch, her right arm reflexively crossed behind her head as she pulled a tendril from the hookah and sucked the smoke into her lungs. She was glassy-eyed and languid. “Where is Richard?” He asked.

“Gone.” she answered with an almost imperceptible shrug.

The room was muggy with heat and all the windows were covered with heavy blankets that cast the room in an orange gloom. He cleared his throat, “I’m looking for Richard.” They have known each other since elementary school but had to stop. He was a violent thug in his youth, but the years mellowed him. Now that he saw her she looked like a ghost of the girl he knew.

Memories of old sexual encounters relayed at the back of his brain in a rapid-fire montage with the girl that laid on the couch in front of him. He hadn’t taken a seat yet, but the scene was depressing him and he wanted to leave already. “He’s a fuckhead.” She said as she shifted onto her side.

He suddenly didn’t know what to do with his hands so he stuffed them in his pockets. “We tried his number.” One of the iguanas shifted and turned almost knocking the hookah over in its haste

“He got into a fight with a bartender last night. They cut him off. I left without him.” She took another puff off the hookah. “Do you want a hit?” She offered. Her eyes were flirtatious with the hint of a smile curling at the corner of her mouth. It was the sly half smile he remembered. The girl he remembered was still in there, buried under asshole boyfriends and prolonged drug use. He didn’t blame her, didn’t think to arrest her for the coke, he just felt sad for her. Years of disappointment left everyone a ghost.

“No thanks.” Her feet rubbed against each other. The movement drew his eyes. “Which bar?”

“Lincoln’s Pub,” She answered.

He put a business card on the coffee table. “If he comes back, have him call me.” she didn’t pick it up, she just pulled the mouthpiece back to her mouth and took another draw.

Outside he felt the blood rushing through his veins. He looked back at the door. Memories were fucking with him, conjuring forgotten emotions. He shook them off as he climbed into his truck. Nothing good would come from him going back to her.

Lincoln’s Pub was an old creaking bar. It had a reputation as an upscale joint in the seventies, but it’s lost its shine, now it’s the kind of place old drunks go to die. The smell of decades old nicotine still hung on its walls and the floor was sticky as he walked to the bar. Jeff flashed his badge at the bartender.

On the stage a band was setting up. The sound man was hooking cords together while the band members drank beers and laughed at inside jokes amongst themselves. Jeff smelled marijuana and he looked over, but nobody was passing a pipe or a joint.

The bartender moved closer and waited for the question. Jeff rehashed the fight to the bartender who corroborated the incident and the bartender on duty. He wrote Cody Reynolds address down on a bar coaster.

The trailer park Cody lived in was a nightmare. None of the lots were marked, the roads that crisscrossed the park were riddled with potholes and it looked deserted, luckily it was small. Jeff circled twice before he found Cody’s place. People watched Jeff through beige blinds and floral print curtains. His trailer had a wooden deck attached to it with a greasy propane grill and a weather warped case of beer next to white plastic patio furniture. There weren’t ashtrays on the table, but there was a forest of stuffed butts on plates and in the tops of tallboy beer cans.

The storm door was all but ripped off its hinges from years of misuse and the primary door had a football shaped hole at shin level. The door hung open. Leaves had already drifted into the house. Jeff cautiously opened the door and stepped inside. “Police. I am looking for Cody.” The house was still.

Cigarette funk seemed to hover in the air. Somewhere in the distance he heard a baby crying. He did a quick sweep of the trailer, he noticed the master bedroom was wide open. The water bed dominated the room and a man sat at the edge of the bed swaying slowly. “Your door was open.” Jeff said loudly. The man continued to sway in place. Jeff lifted his gun from its holster. “Sir, please respond. I need you to turn around.”

Jeff circled the bed. The man didn’t look at him. His hands were gone, blood drained all over his lap and onto the floor. He sported the same strange cross that adorned Kelley’s forehead. The man’s eyes darted up at him. His mouth drew open in an “O” shape. Thick black blood pooled in his mouth and fell forth like a dam when he moved away from Jeff. Jeff reared back startled by the sudden motion. The man didn’t make it far. He crossed half the bed and stopped cold.

Jeff stepped out of the bedroom and went for his radio. “I need backup and an ambulance at 3378 Hargrove Place, Lot 792. Get here fast as you can.” Jeff turned back and saw the motion a second too late. It was Richard, he bashed into Jeff and tried to run down the hallway. The hall was too narrow for him to break away. Jeff grabbed hold of his arm, threw a forearm into the back of his neck and stamped on the back of his knee simultaneously. “What the fuck are you doing? Didn’t you see my fucking badge?” He put his arm around the guy’s neck and held it there without applying too much pressure. His pulse was accelerated and he was seeing red. He threw him to the ground and kicked him in the midsection for good measure before he handcuffed him. “Motherfucker.”

Richard was shackled in a small brightly lit room with two plastic chairs and a table set against the wall. The room looked more like a closet then an interrogation room. There was no mirror, just a small camera covered with black plastic in the ceiling. Richard leaned back against the white brick wall with his eyes closed. He was breathing loudly trying to wish himself away from this place.

Jeff stepped in with a notebook and a piece of paper.“This is a confession.” Jeff put the paper in front of Richard, “Read it.”

Richard opened his eyes and looked at the paper. “I didn’t do shit.” He said through clenched teeth.

“Talk to me. Tell me what happened.” Jeff sat down across from him.

“Fuck man, I didn’t do this shit. He was like that when I got there.” He leaned his head against the wall. He was grinding his teeth and his eyes were watery.

“You got in a fight with Cody at Lincoln’s Pub last night and then you went to his place to get even.” Jeff laid it out.

“No.” He leaned forward in the chair resting his forearms on the table. His hands were fidgeting and his eyes were downcast. “I got in a fight with him last night, yeah, but I wasn’t going over to fuck with him. I walked out to the Res and then went to his place. He was like that when I got there.”

“Why were you over there?”

“I was, I was gonna sell him somethin’.” He shifted nervously in his seat.

“Right now you are in a very bad place. There are two dead bodies and you are my primary suspect. I can’t help you unless you tell me everything.” Jeff clicked a pen and put it on top of the confession. Richard watched the pen intensely as he placed it down.

“Crying Hawk,” Richard said quietly.

“Tom Crying Hawk?” Jeff responded.

Richard nodded, then he looked Jeff in the eyes. “Dude’s going on the warpath. He was sayin’ all kinds of weird shit about death and retribution. He said they were stealing from him.”

“Who was stealing from him?”

“He didn’t say, just said ‘they’.”

“Why did you go to the Res?”

Richard’s eyes were fixated on the paper in front of him. “I’ve been with his sister. She wasn’t around last night, so I bought some crystal. I was gonna sell some to Cody as a peace offering, but he was dead and then you came in. I didn’t kill him. I didn’t kill anybody. It was Crying Hawk, you gotta believe me.” He looked up at Jeff. “I didn’t do this shit.”

The Reservation was made up of several Native American communities and was predominantly forest. None of them were towns in the traditional sense. To the outside world it was just a casino and some duty free shops, but the bulk of the populace lived away from the tourism. The young natives formed mafia-like gangs throughout the region. The large forested area made it near impossible to regulate criminal activities and the flow of drugs in and out of the reservation. Racketeering, drug smuggling and extortion were all common crimes on the Res.

Tom Crying Hawk lived in a small trailer nestled among trees and undergrowth almost a mile from the road. Jeff turned into his long unpaved driveway. The gutted remains of cars lined the trail. He heard howling before he saw the metal pen that housed three large wolves. The air was filled with the smell of roasting meat and dog shit. An army of motorcycles and ratty looking cars were parked out front. A bonfire was burning and several men were milling about with beers in hand. Jeff’s stomach sank.

He stepped out of his car and took a deep breath into his lungs. ‘Play it cool,’ he thought to himself. ‘Just ask a few questions and if you have evidence call for back up.’ He took his time walking up to the trailer, his badge dangling around his neck suddenly felt heavier with all the eyes on him. No one spoke to him, but he could feel the cold wash of their scrutiny. He heard a bottle crash against the bonfire. At the door he took another breath before knocking.

