I am a huge fan of Supernatural, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that reads this blog. I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a novel about a female hunter, from a long line of hunters. Here’s a little preview of what I have so far. Let me know what your thoughts are!
As her shirt came over her head, she felt eyes on her. She stopped in mid-movement, arms crossed protectively over her chest. She faced the wall, her back to the wide picture window in her bedroom, and that’s where the feeling of being watched came from. Goosebumps ran down her arms and across her shoulders and the hair on the back of her neck raised in alarm.
For the first time since they had moved to the country, she wished for blinds or curtains on the windows to block out the dark night. With no clue who could be out there watching her, she tried to make her frozen limbs move, tried to shake off the feeling that whatever was out there was evil. It was probably just an animal, passing through the night cloaked backyard, on its way to the woods that flanked the property.
She slowly turned in increments, first her feet, then legs and torso, and finally her head, swiveling slowly on her tense neck. She itched to pull the shirt back over her head but didn’t want to block her vision for the second it would take the shirt to clear her head.
She knew she was being silly, knew there was nothing out there in the shadow filled night. The security light attached to the barn shed enough light to illuminate the back of the house, and from the light-filled safety of the bedroom she could see there was nothing out there. The line of trees marking the beginning of the woods didn’t benefit from the security light, but if there was something out there, she would have plenty of time to get the shotgun from the closet before whatever it was reached the house.
She looked at the clock over the bed and gave a sigh of relief. Her husband would be home shortly, and they could have a laugh over her baseless fear. To prove to herself that nothing was out there, she walked to the window, swallowing her fear and yanking the shirt over her head, and peered into the darkness.
There were eyes glowing in the woods.
It took her a moment to pick them out, because they were in the wrong spot for an animal. They were too high up in the air. Rising roughly seven feet in the air, the two pair of large, glowing green eyes studied her as she studied them. The sight of them froze her in place again. Her mind, however, was not frozen. She thought frantically of what could be seven foot tall with glowing green eyes, but drew a complete blank. She started to shake violently under their malevolent gaze, but her feet would not move. The closet was ten steps away, the loaded Winchester sitting uselessly inside if she couldn’t bring herself to move to it.
The eyes were motionless, occasionally blinking languidly, as though the mind behind them knew she wasn’t going anywhere. A feeling of evil soaked into her, saturated her bones, held her as still as a statue.
The house went dark.
With a scream torn out of her throat, her paralysis broke and she stumbled in the dark to the closet, her fingers scrabbling frantically at the knob. She ripped it open, fumbling by feel for the gun.
In the hall outside the bedroom door, something growled, the guttural sound of it causing all the strength to run out her legs. She dropped to her knees, her fingers skittering down the length of the gun to hang uselessly at her sides.
The picture window shattered, glass raining into the room, the light from the security light reflecting off the shards as they pattered to the floor.
The last thing she saw was three pair of green eyes towering over her before the ripping began.
Alex Thompson knew she was being followed. Whoever he was had been tailing her since she had come into town the day before.
He wasn’t very good at it.
She sat at the counter in the diner, a basic greasy spoon that could have been located in any small town in America, but this one was in Hilldale, Idaho. Strange murders had been happening in the town of 5600 souls, and strange murders were Alex’s specialty.
The first one was two weeks ago, a couple that lived in the country. Whatever it was had killed the wife first, then the husband when he came home from work.
Very messy, or so the gossip went. The newspaper wasn’t very forthcoming on details.
The second one had also been out in the country, another couple; they had been killed in their tent as they slept peacefully at the lakeside campground.
They were blaming that one on a bear.
The third had been in town. An elderly man, living alone. Someone, or something, had broken down his door and devoured him. Again, so the gossips said, but there was always a grain of truth in gossip, as Alex had learned early in life.
Alex signaled the waitress and she ambled over.
“What can I get you, hon?” She asked, snapping gum.
“A coffee? Black, please.” Alex laid a fifty down on the counter and the waitress smirked.
“I can’t break a fifty for a buck coffee.”
“No, but you can keep the change for information.” Alex said slowly, her blue eyes intent on the waitresses brown ones. The smirk was replaced by a shifty grin.
“You talking about the murders?”
Alex just nodded, her eyes never leaving the waitresses.
“You press or something?”
“Or something, and we’ll leave it at that for now.” The finality in her tone caused the waitress to regard her for a moment, as though to gauge her sincerity.
“Let me get you that coffee.” She said, pocketing the fifty in her apron.
While she waited for the coffee, Alex looked over her shoulder, to the man sitting at a booth across the diner from her.
She didn’t know who he was, or what he wanted from her, but he was definitely keeping tabs on her. When she had rolled into town yesterday and checked into the motel, he had been in the lobby talking to a maid. When he heard her give her name to the clerk, he had left off his conversation and watched her intently.
He had been her shadow ever since.
She turned back to face the wall of stainless steel over the open cook station, studying his features in the slightly distorted reflection.
