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Terror of Tuhloon

March, 2005

Chapter 9: The Three


Throughout the existence of the Great Peace, many hunters had made a name for themselves as being the most successful, the fastest and the most thorough. By accomplishing the goal of not only neutralizing the aberrant supernatural but also minimizing local damage, arriving and responding quickly to the problem and keeping the entire affair away from public knowledge, hunters achieved a greater reputation.

The Three were the best of the best.

The Three were world renowned hunters, each with their own unique set of skills and abilities that perfectly corresponded with the other members of the group. There were two men and one woman that made up the team. Logan Eastwood was the main tracker, a psychometrist, able to touch objects and sense the history behind it. Using his psychometry, Logan could follow a supernatural wherever it went, no matter how much time had passed. He was an expert at hand to hand combat, an expert marksman, a military strategist and had an uncanny photographic memory. Due to his psychic powers, Logan was also nearly immune to all psychic attacks, charming and possession. He could summon a powerful negative energy which could nullify almost any magic spell and supernatural ability. Most considered him to be the titular leader of The Three

Sephon Sharpe was the warrior member of the group. A Native American from the Hopi tribe, he was a Shaman, a Magi and a spiritual medium. Through shamanistic blessings, he could increase normal human attributes to near superhuman levels, including strength, endurance, agility and perception. As a Magi, he was an Elementalist, able to summon and control fields of electricity. As a spiritual medium, he was able to sense and commune with departed spirits, often learning valuable information from beyond. Sephon was also a master at hand to hand combat, an expert tracker, an expert shot and was the most knowledgeable about cryptid mythology. He often utilized a ritualistic knife, which was blessed by holy men of his tribe, to dispatch supernaturals.

Jewel Montana considered herself to be the weakest member of the group, although not by Logan or Sephon. Her main contribution was her computer skills, able to hack into just about any mainframe and she was also able to locate and utilize valuable info stored anywhere on the web. Jewel was a deadly sniper, an expert at hand to hand combat, an expert knife thrower, a superb lock pick, a security systems specialist and she served as the main communications coordinator within the group. Her only supernatural talent was that she was a visionary, able to see events before they happened. Her accuracy to predict where and when something would occur was nearly perfect, so that the rest of her team treated her visions, no matter how outlandish or improbable, as factual.

Alone, any one of the team members were a tough enough adversary for any supernatural to take on because every one of their weapons were blessed by a priest or magically enhanced, making them deadly. Together, united as a team, The Three were nearly invincible.

Logan Eastwood lit a cigarette as soon as they arrived east of Tuhloon at the sight of an abandoned school. He took a deep drag and blew a large cloud of smoke over their heads. He was a very good looking man, dressed like a mortician in a dark pebble gray suit and pants, black combat boots, a charcoal gray long coat and a charcoal gray fedora. His gloves were a lighter shade of gray, dark blue shirt and black neck tie. His hair was dark under the hat, cut short, he was clean shaven, tanned, six foot one inches tall and had silver eyes. His eyes were not bluish, or grayish but an actual metallic silver.

Trisha Lamont had never seen eyes as intense before.

Sephon Sharpe was standing behind him, a very handsome dark Native American with very flawless skin, wearing a camouflage hunting long sleeved shirt, sandy colored combat boots, olive drab cargo pants, a camouflage field jacket and black gloves. Sephon was dressed as though he were about to go on a duck hunting trip. He stood around six feet tall, built lean and wiry, his black shoulder length hair was tied back in a low pony tail. His face was devoid of any hair, very high cheek bones, his expression was serious but also inscrutable. There was a deep wisdom in his dark brown eyes.

Both men were very good looking, confident and dangerous.

From behind them, stepped Jewel Montana. She was wearing a brown leather jacket, a light blue long sleeved shirt, blue jeans and brown combat boots. Her beautiful auburn hair was not styled, but hung down to the middle of her back tied in a long ponytail. Her skin was fair, with a petite nose, full lips, perfect high cheek bones and large corn silk blue eyes. She was petite yet curvy, filling out her tight jeans in a way that drove most men wild. She wasn't wearing any makeup and from what Trisha could see, really didn't need any. Jewel was a very beautiful woman.