The door opened. A woman greeted him with a smile the was wiped away when she saw his badge. “It’s the cops,” She said with a sneer in her voice.

“I have few questions for Tom,” Jeff spoke calmly. He could feel the teenagers growing restless next to the fire. There was no conversation between them which meant they were waiting for him to make a move.

A booming voice inside answered, “Let him in.”

The woman stepped out of the way and Jeff stepped across the threshold. The trailer was nice. Double wide with wood trim over everything. The living room was furnished with leather furniture and a massive flat screen TV hung on the wall. Some reality show with an MTV logo at the corner of the screen was playing. There were five men sitting around a dining room table on the other side of the living room. They had drinks around them and cards on the table. One of them was smoking a fat cigar.

Tom Crying Hawk sat at the head of the table shirtless. He was a well built man. All his muscles bulged even as he sat with cards in his hand. His hair was pulled back in a long braid. “What do you need man?” He said with a smile.

“I have a few questions about Kelley Molson and Cody Reynolds.”

“I know them.” He stood up, “What about it?”

“They turned up dead today and,” He cleared his throat, “someone blamed you.”

The smile fell away from his face. “Who did that?”

“I can’t say. Not until the case is closed.”

He stepped from behind the table, “I got a right to face my accuser. You should tell me and save us both a lot of trouble.”

“I can’t do that.” Jeff felt a quiver in his voice and took a step back.

Crying Hawk had an elaborate skull tattoo on his chest the eyes of the skull were stuffed with roses and a Red snake was trailing out from the mouth and circled around his shoulder. He also sported a black tear under his left eye. His face lost all trace of civility. Jeff felt his heart in his throat and wanted to run, but that would only throw the army out front into a frenzy and he would never see his home again. He was close enough that Jeff could smell the Scotch on his breath. “I say you can white man!”

Instead of a response Jeff unclipped his gun holster.

“Where do you think you are?” His eyes darted to the gun and back to Jeff’s face. He could hear people behind him. They came in from the bonfire to see the show. “Who the fuck said this shit about me. You can walk away, juts tell me his name.”

Jeff opened his mouth, Richard’s name was on his tongue, but the moment it escaped from his mouth Jeff knew that would be the end of Richard. Crying Hawk’s eyes bore into him with unrelenting ferocity. “I…” The crowd behind him was close. “I can’t.” He let it fall from his mouth. The hands behind claimed him.

Outside the mob was laying into him with hands and feet. He felt a belt lash his back. He reached for his gun, but a stray boot intercepted him before he could reach it. He heard Crying Hawk order, “Get his gun!” This was his last chance if they got to his firearm his life was over.

One of the men kicked him over and others moved in to pin him down. Jeff threw a punch that caught flesh and managed to get his hand to the grip of his gun. Her clicked the safety and fired. The shot went into the ground, but the sound was enough to give him a moments space. He pushed off the ground and held his gun out in front of him. “Back the fuck off!” They could rush him and he’d be fucked, but no one wanted to be the first to take a bullet.

Jeff blasted for his truck. He heard the cage unlatch and the snarling sound of wolves. He swiveled on his feet. A wolf jumped for him its teeth bared. He fired a shot that caught the wolf full in the chest. It whimpered for a moment before falling lifeless on the ground.

The other two had gotten to his hood and were barking at the windshield. He got the door shut and started the car. They weren’t pursuing him any further. The wolves jumped off the hood as he pulled around hitting cars as he clumsily maneuvered away from Crying Hawk’s place.

The investigation wasn’t over. Richard was his only link to Crying Hawk’s potential involvement and it was only a matter of time before Crying Hawk came knocking on Richard’s door. He was weary, but the bruises on his ribs put revenge in his mind. He was going to find something on Crying Hawk. His city, his place was changing all around him and nothing was going to bring back the home of his youth, but he could sure as Hell get even. Heidi’s door was closed when he arrived. She greeted him with a smile this time. “I have a few more questions for Richard.”

“Sure, he’s in the bedroom.” She let him in. Heidi touched his shoulder as he walked in. Jeff turned to her. “You look tired.” She said.

“Very.” The iguanas were off the coffee table and lounging on a rock in the corner with a heat lamp beating down on them.

“Let me help.” She pressed her fingers gently into his shoulders and Jeff’s eyes reflexively closed. “Sit.”

“I shouldn’t.” His protests were futile, she guided him to the couch and worked his back more.

He lost track of time and found she had snaked herself around into front of him. “I was happy to see you.” She said with her half curled smile.

He didn’t say anything. She leaned in and kissed his mouth. Her tongue darted between his lips and he didn’t fight it. He kissed her back. Fireworks went off in his brain and he was enraptured by her moist lips and the incense smell of her place. His hands clumsily groped at her breasts and she moaned softly as she pressed herself closer to him. He was lost in heat, but a sound from the back broke the spell. He pulled himself away. “I can’t.” He said and willed himself off the couch.

“Don’t worry about Richard.” She jeered. “He’s useless.”

Jeff shook the fog from his brain and headed for the back. Richard was dead on her bed. Blood had welled up on his chest from what looked like multiple stab wounds. Jeff’s mouth dropped open and he felt a needle in his neck. He thrashed back, but whatever was in the needle was already working its way into his bloodstream and his arms felt like liquid. He stumbled onto the ground Heidi stood over him smiling. “There’s a storm coming Jeff. I’m sorry that you won’t get to see it, but there is a plan and I’m so sorry you had to get caught up in it. I really was happy to see you.” She kissed him on the forehead and knelt next to him as his eyes closed. Her pretty half smile was the last thing Jeff Lowe saw.

Werewolf (revised)

I originally posted this story in May of 2013. I found the idea good, but its execution was clunky. I have since revised based in part on suggestions made by a fellow writer I had read it. This is the result. Second draft, probably still not finished, but in the interest of full disclosure I think it would be good to see the evolution of this story. The original can be viewed here. Let me know what you think.

Enjoy.

Louise Jacobs made the mistake of striking up a conversation with a man. He seemed nervous, but Louise was nervous too. She was going on a date and needed to talk to somebody about it. When her new friend opened his vest to reveal an impressive row of dynamite it was assumed by those on the bus that  she was also responsible. That is why after a three-hour stand-off involving the FBI, the ATF and the bomb squad Louise Jacobs was sitting in jail and furious. She had a dentist appointment to make and after that an optometrist and after that a date with Walter Bonner. Her watch was confiscated. Luckily there was a television set on just outside the holding cell so she was able to determine that since Jeopardy had just ended it must be five o’clock. Walter was due to arrive at her house in exactly two hours.

A man, tall and mohawked was thrown into the cell with her. She started screaming, asking why they put a guy in with her. The only reasonable thing to do was throw a tantrum and demand that she be put in the female holding cell where she belonged. They ignored her pleas. The mohawked guy hadn’t spoken yet. Upon entering the cell he found a bench and laid down. He was breathing. That much she could tell, but there was something else as well. He had his hand on the floor and he was slowly drawing something. It was tiny. She wouldn’t have noticed had she not been this close. He was tracing a geometric shape, a series of interlinked loops. It reminded her of Saint Patricks Day. She gasped when he turned his head to look at her. His eyes were brown, his skin tanned, tribal tattoos ran down the left side of his face. He put a finger to his lips then reached his hand out to her. “My name is Martin Key. My friends call me Key.” He had a nice voice, like a deep bass. She wasn’t sure, she couldn’t remember the ranges.

“Louise Jacobs.” She replied and shook his hand.

“What are you in for?” He asked.

“I got roped into a bomb scare. Shouldn’t be long now before they sort it out. You?”

“I’m a murder suspect.” Louise tensed in reaction. “I didn’t do it.” He reassured. He stood as the police came to get him and he was lead away. Louise tried to get comfortable on one of the benches.

She stared at the little symbol etched on the floor tracing its contours with her eyes. The activity was hypnotic and was slowly lulling her to a trance. Key’s return woke her.

“I wouldn’t stare at that too long.” He said as he sat down.

“Why not?”

“It’s a summoning spell. If you’re not trying to summon anything all it’ll do is give you a headache.” He sat down as he said the last part. “I don’t like to use magic. I almost never do, but right now I’ve got very few options.”

