Derek pricked his ears listening carefully to the Beacon Hills sheriff’s department investigate the murder site. Law enforcement became baffled by the case of the mutilated camper as they recovered the body and requested an autopsy report. Only the green eyed spirit wolf knew the truth. He was the only key witness. Staying hidden within the foliage of the forest, his heightened senses focused on the conversation.
“What do we have?” Sheriff Argent asked his coworkers.
“Female. Approximately twenty three. Brown hair.” His deputy answered. “We found the victim’s wallet nearby. No money was taken. Name on the I.D. says Pamela Greenfeld.” The deputy handed the driver’s license to Beacon Hills sheriff.
“Pretty girl,” he commented.
“Can’t tell by looking at her now,” remarked the deputy. “The body was viciously mangled and mauled to death.”
“Possible animal attack?” Sheriff Argent theorized.
“Could be,” the deputy shrugged her shoulders. “However I don’t know of any animal that could do such a thing.”
“Notify Morell in forensics that we’re sending her a cold one,” he instructed. “I’d like to get a report in a couple hours.”
“Already done,” the deputy nodded her head.
“And try to keep this hushed out of the media,” noted Sheriff Argent. “The last thing the mayor needs right now are reports that animal attacks scaring off potential tourist campers in the town.”
“Got it,” agreed the deputy.
Derek observed the Beacon Hill’s officers disband. He certainly had his work cut out for him.
Back at school, Stiles tried to concentrate in American history but his mind drifted elsewhere. Part of the problem was that the brain tumor affected his ability to retain information which made it difficult to focus in class. He hated that the aspect of the cancer especially since he liked his teacher Adrian Harris. The part Native American and Irish instructor also taught Stile’s art class which the sixteen year old enjoyed and excelled in. Mr. Harris shared a common rapport with the youngster who offered advice on improving his drawing techniques and inspired his love of art.
American history was also the class that both the sophomore and junior students shared. Stiles sat behind his sister Allison who practically ignored her little brother while she passed notes to her friends Lydia, Jackson, and Danny. Taking out his notebook, the brown haired teen began doodling a little cartoon on his sketchpad before something point bounced off his forehead.
“Hey Stilinski! Heads up!” Jackson whispered to him.
A paper airplane landed at the corner of his desk as he heard a giggle coming from Lydia’s mouth next to him. Allison, who was seated next to her, grabbed the red headed girl’s wrist hoping to calm her down. It was too late. Mr. Harris turned his back to focus on the group as he marched down the aisle to claim the air message delivery.
“Obviously, history seems a bit dull today that we’ve decided to pass notes for entertainment value,” commented the instructor. Adjusting his eyeglasses, Mr. Harris unfolded the paper airplane as Stiles sank behind his desk. “Dear Stiles “Stilinksi” Argent. You’re a loser.”
Nervous laughter erupted from the class. The hazel eyed lad sadly looked to Danny who appeared helpless to defend him as Allison shot an angry gaze at Jackson.
“I SAID LEAVE MY LITTLE BROTHER ALONE JACKSON!” Allison shouted toward the jock.
“So Mr. Whittemore,” responded Mr. Harris. “You obviously have a lot of time on your hands. I think your focus on history can be better spent in detention today afterschool.” Jackson sneered at Stiles who shifted his face away. The Beacon Hills faculty member then addressed the class. “Now that you something to Facebook about, let’s turn our focus back to history. Textbooks open to Chapter 20 please about the California gold rush.”
Groans vibrated through the classroom as the students did as they were told. The sound of a knob turning and the creaking of an open door brought everyone’s attention toward the corner of the classroom. A handsome dark haired man accompanied by two other students entered the classroom. Allison immediately blushed while Mr. Harris gulped nervously when the trio walked in.
“Mr. Harris?” Scott McCall greeted him. “We’re your new students.” He handed the teacher several slips.
The history instructor pushed his glasses back to his face and nodded. “Scott McCall, Erica Reyes, and Boyd…”
“Boyd. Just Boyd.” The African American teenager corrected. Something in his tone meant he was serious. Adrian Harris did not challenge him.
“Well…uh Mr. Boyd,” said the history teacher. “Why don’t you three take a seat in the back next to Mr. Argent? I see that you got your textbooks already.We’re on Chapter 20 studying the Gold Rush.”
The trio grabbed a couple of desks in the back as Stiles noticed his sister Allison silently flirting with the new kid Scott. Rolling his eyes, the brown haired man attempted to focus on the chapter while Mr. Harris began his lecture.
Half an hour later, the bell rang leaving the class to depart to their next subject. Stiles was close to door before Mr. Harris flagged him down.
“Mr. Argent, can I see you for a second please?” He addressed him.
Stiles sighed as he turned his attention toward his teacher. “Yes, Mr. Harris.”
The Beacon Hills instructor pulled a paper out of his drawer and handed it the young man. The sixteen year old recognized the document immediately. It was his essay report and on top of the paper was a big fat D. Stiles frowned.
“Stiles, I know you’re better than this,” remarked his teacher. “You were an A-student during the beginning of the semester and you’ve been slipping the last two months. Is something wrong?”
He lied. “No. Nothing. I promise I’ll do better.”
The last thing he wanted to discuss was his cancer and his upcoming radiation therapy next month. Sympathy was certainly not on the young man’s list.
“That’s not good enough,” Mr. Harris explained. “I’ve calculated your last quizzes, test scores, and the papers you submitted. With the average marks you’ve received, you would only bring it up a C minus and by your standards Stiles, I would expected better from you.”
