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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:52 pm 
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Sheriff Buck had split the search party into three groups. He had enough bloodhounds for each group, and by splitting up they could cover more ground. He put a deputy in charge of each, though his deputy Billy Wilson did not have much experience when it came to things like this.

About an hour into the search Sheriff Buck's radio came to life, it was Billy Wilson.

"Buck you need to get over here right away. We're about a quarter mile from Randall Crabtree's house."

The Sheriff knew this had to have something to do with Crabtree.

"Where are you Billy, and what did you find?"

Billy swallowed hard before he answered. " We're in the woods on the edge of the swamp."

Buck waited for Billy to tell him what he found, but there was no answer. Then a voice came over the radio.

"Buck this is Fred Silverman. Billy is kind of busy right now, getting rid of his breakfast. I think you better get over here right now and see this. And bring a shovel."

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:10 am 
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Buck threw himself down in his chair and just sat.

In near 20 years, Bantam Mills had never had a murder. Never.

Now there were at least two. And four missings. The mayor would be on the phone any second, screaming how the sky was falling and what was the town paying it's lawmen for, anyway? But he could live with that. Heck, Buck's big dream, his promotion, as he saw it, was to run for mayor next fall and kick that old lay-about, loud-mouth out of office. But that was nothing, really.

He'd just got done telling two familys their little girls had been killed.

Killed, hell. Torn up. Buck had seen wolves in the wild in action. They had nothing on this....whatever.

Bones were bit thru. Not cracked, not gnawed. Chomped clean in half. What could do that?

He wanted to believe Randal was involved. But how?
There it was. The dang phone ringing. he reached for it like it were a viper.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 7:16 am 
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Hello said Buck…
Sheriff Buck speaking How may I help you? Sheriff my name is Van Helsing, Dr. Van Helsing and I think I may be able to help you, I have some information about the killings of tonight. Meet me a the train station platform at midnight…

Through the thick fog Buck could hear a tapping sound coming nearer then in the light from the station waiting room he could make out the form of an elderly man in his mid Sixties slightly overweight walking with a limp. On a silver tipped walking stick the head of the walking stick was oddly shaped and also made of silver. Closer now and in the full light spilling from the waiting room Buck could see the head of the walking stick was a large wolf's head with ruby eyes. The man shifted the walking stick to his left hand and held out his right hand, " Sheriff Buck I presume? My name is Van Helsing Dr. Van Helsing...now tell me about the man Randall Crabtree ? Tell me all you can ".

"Oh him " said Buck, "We all think he's batty...ya know..mad ?"

Van Helsing gave a start at hearing ' batty ' . He frowned and thought.."Batty eh....if they only knew the truth in that ".


Last edited by jhawk on Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 11:15 am 
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Randall Crabtree was not having a good day. It started with Poncho his cat getting into the basement, and then while trying to console Jillian about her bad dream he had to run to the phone. Only to find out it was a telemarketer. Later the sirens going by the house upset Jillian again.

Fortunately tired from her late night train ride, Jillian took a nap in the afternoon, which gave Randall time to take care of some loose ends. He went to the shed to get his shovel. He figured he could slip back into the basement through the side door. This way he would not have to go upstairs and take a chance at waking Jillian.

Randall pulled the key from his pocket to unlock the basement door. When he reached for the doorknob, the door swung open easily. At first Randall was shocked, and then he became uneasy. Had someone gotten into the basement. Randall didn't know if he should go in or back away slowly. His mind was racing, searching for his next move. But of course there was only one thing to do. Randall stepped into the basement.

It took a few minutes for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, but there was no mistaking the missing bag that had been laying on the floor. All that was left was the damp stain of blood. Again Randall's mind raced, who could have taken the bag. Then it hit him, Van Helsing. Who else could it be. Randall knew he had to act quickly. Clearly Van Helsing would contact Sheriff Buck. Randall turned to go up the stairs. There stood Jillian crying, the limp dead body of Poncho in her arms.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 4:14 pm 
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"Take a seat; any seat."

They had entered Buck's office in back of the building the police shared with the mayor's office in the town hall. Van Helsing took Buck's own and with a frown, the sherif took a much plainer, wooden chair with no padding. He considered asking if the other minded if he smoked, then Van Helsing spoke.

"Clearly, this Crabtree is in league with forces....shall we say... beyond the normal bounds of law enforcement." Buck nodded. "After what I seen of the Johnson And Wright girls, I tend to side with ya on that. What is this Crabtree involved in?" Van Helsing considered the question; clearly not sure where to begin. He'd never let go of that wolf-head cane: he twisted it a couple times and finally sighed.