“Trisha Lamont?” Jewel said smiling. She stepped toward the agent. She had a slight accent, perhaps from Tennessee in America.

“Yes. Its very good to meet you all.” Trisha spoke English with a thick Russian accent. She shook hands with Jewel, “I already know all your names. There is an agent in charge from the FSB who will be meeting you later on tonight after hours. He can't get away at the moment, he's surrounded by local Police. He's anxious to get started.”

Sephon stepped forward and also shook Trisha's hand. His palms were very rough. He said in a low voice, “Nice to meet you, Trisha. That's fine. We need a few hours to set up anyway.”

Logan watched Trisha intently but didn't come forward to greet her. He just took another deep drag on his cigarette. No one on the team seemed surprised by Trisha's flamboyant colorful dress. Perhaps they had seen worse.

Trisha was still reeling at being able to meet the most dangerous hunters in the world. They should be able to make short work of the lycanthrope. The killings would stop and life could finally get back to normal. She was happy The Three had arrived but also sad that more death was necessary before peace could be restored.

Jewel was holding a very thin laptop the size of standard pad of paper. Trisha had never seen anything so compact before. Jewel held the device to where Trisha could see the surprisingly high definition screen. Jewel asked, “Where was the aberrant last seen? I was told it was in a field right around here.”

The laptop screen displayed a satellite aerial view of the farmlands on the eastern side of Tuhloon. Even from the great height, the colors of the dirt road, the trees and high grass in that area were distinct. Trisha was amazed at the clarity and crystal clear display on the tiny computer screen. When she touched the screen, a yellow dot appeared and began to flash. A touchscreen laptop? Trisha wasn't even aware that they existed yet. She said, “Right here. In this field, just off the dirt road.”

Jewel said, “Got it. That's all we need for now. We'll start tracking the aberrant within the hour.”

Trisha was impressed, “That sounds perfect. I brought an off road vehicle for your use, as you requested. Its parked in the parking lot, the keys are in the ignition.”

Sephon smiled at her, “Thank you, Trisha. We'll keep be in contact with you.”

The Three retrieved a few military style large bags they had brought with them and went outside. Trisha followed them. Even though she had hours before Mikhail Dragomirov was supposed to pick her up for their date, Trisha was still impatient to go home and get ready. She felt guilty about going out while people were dying but breaks from the job were necessary. If she didn't allow herself time away, she'd probably get depressed or suicidal.

The Three got into the vehicle and drove away with Sephon at the wheel.



* * *


Serje tried several times to kill the damn wolf but it wouldn't die. No matter how grievous the wounds he inflicted on the wolf, there was no blood or lasting damage. Perhaps it was a spirit wolf, only partially corporeal, which meant it was basically an immortal.

The woods were slightly misty and silent except for the violent sounds of their fight. The wolf would recover then lunge at Serje repeatedly. Serje would attempt to break its back, try to tear its throat out and then tried to rend it to death.

After the fifth attempt at killing it, the wolf finally stopped attacking him. It lowered its tail, its ears dropped and it began to behave submissively toward him.

Serje removed the wolf belt and assumed his human form. He scolded the wolf, “What the hell came over you? I thought we were pals?”

The wolf whined.

“I didn't want to have to hurt you. You didn't give me a choice.”

The wolf stared at him, its ears were flat but pointed outward in submission, its head slightly bowed.

“You have to choose sides. I can't have you turning on me out of the blue.”

Its tail wagged slightly.

Serje couldn't figure out why his companion had suddenly turned on him. Perhaps his attempt at going to the church for help had angered the Dark Man of the Woods, so he had unleashed to the wolf to discourage him.

“I don't understand what's going on,” Serje said aloud to the surrounding trees, “But I'm back on track now! I won't fail in delivering the five souls but I don't need you working against me. That wasn't part of the bargain!”

The wolf came forward and gently licked the back of his hand. For the first time since meeting the damned wolf, Serje petted the massive animal as if it were a domesticated dog.

“I need you on my side,” Serje told the wolf, “You're the only friend I have right now.”

The wolf panted. If animals could smile, the wolf was positively grinning at him.

