Sadie wasn’t sure what she was looking at, the body was so mangled and dismembered. The hair was brown she could tell that, but the face had been ripped completely off. It appeared as though the limbs were ripped from the body and then piled up. She had seen her share of murders, bodies in all stages of decomp and by all different means, but never had she seen this. Blood was pooled everywhere and spattered on the sides of the covered bridge where the body lay piled in the center of.
Against her better judgement she took a hanky and touched an arm at the edge of the torn flesh, it was soft and slightly warm. The blood oozed freely. This had just happened. Sadie inhaled slowly and stood up.
“You are right Davey this has to be one of the most gruesome deaths I’ve ever encountered.” Sadie said with a shiver. Ten years on homicide and two years of study in forensics and nothing had made her stomach queasy, not until this. They began taking pictures.
Her companion and fellow officer turned away unable to continue looking. “The, uh . . . the coroner is on the way.” Davey said as he caught himself staring at a bloodied eyeball hanging from a splinter on the wall of the bridge. It stared back blankly it had been out long enough to have a blue cast to it. “Hey, um, Sadie,” Davey called softly. “Look at these splinters, it . . . it almost looks like the wood was slashed.”
Sadie moved over to stand just behind Davey, he was a bit shorter and eight years younger, new on the force but very capable, the first one Sadie had liked working with. Easy to like and warm, not a drop of arrogance like most of the other males she had worked with. He was dark skinned and had big blue eyes that caught your attention right away and those eyes were only for a certain young girl in booking named Elizabeth.
From her angle Sadie also noticed there was several slashes, close together. She shook her head the first thing that came to mind was Wolverine in the marvel movies. She looked around, there were more just like it, blood oozing from some had coagulated and seemed frozen in place. “This is odd indeed. Get Frankie in her with his fancy camera, I need this photographed closely.”
“Sure, no problem.” Davey said quietly, he was glad to have to leave the scene and call back to the station for Frankie.
Later Sadie sat in her office at home sipping coffee and studying the photographs. In her mind that was all she could compare the slashes to was in that crazy movie. The difference was the movie character had three blades he slashed with, and these photos showed four slash marks. Even with someone trying to imitate Wolverine, how had that body been ripped apart like it was. It looked like a grizzly had been in that covered bridge. But grizzlies do not pile up the body parts.
Later that evening Sadie got another call, another body just like the one from this morning it was down along Crystal Lake. When she arrived, there were already several patrol cars and the coroner waiting for her. They were right the body was torn apart like the other one and then piled up. She waved the coroner on and began walking the beach, The ground was soft here, tracks of the killer should be easy to find.
As before she asked Davey to help her look for clues as to identify the killer. Unfortunately, the bank of the lake was covered in footprints, most looked to be the same prints as the victim’s shoes. He had been fishing and had pulled his small boat up onto shore before being attacked. The live well still had the bait fish and a few lake trout in it indicating he was attacked right before stepping out of the boat.
Widening her search Sadie found two distinct paw prints, they were unusually large and gave Sadie an eerie feeling. Davey took photos of the prints and Sadie sent him to the office to write up his report. She found herself staring out over the cool lake waters, the water was as blue as a gemstone in daylight but at night it was dark and mysterious, and tonight it was eerie.
Pulling her jacket closed she suddenly felt warm. She let the jacket go and pulled her long blond tresses up into a pile on top of her head. Her emerald, green eyes stared into the dark water. Out of nowhere a shadow seemed to cover her, and she felt the hot breath of something float across the back of her neck. She dropped her hair staring into the water, but there was no shape to the shadow, and it disappeared before she could turn around.
The feeling was slow to leave. Sadie shook herself and looked around. The lake was still, hardly a ripple, and like blue ink with tiny pieces of glitter floating in it where the stars reflected their heavenly light. She looked for the moon, but the dark clouds of a storm had covered it. Pulling her jacket tighter around her Sadie started back towards the boat and the crime scene. “He deserved it.” The words rang in her head. She turned in a complete circle looking for the one that had spoken, there was nothing but silence.
Shaking it off Sadie returned to the boat and studied it. There was a smudge no two, not prints just smudges, and under the edge of the boat’s side rail were puncture marks. Something had punctured the fiberglass. Four marks under each smudge. Feeling like this was significant Sadie studied them closely and took pictures with her cell phone.
Returning to the office Sadie uploaded the pictures and enlarged them. It seemed as though the holes were triangular and not round. Making a fateful decision to go, Sadie gathered her camping gear and headed back to the lake early the next morning. Leaving instructions for Davey and telling him her plan to search the lake shoreline she felt confident she would find more clues.
This lake would take three plus days to hike around it and since it was in a nature preserve there were no houses close to the shore. Taking time to look for prints or other evidence it would take at least four days.
The first day yielded little, that night Sadie could not help but feel watched. It was unnerving but she was determined not to be scared off. The second day she looked for tracks, animal prints, dens, anything that would be out of the ordinary. The camp that night was a small fire surrounded by large, smooth stones from the lake.
Sadie had noticed a structure of some kind on a small island in the lake about a hundred feet from shore, it is thought to be an old beaver home. She planned call Davey for a small boat to go out there in the morning. At one time it housed dozens of beavers. Slipping into her sleeping bag Sadie felt another presence, it lasted for about and hour and she held her service weapon inside her sleeping bag waiting. Then it was gone, and she sat for a while. When nothing changed, she laid back down. She drifted off to sleep.
