A bloodthirsty monster is terrorizing the homeless. Bodies are found in the Seattle Underground, clawed and partially eaten. The victims had only one thing in common: living the Underground. Will David’s ability as a Shapeshifter and Abby’s magic be enough to stop the murders?
Abby found a good place to park at one of the access points into the Underground, near where the last body had been found. From street level, they took a stairway down. There was still a police seal on the door, so this must be the place. David pulled out a knife and cut the seal. The door was locked. David retrieved a set of lock picks and unlocked the door. Not long ago, he would’ve no idea how to do such things. On opening the door, they both went in.
Only the light coming in from the prisms in the sidewalk above, pierced the gloom creating a wealth of dark shadows. The air smelled of dust and decay in this passageway running under the sidewalk. One wall was made of old bricks laid around the end of 1889. In the center of the passage was an old boardwalk. They followed the direction of disturbed dust. As they walked under an arch, the area started to change. Now the brick wall had openings into storage areas, long abandoned by the shops above.
David took a quick look inside. He looked back at Abby and nodded. His mind connected with hers.
Nothing here, let’s keep going forward.
They finally came to where the body had been found. They ducked under the police tape and entered the area. This was much like where they had come in. The boardwalk went through the center of the space and continued past an arch on the far side. There was no storage in this area. Other than some blood stains in the center of the room, the area was empty. David shifted into Coyote form to get a better sense of the area.
Abby, something was just here. It wasn’t human or animal. Be ready for anything!
Follow the scent.
David took off running with Abby following close behind. The scent got stronger as he followed the tunnel. It was soon joined by the scent of death.
Be careful! We’re getting close and something is dead.
David slowed his pace. Up ahead, a lanky gray figure was hunched over a body. The creature stood as they entered. It must have been eight feet tall. It turned. Blood and flesh dripped from its sharp teeth. It roared. David could see the pulsing of its heart from inside its emaciated chest.
Abby yelled, “Don’t let it bite you!”
She pulled her gun and fired. The sound echoed off the walls. The creature shook from the bullets hitting its chest. David shifted from Coyote to Jaguar and leaped at the creature, knocking it on its back. They rolled together on the ground. The creature tossed David back as if he was a rag doll and regained its feet.
David landed on his feet and charged again. He slashed at the creature’s legs but was kicked away. David circled. The creature turned and exposed its back to Abby. Her gun roared out. Bullets hit the creature in the head, causing it to stagger.
David leaped onto its gray chest, knocking it down. His teeth flashed in the dim light as he bit into its neck, crushing the monster’s spine. David released when he felt it go slack. Drawing her tomahawk, Abby swiftly chopped its head off.
David shifted back to human form.
He spit. “Yuck! I’m not sure I’ll ever get that taste out of my mouth. Abby, why did you chop its head off?”
“I think that thing was a Windigo! If I’m right, they are hard to kill and can come back from the dead very easily. Having the head away from its body should help, but we need to cremate it very quickly to make sure. I’m calling this in.”
Abby called the office and had them send out a clean-up crew.
“David, you’re bleeding. I thought shifting would’ve healed you.”
Looking down, David saw blood dripping from a cut on his arm. Nothing else seemed to be bleeding. Normally a cut this small would have healed like nothing had happened. Even major injuries should have healed better than this.
Abby looked closely at his arm. “Let me try some healing on it.”
Holding her hands over the cut, Abby used her magic. David could see magic flowing into the cut, but nothing seemed to be happening.
Abby looked into his eyes. “David, I’m worried. Between your natural healing and my magic, that cut should be gone. I don’t want to see you turn into that monster. A Windigo bite turns its victim into one of them. We should consult with Grandfather.”
“Let’s just bandage it up and get on with things. We can visit Grandfather soon.”
Abby pulled out the first aid kit and bandaged up his cut. The clean-up team showed up and took over the crime scene. Abby instructed them on how to handle the body, and went over to sit next to David.
David touched her knee. “Abby, let’s get back to the office and brief the Chief.”
The last thing he heard before everything went black was: “David, you’re looking a little pale …”
Get your copy today! The Cannibal Cure, Book 2 of The Protectors series, will be ON SALE for 99¢!