“I’m sorry, Mr.Harris,” the young man apologized. “Is there any way I could bring up that grade to at least B?”
“I thought about that,” the Beacon Hills teacher informed him. “Here’s what I propose. An extra credit history project that you could turn into me at the end of semester which can coincide with an art assignment for your elective class.”
“That sounds intriguing,” Stiles mentioned. “What would I have to do?”
“Since this current unit deals with the California gold rush, I though you could do an in depth study of Beacon Hills involvement concerning Native American land that was stripped from the local natives in order to mine the last few pieces of gold ore in this town.”
“Interesting but the only problem is that there isn’t any information about that in Beacon Hills,” the brown haired teen explained. “Even the town historian denies Beacon Hills involvement in the removal of Native Americans from their land. Besides I don’t know of any local reservations that I could research.”
“On the contrary,” the history teacher smiled. “I know of one in particular starting with me. I’m part Irish and Aeiwa. In fact, there is an Aeiwa reservation two and half miles just east of the town on the other side of Beacon Canyon.”
“Wow! I didn’t know that any local tribes still existed near the town!” Stiles exclaimed.
“We’re a private tribe,” replied Mr. Harris. “Not much is known about Aeiwa because we migrated and moved between other rival tribes like the Sioux, Lakota, Pawnee, and the Pueblos. With the constant intermarriage between groups, we became our own amalgamation finally making our way into the Algonquin people and settling what is now called Beacon Canyon. The founding families of the town prefer to keep us their dirty, little secret since they refuse to admit that their ancestors massacred and stripped away the land from my people. Ever since then, the Aeiwa have preferred to live in isolation away from the locals.”
“Mr. Harris, are you asking me to interview the Aeiwa?” Stiles inquired still puzzled.
“That is exactly what I want you to do,” answered the history teacher.
“But you said that the Aeiwa choose to stay away from the locals,” said the young man. “Since I’m a resident living in the town, I don’t think they’ll welcome me into the reservation to interview their tribe?”
“No they won’t,” Mr. Harris bluntly admitted. “Unless you have a special invitation. I contacted our representative, Laura Hale, and as a favor to me is willing to let you on the reservation as her guest only if you were trustworthy. I vouched for you and assured her that you are.”
“Um…thanks, I think?” Stiles raised his eyebrows. “What’s with all the secrecy?”
“The Aeiwa are a proud people,” his teacher commented. “Centuries of animosity toward the Beacon Hills families have soured their faith in trusting outsiders. This is why this project is good not only for you but for Aeiwa as well. It’ll give them a chance to start socializing with the outside world.”
“I guess I’m lucky then,” Stiles smiled. “I get to be the first white man to step foot on Native American soil.”
“You’re not the first,” laughed the history teacher. He pinched his skin in honor of his Caucasian features. “As you can see there have been others who were just as fortunate. For this assignment, I want you submit a report written about what you’ve learned about the Aeiwa and how their culture affected you. In addition, I want two art pieces done for your art elective. One will be a black and white charcoal drawing of an influential tribal member of the Aeiwa and the other is a small canvas painting of an important landscape taken from the reservation. Both projects are due at the end of the semester. Do you think you can handle that?”
The hazel eyed man nodded. Slipping on his backpack, he began to make his way out the door. “Mr. Harris, thanks again for the second chance.”
“You’re welcome, Stiles,” the instructor replied. “Just don’t let me down. Laura Hale will be expecting you after school. I’ll e-mail you the directions. Don’t be late.”
With that said, Stiles hurried to his next class.
Back at the medical examiner’s office, Dr. Morell charted the results of the corpse the Beacon Hills sheriff’s office brought in. The African American woman jotted down a couple notes right as Sheriff Argent came stumbling in the coroner’s room carrying a box of doughnuts and two cups of coffee.
“Powdered lemon. Your fave, Morell.” The law enforcement officer grinned. Setting down the doughnuts on a vacant counter, he handed the forensics specialist her java cup.
“Thanks Chris,” she smiled sipping the contents. “You sure brought in a doozy this time.”
“What do you have for me?” He asked.
Shining a small flashlight on the corpse, she shared her findings. “Judging from the lacerations, it definitely appears to be an animal attack. Claw and teeth marks seems to match the description of a wild animal like maybe a wild dog, a mountain lion, a large bear, or even a wolf.”
Sheriff Argent sipped his coffee. “So for you sure, you think it was a random animal attack like a shark attacking a surfer or an elephant attacking a zookeeper?”
“That was one possibility until I noticed the arm,” Dr. Morell shared with him. “It nearly was bitten off by some feral creature until I match the teeth indention to a majority of local animals in our wilderness. None of them matched except for one kind.”
The Beacon Hills officer’s eyes widened. “You’re saying a person did that? But how? Why?”
“Well a human did make a few wounds on different parts of the victim’s limbs,” she informed him. “The rest had to be caused by a wild animal by the way the flesh was torn out. Then there was the hair extracted from the body, possibly a combination of human and wolf. Whatever caused this murder enjoyed in torturing and killing their victims and had very little remorse.”
“That’s not much to go on,” said the sheriff.
“It’s all you have right now,” remarked Dr. Morell. “Until I get more evidence, I’m sticking with the facts that I’m dealt with.”
“I guess this case is going to stay open for a while,” Sheriff Argent agreed.
© Copyright 2016 Gerard Mendoza. All rights reserved.