“What are you trying to summon?” Louise asked. She sat up.

“A werewolf.”

Miguel stood outside the police station. He should leave, he kept telling himself. Keep walking. The girl’s blood was still all over him, but he couldn’t move. He was frozen in front of the station.

The station was an old two story building. The jail cells were on the top floor and the first floor contained the interrogation rooms and general offices of the precinct. The basement had the old file rooms, locker room and the limited arsenal of the station.

Miguel walked up to the front door, each step felt more like falling then the last until he was at the door. He gripped the handle. Neurons were firing in his brain illuminating fantasies of gunfire and violence as soon as that door opened. He still didn’t understand the compulsion to be here, but the more he struggled the more drawn to it he felt. The feeling didn’t fade as he crossed the threshold. There was an officer behind a large desk reading. He was fat, balding, hadn’t been on the street in years. He looked up at Miguel, boredom had watered his instincts to non-existence. The cop stammered as he lifted himself off his chair. His mouth was moving like he was trying to say something forceful, but nothing came out. He drew his gun as he ascended.

There was a flash of red and Miguel felt the beast rising. His adrenalin was spiking. He knew the change would come soon. The officer had his gun trained on Miguel, “Stay right where you are.”

Everything moved in slow motion for Miguel. Miguel could’ve killed the desk sergeant in an instant. He had oceans of time between each languid movement, but the thrum of whatever drew him here still tugged at his mind. Officers flooded the lobby with guns raised.

Miguel could hear the pulse of every officer in the room. The dull throb of heartbeats rose to the sound of his voice. He had memorized the way human hearts beat and knew how to decipher each percussion. One cop was turned on. Three others were glad he wasn’t white. Most were scared to death of him. The smell of sweat, leather and gun oil hit him in uneasy waves.

Three cops moved him out of the lobby and through the station to the top floor. The pull ceased. This was where he was supposed to be. He looked at the man with the mohawk and knew from his pulse and his smell that he was calm. The trio collectively shoved him in the cell with Key and Louise.

Key and Miguel sat facing each other, Louise watched them both. Miguel had a shaved head and horns embedded under the skin of his forehead. He also sported a tribal tattoo just below his bottom lip that looked to Louise lie a blue black goatee. To top it off his eyes were blackened orbs. Key had his tall black mohawk and Maori tattoos down the left side of his body. Outside these walls Louise would’ve pegged them as members of the same gang.

“I’m here.” Miguel spoke first, there was an aggressive edge to his voice.

“You killed that girl.” Key stated. Miguel nodded. “This ends tonight. I can’t allow you to kill anyone else.” Key continued.

Miguel laughed at him. “What are you gonna do? I’m a fucking werewolf dude. You are dead meat.” Miguel rose from the bench. His body curved over Key’s like a gargoyle. “Every bitch in this joint is dead meat. You summoned me, so you’re the first bitch.”

Key sat unfazed, “I’m not threatening you. You have options.”

Miguel continued his bravado. “Fuck you.”

“Can you survive a gunshot? Can you survive a hundred gunshots? Not all legends are true.” Key saw Miguel blanch, a moment of dread. He could hear Key’s heartbeat and knew he was telling the truth. “You’re going to change soon whether you want to or not, but you have a decision to make here and now. Do you want to live through this night, because I can either help you escape or I can leave you to your death. Make a choice.”

Miguel hung his head, but kept his eyes on Key. He shouldn’t have come to town, but he had and now a woman was dead. He liked her. He wanted her. He loved smell of her skin and was entranced by the red speckled arousal on her chest and face. He heard her heartbeat and then he wasn’t in control anymore. A different kind of lust washed over him and he was the beast. Hunger overwhelmed him and nature did the rest. Maybe he should die. Maybe Key could kill him. He didn’t know. He thought he could hold it. It wasn’t the true full moon, that was tomorrow and he always had more control. He could feel Key’s scrutiny. The other woman in the room had been holding her breath. Miguel was still. For this perfect moment he was still and he had a choice.

A police officer opened the cage flanked by two other uniformed men. “Louise Jacobs.”

She nearly jumped out of her skin when they said her name. Then the excitement of the moment wore off and she was left with her previous anger at having sat for hours in a jail cell. “It’s about time.”

Miguel looked up at Key. “I made a choice.”

“No.” Key yelled as he rose. Miguel was too fast. He lunged at the police, Louise could see the change. His body was rippling, his hands were twice the size they had been by the time they reached the first officer’s throat.

The officer lifted his piece and fired. The bullets sunk into the werewolf’s flesh and exploded through his back. The first cop was dead before he hit the floor. His throat was eviscerated. The second was firing wildly into the cell.

Key grabbed Louise from behind and pulled her to the ground shielding her with his body. The second agent’s arm was pulled free from the shoulder and teeth ripped at his face, the final officer was still firing at the beast, round after round was erupting on the werewolf’s torso.

“Shoot the head!” Key yelled. He was too late. The officer was gutted as Miguel tore out his innards. The werewolf continued out the door, more gunfire rang out.

“I thought you said bullets could kill him.” Louise said, her body was shaking from the adrenalin.

“I lied. I needed time to think of a better plan.” He helped her up. He moved quickly to the dead cops. His hands were fast. He pulled a wrist watch free from one of the officer’s wrists. He kept his eyes on the door as he spoke “Silver is deadly to werewolves. Bullets will hurt them, but they heal so quickly that unless you get a head shot you’re really just pissing them off. Wolf’s bane does work. Fire is the most effective. Fire kills almost everything.” Key explained as he checked the gun. He moved to the open cell door.

Louise stood at the open cell trying not to look at the bodies. “What are we going to do?” Louise asked.

“This is silver.” Key held up a watch from one of the agents. “Hopefully I can get close enough to hit him, failing that I don’t know.” He shrugged, “Blow up the building.” He smiled for a split second, before he got serious again. “If he gets out to the street he’ll murder everything in his path. I can’t let that happen. Are you ready?”

She gulped and nodded.

“When we get to him I need you to head for the door. There won’t be a lot of time, but it’s important that you not run. Running will induce a predator response and he’ll go for you.” Very little made sense anymore and Louise didn’t feel the need to waste breath asking questions. Key picked things up along the way, aerosol deodorant, lighter and some flares. Louise stuck close to him. Her brain was on fire and her heart was ratcheting up in her chest. She just nodded as he spoke.

She heard gunfire when they left the cage, but it had stopped and she wondered if the monster had already gotten out into the world, distant sirens were approaching and the place, apart from the traffic sounds outside, seemed still.

They were close to the front now. She recognized the room. The desks were all overturned and bodies were scattered through the room. The lights flickered creating a strobe effect and in a lump of darkness she saw the matted fur of the werewolf. It was hunched next to a soda machine and she could hear the ripping and chewing sounds of the creature eating.

“Go now.” Key turned to Miguel and blocked his view of Louise as he addressed the beast. “Miguel!” He yelled as a flare burst to life.

The werewolf looked up from his supper, snarled at Key. He looked over to Louise then back at Key. His deep yellow eyes seemed to be working through the riddle attack the man or attack the woman. The bright light of the flare made him nervous, and the woman was easy prey, so the solution presented itself.

A Detective saw Key standing in front of the creature. Louise was walking towards him with her head down and her arms tense at her sides. The other officers were too shell shocked to do much of anything “Hands up!” The Detective yelled. The woman obeyed.

The Werewolf launched at her.

Key yelled at the beast and he shoved the flair into the creature’s flank, the fur lit instantly as a bullet tore into Key’s shoulder. Louise hit the ground and the beast was on Key. Key lifted the aerosol can and lit it like a torch, flame erupted against Miguel’s face. He whimpered and hit the ground smashing his singed face against the tiled floor. Through the pain of the gunshot Key let another burst loose lighting the monster’s back. The sprinkler system erupted dousing everything. Louise crawled for the barricade the Detective fired again at the werewolf but the clip was empty. Another officer lifted Louise up and pulled her over the broken chairs.

