Today I find myself out checking the higher trails on my usual routine as the sun was at its zenith, in which says so little in these parts. One thing is the fact that the sun sits lower and rides along the hills, just above actually. Secondly, the sky, seems to be a storm, a bad winter’s storm brewing up in the north as the low-pressure front is just coming upon us.
Listen to me, I sound like a fucking weatherman. I crack myself up sometimes at the shit I say to be quite honest. The new snow, the heavy snow anticipated is the whole reason I am out here today and making, well, a full day of it. You see, world renowned snowboarders, skiers, and the likes will be swarming down from all over the world.
Even in the spite of the time of the season means very little up here. One could always say, “It’s so damned gloomy all the time…” They’d be right in saying that while they’re constantly bellyaching about their trivial shit.
Nevertheless, this portion of the Black Hills is a very secluded, and some might say, “With trails less traveled upon.” In that would be the truth. Though, once upon a damned time, this area all around me was bustling with active gold mining, a railroad, a small town just up the side of the eastern slope here that included a brothel and a school for all the whore’s children. Mining isn’t much of a family life, was it?
It isn’t much of a life period as history would tell us. That is if you were some piss-ant working for the owners of these old mines now in utter ruin. Sure, there are a few openings but you have to know where to look and hope to god you don’t fall into some old air shaft leading a couple of thousand feet down. Most are about a couple of hundred or so into utter darkness. Regardless, it’s more than enough to fuck up your whole day if you fell into one. No one would know, no one would find you. Out of the entire history of this area, there has never been made mention of anyone that fell, and saved, or for that matter, ever recovered.
This area, yeah, it’s not for kids and idiot adults to go off this beaten path. Most of the folks, those even from out of state don’t come up here. They don’t visit the old graveyard now overgrown by the woods reclaiming the scarred land. They don’t even know about the wretched ruins of the old Miller’s Place that looks like an old castle made of crumbling stone. Shit, it’s all cordoned off and there are trees, squirrels, ravens, and whatnot that holds residence there. The state was going to restore that some time ago since the Millers were so filthy rich and powerful. They ate up and owned most of the mines eventually. I don’t really know anything more about those kinds of people or the history, which is not all too flattering according to the local historians. Still, that old place, all dilapidated and all, yeah, that’s on my rounds too. I’ll be seeing that soon enough. You see, it sits up along that ridge east of me. One will see it if you keep on walking south along the trail. Comes into view now and then. That is if it isn’t covered by the low clouds, fog, and the likes.
Regardless, no one has any business leaving the trail and heading up there to look around or explore. Never a good outcome.
You see, the Northern Black Forest remains shrouded in heavy mist and the kind of darkness that plays upon the weaker minds out here. I mean, just the gloom in the area, and pick whatever season, it don’t matter and it just throws up one hell of an “Unwelcomed” sign to anyone with some wits about them.
Out here miles from nowhere is not for the frail of heart. In fact, you must cultivate a strong mental attitude if you’re out here. People lingering around these parts especially in the winter has one hell of a death wish. You see, they just don’t last long and if these fools are lucky enough maybe by late spring or mid-summer, their mortal remains may be found. But that’s the exception to the rule in these parts. Out here, most of the time, it’s the wildlife, the environment that gets you in the end. And trust me I know all too well.
It’s my job, it’s what I do as sheriff and all.
Do you want to hear something that will raise the small prickly hairs on the back of your goddamned neck?
Last week before all the people from out of state for all the snowboarding fiasco would be showing up, I was out here like I am now. The only thing different is I’m carrying this rifle. I didn’t need anything like this out here before. That in the past. I saw something that gives me more than enough cause to carry such a cannon. Better to be safe than sorry – better to be alive than dead, I say. That is, if you’re carrying special ammunition like I have. I won’t bore you with the details.
Back to the story of my adventure up here from last week…
I guess I was up by Murderer’s Creek along the old Iron bridge, the “Hanging Bridge” aptly named for the executions of some gold miners gone wrong along with some of the other social “Shames,” Interesting name for the despicable who found a noose around their condemned necks. You’ll find all this just south around that bend in front of us.
That bridge and most of the old events are now two full centuries ago and whatever ghost town it later becomes fell to the insurmountable grip of these woods. These very haunted woods. Just before noticing the sun dipping lower across the hills is when I saw the bloody unmistakable tracks of an adult Silverback Werewolf. The tracks left off to the right side of the bridge, breaking through the thin ice as it stomped through the shallow creek to the freshly laid maiden snow on the other side and disappearing into the tree line.
I reached down resting on my feet for a closer examination when I took into the account the size of an animal, a paranormal creature that some professor says doesn’t exist. I put the creature about three hundred plus pounds and nearly seven feet tall by its gate. I suppose some village idiot would think its Bigfoot or some Bullshit like that – I would leave it right at that. No need for anyone really discover the brutal truth otherwise. I took off my heavy glove from my right hand as the frost built up on my beard. With my index finger, I dipped it carefully into the small freezing pool of blood in the right paw print and tasted it. I found my eyes widen as the blood began telling me the story. You see, I have a secret to tell; He is not the only changing out here in these woods.
And before you go off half-cocked and say something you’ll soon regret, I for one was born this way just like a few of my kind in the region. You might say, “We’re as old as the hills.” You wouldn’t be too far off the mark.
Listen, you’ve been around my kind, my kind are your doctors, your teachers, bartenders, friends, in-laws, and the like to include police and law enforcement. Moreover, I got this problem and it’s bigger than you or I.
The blood I tasted wasn’t his at all. The blood belonged to the victim, a woman that would be found brutally raped while he was still in human form. How do I know this?
The blood never lies…
The blood doesn’t hide anything…
All is revealed through the blood…
I can see through my mind’s eye of what her blood was telling me. I saw that he began to change into his normal self-reaching into her stomach and pulling out her backbone. My ears rang with the snap of her spine. Damn, she was very much alive at the time. The Werewolf barely knew of her and under his false pretenses of being quite the charmer and lover boy. The bastard, he brought her along this otherwise beautiful winter’s day. Oh yeah, a right down gorgeous day all things considering.
Yeah, after he finished with her, sexually, and otherwise, he dumped her remains under the ice of the creek about a mile further up. The blood also shows me his identity in human form and of course, again in his more natural form.
There just isn’t any way I can cover up this hideous crime this time with the people involved. The victim is a resident and much loved in the region. I know the woman killed, her father in which is a good man, and his wife, Betty that I’ve been banging for at least a full decade now. For those of you pretending to hold the higher moral ground, you can hold that against me too. But remember, when you slip, you fall a long ways down and I hope it hurts. Judge if you must, but Betty and I are more than a thing.
Now, this awful news was going to hit the family the hardest. The community will panic as it did before, and even before that as I can remember as for the last full century clearly.
Snowboarders and the like will be flocking to this region and I can’t hide this one. No nothing like the other ones.
I rose up and reaching for my radio, I called it in. I’ll lead my deputies to a haphazard roundabout to the woman’s mangled body. When the dust settles, I’ll square things up with this new idiot stranger in town…