Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Excerpt from Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole

With a series of barks and growls the werewolves descended upon them from all directions. The first one that Elisabeth got a shot at was relatively small for a werewolf. She was guessing that it might have even been a woman. Her first shot missed and when it launched at her she pulled out her knife and dropped, allowing it to go over her head. When she came back up it sprang at her again. Letting go of her fears Elisabeth allowed it to come to her. Her knife went straight into the heart when they made contact. She plunged the knife all the way to the hilt and twisted it before ripping it back out. Once the creature ceased to move she pushed her gun to its eye socket and shot twice. All of their guns contained silver bullets laced with monkshood, along with wolfs bane to make sure that they stayed dead. After the battle was over they'd have to go around and remove the brains from the beasts to be safe.

Elisabeth was turning around to find another lycan when something crashed on top of her from behind. She started to panic, and then she felt it being lifted off of her. When she rolled over Anthony had the beast around the mid section. Annabelle came running up and started to stab the beast with her dirk in both the heart and in the eye. When it stopped struggling Anthony dropped the body and Annabelle leaped on it with her knife, cutting so deeply at the neck that she almost cut the head off completely. Elisabeth shivered and got up. All around her she could hear gunshots and yelps. The battle seemed to have already been going on forever but Elisabeth knew that it had only been a few moments.

Getting her bearing she threw herself back into the skirmish. Tiffany was close by trying to work her way towards Annabelle and Anthony, because there was another wave of lycan’s coming from that direction. Was every damn werewolf in Los Angeles out here tonight? Shaking the thought from her mind Elisabeth became aware of a shape shifter coming towards her from behind. It was moving at her on its back legs half running. She timed it perfectly and killed the beast in three deadly movements. The first move was grabbing her hunting knife that was strapped to her leg and swinging it across the lycan's neck as she turned around, causing it to spout a large spray of blood. The upswing came back up across its torso, eviscerating him almost completely. The last move brought both hands onto the knife as she brought it above her head and stabbed it down into the top of the beast's skull. The carcass hit the ground in front of her. Elisabeth felt a war cry whooping out of her throat as she pulled the knife back out. A quick look around found an appreciative smile from Anthony.

Elisabeth could see Stetch lifting his huge battle ax and bringing it down into the skull of one werewolf while his gun took the life of another. The twins were amazingly fast with their bow and arrows. They positioned themselves at the base of the tree that Devin was sitting in. He'd chosen that spot so that he could watch the hunt from a safe distance. They were actually killing werewolves just as fast as the others that used guns. Their accuracy, even in the dark was amazing. They hadn't missed a shot yet. Arrow after arrow struck the lycan's in the eye, lodging into their brains. Billy found a spot along the path that let him spray werewolves that were approaching without having to worry about hitting another hunter by accident.

Jack was just being Jack. He fought with no fear and didn't waiver even when he was swiped across the back with the long and potentially fatal claws of a shape shifter. He just kept going, like a machine, a gun in one hand and his knife in the other. Shoot, cut a throat, shoot, shoot and then stab a beast in the eye. Jack had a routine that seemed to work for him. Annabelle screamed as a shape shifter bite into her arm that she was using to shield her face from its claws. Her father moved quickly burying his mace in its back, then pulling it out again and bringing it down upon its head until there was nothing but a bloody stump left. Annabelle was tending to her wounds when he snapped out of his anger to check on her.

“You okay Belle?, he asked dropping to his knee’s to tend to his daughter.

“I'm fine daddy. Go fight!” she screamed as she roughly pushed him away.

Elisabeth reloaded her gun then starts to make her way back towards Tiffany, using her carbine as a road sweeper. She didn't like being so far away from her partner. Especially a partner that wasn't wearing a bulletproof vest or any other kind of protective gear. As Elisabeth got closer to her partner she saw a werewolf getting ready to jump down from a tree above onto Tiffany as she reloaded.

“Tiffany!” Elisabeth yelled as she took aim and blasted half of the shape shifters face off. The body fell with a loud thud right next to her. Startled, Tiffany put two bullets into the heart. She looked up and winked at Elisabeth again. “Thanks love.”

“Everybody down!” Anthony cried as he pulled the pin out of a grenade to throw towards a group of approaching werewolves. Elisabeth dropped and covered her head. Even through closed eyes she could still see the bright flash. There was so much noise around her; she had never experienced anything like this before. The sound of the explosion mixed with the rat a tat tat of the gun fire and the sounds of creatures dying all around her Elisabeth wasn't sure if her hearing would ever be the same.