“We have to kill Zhenya Teshin tonight,” Serje told the wolf, scratching its chin, “There are many policeman on patrol and now I sense something even more dangerous has arrived to stop me. I need your help more than ever.”

The wolf chuffed.

After Zhenya died a horrible death tonight, Serje would only have one more target to kill, one more pig to slaughter, then this would all be over.

There was a scent in the air, Zhenya's scent, that he could track no matter where she went. It was part of the gift. His prey could not escape, could not hide from him. Once he was on their trail, it was only a matter of time before death occurred. Running away was futile.

Serje sniffed the air enthusiastically.

Zhenya's scent was coming from the North further into the Temo Forest than Serje was now. Had she fled to a remote cabin to wait out the night? Was she trying to wait outside the town limits in hopes he would waste time searching her home for her? How foolish. If he could kill Zhenya now, he'd have the rest of the day to patch things up with his grandfather and to ask Tonja to be his girlfriend. With his next kill out of the way, he could spend the night resting up for his attack on Merte.

Serje cinched the wolf belt tightly around his waist and after he was transformed, he sped off in the direction of the scent. His blood was coursing through him powerfully and he was drooling. He was excited to terrorize then taste Zhenya's flesh.

The trees flew by and as Serje closed in on his prey, his excitement mounted. He was heading uphill on a slight grade and the trees were beginning to thin out. The sweet scent of Zhenya grew stronger, mounting Serje's excitement. Up ahead, he could see a tall chain link fence surrounding the perimeter of what looked like an abandoned mine.

Serje cleared the tall fence easily and moved deeper into the quarry. There was still plenty of discarded trash here, old hoses, old conveyor belts, a few rusted pieces of machinery. Toward the West looked like the entrance to the plant; there were remnants of a parking lot still visible. To the East, he could see several entrances to the underground mine, large cavernous holes, like great wounds in the ground.

There was a small building that had once served as the main office near the center of the plant. In front of the building, was a large pile of discarded rusted sheet metal in front of the only window in the building. Next to the front door, both wrists tied up over her head, no shoes, black stocking feet barely touching the ground, Serje saw Zhenya Teshin. She was wearing a sweater and skirt, her bare legs looked tasty poking out of the hem of her skirt. Her sweater was torn open, the buttons on the front were mostly missing, one of her large breasts was partially exposed and her entire flat creamy midriff was showing.

When she saw Serje, Zhenya went ballistic, screaming into the black gag that was tied too tightly around her open mouth. Her eyes were wide, her lovely platinum blonde hair was messy and her whole body shook violently in fear. Her screams soon turned to sobs and she went limp, giving up, knowing her life was over, her head hanging down with grim acceptance.

Serje stopped a dozen feet from Zhenya's vulnerable form. She certainly hadn't tied herself up like this. Someone else was here. A third party had gotten involved, somehow capturing Zhenya and delivering her to Serje like a sacrifice. This was too easy.

Serje still hesitated, wondering if this perfect set up was actually a trap. Who would try to trap him though? Who would dare attempt to bait him and lure him close to spring an ambush? Who else knew about his deal with the Dark Man of the Woods?

Serje loosened the wolf belt, turned back into a human, and cautiously approached Zhenya. Her head was still hanging downward. He called her name a few times and, getting no response, roughly grabbed her hair and lifted her face so she could see him.

Zhenya had passed out.

Serje slapped her face hard a few times and finally she slowly came around. When she saw him, she started to bawl again. Serje removed the gag and said pleasantly, “Hi there, Zhenya. How have you been?”

Zhenya didn't answer him. She just kept crying, tears smearing her perfect makeup into thin black streaks.

The wolf had kept its distance but now it loomed closer. Recognizing Serje as the pack leader, the wolf still gave him plenty of space. Of course, Zhenya's attention was on Serje. She couldn't see the massive beast pacing only ten feet away.

Serje jerked her hair harder, pulling her head back, exposing her throat. He crowded her, his face only an inch away from hers, “I asked you a question, bitch. Answer me!”

Zhenya begged him, “Please down hurt me, Serje! I'm sorry I was so mean to you but I don't deserve this. Please let me go!”