There was just Key and the monster, they circled each other. Blood was draining against the floor from Key’s arm but diluted as it hit the now watery floor. Key lit another flair a split second before the werewolf launched himself at Key. He managed to put his arm around the beast’s neck in a headlock and shoved the flair into his maw. With the now free hand he brought the silver watch down and beat Miguel’s wolfish face. Miguel bashed Key against every surface he could trying to knock him loose. Adrenaline fueled Key’s grip and he kept bringing the silver watch down again and again. Each punch burned the monster’s flesh until all his strength left him and they both lay there with water pouring down.

Miguel was made of wounds now. He felt his heart slowing. The blood that was rushing in his ears had died down and he was looking up at Key. “I’m sorry.” he said.

“Me too.” Key responded. “It’s over now.”

Miguel closed his eyes and let go.

Witch.

Note: Another story about Martin Key. this one is told in a first person perspective, a little more challenging, but I like it. It also ends a little abruptly, but again I felt like it worked for the story. let me know what you think.

Enjoy.

Witch.

I saw her through the window. Her glasses, too big for her face, slid down her nose as she worked. Her face was pleasant, but unremarkable. She grimaced as she worked the clay on the potter’s wheel. Dry grey coated her forearms with salt flat cracks. The room she was in was vast, it made her look smaller by comparison. there were two doors, the one I stood at and the large garage door to my right. The interior was sparsely furnished, shelves full of finished pottery, a small sitting area with a few chairs and a loveseat cotton wounds bursting at the edges, kitchenette and her workshop two wooden counters coated with clay, the potter’s wheel and her. I knocked as she removed the newest pot from the wheel. She moved to the door, hips, tiptoes lead by her chest everything flowed and she ushered me in. Her manner was relaxed, she didn’t look like she owned a pair of shoes. There were trails of bare footprints weaving the span of the room. Once inside I saw an additional door.
“My name is Martin, Martin Key. Most people just call me Key.” I offered.
“Pamela.” She smiled, crows feet pleasantly spread web-like from the corners of her eyes. She went to the kitchenette and motioned for me to sit, which I did. “My place is haunted.” she spoke with her back to me as she filled a teapot. Her shirt was loose as was her skirt. She had lost weight recently. I knew what came next, but I had to separate what was true from what was imagined. “My ex died recently, he stayed here, won’t leave.” she turned to me as she lit the burner on. “I tried everything I could think of, but he won’t let go. That’s why I contacted you.”
“I’m just a private investigator ma’am, mostly background checks and insurance fraud. Why me?” She smiled, most did, like they knew my secret.
“I heard you had experience with these sorts of things.”
“Some.” I acknowledged. I tried not to take these cases, but it was always like an addiction, I resisted, but the lure of the unknown drew me, what new thing will I discover. I always gave in, but someone always ended up hurt. I hoped she was a quack.
“You’re not exactly what I expected, don’t get me wrong I love the mohawk and the tattoos, but I pictured….”
“Max Von Sydow.” I offered.
“Yeah, I guess. Nothing so punk.” She looked me over
“I get that a lot.” She snickered and I smiled. She had a natural charisma that was already drawing me in, but I kept my distance. Allure was very often dangerous. “I’m still not sure why you emailed me.”
She continued. “It’s getting worse. He gives me the days, or can’t do his thing during the day, but last night I had to leave, went to a diner until the sun came up.” The kettle whistled, she finished making the tea and sat down. I waited, watched her and the room in equal parts. There was nothing to indicate the chaos she suggested, no broken pottery, banged cabinets, the room seemed serene as the wind outside yawned in.
“Why don’t you just move.” I asked.
“I don’t want him to win. This is my place, not his, but if you can’t make it stop I will leave, this is the end for me by hook or by crook.” she sat down, placed a mug of tea in front of me.
“Nothing is broken.” I said as he blew on my tea.
“No.”
“What made you leave?” She didn’t answer, I continued. “There’s a layer of dust on some of those shelves months old, you haven’t moved anything around recently, even your demeanor it seems peaceful, no trauma.”
“I’m not lying.” she defended.
“I didn’t say you were. I’m just confused, what precisely is he haunting?” The tea had cooled enough to take a sip.
“Me.” she answered. “He’s trying to possess me and last night he almost succeeded.”
I arched an eyebrow, set down my mug. “Tell me everything.” I said.

Before.

I’ve been Wiccan since high school. I fell in with this group that did rituals and danced around fires, the whole nine yards. The supposed high priestess turned out to be a fraud, but there was some truth in what she said and I wasn’t done with it. I went to classes at a new age bookstore and learned everything I could about it ritual magic, herbalism, meditation, reiki, divination all of it just soaked it in like a sponge. I started doing the pottery and worked a dozen different jobs, but the pagan thing stayed with me, I attended every ritual that came along, every holiday, every drum circle it was my life for years and I had lovers, but about five years ago Wade came into my life.
Wade was Wiccan too and he had this bad boy gypsy quality that was like chocolate to me and I couldn’t get enough. I centered my life around him, unhealthy, but I couldn’t see the forest for the trees at that point. After four years together he was getting restless, we still did the rituals, but he wasn’t satisfied with them. He got obsessed with what he called “true magic.” He got despondent and he lived here with me, but I barely saw him he’d cloister himself away in the basement.
I remember the athame on the floor next to him. “I saw the devil today.” That’s the first thing he said the day he died. That’s the first thing he said in almost a month to me. I remember he was tapping his heel, his hands were clenched in his lap, he wasn’t looking at me until he said that. Something about the way he looked at me freaked me out so I got up, I went for the door and he yelled “Stop.” I froze. His voice was like, it was like a physical thing. He stepped behind me and started circling me, looking me up and down. The athame was in his hand, he held it limply. My eyes were closed or I was crying I can’t remember, but I couldn’t see him, just felt his breath on me, he was getting more excited and I still couldn’t move.
“I did it.” he whispered. “I brought him here.” He started talking about the power the devil had given him and he was yelling. His hands all over me as he was ranting. I was still trying to move. “sold my soul.” he kept on. “He gave me power. True ritual. True magic.” His hand slid to my throat and tightened. He raised that knife and I looked him in the eye. There was a moment one shimmering brief moment where the hate in his eyes dimmed. It was all in slow motion I remember the knife coming down the glimpse of humanity, the fabric of his shirt was damp from sweat. I smelled a clay pot in the kiln, a robin landed on the windowsill, each moment lived and I pushed hard, I could move and I ran.
The athame, he fell back and collapsed, the blade impaled him under the ribs. I heard him gurgling and turned back, he was bleeding all over the floor, the blood was filling his lungs and he was still trying to strike at me.
He was dead by the time the police and the ambulance arrived. It was deemed self defense.

Key.