Jack looked around to see how the team was doing as he shoved one gun into his holster and grabbed another that was already loaded. They'd killed a large number of werewolves and he still hadn't seen the Alpha yet. He knew he was around. Jack was just starting to think that this hunt would go off and end without a hitch when he heard it.


His brain spun. He had heard the name being called out but it wouldn't absorb into his brain. He heard the yell of pain before he could locate where it was coming from or who it belonged too. Mitchell, who had just finished putting a beast down yelled as he heard his twin scream out in pain, “Michael! No! No! Nooo!”

A huge werewolf had his brother’s arm in his mouth and he dropped the man, just long enough to grab him in its arms. Once he had him he took off and ran. In the ample light provided by the moon Elisabeth was able to see the fact that the werewolf was missing an ear. It was their Alpha.

“Fuck!” Jack shouted as Mitchell started down the direction that his brother had been taken, “Billy, Stetch, come with me!”

They all took off down the road in hot pursuit of the werewolf. As soon as they were out of eye and ear shot Devin dropped down from the tree. He looked around wildly and Elisabeth instantly threw herself into motion. Her mouth was wide open; still her warnings would not come out. She didn't know what he was planning, but she knew that it would not be good. Seeing Tiffany so close to him he whipped out his gun and took aim.

She heard the gun shot and heard Tiffany's strangled scream. With a laugh that almost froze Elisabeth in her tracks he disappeared into the cover of the trees. Anthony was closest. He swung his mace, caving in the face of a werewolf and ran towards Tiffany. Elisabeth struggled to get a clear shot at Devin but it was hard. It was too dark to really see that far and she couldn't clearly separate the figures. Devin had his hood pulled on and with the darkness of night she couldn't see where he was. He reappeared just long enough to try and take a shot at Annabelle. The bullet whizzed by her face leaving a red welt. She cried out in pain and started towards the trees before she realized that he would have the upper hand. Loud breaking branches on the ground let them know that he was heading away.

Elisabeth was headed over towards them when she heard something running at her from behind. She swung around and fired two shots, but the missed. The werewolf tackled her and swung its heavy paw at her, raking its claw across the side of her face. She reacted quickly shoving the barrel of her carbine into its stomach and pulled the trigger.

Rolling it off of her she kicked it out of anger before picking up a gun off the ground and trying to fire. The hammer clicked a few times before she realized it was empty. Searching around Elisabeth found a different gun and fired three more shots into its skull. Before walking away she gingerly touched her face. She could feel the wound bleeding and that pissed her off because there was more than just a scratch worth. It felt superficial but there was always a chance it could scar.

Cocking back her leg to kick it again she yelled at the now human body, “Fucker! If this shit scars I'm gonna dig your ass up just to set your body on fire.”

Ignoring the pain in her face she ran to where Tiffany was and dropped to the ground. Annabelle had cut away a strip of her pants and was using it to try and stop the bleeding. The bullet had hit Tiffany in the stomach. Pulling out her flashlight she gave the light to Anthony who trained it on the wound. Elisabeth had never tried to remove a bullet but she knew that they couldn't leave it in there. There was no way she'd be able to make it back to the cars with her hurt this badly. They couldn't try and take her by themselves because they didn't know how many werewolves were still out there.

She was afraid to try and stick a finger in there to see how far the bullet had gone in because her hands were filthy and it would be pointless because she could cause more damage looking for it. Tiffany was moaning and crying. Elisabeth clicked the light off and put her hands on the sides of her head. There was nothing she could do right now. She looked at Anthony then back at Annabelle.

“Stay here with her,” she whispered at Anthony.

“Go and find Jack. I'm gonna look for Devin and I'm gonna kill the son of a bitch,” she said to Annabelle as she used her knife to cut away some of her pants to help Anthony stop the bleeding.

Elisabeth took a deep breath and looked up at the moon. Making a snap decision she started to run the direction that Devin had gone. She knew she shouldn't go after him. Something had been bothering her all night. It hadn't made much sense that the shape shifters would meet up all the way out here. Most of them were able to control when they shifted. She was sure that the Alpha had a residence.