Hearing the scrape of the paddle on the boat caused Sadie to jerk awake. She was tied hands and feet, also at the knees and was blind folded, a slightly odd taste told she had been knocked out with a light dose of chloroform. Whoever was paddling the boat was doing so very slowly, not making any noise except the dip into the water and the slide of the wood against wood, slow and methodical.
She flexed and tested her bindings they were tight. She waited, that presence she felt before was in this tiny boat with her. She swallowed hard but remained quiet. The boat bumped against something and then she was being lifted from the it, she thought about screaming but there was no one to hear her and the tape across her mouth would muffle it anyway. Fear crept in for the first time in many years.
Inside the old beaver house proved to be roomy and clean. Sadie was put down on a stack of blankets over a thick layer of grass. A hand removed the tape over her mouth, it came away easily surprising Sadie. She rolled slightly and looked up into the bluest eyes she had ever seen.
He had shoulder length black hair, it shone in the dim lights scattered around the walls of the stick lodge. He was handsome, smooth tan skin over chiseled cheeks, and he had no shirt on. His muscles were hard, defined and rippling with every move. He stared into her emerald, green eyes and touched her cheek. She sucked in a breath and then slowly let it out.
Her captor watched fascinated at the rise and fall of her breasts. Though she had a nice light tan her cleavage was creamy white. She watched with growing trepidation and horror as he stretched a finger out and the nail began to grow until it was a long, hooked claw. I appeared razor sharp as he used it to slice open her shirt, from the neckline to her belly button. Then the claw disappeared, and he ran that same finger down her flesh.
Sadie was controlling her breathing, but it didn’t stop her belly from quivering under his touch. He then ran the back of his hand down the same path. This time the movement was sensual. Unable to deny what she believed was about to happen a single tear slid from her eye. He caught it and to her surprise tasted it. He then ran his fingers through her flaxen hair.
“If – if you are going to kill me . . .” she breathed, could you just – just get it over w-with.” She refused to cry before him, she was not a weak-willed push over, and still the icy fingers of death seemed imminent. She had chills.
He leaned in close, his nose trailing along her cheek he tasted her lips with his own. “Not part of the plan.” He says simply. He drew back and disappeared from her line of vision. Sadie exhaled slowly and tested her bonds again. She began to wonder why he had opened her shirt and then kissed her. Was he planning on sexually assaulting her? Her pulse began to race, she worked to calm her breathing.
Then she heard his breathing, he was close. She lost control of her own for a moment, then regained it. “You are thinking sensual thoughts, I can tell.” He said softly. She stared at his shadow. “Your hormone levels are elevated, radiating from your body, it is an enticingly wonderful fragrance.”
He stepped forward and rolled her onto her back once more. She watched terrified as the claws grew once more. He removed the ropes trying her hands, she still had ropes on her ankles and around her knees. Slowly she rubbed her wrists. “You have been investigating the two men who have recently met with their demise.” He said emotion finally coloring his voice. She nodded. “They needed to pay for what they did.”
She watched him withdraw the claws again. Swallowing hard she asked, “What-exactly-did-they-do?” She managed to ask though enunciating each word slowly.
A deeply penetrating look entered his eyes, a troubled, painful look. “They butchered my mate.” His voice dripped with distain. “Shot my Charlotte for her coat and skinned her, they deserved to die in much pain.” She saw the intense pain in his eyes, still she was unsure of what she was dealing with.
“So, you – you killed those men?” She shuddered remembering the dismembered bodies, the pieces that had to be scraped off the walls of the covered bridge, and the entrails they had to scoop from the floor of that boat. “But – but h-how?”
The nails grew, black hair materialized before her eyes, his shape changed, sharp, fangs appeared, and his eyes turned yellow, she blinked and was suddenly looking at a seven-foot wolf. There was no way to mask the terror that ran through her body. She closed her eyes and sucked in a breath waiting. There was silence. She exhaled slowly then opened her eyes. Once more she was staring at a very normal, yet good looking, naked man.
He moved closer and leaned over her until she could feel his breath on her skin. She looked away trembling. He nuzzled her again, sweat began to bead on her bare chest. He tasted it. She waited for the first bite, her hands now free found his shoulders and she gripped them with a vengeance. The bite didn’t come. Suddenly he pulled away and sliced through the ropes on her feet and her legs, then sliced down the outside seams of her loose kakis.
Her clothes fell away like slicing through hot butter. “Wh – What are you going to – to do k-kill me naked . . . why?” She looked away not want to see it coming. The candlelight flickered and bounced off the white wood, birch wood. She decided it was beautiful.
“Killing you is not part of the plan.” He whispered as he once more tasted her, nibbling softly on her neck. Her hands slipped to his chest, his muscles were hard, but the skin was soft.
“Wh-What i-is the pl-pl . . . an?” she gasped as he covered her body with his own.
“To make love to you” he whispered, “I choose you now for my mate.”
Davey searched the entire lake after finding Sadie’s camp. He went back every weekend for months and never found any trace of her. Six months after she went missing, he sat staring into the lake when a strange event took place. A huge black wolf appeared in the meadow, followed by a smaller brown wolf, they stopped and stared at him. Three pups tumbled out of the tall grass. The brown wolf continued to watch him as the larger black wolf led the pups away. She watched Davey for another few minutes and he swore she smiled before she disappeared into the trees. Davey returned twice a year on family vacations, each time he felt watched, but never again did he see the wolves. The two murders went into the cold case of unsolved.