She burned sage as she talked. The room was blustery as wind blew in through the open garage door. I was watching her and the room in equal measure, she believed what she was saying, a call to the local precinct would confirm her story. I stood and started walking towards the door. “you’re not going to help me, are you?”
“Yes I am, I need some things from my car. Holy water, sea salt, palo santo, night is coming soon and he’s not going to like that I’m here.”
“I already tried holy water. I blessed it myself, it didn’t do anything.”
“That’s because he doesn’t recognize your divinity, he thinks you’re inferior to him. That’s the problem with spirits they bring their prejudices with them. He doesn’t know my holy water it should work better. I’ll be right back.” she made a displeased sound with her throat, but didn’t say anything else. I grabbed the heavy old medical bag from my trunk, holy symbols from hundreds of religions rattled around the interior, holy water, salt these things were just foci for the power of the will, spirits once dead are creatures of belief and if Wade believed them in life at all he would trust they would work in spite of himself. It’s easy to con spirits because all they have is their id, their passions everything else was taken away when they died.
The set up was simple, but laborious, salt circled around her bed, doused the entire place with holy water, burned palo santo, sage and incense and laid mirrors on all the windows, none of these things would deter him completely, but they would make the place wildly uncomfortable and force him to go for Pamela. I marked her face arms back and chest with totemic symbols.
The night fell in quietly and we sat on her bed playing card games, she suggested a tarot reading, but I wasn’t in the mood for divination, never much cared for what the cards said. The wind was growing colder she moved to close her garage door, but I stopped her. “Stay in the circle.” The studio was silent. A block away a woman was arguing with her boyfriend, he was yelling back. Traffic lights lit the room green, yellow, red. An SUV trundled by her alley. Somewhere a cat yowled, a car alarm went off three streets over. I closed the door and felt a shift to my right. I moved to catch a glimpse, but all I saw was the girl. She stood in her earth tone skirt and thin top. “Get back in the circle, everything is fine here.”
“No it’s not.” She answered. “He’s here.” She ran to me, hugged me. I tried to pull back, but she roped her leg around mine calf to calf. “Stay close.” She whispered.
I put my hand on the small of her back. “We need to get back to the circle.” She kissed me, I didn’t resist, I should’ve, I felt the cold metal against my skin. The athame was against my back, she raised it up. “Wade.” I pushed against her, the point caught my shoulder blade. She fell against the floor. “Listen Pamela, he’s inside you, you’ve got one chance. All these things the holy water the symbols, they just focus your will, push him out.”
“Fuck you.” the words came from her mouth they were guttural, the sound of a ghost forcing a larynx to work. “She’s not cut out for it, candle magic and tarot cards don’t mean shit to me.”
“Pamela, fight him, you’re not inferior, prove it to him. Think of a song, think of a picture trace the lines in your mind, work it through, fight him.” I was watching him/her stand up, the knife was gleaming, her face was red from the traffic light. She stood swaying, her face now green she burst at me, the knife over her head. I stepped to the side tripped her. “A prayer, a song, your pottery look at it all, this is your place, this is your body.”
“Kill her Key, kill her or she’s gonna kill you.” Wade spoke through her his voice becoming more clear. I lit a chunk of palo santo as she stood again the effect was like someone getting hit by mace she hit the floor rubbed her face against the cold concrete. “You can’t touch me Wade. She’s stronger then you. She talked to him too, I showed her how, she made a better deal, signed a better contract, she’s still alive Wade and you’re dead.” I was trying to keep him off balance, hoping he believed what I was saying, belief is the key, prejudice.
“No, that’s impossible. She couldn’t, didn’t know how.” The voice was guttural again.
“You didn’t throw anything away, it was all down there in the basement the notes the incantations. You died and she had time to study, and with my help she learned how to do it, true ritual, true magic.” She dropped to her knees.
“Blessed Be!” Pamela yelled out in her own voice. A black plume flew from her mouth.
“You’re dead Wade, and you are banished from this place.” The smoke writhed and slithered folding in on itself. Wind burst through the windows smashing the glass showering us both with tiny shards. Pottery burst as the spirit tried to hold on gripping at the metaphysical edges of the room. “Blessed be.” I said almost in a whisper and then he was gone.
The room was silent again, the wind died down and the athame clanked against the floor. Pamela was in a heap on the floor. She was breathing, so I got the glass off of her as best I could and laid her in the bed. I stayed for the rest of the night and left just after sunrise.

End.

Werewolf.

Note:  I haven’t forgotten about this blog, I just got a little busy in the real world with a soul devouring job involving debt collection.  Here is a new story, the first in a series about a character named Martin Key.  I will be posting more of these as time goes on.

As always,

Enjoy

 

Three people got onto the bus at the same time, each was independent, meaning they were not together; they were just waiting individually, but looked like a group when they got on.  So when one of the group opened his vest to reveal an explosive device it was assumed by those on the bus already that all were responsible.  That is why after a three-hour ordeal involving the bomb squad the FBI and the ATF they were all sitting in jail and Louise Jacobs was furious.  She had a dentist appointment to make and after that an optometrist and after that a date with Walter, such a nice name, Bonner.  Her watch was confiscated, but there was a television set on just outside of the holding cell so she was able to determine that since Jeopardy had just ended it must be five o’clock and her date was due to arrive at her house in exactly two hours.

 

*                                                      *                                           *

 

Susie Quinta would never in a million years ever have sex in the Dreadnaught bathroom. The place was rancid with yellowed stains clinging to every ninety-degree angle.  She was drunk and the guy she was with was sexy as hell.   He had claw mark tattoos all over his body and his head had little demon horns implanted under the skin, he been working at it for the better part of three years he had explained and was going to get another size up.  The whole Luciferian thing was a huge turn on for Susie; she had lost her virginity at the age of fourteen to a Satanist who did things that still made her weak.  So here she was in a disgusting bathroom with the sexiest demonic looking guy in the state ready to do a whole new batch of tasty depravities that should keep her fantasies charged until her mid forties.  She looked up at him sloe eyed from the Jagermeister and ready to go down on this guy if he didn’t take her right fucking now.  Something happened as she looked up, a new sensation that was out of place.  She felt like a deer about to be hit by a car, or a rabbit running from a wolf.  Her pulse pressed all her veins to the surface and threatened to blast free like an unrestrained fire hose.  That’s all she got, one slow motion sensation and an analogy of her impending death and it was done.  Her life didn’t pass before her eyes, and she didn’t really feel anything except a little resentment at the thought of dying in this slimy piss-encrusted bathroom.  She would never in a million years have sex in the Dreadnaught bathroom and I guess that was still the case.

 

*                                       *                                                 *

 

Murder in the Goth Club, that’s what the news called it.  The club was mostly body mod enthusiasts and hard-core fuckers who would most likely beat the ever loving shit out of any Goth who dared set foot in their club.  The whiney eyeliner-wearing first cousin of the emos were everything that the club goers of Dreadnaught despised.  None-the-less it was a good day for the news with a bomb stand off and the grizzly murder of a part time stripper.

Entrails were strewn all over the bathroom, it was borderline festive.  She was wearing a slinky green number that sustained a lot of damage from the attack.  The way it contrasted with the slick red viscera it was like Pollack met Christmas.  The police photographer was finally getting to flex some of that artistic muscle he’d been longing for since college.  The detective in charge even commented on how he should bring the kids down to see this, provided someone throw some wrapping paper over the identifiable parts, like the head, everyone there had a good laugh.

The club was closed shortly after the body was found.  All the bouncers lined up in front of the bathroom as the bartenders shoved the customers out.  The owner of the bar was somewhat nervous that they would never come back what with the rude bouncers and the death and everything, but then he thought these guys are pretty hard core they’ll be back and now they’d all have a story, some kind of shared community like where were you when the planes hit the trade tower or when Kennedy got shot.  These guys get this, “Where were you when Susie Q got murdered.”  That sounded good, like money.  He wondered if he could work that into an ad campaign.

 

*                                                      *                                         *

 

Miguel fingered the left horn on his forehead and found its surface sticky and wet.  He stopped under a streetlight and looked.  The substance was red and tacky and tasted of copper.  He furrowed his brow and hurried out of the light.

 

*                                                      *                                          *

 

Louise had been in jail for just shy of seven hours, the ten o’ clock news just ended and her dreams of a date were behind her.  A man, tall, mohawked was thrown into the cell with her.  She started screaming, asking why they put a guy in with her.  The only reasonable thing to do was throw a tantrum and demand that she be put in the female holding cell where she belonged.  They ignored her pleas.  The mohawked guy hadn’t spoken yet; he just laid on a bench like he was dead or something. After she calmed down and resigned herself to spending the night with the asshole squad she got curious about her cellmate.  He was breathing that much she could tell, but there was something else as well, he had his hand on the floor and he was slowly drawing something.  It was tiny, she wouldn’t have noticed had she not been this close, it was geometric kind of, a series of shapes interlinked. She gasped when he turned his head to look at her.  His eyes were brown, his skin tanned, tattoos ran down the left side of his face. He put a finger to his lips and whispered “shhhh.”

He didn’t creep her out as much after he started speaking, he had a nice voice, like a deep bass or something, she wasn’t sure she couldn’t remember the ranges.  He told her about the murder and she told him she’d heard about it on the news, but that her story was better because she was roped into some nutcase bomb scare.  Then the police came to get him, he got up and left.  Louise tried to get comfortable on one of the benches.