There was no reason for them to be out here. Secondly, how had they known that they were coming? The noose that they used to try and entrap the hunters told Elisabeth that they'd been expecting an attack. Now Devin shoots Tiffany and takes a shot at Annabelle? She knew that he was dirty. She wished that Jack had left him behind until they could investigate him more and get actual proof. Elisabeth felt a tug. She stopped running and faced the way she had just come from.

Devin stepped into the road and looked directly at her before taking off running. She cursed and took off after him. There was no way he was going to get away. No matter how hard she moved her legs he seemed to be able to move faster. In front of them was a bathroom. Devin spun around, smiling at her again and then went inside. She looked around, hoping that she could see someone else coming up behind to help her out. No one was coming though. Jack, Stetch and Billy had gone after the Alpha wolf which had snatched Michael.

His brother Mitchell had been the first to go. Annabelle was supposed to be going for help. Anthony was back on the road with Tiffany. Shit, she thought to herself. She would have to go in there alone. On the surface it seemed like it wouldn't be a big deal. However, with what had just happened back there Elisabeth didn't have any reason to believe that this wasn't a trap.

Pulling out her gun she reloaded it with bullets and made her way to the bathroom. Using her foot to open the door she slowly went in, sweeping the room before entering fully. Once she was in she kicked the door closed and aimed ready to shoot anything hiding behind it. Elisabeth wasn't sure what she was feeling at that moment, but comfortable definitely wasn't on that list. The bathroom was almost dark, as it was only lit by one solitary bare light bulb that hung from an ancient looking wire from the ceiling. It was so silent in that claustrophobic space that she could hear each terrified hitch in her breathing. When she heard the low rumble coming from a stall she knew what it was. A trap.

To her left there was a tiny window that was hanging open, and on the sill was a piece of Devin's cloak. Pulling her shoulders back she started towards the first stall. Using her foot she slowing pushed it open. There was no werewolf in that one. Turning to the stall on the opposite side she repeated the process. Still no shape shifter. Finally she grew tired of this game of hide and seek and decided to try the direct approach.

“Don't tell me you are afraid of a fledgling hunter. Show yourself Devin you gutless bastard,” she shouted. Her own voice bounced off the walls and slapped her in the face. Perhaps she had just heard something. Continuing down the aisle she checked every last stall. There was no one, or nothing there.

Elisabeth still didn't really feel like she was out of danger so with her weapon drawn she made her way back towards the entrance. When she came back out the doors that’s where she found him. Three werewolves had joined Devin. They all were grouped behind him, either standing or crouching. When she emerged that same sick smile lie upon his face.

“Nice of you to finally join us, Ms. Darling. Sorry about the run around but it seemed rude of me to start the party without you.”

“What the fuck is going on here Devin? What are you talking about?” She asked. Elisabeth had every intention of killing him but she wanted answers first.

“Well I needed to get your attention first. Now that I have it I will give you a choice. Hopefully you are a smart girl and you make the right one.”

“You can join us, or you can die. No one, save yourself is being offered the chance to leave this place alive tonight. You should feel lucky.”

Elisabeth was confused. She didn't have the slightest idea of what he was talking about. She honestly didn't. Even if she did, she knew she wanted no part of what he was offering. He continued to talk. “See Elisabeth soon your precious team and the whole human race will be coming to an end. A very powerful person has taken notice of you and wants you. So what will it be?”

Elisabeth said the only thing she could think of in a situation like this, “Fuck you.” Devin shook his head and stepped aside letting the werewolves go around him and towards her. Elisabeth started to lose her vision. Very slowly everything went black and she felt another being within herself taking over. In a haze Elisabeth quickly dispatched the three werewolves, leaving gaping holes where faces should have been.

The last thing she remembered was her giving Devin a not so polite answer to his question. When she came too she was covered in werewolf leftovers, and she was lying on the ground. In the light from the sky above Elisabeth could see Devin start to shift and change.

Her brain was still clouded and Elisabeth was more than just a little confused. She'd just lost a large chunk of time. The first lucid thought she had was that she couldn't let him shift. Staring at the gun in her hand, Elisabeth stood up and felt her legs give a little. She gathered herself up and started to lean on his mind as hard as she could. Pulling herself to her feet she locked her gaze upon Devin’s face.