"Where does this Crabtree live, sheriff Barrison?" "Crabby mansion." "Say again?" Buck smiled at the other's bewilderment. "That's what we call it around here. Dark place; on a hill. Maybe a quarter mile from where the girls were found." "I need to talk to this Randal Crabtree. As soon as possible." "I can drive ya out in the morning." "I would prefer tonight. Right now, in fact." "Can do. Just let me..."

"MEEE0OW!"

Both men gave a start, as a gray furry critter hurled itself onto the desk. Then they laughed.

"And who is this handsome fellow?" Van Helsing got to work on the cat's ears, inciting a window-rattling purr. "Oh, that's Dillion." "Dillion." "Dillion's been standing night-watch hereabouts for years. He's my best deputy."

Someone openned a door in the outer office. Rapid footsteps, running footsteps approuched.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:02 pm 
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It was Jimmy Howard, one of the local kids. He was out of breath and could barely speak and was pale as a ghost. He just hiked back to town from camping just Noth of the swamp with his buddies, a place his parents owned.

"Sit down, Jimmy." "Take a deep breath and tell me what's wrong", instructed Buck. "are your parents OK??". Jimmy nodded and took a short deep breath.

"Sherrif, I saw someone out in the swamp. Someone dragging something really large along the ground. No way it was an animal. And he was carrying a shovel. We went to check it out and there was a trail of blood......a lot of blood. We got out of there right away. I knew I had to come get you....and then I heard about the girls. You have got to come. RIGHT AWAY.....NOW."

The sherrif turned to Van Helsing. "Sorry, but our trip will have to wait. I have to go check this out. It could be the break I have been waiting for"

Van Helsing nodded, knowing full well he had no intention of waiting for the Sherrif's return. He preferred to work alone anyway and time was if the essence. It seemed the Sherrif had no pertainent information and of course, he would be bound by the law being Sherrif and all. So this worked out better than planned. He could move quicker and quieter and with any luck he will find what he is looking for.

About an hour later.....he was in Crabtree's house and there was the door to the basement. Now to get what he came for and to hopefully put an end to all this. Van Helsing can go back to the Sherrif later and explain everything. He will need his help before this is over.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:04 pm 
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After Van Helsing left Sheriff Buck got on the phone to get the bloodhounds back. He knew it was after midnight, but this was too important to wait for morning. Buck told Jimmy to take a seat, and as soon as everyone got there Jimmy could lead them to the site.

Buck was getting things ready when the door slowly opened. Buck glanced up, thinking no one could have gotten there that fast. Buck heard a gasp come from Jimmy as he saw Randall Crabtree step into the room.

Buck couldn't believe Randall Crabtree was standing right here in front of him, he was a bit taken back. The only thing he could think to do was say.

"Can I help you?"

He was even more surprised when he heard.

"Actually I think I am the one that can help you."

Buck wasn't sure what Randall Crabtree was up to, but he was more then willing to listen. Maybe Randall would slip up and give away some information. Buck felt a little smug, he was going to have some fun with Randall. He always wanted a good chance to ask him some questions, he was going to enjoy this. Might even be a raise in all of this when he showed the mayor how good he was at this investigative stuff.

"So Randall how do you feel you can help me?"

Buck thought he must have touched a nerve because the look on Randall's face changed, and he didn't even give Buck one of those uncomfortable grins he was famous for. This might be easier then he thought.

"I'm sorry Sheriff I think you are a bit confused, and it's all my fault. I wasn't clear when I came in. I'm not Randall Crabtree, I'm Ronald Crabtree. I'm Randall's twin brother."

Buck about fell out of his chair. Needless to say he wasn't feeling quite as smug as he was just a few minutes earlier. Probably the only person more surprised then Buck was Jimmy Howard, who did fall out of his chair.

Buck needed time to think. He looked over at Jimmy picking himself up off the floor.

"Jimmy see if you can find that damn cat. I haven't seen him since you came in, and it's not like to take off for too long."

As Buck stood up to offer Ronald Crabtree a seat so they could talk, he noticed for the first time the walking stick that Ronald held in his hand. A walking stick with a head made of silver and in the shape of a wolf. Buck didn't need to see the ruby eyes, he already knew they were there.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:40 pm 
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The cat had been patrolling it's territory when it saw Ronald approaching the Sheriff's office. Something didn't seem right. It's instinct made it go and hide under a nearby bush and wait to see what happened.
This was no ordinary cat, it could reason and think like a human. What to do next was uppermost in its mind. It knew that it could not help Buck on its own. The only thing to do was to ask the wolves for their help. Then again two of the wolves had befriended the cat once which was very unusual for wolves. But then, these were not ordinary wolves which would have killed any cat. These wolves were strange in many ways. They watched and waited at the edge of the forest, flitting in and out of sight like ghostly white apparitions. On certain nights of the year they would bay at the full moon as though summoning all the departed Spirits to rise and join them.