The detective in charge of the Dreadnaught murder case was “Old” Willie Lester. He really wasn’t in the mood for this shit; the girl that was murdered was a zero in his book.  Some little trollop that worked a strip club hooked with some deranged psychopath, he probably did a favor to society by getting her brand of STDs off the market.  Still, a job is a job and his best lead was a kook they had locked up in a holding cell.  The guy was trying to get into the bathroom, or rather he was in the bathroom when they got there,  The bouncers booted everyone else, but this guy just waltzed in, bouncers say they didn’t know he was in there, which means he killed the slut.  It was a big maybe though, he wasn’t running, he was looking at things like an investigator, had one of those little blacklight jobs and he also had a couple of other weird things on him.  Some kind of rattle, a few pooka shells, some salt in a tied off balloon (They thought it was heroin, but turned out to be kosher salt) and some holy water.  He poured himself another cup of coffee and wandered into the interrogation room.

“What were you doing in that bathroom?”  Lester cut to the chase and put on his best I’m about to kick your ass voice.

Key took his time answering, “I was looking for a murderer.”

“Looking for killers is our job. You leave it to the professionals.”

“You’re not equipped to handle this kind of murderer, I am.”  He spoke with no swagger, just fact. Lester was slow to respond so Key continued.  “No human being could have done that, that was a beast, a monster.  To put it frankly, it was a werewolf.”

“Fuck you.”  Lester responded and almost laughed at the notion.  Putting Key’s ludicrous statement in the past Lester opened the manila folder that lay on the table. “Martin Key, private investigator, no priors to speak of and you were at the scene, just walked onto a crime scene, bouncers didn’t even know you were there.  How’d you get in?”  His tone dropped to a more moderate level.

“I waited for the bouncers to kick someone out, they get a little over zealous, everybody wants a piece if someone gets rowdy and someone always gets rowdy in that bar, so I just waited and walked in when they were paying attention to someone else.  Easy Peasy.”

“Don’t be so proud of yourself you could still be charged.  Hell I’m still pretty sure you’re the murderer.”

“I’m not.”  Key looked the detective in the eyes and repeated.  “It was a werewolf.  It’s a full moon detective, I can’t track it from here.”

He looked incredulous.  “I’m done with you.  Put him back in the cell. ”  He said to no one I particular.  A uniformed cop entered and ushered Key out of the interrogation room.

Louise hadn’t slept.  She stared at the little symbol etched on the floor tracing its contours with her eyes.  The activity was hypnotic and was slowly lulling her to a trance.  Key’s re entry woke her.

“I wouldn’t stare at that too long.”  He said faced away from her.

“Why not?”

“It’ll give you a headache and it can act as a summons.”  He sat down as he said the last part.  “ I don’t like to use magic, almost never do, but right now I’ve got very few options.”

“What are you trying to summon?” Louise asked.  She sat up.

“A werewolf.”

 

*                                                      *                                          *

 

Miguel stood outside the police station, just happened by it in his wanderings.  He should leave, he kept telling himself, keep walking, the girl was still all over him, but he couldn’t move he was frozen in front of the station.

The station was an old two story building.  The jail cells were on the top floor and the first floor contained the interrogation rooms and general offices of the precinct and the basement had the old file rooms, locker room and the limited arsenal of the station.

Miguel walked up to the front door, each step felt more like falling then the last until he was at the door.  He gripped the handle, neurons were firing in his brain illuminating fantasies of gunfire and violence as soon as that door opened.  He still didn’t understand the compulsion to be here, but the more he struggled, the more drawn to it he felt.  The feeling didn’t fade as he crossed the threshold, there was an officer behind a large desk reading something.  He was fat, balding, hadn’t been on the streets in years.  He looked up at Miguel, boredom had watered his instincts to non-existence, stammered  as he lifted himself of his chair reaching for his gun as he ascended.

There was a flash of red and Miguel felt the beast rising.  His heartbeat rose, his adrenalin spiking, skin started to itch and he knew it would be soon.  The officer had his gun trained on Miguel, “Stay right where you are.”  He pressed a button.

Everything moved in slow motion for Miguel.  The desk sergeant reached for his gun as he rose from his seat.  Miguel could’ve killed him in an instant.  He had oceans of time between each languid movement, but the thrum of whatever drew him here still tugged at his mind, like he was falling more then walking.  Other officers tunneled out into the lobby each with a gun, each feverish for the opportunity to fire on him.  “I killed Susie Q.”  he said, his Hispanic accent was thick.  Miguel could hear the pulse of every officer in the room, the dull throb of heartbeats rose to the sound of his voice.  One was turned on, at least three others were glad he wasn’t white.  The smell of adrenalin hit him in uneasy waves, most of them were scared to death of him.

They cuffed him, Miguel resisted the urge to rip out the officers throat, he let it happen and they moved him through the station to the top floor.  The only one not afraid, not excited in the entire building was in this room.  He looked at the man in the mohawk and knew from his pulse, from his smell that he was calm, but the human part of Miguel told him he recognized Miguel for exactly what he was.  They placed him in the cell with Key and Louise, he sat as the pull ceased, this was where he was supposed to be.

 

 

*                                                      *                                           *

 

 

Two FBI agents walked casually into the police station.  The desk sergeant was still standing looking at the door still anxious, still terrified.  One of the agents spoke as he drew his badge, “We’re here to speak with Louise Jacobs.”

 

 

*                                                      *                                           *

 

 

Key and Miguel sat facing each other, Louise stood watching them both.  Miguel had a shaved head and horns embedded under the skin of his forehead a tribal tattoo on his chin giving him a sort of ornate beard, his eyes were blackened orbs.  Key had his tall black mohawk and tribal tattoos down the left side of his body.  They matched, outside these walls Louise would’ve pegged them as compatriots.

“I’m here.”  Miguel spoke first, there was an aggressive edge to his voice.

“You killed Susan Quinta.  This ends tonight, I can’t allow you to kill anyone else.”  Key answered.

Miguel laughed at him.  “What are you gonna do, I’m a fucking werewolf dude.  You’re dead meat, every bitch in this joint is dead meat.  You summoned me, so you’re the first bitch.”

“can you survive a gunshot?  Can you survive a hundred gunshots?  Not all legends are true.”  Key saw him flinch, just a split second of wonder, he could hear his heartbeat, knew Key was telling the truth or at least it sounded like the truth.  “You’re going to change soon whether you want to or not, but you have a decision to make here and now.  Do you want to live through this night, because I can either help you escape or I can leave you here to rot.  Make a choice.”

Miguel hung his head, but kept his eyes on Key.  He shouldn’t have come to town, but he had and now a woman was dead, he liked her, wanted her, the smell of her skin the red speckled arousal on her chest and face, the heartbeat and then he wasn’t in control anymore, a different kind of lust washed over him and he was the beast.  Hunger overwhelmed him and nature did the rest.  Maybe he should die, maybe Key could kill him, he didn’t know.  He lived in a trailer in the middle of the desert, no one for miles around him, he shouldn’t have come to town, but he’d been lonely and he thought he could hold it.  It wasn’t the true full moon, that was tomorrow and he always had more control.  Key was there, he could feel his scrutiny, the other woman in the room had been holding her breath, and he was still, for this perfect moment he was still and he had a choice.

A police officer opened the cage flanked by two suited men.  “Louise Jacobs.”

She nearly jumped out of her skin when they said her name and she saw the agents.  Then the excitement of the moment wore off and she was left with her previous anger at having sat for eight hours in a jail cell.  “It’s about time.”

Miguel looked up at Key.  “I made a choice.”

Miguel lunged at the agents, Louise could see the change, his body was rippling, his hands were twice the size they had been by the time they reached the first agent’s throat.

Louise shrieked “No!” The officer lifted his piece and fired, the bullets sunk into his flesh and exploded through his back.  The first agent was dead before he hit the floor his throat eviscerated.  The second was firing wildly into the cell.

Key grabbed Louise from behind and pulled her to the ground shielding her with his body.  The second agent’s arm was pulled free from the shoulder and teeth ripped at his face, the final officer was still firing at the beast, round after round was erupting on the werewolf’s torso.

“Head shot!”  Key yelled, but too late the officer  was gutted as Miguel tore out his viscera.  The werewolf continued out the door, more gunfire rang out.

