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Family Lore

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Short story plus Free Bonus Content.

This exciting dual story collection contains fiction guaranteed to set your teeth on edge and bring chills to your spine. Be sure to follow Jerry W. Hawkins for news and information of upcoming releases.

Family Lore: A young man joins his father’s hunt for the werewolf that killed his brother.


Free Bonus Story!
Bus Stop: A conversation with a stranger gives an elderly blind man a new lease on life.

Excerpt:

“It’s quicksilver that kills werewolves,” Dad tells me. “Not silver. Common lore has it wrong.”

 

We’re sitting by the fire in the one room hunting cabin my grandfather built back before I was so much as a twinkle in my dad’s eye; as the family saying goes. It’s the first time I’ve been here since my brother died thirty years ago.

 

It’s changed a lot during that time. It’s gone from warm and inviting to a mirror of Dad’s obsession with finding the creature that took Adam. I feel a pang of bittersweet nostalgia as I see that two now sit in the area I once played games with my brother.

 

Maps fill the places on the walls once occupied by family photos. They’re covered in red and black thumb tacks. The red mark possible attacks while the black stand for sightings. A pair of folding tables sits a few feet from the hearth. The table we're at holds stacks of folders and newspaper clippings. The other table holds and array of weapons and ammunition.

 

“What makes you so sure?” I look at him over the rim of my coffee cup as I take a drink, steam passing before my eyes. We’ve seen little of each other these past thirty years. He’s hunted right through the drinking and the divorce while also missing every milestone in his surviving son’s life. During that time some many trails have gone cold. So much information has turned out to be the false babblings of madmen and fools. I can’t bring myself to believe that this time will be any different.

“They also only turn once every two years. That plus their migration habits make them hard to find. Make people think they’re still myth.” He looks at the fire. Its light plays shadows across his face and emphasizes all the mileage the years have put on him. His hair has gone from a deep brown to stark white. His face is a roadmap of wrinkles under several days worth of stubble. I wonder how those miles have affected me. I wonder if he sees the things I try to ignore when I face the truthful surface of the mirror.

He looks back at me with wide, damp eyes, “We’re going to prove it works.”

 

“How?” I feel my chest tighten. Do I want to know? A voice in the back of my mind tells me that I don’. It screams at me to grab my gear and run; leaving Montana and Dad’s quest for vengeance behind me. My heart speaks louder still. Adam was my brother and, despite the chill massaging my spine, I have to admit that I want revenge as well.


He gets up and walks to the other table. I follow.

He picks up a loaded magazine and turns it so that I can see the business end of the top round, “I filled each hollow point with mercury. Sealed them with wax. Takes a shot to the head and the heart to kill them. It has to be both and has to be fast. You don’t get them both, then it gets you.”

 

“This doesn’t prove shit.”

 

“Ain’t done yet.” His brow furrows and he turns for the trap door which leads to the cabin’s small basement.

We descend the creaking wooden stairs to the dark room below. Away from the fire I can feel the mid-December cold. The basement was almost as cold as the surrounding woods during the winter months. During Summer Vacations it had served as a refuge for me and my brother. We'd hidden beneath the feet of whichever family members had trekked to the cabin for the weekend to play and laugh.

 

As we near the bottom of the stairs, memories of electric trains chase the echoes of my brother's laughter through my mind.

 

Dad flips a switch that brings a single bare bulb to life. It does its best to defeat the darkness but shadows still dance in the far corners of the concrete walled room.

 

An acrid stench assaults my nostrils. It reminds me of over full port a potties during my brief stint with a waste management firm out in Arizona. My eyes flick around the room and soon fall upon a sight that drops my jaw. A woman covered in filth and tattered clothing lays unconscious on the far side of the room. Her hands are locked in metal shackles which attach to the wall by a short, thick chain and an eye bolt.

“What the fuck, Dad?” Instinct moves my hand to the pistol holstered at my waist.

 

He holds his hands up, palms facing me, “Just hold on.”

 

My eyes dart between him and the woman. The temperature feels like it’s dropped ten degrees since we entered the basement. My hand tightens on my pistol’s grip.

 

I try to form words, but my mouth fails me.

 

“She’s one of them,” His eyes are wide. His jaw clenched. “She’s his mate.”

 

I look at the woman. Under the dirt and stench I see nothing unusual.

 

He lowers his hands. Slow. Deliberate. Keeps them in my line of sight. “You have to trust me, son.”

Still I contemplate drawing my gun. Have the years driven him insane? Has the abyss stared back so long that it’s turned him into a different version of the monster he hunts?

 

He opens his coat with his left hand. With his right he removes a capped syringe filled with a golden liquid from an inside pocket.

 

He walks to the woman, “This’ll counteract the sedative.”

 

I find myself caught between loyalty and fear. The part of me that’s never quite believed that anything more than a large wolf killed Adam wants me to stop him. But a bigger part, that primal part of us all that fears what waits in the darkness, knows that this may be our chance to finally make things right. Maybe now we can finally lay Adam’s ghost to rest and save other families from our fate.

 

He inserts the needle into the woman’s arm and pushes the plunger. After removing the needle he moves away from her with a speed and grace that defy his seventy-six years.

 

The woman convulses. Gasps. Her eyes flutter open. They flit back and forth between Dad and me. Finally settle on my own.

 



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Product Information
Author(s)
Pages
15
File Size:
0.33 MB
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File Last Updated:
April 30, 2017
This title was added to our catalog on May 01, 2017.
Publisher Info
Jerry W. Hawkins