The world went deathly silent as she concentrated on surging through and all around Devin’s brain. It was draining her quickly and she knew that she couldn't keep it up forever. Water started to run from her eyes, and she felt blood starting to drip from her nose and ears. Elisabeth pushed harder, even though her head felt like it would just explode. She was starting to lose strength. The battle had been going on for awhile and her muscles were started to shake from exhaustion. A shriek escaped her legs as she slowly crumpled back to the grass.

With an angry grunt she pushed on his mind, leaning with all her might. He cried out and dropped to the ground. With every ounce of energy that he started to lose she felt herself get a little stronger. Finally she was able to get herself back off the ground. Elisabeth walked over to him and kicked him in the stomach. Pulling her leg back she kicked him again in the head, never letting up on the pressure. Lifting him up by his shirt she stood up him up, but she didn't stop pushing on him. Instead she increased the pressure even though it caused her some pain to do so.

His entire body shook and his nose was starting to bleed heavily. It wasn't until that moment that Elisabeth realized that she had gained almost full control of her powers. She continued to lean all of her mental weight on him. She could feel his brain starting to swell from the pressure. She pushed harder. She wanted him to die.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Excerpt from Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole

He waited patiently for them to get seated before he continued. “Tonight we are going after an Alpha. He's a big mother with a temper to match,” he stopped and cleared his throat, obviously uncomfortable with all those eyes on him. Elisabeth had never noticed it before, but Jack felt comfortable with his position as a leader, however didn't like being the complete and absolute center of attention.

“It's been said that he is the oldest werewolf in Los Angeles, or the state of California period. We don't know for sure if he is or not, or if it is just a rumor that he created over the years to keep his position at the top.”

“We can estimate that he is responsible for no less than 8,500 deaths and a whooping 6,234 Beta's. Of course there are much more than that but that’s just the closest number that we can provide proof for.”

He paused and looked around the room. “Now of those 8,500 deaths at least 4,590 or more have been hunters who have tried to take him down. I want you guys on top of your game tonight.”

Jack shoved his hands in his pockets and rocked back on his feet, looking at the ground. When he looked back up he was obviously disturbed by what he had to say next. "For those of you that are coming from other agencies I need to you come over to Randall's desk right over there.”

“On his desk you will find a clip board. I need you to put your full legal name and who we contact in case of death or injury. I also need you to put down how you would like us to tell your family you died if they don't know what you do.”

After he finished the other hunters went over and filled out the paper work. Looking around to see if they were done Jack happily moved onto a less morbid subject. When he launched into the specifics of the hunt Elisabeth found her eyes slowly wandering around the room until they met with the bottom of Devin's robe. She wanted to look higher, but feared what she might see in those purple eyes. Instead she just focused on his feet and told herself that she would see enough of him as the night wore on.

When everyone started to get up Elisabeth snapped herself back into reality. She chose to ride with Anthony and his daughter in an attempt to be friendly. The moon was full and it shone like the spotlight in the sky high above them. Every inch of her skin was covered in goose bumps and she couldn't stop shaking. She wasn't cold; in fact Anthony had the heater on even though it was still in the sixties outside.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Excerpt from Tumbling Down the Rabbit Hole

As she pulled the ambulance back into its bay at the hospital Elisabeth’s boss was standing there. When he saw her he headed towards her, a worried frown upon his lumpy face. This set off no alarms in her mind. Frank had two faces. The' I just sucked lemons' face and the one he wore now. It was his infamous the sky is falling face. He was a funny looking man. He had a short round body like that of an uneven and melted pear. His brown hair was scarce and yet it managed to pop up randomly across the waxed surface of his head and all over his face. His face was doughy and yet somehow pinched of like that of a weasel with a boot-licking smile to top it off. His smile, (thank God he wasn't wearing it now), was the t that really made Elisabeth’s stomach turn because it didn’t fit into either of his faces. The overall package was creepy. The guy gave her the willies.

She took her time getting out. She even pulled the mirror down to look at herself first. It was not pleasant. Two deep dark purple smudges were below her eyes. Heart shaped face framed with heart colored hair, her father used to say. Small eyes sat in those smudged and depressed sockets. Somehow they had managed to sink even further into a face that was once pretty. They used to sparkle brightly like a flawless emerald, but now they looked more like algae in the fish tank she had at home. Elisabeth wondered when she had lost the sparkle from her life. When had she stopped caring about her appearance? Her best friend, and mother hen, Molly had been telling Elisabeth for months that she needed to start dating. She used to date. Elisabeth wasn't sure what had happened. That was a lie. Life had happened. She wasn't sure what had happened in her life but there was something there, she just couldn't remember.