“I thought you said bullets could kill him.”  Louise said, her body was shaking from the adrenalin.

“I lied.  I needed time to think of a better plan.”  He helped her up.  Moved quickly to the dead agents.  Pulled a wrist watch free from one of the agents wrists. “Silver is deadly to werewolves, bullets will hurt them, but they heal so quickly that unless you get a head shot you’re really just pissing them off.  Wolf’s bane does work, fire is most effective, fire kills everything.” Key explained as he checked the agent’s gun.  He moved to the open cell door.

Louise stood at the open cell trying not to look at the bodies. “What are we going to do?”  Louise asked.

“This is silver.”  Key held up a watch from one of the agents.  “Hopefully I can get close enough to bash him with it, failing that I don’t know, blow up the building. If he gets out to the street he’ll murder everything in his path. Can’t let that happen.”

 

 

*                                                      *                                           *

 

 

“Old” Willie Lester didn’t just shit himself, but he may as well have.  His men were all behind a barricade firing on a fucking werewolf that for now at least had stopped advancing.  Blood was everywhere and he was sitting with a gun in his hands crossing himself over and over again.

 

 

*                                                      *                                           *

 

 

“When we get to him I need you to head for the door, there won’t be a lot of time, but it’s important that you not run, running will induce a predator response and he’ll go for you.”  Key picked up things along the way, aerosol deodorant, lighter, flairs and Louise stuck close to him. Her brain was on fire, her heart was ratcheting up in her chest and she was having a hard time breathing very little made sense anymore and she didn’t feel the need to waste breath asking questions.  She just nodded as he spoke.

She heard gunfire when they left the cage, but it had stopped and she wondered if the monster already gotten out into the world, distant sirens were approaching and the place apart from noises from the outside world seemed still.

They were close to the front now, she recognized room the desks were all overturned bodies were scattered through the room, the lights flickered creating a strobe effect and in a lump of darkness she saw the matted fur of the werewolf.  It was hunched next to a soda machine and she could hear the ripping and chewing sounds of the creature eating.

“Go now.”  Key turned to Miguel and blocked his view of Louise as he addressed the beast.  “Miguel.” He said quietly.  He lit a flair and held it out to his side away from his body.

The werewolf looked up from his supper, snarled at Key.  He looked over to Louise then back at Key. His deep yellow eyes seemed to be working through the riddle attack the man or attack the woman.  The bright light of the flair mad him nervous, and the woman was easy prey so the solution presented itself.

Lester saw the punk, Key standing in front of the creature, he thought for a moment to just shoot the fucker, but a woman was there with him walking towards Lester.  The other officers were too shell shocked to do much of anything “Hands up!”  Lester yelled.  The woman obeyed.  The Werewolf launched at her and Lester raised his gun again.

“No!”  Key yelled at the beast and he shoved the flair into the creature’s flank, the fur lit instantly as a bullet tore into Key’s shoulder.  Louise hit the ground and the Beast was on Key.  Key lifted the aerosol can and lit it like a torch, flame erupted against Miguel’s face, he whimpered and hit the ground smashed his face against the tiled floor.  Through the pain of the gunshot Key let another burst loose lighting the monster’s back up.  The sprinkler system went on dousing everything.  Louise crawled for the barricade Lester fired again at the werewolf but the clip was empty, another officer lifted Louise up and pulled her over the broken chairs.

There was just Key and the monster, they circled each other.  Blood was draining against the floor from Key’s arm, but diluted as it hit the now watery floor.  Key lit another flair a split second before the werewolf launched himself at Key.  He managed to put his arm around the beast’s neck in a headlock and shoved the flair into his maw.  With the now free hand he brought the silver watch down and beat Miguel’s wolfish face. Miguel bashed Key against every surface he could trying to knock him loose, but adrenalin fueled his grip and he kept bringing the silver watch down again and again each punch burning his flesh until all his strength left him and they both lay there with water pouring down.

 

 

*                                                      *                                           *

 

 

Miguel was made of wounds now, he felt his heart slowing, the blood rushing in his ears had died down and he was looking up at Key.  “I’m sorry.”  he said.

“Me too.”  Key responded.  “It’s over now.”

Miguel closed his eyes and let go. Lester moved over the bodies.  “You were right.  Shit.”  Was all Lester could think to say.  Key didn’t answer he just stood up and nearly fell over from the blood loss.  Lester caught him.  “Let’s get you to the hospital.”

 

 

*                                                      *                                           *

 

 

Reports on the incident at precinct 209 read that a bathsalts fueled perp escaped from his cell and that he was brought down by “Old” Willie Lester and the dedicated crew of the precinct.

Louise was not charged for the bomb scare as it was proven she had nothing to do with it.

Key was mentioned as a person of interest in Susan Quinta’s murder case, but nothing more.  Miguel was cremated at the Lawton Crematorium the following day.

Tattoo

A very special Valentine’s Day message:

Originally this was a holiday about fertility and it was named after the wolf that watched over Romulus and Remus. Once again some seriously creepy origins to what has become a hallmark holiday, an excuse to drink and/or get laid and it is with this in mind that I submit the following story.
The story itself is very simple, a man investigating a murder, but there is one hell of a twist. It is part of a larger volume and connects in some ways to that larger story, but I feel like it stands alone.

Enjoy.