Serje dug one of his knuckles into her naked rib cage, driving it into her side painfully. Zhenya cried out in agony. He asked her calmly, “I want to know who put you here. Who tied you up and left you for me?”

Zhenya seemed to think that if she complied, he might spare her life. With hopeful enthusiasm, she blurted out, “It was Merte! She's to blame for all of it, Serje! She made us all treat you like shit. It was all her idea! She's the one you want! Not me! Please let me go!”

Merte tied her up? What the hell?

“How did Merte know you were my next victim?” Serje demanded, “How did she know to leave you for me to kill?”

Zhenya's large green eyes were wide with fright. Normally, her eyes were kept only partially open, perhaps purposefully, lids lowered, long dark lashes framing them, giving her a very seductive look. Frantically, Zhenya seemed to search her memory for a suitable answer but then she began to sob again, “I don't know, Serje. She didn't tell me anything. Please don't kill me!”

Serje wasn't satisfied, “How did she get the better of you? You're on the volleyball team and are just as strong as she is. How could she overpower you and tie you up like this?”

Zhenya shook her head wildly, “She's very strong! Not only physically! She's much more powerful than you think, Serje! Merte knows how to use magic!”

Serje was stunned.


Serje asked her, “You mean she can use rituals? Can control people or things by performing certain rites?”

Zhenya shook her head again, “No Serje. I mean she can summon fire out of thin air and burn things! She's very dangerous and destructive, Serje. Only her closest friends knew about her powers and she made us swear to keep them secret or she would kill us. Don't you see? We didn't have a choice! Merte forced us be cruel to you! She was behind it all! This was all her idea!”

Serje realized this was the second time one of the girls had claimed they were forced to mistreat him. Maybe they were compelled to an extent, but they enjoyed punishing him as well, despite their claims to the contrary. At least now Serje knew what he was up against. No wonder Merte had confronted him in the garden at school, she wasn't afraid of him. Merte was his final sacrificial death to the Dark Man of the Woods and she was going to be toughest for him to kill.

Serje needed to get back to town. It was nearly noon. He had plenty of time before curfew except that his grandfather had probably already called the police. The authorities would be looking for him. Getting home past curfew without being caught was going to be nearly impossible, so he had to hurry.

Serje cinched the wolf belt and gave Zhenya a quicker death than she deserved. She had earned it. After she was dead, he and the wolf feasted on her body. Within the office was a restroom and he washed himself clean of all Zhenya's blood.

In wolf form, Serje sprinted toward his house, like a silver streak through the sun dabbled trees. He had a lot to do and was going to need plenty of rest to kill Merte the following evening. Zhenya may have saved his life by letting him know what to expect. Within a few hours, Serje was at the edge of the treeline just outside of town.

Serje transformed back to human, made sure he was presentable then walked as quickly as he could the rest of the way home. His cellphone signaled a musical note as it picked up service again. Serje saw that Tonja had been leaving him text messages since that morning. Since it was already after 3pm in the afternoon, Tonja was home from school. He'd have to text her soon.

Still within the treeline, he mentally commanded the wolf to stay. Obediently, the wolf laid down on the thick carpet of pine needles and grass. Serje was amazed that he could not only communicate to the wolf telepathically, but also that it was finally obeying his commands. Now the wolf was truly his ally and would be vital to in the destruction of Merte when the time came.

As Serje approached his grandfather's house, he could see the old man had fetched a ladder from the work shed and was busy nailing up plastic trash bags to temporarily block the large hole in the front of the house.

Serje hadn't had time to assess the damage earlier since he had been battling the wolf. Now that he had time to really look, he was astonished and ashamed at how destructive he and the wolf companion had been. The entire frame of the window and part of the roof were damaged. Split wood, warped aluminum, shards of glass and cracked drywall littered the ground inside and out of the house, as if an explosion had occurred.

When his grandfather noticed him, he breathed a great sigh of relief and he embraced his grandson, “Oh Toshchiy! Thank God you're safe! I was so worried! What happened?”

Serje felt tears brimming. He felt guilty at upsetting his grandfather, “I'm so sorry to worry you, Deda.”