Tonight was such a night.

They saw the cat running towards them, and the Alpha female stepped forward into the light cast by the full moon and recognised the cat.
After a few moments the Alpha female raised her head and howled until she was answered by others in her pack.
The cat turned back to the direction from which it had come, closely followed by the Alpha female and another .

Meanwhile, back in Buck's office, he stood up to get his hat. He checked in the large mirror and went as white as a sheet. "Oh God ", he thought. No matter how hard he looked, he couldn't see Ronald reflected in the mirror, But there he was , almost facing it.
What was going on ?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:52 am 
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Van Helsing had turned on lights, one by one, as he had progressed into the home; working to the door to the basement.

"The basement." he muttered to himself. "It's always the basement...."

The door was ajar, there were no lights on beyond. Van Helsing tapped his cane on the floor: it echoed in the big house.

You must do it. You must...

A dog howled....what a howl, he thought. No, that was no dog and it worked on his nerves. 'Children of the night, "he whispered, "What music they make..."

And there it was. A cat.

It was a black and white cat and it stood right at the foot of the door to the basement. It had a very long tail, that whipped and danced back and forth. The cat was looking at the doctor with obvious interest and some wonder. Van Helsing managed a weak grin.

"Hello, kitty. Who do you below to?"

The cat stared at him.

"You must be a very brave fellow; with all these....wolves about. And that dreadful swamp."

The cat's tail whipped about.

"Out of the way, silly cat."

Cold. Sudden cold, Van helsing didn't like it at all. He shivered and it had nothing to due with the temp. I must do this fast. Something is very wierd...

The cat was gone. But he could hear the soft padding of something with little feet heading down the stairs beyond.

Then the mist began to come up the stairs. It curled and crawled, as if testing the air. Or the light.

Dr. Van Helsing had been on his quest for years. No. Decades. He was old, worn down: he'd feared the loss of his edge, his wisdom, and with it, he knew, his life.

Now maybe this was the place; maybe this was one victory not for him. You always wanted to retire, he thought, gripping the wolf head cane. "Just cut loose from this one day and live a quiet last few years...

A wolf howled. Much closer. Right out on the road; or perhaps from the edge of the swamp.

You should have waited for day. You have the advantage in the daylight. Night time......

And yet beckoned the door.....open. Dark but open. The cat wasn't scared, why should he be?

He grit his teeth and strode to the stairs.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:53 am 
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Van Helsing turned to go up the staircase. Just then the black and white cat jumped in front of him and sat down on the third stair. Van Helsing moved forward and the cat made a sound like a cross between a meow and a growl. Van Helsing stopped in his tracks.

All of a sudden out of the corner of his eye he saw movement higher up on the staircase, it was another cat, and then another. In all now 6 cats sat on the staircase, all making the same growling sound. Van Helsing backed away slowly, and as be backed the cats came forward.

Van Helsing backed across the basement with the cats matching his move, growling all the way. As he neared the basement door Van Helsing remembered the wolves he had heard, and wondered if he should go outside. He backed closer to the door but stood just inside afraid to move any farther. The cats continued to advance towards Van Helsing. Clearly there was a connection between the cats and the wolves. Van Helsing looked down at the cats and noticed for the first time their eyes shined like rubys, just like the rubys on his walking stick. Van Helsing knew what he had to do, he had no choice.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:09 am 
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He uttered the words of an old prayer taught him many years ago that would protect him. The cats hissed but backed away.
He had to go back down those stairs. Many lives depended upon it.