The trailer park yawned with each gust of wind. The detective wanted to throw up, but his pride wouldn’t allow him. He stared at the man lying in a pool of his own blood, his arm was degloved at the shoulder. The detective was tall and wide, a stetson sat on his head and a large shiny buckle in the shape of Tennessee held in his straining midsection. He looked over the room trying to make some sense of the scene in front of him.
The room was stagnant, the corpse appeared to be something of a hoarder, everything that wasn’t covered with blood was covered with dust. The linoleum in the kitchen was peeled back revealing the wooden floor, rancid food filled the refrigerator and everything had the faint reek of locker room socks. The rest was strewn with decades old magazines, soda cans, cigarette butts on every available surface, random musical instruments, decaying food, a collection of useless crap, the television was on, but muted and the blue light made the horror less real somehow. He swallowed hard and moved carefully through the scene.
Something kept striking him as he looked at the body. The skin at his stomach was loose and coiled and his face was frozen in a scream, his eyes were clearly fixed on his arm. He looked as best he could without touching the body for any other wounds, but he couldn’t find any, the base of his shoulder looked torn, like a ragged piece of leather. It reminded him in it’s way of his youth spent in his grandfather’s tannery. The place smelled foul and the gutted bodies of wildlife were slung hollow on racks. The stomach and arm both triggered his nostalgia and set his stomach reeling
He let his eyes fall on every surface. A small spot on the entertainment center was untouched by blood or dust, an elongated oval of clean space. A framed photo next to it showed the dead man posing with a girl, the now naked arm once had a tattoo, a naked pin up devil girl, and he was a large man, easily three hundred pounds. There was no sign of the girlfriend here, nothing feminine would survive in this hovel. He turned away and left the room. Police outside were ready to enter with their bags and paint cans.
The chill of fall greeted him. The trailer park was still, it was the middle of the night, somewhere a cat yowled, the detective lit a match waved the flame underneath the stub of a cigar and drew in.
“Rhiner.” He turned to see Unger, the coroner, running a hand through his thinning hair. Rhiner tipped his stetson towards him. “What have you got for me?” Unger asked.
“Dead body. His arm was chewed up real good. Not much to go on, why don’t you give me a second opinion?”
“What do you expect me to turn up. Nothing I do will help you this evening.”
“I don’t know, but that is some horrible God Damned shit in there and I don’t want to give whoever did it time to rest. I want him caught and hung by dawn if we can.”
The coroner shook his head and moved into the trailer. Rhiner lit his cigar again and puffed it to full burning life. He tasted the tobacco and slowly blew out, felt the tension drain from him at the first heavenly drag.
Unger returned as he finished his cigar. “The victim, died of blood loss from what I can gather, won’t know for sure until the autopsy, but he also lost a considerable amount of cellulite.”
“Yeah he lost some weight looks like.”
“No, I mean there are portions of fat tissue strewn along the floor with the blood. He looks like he was gutted.” Rhiner chewed on the information. Unger spoke again, “May I go now?”
“You’re dismissed.” He absently turned away from Unger, who stomped away.
Despite the motion of those around him flowing in and out of the trailer Rhiner’s eyes were drawn to the ground, a brief reflection of sulfur light, the ripple of a puddle, he looked at the ground and saw them. Little cat’s paws of blood anointing the asphalt at haphazard intervals. The size was not uniform, some smaller, some larger, but each seemed to follow a rough path.
He followed the path at a leisurely pace until it disappeared below a trailer. He dropped awkwardly to his hands and knees hoping to spot the source of the tracks, but there was only gravel. He made another trip around the trailer, but the trail was cold. When he returned the crime scene was fully secured, the body was removed and only a few officers remained to continue collecting, swabbing and bagging evidence.
He tugged at a uniform police officer, “Get some samples of these.” He pointed to the blood splotches on the asphalt. The officer nodded and set to work.
Rhiner went to his car to catch his breath. He hadn’t realized he was holding it until he sat in his driver’s seat. He was a homicide detective and had seen horrific crime scenes in his time. Tim Woolly took a gunshot to the face and compared to that this crime scene seemed tame, but it shook him worse somehow. The lack of other identifiable wounds first on his list, the torn flesh a very close second. The old girlfriend was obviously the first suspect, he would have to find her, but he felt a strange stirring in the pit of his stomach. The girl didn’t do it, his instincts told him, but the world he felt encroaching on him felt so suddenly alien. He got out of his car and instantly lost his balance, he fell to his knees on the asphalt.
“Are you alright sir?” an officer nearby asked.
Rhiner scooted to his butt and nodded to the cop. “Just lost my balance, I’m good.” he gave a thumbs up. His head swooned, he felt feverish, placed his palms firmly on the ground and he felt it. Suddenly and undeniably he felt the asphalt take a breath. He lifted his hand like it touched a hot pan. His eyes bulged wide and he rose from the ground as quickly as possible. Something was wrong, he was hallucinating, he slapped his face, grabbed hold of his car door everything felt real, solid.
He pulled out his cellphone, dialed and brought the phone to his ear. “Baby? Did I wake you?”
“Yeah, ‘sokay, what’s wrong?” His wife, Kimberly answered, he could hear in her breathing she was still asleep.
“I’m at the crime scene, it’s gonna be a while.”
“Okay.”
“I love you.” he felt the words come and couldn’t stop them.
“I love you too. Is everything alright?” she roused a bit.
“Yeah, no everything is fine, just wanted to hear, I’m gonna go, sorry I woke you.” Sweat was pouring from his brow.
“I’ll see you when you get home babe.”
“Uh huh.” he hung up, wiped his brow and leaned his forehead against his car. He saw the blood again, leading away from his vehicle. He pushed himself off and followed it.
The trailer park was big, bigger than any he had been in before and it wound into cul de sacs and empty swampland at several turns, but the trail kept presenting itself to him, like a morbid gift whenever he lost it he would look around and find it again within moments even in the darkness. The path ended at a small trailer towards the back of the park, it’s west flank butted up against a gum tree.
He stepped carefully onto the tin stoop. The screen door hung open flapping with the wind and the interior door was open letting a sliver of gold light through. Overcast blotted out the light of the moon and left the street in darkness save for the ribbon of light. He drew his gun and placed his hand gently on the door. He heard a sound, like latex stretched too far, a faint squeaking sound. He pushed and the door swung open.
The living room was furnished with a couch, two recliners and a coffee table. The décor was sparse a painting over the couch a bowl of candy on the coffee table. A hairy man slumped in a recliner with a pocket knife sticking from his chest. Beyond him and the chair there was a shape moving, something slumped over crouching low. Rhiner lifted his gun and drew a bead on the shape when it moved into the light.
A woman, red skin, jutting enormous breasts, and devil horns holding luxurious black hair out of her face. The corpse’s tattoo brought to life stood illuminated in the gold light. It smiled and licked its lips as Rhiner stared at her. Her skin was impossibly smooth and seemed slick with oil. “Put your hands up.” He said without confidence.
She lifted her arms. Her back was still knitting over the lumpy corpse of the body she now possessed. She put her hands on top of her head and let them slowly move down her hair grasp onto her neck momentarily before descending to her tits. She lowered her head and stared at the detective eye to eye. She traced her aureola with one hand while reaching out with the other. Rhiner didn’t moved.
He was frozen in place, she reached towards him pulled the gun from his hand, he let her, laid it on the table, she pulled him in for a kiss, he didn’t resist. His thoughts drifted to his wife then were consumed by the salty sweet taste of the demon woman’s tongue. She pushed him into a chair. In this moment his adrenalin was at a fever pitch his penis was at attention nothing would move him from this spot. She could ask him anything, run away with her, kill for her and in this ecstatic moment he would say yes, it was the only thing he knew to say.
She put one leg up on the chair, flicked his stetson from his head and pulled his yellow tinted glasses off his face demurely. His eyes were fixed on her exquisite pussy, the dark mysteries he was about to discover. She pulled teasingly at her labia and leaned in towards him. Rhiner grabbed her thigh with one hand and her ass with the other. He wanted to take his time, to enjoy this brief moment before whatever consequences he had to face were upon him. He kissed at the thigh and moved quickly for the cleft between her pelvis and her leg. Nibbling and kissing in equal measure before moving to the vagina. He kissed it, made out with it tasting and luxuriating in its smell. Pulled back for a moment to look up at her, she had one hand mauling her breast and her head was thrown back. This gave him the drive to press on, he pulled the petals apart and flicked the clitoris, let his tongue linger there, hummed into it with longing and gave long strokes with his tongue. She had grabbed the back of his head and was moaning, the smell of her filled the room, may have filled the whole damned park for all he cared.
The demon girl howled, Rhiner grinned. He watched her tits sway and bob as her hips bucked against his face. The force of her thrust threw him away and split his lower lip. She looked down on him and curled towards him. Her tongue flipped out, its thin pink tip touched his lower lip and she drew a single drop of blood from the wound rolled it into her mouth. Her eyes fluttered, she grabbed Rhiner’s shoulder for balance. Her head rolled back for a full wide circle as she exalted until it once again stopped in front. They were eye to eye, she kissed him, just a peck and then smiled. It struck Rhiner strangely she reminded him in that very brief moment of his wife. Something about the crinkling of her eyes, the broadness of the smile pulled her image from his memory. In that moment he looked around, the room was a crisp, clean, the edges and distances were suddenly very clear, he was solidly in the moment. His fingers felt the texture of the chair he was sitting on, he smelled the dead body laying five feet from him, saw the blood and the silver glint of the pocket knife. The knife’s handle was edged with a thin coat of blood, Rhiner’s mind drew back to the oval shaped spot in the victim’s house. The tattoo stood over him, the man’s simple tattoo of a busty devil girl was in the room and was no longer smiling. The tattoo pulled itself from the corpse’s arm and left him on the floor to bleed to death. She put her hand around the back of Rhiner’s head and pulled him forcefully back into her sex.
Her labia opened to greet him its fleshy petals reached out to him. Rhiner was suddenly very aware of how strong she was and couldn’t find the leverage to pull himself away. He shoved a heel into the coffee table, but it slid leaving him more prone than before. He put his hands around her taught waist and pushed with all the strength he could muster. His gun was too far away to reach, his buck knife was within reach, but he feared if he moved a hand from her flank to his boot her strength would overwhelm him. He was locked in this grapple, the devil girl’s labia were reaching out for him stretching beyond human capacity, the horror of it sapped his strength long enough for her to fall on him. Her greedy snatch swallowed his face. Everything went black for Rhiner, the room was gone and all that remained was the musky darkness. His eyes bulged, he thrashed as he began to suffocate what oxygen he had was leaving him with his exertion. The grip from her hands and thighs held him fast. Rhiner’s struggles stopped as his last breath trickled away. She smiled ecstatically as she released her grip on him.
The devil girl dislodged the lifeless detective and perched Rhiner’s stetson on her head before she left the trailer. She whistled and skipped away from the trailer. The wind felt delicious on her new naked skin.