Serje could tell his grandfather had many questions about what had happened earlier but the old man brushed them off, “We can talk about everything later, Serje. Tonja's here. She's waiting for you in your room. Apparently, she has been trying to reach you all day. We've both been very worried. Don't worry about me. You get things settled with Tonja, first.”

Deda, did you call the police?”

His grandfather shook his head no, “I was going to but I wasn't sure that they would be able to help. Something inside me assured me that you were safe. I decided to wait and hope for the best. Now, go see Tonja! Make sure you apologize to her!”

“Okay. Thanks, Deda.”

Serje was relieved that police attention had not been brought upon him. He went down the stairs to his bedroom and opened the door. Tonja was waiting for him. She was standing in the center of the room with a concerned expression on her face.

Serje said, “Sorry I didn't call you earlier, Weirdo. I've had a crazy day.”

Tonja didn't say anything.

Was she mad again?

Serje approached her, ready to give her a hug, “Please, don't be angry at me. You have no idea what I've been through.”

Her voice wavered, “I really hope I don't know what you've been going through, Weirdo. I really do.” Tonja showed him the dark book. She had been holding it behind her back.

Serje froze. He was horrified. Shit!

With tears in her eyes, Tonja said calmly, “Serje, I can understand a lot of things have been changing for you. I could agree that you blowing me off wasn't really your fault because of all the new attention you were getting at school. I understand that I'm not your girlfriend so its not my place to question where you've been. I'll even admit that I shouldn't have gotten so upset that you've been acting so differently the past few days.”

Serje felt an anger rising within him while she was speaking. Who the hell did she think she was snooping around his room? The book been carefully hidden! But then, he remembered. He had taken the book from its hiding place that morning and had rifled through the pages making sure he hadn't made a mistake casting the wolf dark ritual. He had left it opened, at that page, in plain sight on his desk. Tonja hadn't snooped, he had practically handed the book to her himself.

Tonja dropped the awful book onto his desk as though it was burning her hand, “But, what is this, Serje? Why would you be reading a disgusting book like this? What possible reason could you have for keeping such a vile book in your room?”

Serje didn't know what to say. He had been found out. The plot to kill his tormentors was in jeopardy. He couldn't imagine a worse position to be in. Anything he told Tonja would be a lie and he really didn't want to lie to her. Then again, confiding the truth to her might put her in jeopardy with the Dark Man of the Woods. He prayed she had not read the ritual and had connected it to his recent activities.

Tonja sniffled, her face was clouded with disappointment.

Serje had never felt so ashamed in his entire life. He didn't want to lie to her, but he had to. Serje said, “I was just curious about some of the stuff in it. I would never do any of those rituals. You know me better than that.”

Tonja shook her head, “This book isn't something you simply browse through or read casually. There's murder, grave robbing, necrophilia, pedophilia, incest and other fouls things described in there. Just touching it made me sick. How can you keep in your room where you sleep?”

Serje said, “I was going to throw it away. I don't even want it anymore.”

“Where did you get it?”

“It was buried at the top of the stairs.”

Tonja's face contorted into a grimace, “You dug around your stairs over a year ago! You've kept this horrible book for over a year?”

Serje felt himself breaking out in a nervous sweat. Tonja wasn't going to let this go, he could tell. She wanted a legitimate explanation, a substantive account for his actions so that she could forgive him and move on. The problem was, Serje didn't have one.

He was going to lose her, probably forever. The idea filled him with sorrow. Serje shrugged at her, not having anything else to say.

“Please tell me that you haven't hurt anyone or any animals, Serje. Promise me that you haven't done anything remotely involved with this book.” Tonja was pleading with him now. She could sense it too. She could tell that their friendship might end for good.

Serje's heart was bursting but for some reason, he was growing angry, “And what if I have?” He asked her defiantly.

Tears were falling from her eyes now. Tonja said, “How could you risk your salvation for these cheap filthy tricks?”

Serje laughed. He was at the point where he just wanted to rest and get this problem with Tonja over with, “My salvation? Are you serious?”

Tonja was very concerned, “You think compromising your immortal soul is funny? Have you forgotten what the bible has taught you?”

For the second time that day, Serje said, “I already renounced God, Tonja. My soul is already forfeit. Are you going to judge me now? Scold me? Hate me?”