He was tall and trim, his shoulders broad and powerful looking, with short dark hair. He hadn’t gotten close enough to her, so she didn’t know what color his eyes were, but he had a strong jaw and a full mouth. Altogether a good looking guy.
Most likely trouble.
She would keep an eye on him, see what he wanted, or she could do a read on him, see what his intention was. She preferred action though, to using her gift. Reaching out and punching someone was so much more exciting than reaching out mentally.
The waitress came back with her coffee and Alex noted that her name was Camie. Camie leaned on the counter in front of Alex and looked around to make sure they weren’t overheard. Alex mentally rolled her eyes.
“So what do you want to know? I got a cousin that’s a cop, so I know all the gory details.”
“That’s exactly what I want to know; the gory details. Not much was in the paper, only that the first couple was killed in their home, the second in a tent, the third at home again.”
Camie eyed her suspiciously. “Why do you want to know?”
“I’m an insurance adjuster for the Wilkinson’s insurance company. I need to rule out that their deaths weren’t murder-suicide.” Alex lied smoothly, taking out a business card and laying it on the counter in front of Camie. Camie picked it up and studied it, running her nail over the print. Alex didn’t know what that was supposed to accomplish, but it apparently satisfied Camie.
“Wouldn’t you go to the cops? They would tell you the truth, you know.” She had a little bit of suspicion left, and Alex laid it to rest.
“I will get to the station, but I like to talk to people in town first, make sure no one was suicidal, that kind of thing. What I’ve heard is that it was a murder-suicide.” Alex didn’t have to lie about that. That was exactly what she was seeking. She followed suspect leads and then ferreted out the truth. Most leads looked promising, but ninety percent of them turned out to be just what they looked like; murder-suicides, wrecked cars, jugulars cut by a crazy man.
Very few turned out to be what she hunted.
“Well, this was no murder-suicide. Bobby, my cousin, said they were all eaten.” Camie stated in a hushed voice, casting a glance around her again. Alex widened her eyes theatrically, knowing this was the kind of thing that Camie was looking for, and she was rewarded with more information.
“Not completely eaten, though. There were parts left, and there was blood everywhere. Bobby said that the first one, the one you’re looking into, at the Wilkinson’s, there was blood all the way to the ceiling, hell it was ON the ceiling. The woman, Ellie, her head was left on the bathroom sink. It had claw marks on the face.” Camie shuddered delicately, her small frame vibrating with it.
“What does your cousin say about it?” Alex took a sip of the cooling coffee, her instincts screaming at her that this was a legitimate lead. She hid her excitement well, years of practice and discipline keeping her in her chair and not running out to her truck to track the perpetrators.
“They think it was an animal. We have bears out here, big ones. Sometimes they break into houses, but I’ve never heard of a bear doing that to people in their homes. There was that puma attack a few years ago, but it was trying to get the dog, not the people. And it didn’t eat them.” She shuddered again.
Alex knew bears. A grizzly would break into a home, but if it wanted to devour something, it would kill its prey first and then drag them away and bury them someplace, to soften the meat. A black bear wouldn’t rip someone apart and leave the head on the sink.
This was something with a dark sense of humor, and animals didn’t possess such a thing. What that thing could be was Alex’s job to find out.
“I’ll tell you one thing, though. People have started locking up, and not going out after dark. Fish and Game have been out in the woods, searching for tracks, but haven’t come across anything. A farmer shot one bear, paying a hefty fine for it too, but when they opened it up, it had nothing in its stomach but fish. They haven’t even found scat in the area around the crime scenes.”
To Alex, this ruled out bears. Bears left sign around kills, to keep other predators away, and lack of sign meant these were no ordinary animal attacks.
“What do you think it is?” Alex asked, turning her coffee mug in her hands. It was something to keep them preoccupied, something to distract herself from the crushing feeling that called for action. To run out to her truck and drive over to the first scene. That would be foolish with her mysterious stalker on her tail.
“I don’t know, but it creeps me out. My husband stays in at night with me now, he don’t even go over to the bar after work for a drink with the boys. My mother stays with us at night; she so scared to be alone. Nothing ever happens here, we’re a quiet town. Now, we’re all looking at each other, wondering if we’re next.”
“Well, I’m sure it’s nothing, and the cops will get who’s responsible.” It was another lie, but Alex wanted to calm her fears. She had been a fountain of information that didn’t have to be primed, and for that Alex was grateful.
Camie nodded, but didn’t look convinced. Alex didn’t blame her, but turned her attention back to her coffee, her mind racing. As Camie walked away, Alex went through and discarded possibilities. Couldn’t be a werewolf, as the lunar schedule was off, couldn’t be a chupacabra because of the total rending of the corpses, not likely to be a vampire, but Alex had heard of some that not only drank blood, but ate flesh.
She didn’t think a vampire would waste all that blood, though.
At the top of her list of possible suspects was a ghoul or wendigo. First though, she had to divest herself of her stalker. Damn him.
She got up from the stool and dropped another ten on the counter for Camie, then walked slowly out of the diner.
Copyright @ 2013 Teresa Federici. All right reserved.