"He took a small step forward. As he did, he heard something running through the shallow water behind him. He turned around too quickly, almost losing his footing. From the corner of his eye he saw a shape move past his body. A familiar emotion from his war days began to creep into Alan’s body. Fear. "Who in the hell can run that fast? he thought to himself.
"Feeling lightheaded, he took a deep breath and nearly retched. The smell was more horrid than anything he had ever encountered...
"The creature abruptly jumped over him, to the top of the rock. Between the terror and the stench, Alan was finding it difficult to breathe. Frozen in fear, pain shot through his chest. He heard the sound of something scraping against the jagged corner of the rock. The sharp, hissing strokes reminded him of when he sharpened his machete.
"If only I had that machete now! he thought desperately. The sound of raspy, heavy breathing filled the air. It sounded like a demonic chorus of predation.
“Who are you? What are you?” Alan demanded. “What do you want with me?” Alan tried to sit up, but couldn’t muster the strength.
“Damn,” Sam said as he put his hand over his mouth. Bugs scurried from underneath Alan’s head while others were crawling from the large wound on the back of his neck. Anna was speechless.
“See this?” David asked Anna as he gestured toward the wound.
“What the hell is that?” Anna asked. Protruding from Alan’s neck was a large, yellow object.
“I’m not entirely sure,” David said as he studied it. “But I can’t remove it until we get him back to the morgue.”
“Of course,” Anna said.
“I can tell you one thing for sure,” David said as Anna stood up, folding her arms across her chest. She waited impatiently as he continued to look at the yellow ‘specimen.’
“And that would be?” she pushed. “He sure as hell didn’t fall on it.”
“Mom, you didn’t see what I saw. There’s no way that thing was human.” “You watch too many movies and read too many books, Trevor,” Tommy complained. “Vampires and werewolves aren’t real, dude. Get a grip.”
“I don’t understand, Michael,” Matthew said. “What do you mean?”
“Alan Brickton is alive. And he was drinking my blood like a vampire.” Although Michael was having trouble talking clearly, his voice tired and broken, Matthew thought he seemed relatively lucid. But when he saw Michael’s neck and eye, he had a feeling that Michael had been hallucinating. Judging from the wounds on his neck and face, it made sense. He had lost a lot of blood.
“What? Jesus! What?”
“Who do you think the werewolf could be? It’s always a human. We need to figure it out. Maybe we should look at the cameras.”
“Trevor, honey, where are you going?” Janet shouted after him. “Nowhere, of course,” he spat back. “I’m just standing outside, Janet. You don’t need to call the police.”
"Pleased with his sarcasm, he went outside and walked to the side of the building. From the police station he could see the lights of the high school football stadium. He could hear the band playing the fight song in the stands, and the distant cheers of students, parents, and spectators. He longed to be normal again, but after his father dumped them, he felt like everyone stared at him. After tonight, seeing the werewolf, he knew he would never be accepted in this small town.
“You do that,” Anish said. They walked again in silence toward the morgue and the body of Alan Brickton.
“Anish?” Anna said as they passed through the entrance doors. “Yes, Anna?” “Do you have faith?” she asked, already knowing the answer.
“I live by it,” he said.
“Faith is overrated,” David said rudely. “So is the reign of science over thousands of years of wisdom and ancestral knowledge,” Anish quipped.
“We’ll see which one comes out on top,” David teased. Both men laughed.
“Faith is already victorious,” Anish said as if it were a widely accepted truth. “You just don’t know it yet. Now, take me to the body.”
By Joshua Grove
With the cover used on Crimson Falls, I expected a really "slasher" story, although I'm not crazy about those--so I was pleasantly surprised that this novel was more literary in nature, with a very good story line, a light look into demonology and not only a couple of professionals, but a couple of teenagers in on the hunt! The professionals were a Catholic Priest, a Protestant pastor and a Native American professor. The two teens were the Sheriff's son and his best friend...
And the Sheriff was a wonderful, sharp, gutsy female. Sheriff Anna Blackwood was an elected official but, still, at least one of her men felt he could do the job better and made sure everybody else knew that he would be running against her in the next election. She knew he'd never make it because of his personality... I agreed...LOL!
The last member of an old family in the town had been killed. When they found him, there was something strange sticking out from his neck. The ME sent it to the professor, knowing that he would immediately come to be involved.
Father McMillan and Pastor Adler had gotten approval from Anna to go into the deceased man's house. They were looking for something in particular. The Father found the entrance under a table in the large library. Soon both were crawling through a small door, only to come out in a small room with a totem!
Your job, should you choose to read this story is to go along with the "hunters" as they try to, first, determine what is killing people--for more individuals had been either killed or wounded--neck wounds of course...
So, your killer is somewhere on this review page... or at least somebody's rendition of the monster...
Those religions that have angels also many time have demons. Alan Brickton got into some deep research and started trying to get in contact! Some demons came and talked to him, but when this one came, he wasn't interested in talking...
Trevor and his friend were very much into the comic versions of all these monsters, so much so that when they went hunting, they knew exactly what weapons to take. But he stole them out of the Sheriff's arsenal!
And immediately wondered why they had a supply of silver bulletins...
But it was the Professor Shaman who had the real magic...
Hey, this is an excellent novel! I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience and was happy to see much more realistic approaches than say, The Exorcist...to horror. It kept me reading, but was not really scary--more suspenseful as readers as well as the hunters searched for their answer...
But, this is clearly going to have a sequel...'Cause a pair of eyes watched from the woods as they left the woods...
Joshua Grove is a new author and is introducing his readers to original, quality fiction. Prior to becoming a successful writer, he was a professor of Sociology and Religion, holding graduate degrees in both fields.
Joshua's first novel, Crimson Falls, was released in the summer of 2012. Crimson Falls is the first installment in his series entitled "The Depravity Chronicles". It is a horror novel, filled with suspense, magic, and epic battles. The sequel, Welsh Road, is set to be released in August, 2013.
His third novel, Lucifer Rising, is the first tale in his trilogy entitled "The Lucifer Diaries". Lucifer Rising is a fantasy novel for any adult looking for a dark comedy and a different perspective of the devil. It is humorous, but is also filled with magic, vampires, werewolves, and just about any creature you can imagine. It is set to be released in the fall of 2013.
Joshua and his wife Rita live in Virginia on the eastern shore. He can be reached at email@example.com.