Tonja was in total disbelief. She burst into tears and rushed past him, probably heading to her home.

“God didn't listen, so I asked help from the other side!” Serje called after her, “At least this side cared enough to respond to my prayers and not completely ignore me!”

Tonja stopped and faced him. She was upset that he was mocking her God, “He didn't listen, Serje? You told me you prayed to be more popular in school and now you are.”

Serje was going to credit the dark ritual for his sudden acceptance into the hierarchy of the school but he knew that was a lie. Indeed, he had taken the tests a few weeks before he had made the bargain with the Dark Man of the Woods. He was still eager to make his argument, so he pressed the issue, “I also wanted friends! I prayed and prayed so that I wouldn't be such a loner anymore! God completely ignored me!”

Tonja sighed with heartfelt sympathy, “I was your friend, Serje, before any stupid tests and before you renounced God. You weren't a loner anymore, Weirdo.”

Serje refused to believe that he had come this far for nothing. There was still the matter of the incessant bullying he was suffering through. God had ignored him in that regard, “What about Merte and her cronies? Did God help me there? Did God stop that asshole Anton from humiliating me?”

Tonja spoke to Serje as though he were on his deathbed, “God helps those who help themselves, Serje. With your new found popularity at school, you may have had more allies to help you deal with Merte. All you had to do was wait and see. I promise you, God was listening, you were just too impatient to accept his help.”

Serje was sick and tired of her bullshit, “Whatever! Just leave! I don't care anymore. I did what I had to do to fix my life. If you don't agree with my decision, then to hell with you!”

Tonja burst into tears again and fled the basement.

A few minutes later, his grandfather knocked at his door and entered as Serje hastily put the book away. His grandfather was in complete disbelief, “Serje, Tonja left here crying! What happened? What did you say to her?”

Serje sat down on his bed, “Its over between us, Deda. Tonja's too good for me, or at least she thinks she is.”

His grandfather was befuddled, “Tonja thinks she's too good for you? That doesn't sound like her at all. She isn't like that. You must have misunderstood.”

Serje shook his head, “No. She made her point crystal clear. People aren't always what they seem.”

His grandfather didn't say anything else. He just quietly left the basement very disappointed.



* * *


The Three arrived at the sight where Anastasia was taken. Nikolai's ruined car had already been towed away but there was still bits and pieces of wreckage left behind. The Three spread out over the area, Sephon looking for physical tracks, Jewel making sure they maintained internet connection and Logan was studying the wreckage.

Logan stepped over the police tape studying the impact area. There were still plenty of fluids pooling, he could smell fuel, oil and coolant.

“The aberrant headed north,” Sephon said, “It was really moving.”

“Do you think any of the missing girls are alive?” Jewel asked hopefully.

“No,” Logan told her, “This is about vengeance.” He was studying the wreckage sight, crouched down low. He took off his gloves and picked up a few pieces of busted glass, handling them thoroughly but careful not to cut himself. Visions of the Werewolf looming in the headlights and reaching into the car to get Anastasia, flooded his senses. Logan could feel the intent of the Werewolf as well as sensing the horrible cherished memories of it's past victims, “The girls were all taken into the woods and tortured for hours before they were eaten.”

Sephon asked, “The aberrant is taking the time to torture its victims first?”

“It must not know anything about the rules set by the Dhelfoi. It probably doesn't even realize that killing people like this would result in hunters being brought in to hunt it down,” Jewel said.

“Which means it won't be expecting us,” Logan concluded. He stood up, “You got a good fix on its trail, Sephon?”

“Yeah.” The group moved into the woods with Sephon in the lead, Jewel in the center and Logan bringing up the rear. There was no caution to their pace, they were in a hurry to find the beast or its lair.

They all wore headsets that wrapped around the backs of their heads with tight earpieces fixed in place. Each sturdy headset was equipped with cell phone access, closed channel radio communication, and a small high powered flashlight.

Jewel was monitoring the terrain using satellite imaging. She told Sephon the easiest routes to take before he could even see them through the thick trees and brush.

Sephon found a distinct track that definitely belonged to the beast. They waiting while Logan took off his gloves and touched the ground, picking up flickering images of the aberrant.

