The calm and peaceful nature of the small town of Winter Creek is destroyed when the body of a local celebrity is found in the woods mutilated. Quickly labeled a bear attack, the case is consider closed until other bodies are found.
Sheriff Jay Lightfeather finds himself caught between a growing list of unexplained killings and his ancestral calling as he is forced to face the terror and bring the Winter Creak Beast to justice.
Check out this quick snippet:
Doc Fredericks pointed at a series of deep marks in the soil. “What do you make of that?”
Jay crouched next to the doc and brushed aside some strands of grass that had blown over marks that were about twice as large as his foot, but without any distinguishing characteristics. Had the two marks not been so out of place, neither of the men would’ve given them a second thought.
Being born and raised in a small town that listed hunting and tracking as its favorite pastime meant he knew what tracks belonged to the different animals. He could also read them and the story they told him sent a chill along his back. He remained quiet for a moment and brushed his hand across his mouth as he thought about what this meant.
“You see? There’s something out here, Sheriff. And it’s not normal.” Doc Frederick’s voice shook when he spoke, but he understood what would happen if they let word get out. The only problem was what would happen if they didn’t tell anyone?
Jay nodded as he studied the track and looked toward a spot behind where Doc Fredericks stood. “He must’ve jumped from over there, somewhere. It’s the only way there’d be this deep a mark.” He didn’t say he estimated the owner of the tracks to be at least seven to eight hundred pounds, but without more to study he could be way off. “Question is, what around here can do this?”
Doc Fredericks shook his head, but Jay knew what he was thinking. Living in the Appalachians meant several things. One, you usually knew the woods and the animals well enough to make your living off of them, and second, the stories of the various animals were talked about like they were ghosts on the wind. There had never been any proof any of them existed, but there wasn’t any that they didn’t, either.
“Wampus beast is the only thing I can think of. But I ain’t never heard of one attacking people before.” Doc Fredericks moistened his lips before he continued. “It wouldn’t leave tracks like that, would it?”
Jay shook his head. “Nope. Whatever did this was on two feet. I’m sure of it.”
After a moment, Doc Fredericks let out a breath and stood. “Far as I’m concerned, this is your call. But I ain’t saying nuthin’ to nobody and am keeping a gun on me at all times.”
The Sheriff nodded and stood as well. “I’ll make a few calls. See if I can’t find us some hunters that would be willing to be discreet. Better safe than sorry.”
Doc Fredericks glanced at him. “Rhodes was a hunter.”
Jay didn’t need to be reminded of that. “I know. I’m thinking of bringing on other deputies as well before things get further out of hand.” Both men knew what he meant by that.
If there was a rogue creature large enough to kill humans and it had developed a taste for blood, then the woods would be crawling with every dumbass that was big enough to hold a gun. The accidental shootings would be worse than anything a ravenous creature could do. In the end, he hoped it could be handled by a handful of professionals.
“If we’re lucky, someone will put a bullet into it before too long. Hell, even running it over with a semi would help me sleep.” Doc Frederick turned his eyes from the ground to Jay. “I don’t envy your job, Jay.”
“Neither do I, Doc. Neither do I.”
Check out the first installment in the The Winter Creek Trilogy Now!
Can be read as standalone stories.