Van Helsing thought briefly of his Mary Kelly So many years ago, on that cold foggy, Friday night in November 1888 in the Whitechapel district of London. When he had found his Mary in her one room apartment at 13 Millers Court, off Dorset Street, Spitalfields. She was so young (and to him so pretty) they were to marry in the spring, when he had finished his residency at the hospital (under his breath he muttered there’s always a damned fog). He remembered how they had mutilated her lovely body and taken her heart. They always take the heart he thought… He steeled himself against the rising and cold fog and mutter “one way or the other Mary it ends tonight” I’ll be with you soon.
He thought of what the news papers had called them “Jack the Ripper” Scotland yard had said there were no more killings after his Mary but he new better. Macnaghten had to do something, say anything to calm the rising fear in London, that had been whipped up by those yellow rags he thought. How many more had there been? Six? Or was it 8 more in London then 10 in France the next year the year after there had been 25 in Switzerland. Each year for almost the last 100 and 50 years it was the same he had almost caught them several times Once In Bolivia in 1956 once in Rio just before the first World War then again just outside Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942 where they had almost got him and he gotten his limp, the Nazi death camps had been a pefect cover he thought. How many places across the world and how many names had they used how many battle grounds had been there cover…. He couldn’t remember but knew it was in the hundreds. Even before his Mary,
it must be in the thousands now, but tonight… tonight would be the end, one way or the other for the twin brothers one a vampire the other a werewolf.

But now these strange wolves here in this little town the children of the night he had never seen wolves like these they acted almost human…. He moved carefully down one step at a time.

He reached for the head of his cane with a determined look upon his face and drew out the long thin blade which had been concealed within the stick.
He reached the old thick wooden door and opened it quietly. He could hear a fluttering noise as he opened it further.
The stench of decay filled his nostrils as he saw a large bat fly up to the only window in the room and then fly through the bars into the night.

Illuminated by moonlight streaming through the bars he approached an old trunk lying in the middle of the dusty, dank room and put his hand on the lid, his swordstick at the ready.
He knew at last what he would find, or more precisely who
he would find.
His heart beat loudly in his chest as he slowly raised the lid.
He stood staring at the scene before him....


It was EMPTY..............


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:48 pm 
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"There are some terrible misunderstandings that must be cleared up, sherif." "Couldn't 'gree more. Can I get ya something to drink? A soda?" "No, No. I do not drink.....soda."

Buck had his revolver but it was no comfort. Ronald was speaking again.

"I wish to state from the beginning, I'm completely certain my brother hasn't done anyone any harm." Ron Crabtree seemed to be staring at the head of the cane. As if there were something there he was reading aloud. "He's....different." Ron tried a smile; it had no feeling behind it. He kept staring at the cane. "Runs in the family, truth be told. But these rumors....hints..."

"Mista Crabtree; you're jumping to conclusions."

Buck wanted to seem in control, leaned back in his chair. It creaked in protest. He decided not to use his hands to cradle the back of his head; instead gripped the edge of his desk. He looked as if he were being certain it didn't move away from him.

"No one's been accussed of..." "I am aware of a man by the name of Van Helsing has arrived. You don't know a thing about him, do you?" Ron aimed his face directly at Buck Barrison and it was like being slapped. The eyes..... it was the eyes. Pools. Like pools, deep pools; deeper then one could see. Buck suddenly couldn't even recall their color....dark.....Buck held his desk all the harder.

"THis man....this doctor...well, he isn't." "Isn't?" Was that my voice, wondered Buck. What is he saying? "A doctor. In fact, he is quite likely the most insane man to ever walk...."

There were other words, Buck didn't hear them. Something had seeped up thru the floor into his legs and kept climbing. He couldn't remember ever being so sleepy. Hey, it'd been a hard couple days...why not a quick nap? Just lay down, a few minutes? Dream something nice, something not involving tore apart girls and mothers and fathers loking at you for all the answers and that damn, damn, damn Randal Crabtree, damn him straight to hell, smiling and .....

Sound, feet on floor, cursing, someone screaming till it hurt to hear it.

Buck came to and Ron Crabtree was gone. Buck rose, passing from one nightmare to the next, he thought. And the next stood there, framed by the doorway to his office. It was a wolf; a huge wolf. Yellow eyes, ears up and alert and a gray muzzle and great jaws.

Jaws dripping blood. The human arm clamped in them was likely connected to this. In the hand of the severed arm was still clasp tight the wolf-head cane.

"Damnation!" said Buck, sagging back. "The paperwork gonna be hell on this!"


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 4:32 pm 
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A loud thump brought Buck back to reality. Jimmy Howard had hit the floor for the second time tonight. Only this time the look on Jimmy's face was that of sheer terror. Buck followed his gaze to the arm on the floor, and that was when he noticed the wolf head cane was actually a blade, like a long dagger. Buck forced himself to walk over and look closely at the hand. He had to know, what this Ronald Crabtree, or was this Van Helsing.

Buck was just bending down to get a closer look at the hand when the door flew open and Billy Wilson burst in with the others called in for the search. Billy almost tripped over the arm as he came into the room. The sight of the arm got the same response from Billy as his earlier find. Buck shook his head thinking, I've got to get me a deputy with a stronger stomach.

