Here's Day 2 of my NaNoWriMo novel. Again I'm disabling comments on these entries. Don't get me wrong, I love feedback and comments, in this case though they would only serve to distract me and cause me to second guess myself. Finally, this novel is of course Copyright © 2012 Steven Lake & Engen Books. Word Count today: 1667
"Shouldn't the police have this?" Ryan asked as he handed the note back to Kenna. "They would be able to learn more from it than I can by checking the blood and paw/fingerprints."
"No Shit! Really?" said Kenna, the barest hint of a half-smirk punctuating her sarcasm. "They can do that now?"
"Okay point taken, what did they find?"
"They found a bunch of smudges but nothing they said they could use. The blood is mom's and they found what turned out to be panther hairs in the signature print."
"That should be easy to trace, there can't be that many registered were-panthers in the city." Ryan said as he reached for the 'Furry File', the slang term for the city's registry of lycanthropes.
"The police already checked that out. There isn't a panther registered in the state. They're waiting to hear from the national index." Kenna told Ryan flatly.
"Well from the sounds of it, the police have the situation well in hand. If you don't mind my asking Kenna, why do you want to hire a private investigator?"
"It's simple really," said Kenna, her eyes going cold. "The police will want to capture this monster and make him stand trial for what he's done. As a private dick, you can get a license to hunt this animal down and kill it. You can make him pay for what he's done to my family."
Patience is a virtue they say, but could something devoid of virtue have patience? It waited because it had been content to do so, to watch nothing become everything and become nothing again. The cycle repeated countless times and would continue for countless more, and through all of those changes it had been the only constant. But now there was no more contentment in watching, there was a growing need to act, to influence events. To become both cause and effect and relish the resulting terror and chaos. The need was there and it was growing, the time was not right yet to act, but it soon would be....
"Not a bad cover story I'll give the blood sucker that much." said Frank as he settled into his chair and lit up a cigarette. "She played off the sympathies any man would have for a woman in her position, and it's been too long since we went on a proper hunt so I'll bet you were itching to get started."
"So anxious in fact that I forgot rule number one" Ryan said touching a finger to one of his new fangs "Never go on a hunt alone."
"I did wonder why you didn't call me for backup, I was only dismissing a ghost after all. Okay she fed you the story, so your next step was to go look at the house."
* * * * * *
After leaving a note for Frank with some rough details of the case and the address of the house Kenna gave him, Ryan packed his kit with the tools needed to deal with a lycanthrope and they set out for the other side of town and the site of the attack. As they approached the three story Victorian styled home on Lancaster Street, Ryan cut the engine of his '68 Austin Mini and let it coast to a stop across the street from the house.
The house was at least a hundred years old with a ring of oak trees twice that age surrounding it. What little light from the street lamp shone through the leaves showed aging paint cracked and peeling in places, the clapboards waiting for a fresh coat. The shutters on the windows were in much the same condition, but if the paint was brown, black or green Ryan couldn't tell from this distance. The iron security bars on the windows shattered the illusion of a stately nineteenth century home. Most houses these days had those bars on at least the ground floor windows, an extra precaution against burglars and other less savoury creatures known to roam and hunt in the darkness.
"Well here we are." Ryan said as he unbuckled his seat belt. "Have you been back here since that night?" he asked Kenna
"No, I couldn't bear the thought of coming back here by myself." Kenna said meekly. "My parents and brother were....are all the family I have, so there wasn't anyone to ask to come with me until now."
"Looks like the police have released the scene." Noted Ryan when he spotted the yellow police tape hanging from one side of the front doorjamb. "I guess they think they've collected and learned all that they can from here, just wish they'd taken their garbage with them."
Ryan tried the front door and found it unlocked - no, Ryan corrected himself, the lock had been destroyed - supporting Kenna's story that the door was open when she got home. He pulled down the remaining piece of police tape as he stepped over the threshold and into the quiet dark of the house.
As soon as Ryan set foot in the entrance way he knew something was wrong. Call it a sixth sense, a gut feeling or that little voice in the back of your mind, Ryan had learned to listen to it and it had saved his skin on more than one occasion. In what seemed to be one motion he un-holstered his gun, fished out a flashlight and settled into a defensive crouch. Looking back at the front door, Ryan motioned for Kenna to stay there and stay quiet. Making as little noise as possible himself, Ryan edged down the hallway sweeping his flashlight back and forth while keeping the barrel of his Desert Eagle in line with the beam. Frank had called the gun big and impractical, but lycanthropes healed fast and the Eagle loaded with silver bullets made big enough holes to slow that process and make all but the biggest were-animals wary of getting within range.
Stopping next to the door to the Living Room, Ryan cocked his head and listened for any indication of someone in the room but heard nothing. Pushing off from the wall he pivoted into the doorway and quickly swept the room for trouble but saw nothing out of the ordinary - nothing out of the ordinary - that thought clicked and made the hair on Ryan's neck stand on end. Crime scene cleanup were good, but not this good. There was no indication that anything in the room had been disturbed, Bringing the light to bear on the TV and the wall behind it he didn't see any blood, or remains of blood. Moving closer Ryan confirmed there wasn't a drop or even a hint of a stain anywhere. He spun to check out the couch, it too was clean, the white fabric showing no signs of having been soaked in blood. Everything looked normal, except for the dead couple sitting there. Ryan was starting to process this new information when the room lights came on.
"So good of you to join us Detective Murphy." said a voice that seemed to come from the armchair in the corner to Ryan's right. He was turning to face the speaker when he felt a dull pain as something connected with the back of his head.
Then the lights went out.
* * * * * *
Slowly Ryan started to regain consciousness, mentally crawling out of the blackness that had taken him, while trying to prepare himself for the pain he knew was coming. But the pain was quicker than Ryan. The back of his skull throbbed like his brain was trying to get out, and the shock of that made him open his eyes only to find he was staring at the ceiling and the uncovered light bulb suspended there. New pain stabbed through his eyes and into his brain, he guessed it was what two white hot daggers would feel like, though he wasn't anxious to find out for sure. Both sensations of pain met somewhere in the middle and Ryan tried to choke it down and stay quiet, but he couldn't help the sharp intake of breathe that sounded like a hiss through his clenched teeth.
"So glad you're awake" Kenna cooed in his right ear.
- Kenna! - The last thing Ryan remembered was telling her to stay by the door while he checked things out. What was going on? What was she doing here, wherever here was. Ryan tried to sit up but found his wrists and ankles were restrained. He opened his eyes again to look around. Kenna was sitting on the edge of the table next to him holding a cloth that she had been using to dab his face. She had changed out her jeans and blouse into a simple, form fitting, forest green dress that left very little of her figure to the imagination. They were in a concrete walled room, probably the basement of the house if he had to guess, and there was a large muscular looking man standing in the shadows at the foot of a stairwell.
"What's going on? What happened?" asked Ryan, his voice somewhere between a rasp and a groan.
"Oh that's easy to answer. You walked in the living room, my panther friend here distracted you and I knocked you out. Then we brought you down here and tied you to this table." said Kenna very matter-of-factly.
Ryan turned his head to face her and fought back the stars at the edges of his vision that the movement caused. "But what about your parents, your bother?"
"Silly man," She replied. "That was just a story I made up to bring you here to this nice secluded house."
The puzzled look on Ryan's face was questioning enough but he voiced his thoughts anyway; "Why would you want to make up such an elaborate deception, just to lure me out here?"
"I was hungry" Kenna Replied