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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


{Wolf Howl has been joined by the reluctant Mossad assassin, Shadow,

to face rural cannibals and the released spirit of the ever-hungry Wendigo ...}

I stood inside the bus, not spotlighting myself in the gaping doorway, and looked out into the heavy black of the night. "Time to plant tears."

I stepped lightly down favoring my right knee and protecting my back from Shadow as she eased to the gravel.

She murmured with an arched eyebrow, "Don't trust me?"

"I trust you to keep your word to the Knesset and kill me if you can."

She made a wry face. "Then, your Wendigo would kill me."

I gave her face back to her. "A good Mossad agent dies happy if dying completes the mission."

Shadow's eyes sunk into her face so pale it seemed to glow in the night. "When I kill you, I will welcome death."

I smiled sadly, "Lucky for us both then that I am such a force of Nature."

"You speak the truth in jest."

"The best jokes have the truth at their hearts."

The tall trees were stark and black, bristling from the misty green borders of the woods, lost in the encroaching darkness.

Shadow stiffened beside me as the throaty howl of the Wendigo knifed at us up from the mountain's side.

Death was closer. Shadow was waiting for me to drop my guard. The cannibals were closing in to make a meal of me. And the Wendigo wanted to roll in my carcass like a cat in catnip.

I was downright unpopular. Shadow broke into my musings.

"Your Id is hungry it seems. Come, let us fight the battle your Anima fears to."

"You're mixing your Freud with your Jung. An explosive combination if there ever was one. Ask their wives."

As we edged carefully up through the trees bristling along the mountain's side, Shadow frowned. "It does not bother you that I think you insane?"

"There are moments in the night I think the same thing."

A sudden shriek in the night told us the Wendigo was getting closer. We looked at one another.

This was not our first hunt together. We knew if the Wendigo was so close, the three cannibals were right on top of us.

Against such enemies you never rode easy in the saddle. You put yourself in their place. Watched for traps. And prayed you survived your own mistakes.

Shadow whispered, "Why has the Wendigo never hunted its creators before?"

"It has only recently come into being. It takes many cannibal feedings to release the Wendigo. But once born it craves the taste of human flesh."

I felt my face go tight. "And it does not share."

Shadow pulled up short. I followed her gaze. We had found Sheila.

And she was not alone.

In the middle of a small clearing made by the crude cutting down of three small trees lay the broken rag doll who once had been called Sheila. She must have been thrown out of the bus.

But not this far. No, either GrandMother had brought her here, or the madman kneeling by her side.

He was bent over the corpse, tearing at the soft flesh of the right cheek. Blood dribbled from his chin. I tired not to hear the wet munching his teeth made.

"A trap," whispered Shadow. "What a pathetically obvious diversion."

I turned towards her. In my mind the innocence of her face at twenty settled over her now hard features.

I looked up at the rolls of ink clouds blown by the whispering winds of the listening sky.

How had I slipped into this life I now led? How had I let it all come to this? I wasn't sure.

The wrinkled foreheads of the clouds seemed to be just as puzzled as me.

"Shadow, when we walk into the clearing, one of them will charge us from behind. The other two will charge from either side."

"Other two? I heard only three wolf howls."

"The better to fool us. You take the back-stabber. I'll take the two book-ends."

"Why do you get two?"

"To draw the muncher's fire."

She peered close at the chewing cannibal and spotted the revolver tucked to the right of his belt buckle. "You always could see better in the dark than me."

"Comes from a lifetime of being hunted."

She still possessed enough decency to look uncomfortable. "Then you go first."

I nodded. "We have an edge. Like cats, they like to play with their food. And they got so greedy with the tire poppers, we're the only victims in shape to play."

"Lucky us."

I felt my face harden. "Unlucky them."

I bent down and picked up two round stones, and she frowned, "You're not going to use your power?"

"If I do that, the Wendigo will sense it and pounce right on top of us."

Her mouth loosened in shock, then firmed, her eyes narrowing. "You're going to use that to draw him in when you want, aren't you?"

"Yes. That's why it's unlucky them."

I looked up at the black clouds billowing across the night sky like blood under the tide. "We've given the others long enough to get into place. Time to play."

I rose and walked in a firm gait out into the small clearing. "Deeper than sleep but not so deep as death."

The cannibal in front of me stiffened. "Huh?"

From behind me, Shadow wheeled about throwing the knife that seemed to sprout from her palm. It smacked wetly into the throat of the surprised needle-toothed woman a foot behind us.

I spun first left, then right, hurling the small stones with all my might into the open mouths of the two men attacking us from either side.

Clutching their throats, they gagged, sinking to their knees. I heard the rustle of fabric. I turned. The remaining cannibal had risen to his feet.

He stood aiming the gun at me with a wide grin. "More for me. No guns, huh? You know what they say about those who live by the sword?"

He cocked his revolver, aiming it at my heart. "They die by the guns of those who don't."


  1. I loved that ending. It's very exciting! And I enjoyed your dialogue, it was very clever.

  2. Lydia : Thanks, I work at getting my dialogue to pull you along and leave you hanging. You've made my evening.

  3. Roland, I read your writing and wonder - how on earth did I get published?

  4. Very tight; I keep finding myself holding my breath as I read these entries. This one even more so. I'm even reluctant to relax afterward because I keep waiting for something else to happen....

    Whew! This is're outdoing yourself.

  5. PS-I read your comment about ebooks and kindles and such. We can also download straight to our computers-we don't need those things. Just a random thought out there.

    I wouldn't mind the digital version. But you choose such wonderful pictures to go with the posts....and I'd like mine signed, please!

  6. Alex : You got published because you are talented. Perhaps DayStar is out there, hiding my emails from those agents I submit to?

    Words Crafter : Just wait til you see the Wendigo and the lengths Shadow will go to in order to kill Wolf Howl.