A slight breeze blew through the forest, causing the thickly leaved trees around them to hiss softly.

“The aberrant still had the girl at this point.” Logan said. He drew out a cigarette and lit it. Taking a deep drag, he blew a large cloud of smoke over their heads.

“Was she still alive?” Jewel asked.

“At this point, yeah.”

Sephon kept moving, picking up his pace, “The trail leads slightly East.”

There was a clearing up ahead several acres wide, caused by what looked like some lumberjack job. Not all of the trees were felled, only the dead ones were and they had been harvested, probably for lumber and firewood. It was on top of one of the larger stumps that they found the remains.

There wasn't much left of the girl, most of the meatier parts had been eaten. She lay on her back with her limbs spread out, her pale lifeless eyes gazing up at the lovely sky. The entire stump was stained red, with the amount of blood spilled, it was easy to see that she had been violently tortured before she was finally put out of her misery.

“Jesus Mary,” Logan muttered.

Jewel couldn't look at the remains. She always hated any deaths that involved children or young people.

“She's been here at least three days,” Sephon said.

Logan studied the girl's unmarked face, “Yeah, you're right, Sephon. This is Raisa Isayev. She went missing about three days ago.”

Sephon hollered out that he found another body. Within a few minutes, all three missing girls were located in the same clearing. By the condition of the bodies, the aberration's methods of dispatching its victims grew more violent each time. Logan had a stomach of iron; he was steeled against all forms of violence, but the mess left behind by the beast even effected him.

As far as they knew, Anastasia Egorov had been the third and last victim so far. They had several hours before nightfall to try and prevent the fourth killing from occurring. Logan hated this part of the job, but it was necessary to try and locate where the aberrant had gone.

Standing over Anastasia's mutilated remains, Logan took off his gloves.

Sephon said, “You really don't need to do that if you don't want to, Shithead. The beast is very large and is leaving an easy trail for me to follow.”

Logan took another drag and blew a large cloud of smoke over their heads.

Jewel was busy contacting the Dhelfoi to clean up the crime scene of any signs of the supernatural. Then they would anonymously contact the police so that the families could have closure. The police would make up a story about a pack of hungry wolves or a bear being the killer. She ended the call with Trisha Lamont and chimed in, “We've got plenty of time left before nightfall, Lo. We can try tracking the damn thing the hard way.”

“I appreciate both of your concerns but we all know this is the best and quickest way to find the aberrant,” Logan said. He knelt down and placed a palm on Anastasia's bloody forehead. Immediately, he was bombarded with sizzling pain and wracked with unbearable fear. He could also feel the primal rage, the burning hate and the almost painful need for revenge from the aberrant.

Logan perceived another two names being considered by the beast: Zhenya Teshin and Merte Janar. They must be its next targets. Logan said the names aloud. Jewel quickly jotted them down on a notepad.

Jewel was expectant, “Anything else, Lo? Do you know who the aberrant is?”

Logan shook his head and stood up, “No. He's worrying about his grandfather, though and someone named Tonja. There's also a wolf that won't leave him alone.”

Sephon spoke up, “A wolf?”

Logan ground out his first cigarette against the bottom of his shoe and pocketed the butt, then he lit a new one and took a deep drag, “Yeah. Apparently, it's a wolf only he can see.”

Sephon offered, “A spirit animal?”

Logan shrugged, “Not sure.”

After Jewel took notes, she began to quickly type on the laptop. After a few minutes, she announced, “Okay I have the addresses of both Zhenya Teshin and Merte Janar. Who are we visiting first?”

“Zhenya's next on his list. Let's start with her,” Logan decided.

More to himself, Sephon said, “The spirits are quiet here.”

Logan watched his friend carefully, “What's that you say, Sephon?”

Sephon closed his eyes reaching out his hands, fingers spread. He looked as though he were feeling his way along in the dark, “There are three bodies here, but no spirits.”

“What does that mean?” Jewel asked.

Sephon's face was grim, “Their souls have been claimed.”

Submitted: December 16, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Cthulu45. All rights reserved.


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Short Story / Horror

Book / Horror

Short Story / Horror