She closed the mirror and put on her game face. Meaning she was going to try really hard not to laugh at whatever Frank was getting ready to say. It wasn't cruel laughter. It was nervous tittering meant to dispel the feelings he left upon her. The way he walked, talked, moved, everything really. She found it all highly amusing. As she got out and he got closer it became apparent that there was something off. He radiated a deep sorrow that pulled at her spirit and hurt her to the very depths of her being. Wait.

He stopped just short of knocking her over. His nervous energy vibrated her body. It grabbed her and brought her into his world. For a moment time seemed to crawl, then abruptly stop all together. She felt herself reaching out to Frank. Elisabeth fought the feeling and tried to back pedal away from him and the inner thoughts that were in his mind. Without warning she could see inside of him. What she saw horrified her to the very depths of her soul.

There was something wrong with Molly. What she saw didn’t make sense. Elisabeth pulled herself from Frank's mind and reached out to Molly. The connection she was attempting to make with Molly was shaky and it hurt her head to keep reaching. She never purposely did this but it happened before she could stop herself. It was pure animal instinct. Once she realized what she was doing Elisabeth tried to yank herself back, but it was too late.

Molly was blind folded. Blood seeped from a wound on her head. Her hair was loose and hung around her covering what the remaining bits of her clothes weren't. She had been badly beaten and Elisabeth could see the evidence all over Molly's body. Elisabeth didn’t want to see anymore but she did. She knew that even if she slammed her eyes shut that she would continue to see the scene unfold in front of her. Molly’s whole body convulsed as she cried and pleaded for her life and that of her son. Ethan laid a couple of feet away shaking and moaning to his self. To Elisabeth it sounded as if Molly was under water. Her words were garbled and had a strange drawn out and muted quality to them.

"Ethan? Ethan honey, say something for Mommy. Ethan?"

The terror and pain in Molly's voice ripped at her heart. She didn't want to hear it but the vision wouldn't stop. "Can anybody hear me? Please help us," she screamed loudly. The sound bounced off the walls and the ceiling of the room. It seemed to come back at Molly. She flinched as the words hit her and she realized that there was no one there to help them.

“Is anyone out there? Please somebody help us. Please!” This time the words hit the air around her and spread out, fanning to every corner. It was full of panic and over flowing with a pleading that only those about to die can summon.

Molly's head hung with exhaustion. Blood dribbled from the cut on her head and she was filthy. Her clothes were tattered and covered with blood. Elisabeth whimpered. Lumpy bruises covered her face and Elisabeth almost didn't recognize her. Elisabeth shook her head several times trying to free herself from the vision but it was useless.

Molly's moaning was suddenly cut off by a sharp yelp. She frantically back peddled trying to free herself from the chain around her waist that kept her in place. Anguish mixed with strangled cries echoed through the empty space. "You stay away from him. Stay away, please," she sobbed. The statement had started out angry then had dwindled down into a weak plea.

A man stepped from the shadows. He was small and lean. His silhouette sent shivers down Elisabeth spine. "My dear Mrs. Evans, can I call you Molly?"

He closed the space between himself and Ethan. He bent down and stroked the child's sweat drenched hair away from his forehead. "You know Molly, I am not a doctor but I think he may need medical help. I think the boy is in shock."

There was something about the way his words flowed, some quality that Elisabeth couldn't place. His accent was both exotic and calming. There was something about that voice that was so soothing, yet it rasped across her eardrums like sandpaper.

Molly's sobs once again filled Elisabeth's ears, "Please, I'll do whatever you want. Please, just let us go. He's all I have."

"That’s good to hear. It really is. What I want is simple."

A bright light flashed and Elisabeth found herself once again staring at Frank. She felt weak and suddenly sick to her stomach. Looking around through blurry eyes she struggled to find a way to get away from Frank. She didn't want to be here, and she didn't want to hear what he was about to say.

"Elisabeth," Frank said gently. "Elisabeth," He said a little louder.

"Elisabeth! Have you seen Molly? She didn’t show up for work this morning and we’ve been unable to reach her at home. This is the second day that she has failed to show up to work and we are concerned." He put a sweaty hand on her shoulder, which felt like a wet rag resting on her. Elisabeth was thoroughly disgusted and wanted to cringe away but she couldn’t move.