Jimmy Howard stepped forward looked at the arm and looked at Buck.

"Sheriff, this isn't Ronald Crabtree's arm, he had gloves on and this arm doesn't have one."

Buck looked down wondering how he could have missed something so obvious. So clearly this must be Van Helsing's arm. But where would he have been when he was attacked by the wolves. He must have gone to the Crabtree place. So there is the tie to Randall Crabtree.

Buck went to his desk, looking for the keys to the patrol car. No matter what, he was heading for the Crabtree place and having a long talk with Randall Crabtree. Buck turned to bark orders to a very pale Billy Wilson but stopped short when he saw Randall Crabtree standing in the doorway. At least he thought it was Randall Crabtree.

A young girl stepped around him, she was holding that old cat that was always underfoot.

Randall glanced up from the girl and said, "Sheriff I'd like you to meet my daughter Jillian. I do believe she has become attached to your cat."

With that Randall took the cat from Jillian and proceeded to hand him to Buck. That was when Buck stole a look at the mirror, and noticed he was the only one in the reflection. No Randall and no cat. Buck's hands were trembling so hard when he took the cat he almost dropped him. As the cat looked up at Buck, Buck noticed the cats eyes were the same color as the rubys in the head of the cane. Odd he hadn't noticed that before.

As Buck was about to give Billy Wilson another order, Ronald Crabtree stepped into the room. The cat hissed, and clawed at Buck till he was free, that growling meow could be heard as the cat ran under the desk. Then stepping around Ronald so he could enter the room came Van Helsing, both arms intact.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:07 pm 
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"Snap out of it, snap out of it Sheriff, sheriff ", Buck heard as his head ached and his eyes focused on the concerned face of Van Helsing who was shaking him violently. " You will be all right now sheriff " "What happened ? " said Buck who was still in shock. "Never mind that now, we have work to do, bring your rifle and come with me "
"You stay here with my deputy ", said Buck to Jillian as he composed himself and headed for the door. There was no sign of either Crabtree.There was no blood on the floor, no severed arm .

"All an illusion .This is all Crabtree's doing ", he hissed.

Van Helsing ordered Buck to stay close and not to look either of the Crabtree's directly in their eyes as he would have hallucinations again and maybe lose his mind forever.

"What or who are we looking for now ?" said Buck.
"We have to find Randall Crabtree first, he could be anywhere."

Suddenly a strange mist swirled around their feet, cold as ice and spreading outward from the swamp.
"If this gets any thicker, we won't find anyone ", said Buck as he kept close to Van Helsing.

A loud howl rent through the night, followed by other howls, each one louder and more urgent than the last. The sounds were getting nearer and nearer.
"Don't worry " said Van Helsing, "They are here to help us".
"Dammit ", said Buck " I hope so ".

" They are the Spirits of the dead in the guise of wolves. They will take their revenge tonight...the night of the full moon " whispered Van Helsing.

Buck gulped " I feel much better for knowing that " He croaked.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 5:23 pm 
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"Where we going, doc?" "Ive been to crabby mansion: there was a coffin...." Van Helsing was frowning a touch; perhaps throw off by being caled 'doc'. "Randal is clever and now he has a brother. The swamp, Sheriff Barrision." "I ain't looking forward to this." "It must be done. And tonight."

They were outside, hustling to the nearest police vehicle. Buck started digging thru his
pockets for the keys. Slightly winded, Helsing kept on.

"No creature like Randal survives so long without being clever." "Yeah?" "Oh, yes. How long have I followed him! They must have another coven-spot; another place to hide from the daytime." "Mabbe we wait to day?" The sheriff was having no luck finding the keys. "No,.....Buck." Van Helsing found the nickname easier to sound then he'd expected. "Found out; they will run and when they run; they will be disappear for monthes. Then...some other place, some other guise. They have mastered their evil ways. But tonight...it stops.."

Barrison was pulling out pockets now, Change rattled onto the pavement left and right.

"You talk to wolves regular like, then, doc?"

"Oh..." Van hesling laughed. It wasn't really a laugh of happiness or joy. "I alluded to forces beyond...what was it.." "Law enforcement." "Yes. The wolves are those. Or the swamp, I should say, I'm certain. It is a place of rareness in this world, in this existence. The wolves...the spirits....." "Dang it, I gotta go back for my keys."


"These?"

It was Jillian, walking up quick. Both men did not look happy.


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