Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
A Date with Destiny …
It is now midnight at Schroder Castle.
Beverly quietly creeps out of her suite with a small piece of luggage in her hand. Her purse is thrown over her shoulder and she looks everywhere to insure that no one is around. Then, she heads for Alpha 1-X quarters to retrieve her prize animal. This is her one chance to escape. Her plans are abruptly altered.
“Aus für einen Late-Night-Spaziergang?” (Out for a late-night stroll?) Colonel Schneider inquires. He is not alone. Office Huber is there, and Officer Wagner is badly beaten with a gun pointing at his head. Beverly gasps.
“What is the meaning of this?” Beverly retorts with indignation.
“Vielleicht sind Sie es, die die Erklärung,” (Perhaps it is you who needs to do the explaining.) The Colonel counters. Beverly has already unlocked the cage and Alpha 1-X is faking sleep; however she is well aware of what is going on.
Officer Huber is moving closer to the cage—within range of Alpha 1-X’s mighty paw. Colonel Schneider notices it as she slowly raises it into position.
“Run you fools!” The Colonel screams as Alpha 1-X with one swift motion takes the head of Officer Huber. Officer Jochem Wagner falls limply to the ground as a bullet, meant for Alpha 1-X strikes him in the chest. When Beverly sees this she is overcome with fear for him. She yells to Alpha 1-X.
“Kill them all, Precious!”
The men are easily overcome by the beast—Colonel Schneider retreats in Frau Schmidt’s quarters.
“Was machst du hier?” (What are you doing here?” Frau Schmidt is suddenly awaken from sleep.
“Wir sind verraten worden, dass das Tier nach uns allen ist!” (We have been betrayed. That beast is after us all.) Colonel Schneider informs her.
“Und du hast sie hierher geführt?” (And you have led her here?) Frau Schmidt hurriedly grabs a robe and looks out the window.
“Dein Platz war der erste, den ich zu Wir habe, um hier rauszukommen!” (Your place was the first one I came to. We've got to get out of here.) Frau Schmidt has never seen Colonel Schneider in such a state.
“Wo können wir gehen, dass Das Tier ausgezeichnete Tracking-Fähigkeiten hat” (Where can we go? That beast has excellent tracking skills.) Frau Schmidt reminds him.
“Wir warten bis zum Morgen.” (We will wait until morning.) Colonel Schneider decides. Then at that particular moment, Alpha 1-X breaks through the plate glass window and stands before them.
Frau Schmidt is petrified—unable to move. They both know that their chances for survival is better if they remain calm. Colonel Schneider pushes Frau Schmidt in front of him and breaks for the window. He is outside when he hears ripping of flesh and blood-curdling screams. Then everything is silent. Colonel Schneider has hidden himself among a refuge of garbage and Alpha 1-X is unable to distinguish his smell from the other foul odors. The Colonel remains still as the animal paces back and forth.
Good—night, Beverly ...
Soon, she is called back by Beverly.
“Precious, come to me!” Beverly calls calmly. Alpha 1-X responds instantly and Colonel Schneider sighs in relief. Rachel and the others are already with Beverly when Alpha 1-X returns. Beverly tells them not to move until she has calmed the beast down.
“It’s alright Precious, these are people who have come to help us.” Then she motions to Rachel. “Please, come over here.”
Rachel moves toward Beverly and Alpha 1-X. The animal looks at Rachel and begins to purr. She walks up to Rachel and stares directly into her eyes. Beverly speaks.
“I have never seen Precious react to an individual as she has with you, Rachel. It’s true—you truly have the gift with animals. Precious knows that she can trust you.” Beverly is astonished.
“Ah Precious, you are a magnificent girl. I am overcome with awe!” Rachel utters, stroking the animal softly. “How I wanted mine to be like you.”
“Promise me that if anything happens to me—you will take good care of her.” Beverly pleads.
“But what is going to happen to you? Colonel Schneider is gone, and his men are dead.” Rachel responds.
“Please, just promise me—” but before Beverly can utter another word, a single shot rings out, piercing her side. Then another, creasing her forehead. It is coming from an upstairs balcony. Rachel is horrified by the blood and Dr. Hawkes and Marcus Powers rush toward the sound with guns drawn. Shirley moves over toward Rachel and Alpha 1-X purrs again.
Beverly looks up at Rachel with dying eyes. “Promise me, Rachel. Jochem is dead and I will soon join him. I was responsible for Dr. Holloway’s death and so it is that mine is forfeited. Please, promise me!” Beverly gasps.
“Alright Beverly, I promise. I know a place where Alpha 1-X, Precious can be safe. It’s in what is called the Northern Lands. There are things that exist in the Northern Lands and Southern Plains thought of as just rumors or myths.” Rachel declares.
“You mean about Sheriff Hamilton and the Legend of Вячеслав?” Beverly says quietly.
“Вячеслав is no legend.” Rachel whispers. Beverly nods, then closes her eyes for the last time. Alpha 1-X goes over to her and sits down beside her. It seems that there are tears in her eyes. Shirley looks amazed at Rachel.
“I’ve never seen the likes of this.” Shirley pronounces.
“I know—you must hide Alpha 1-X—Precious.” Rachel commands. “I will not let Bob or anyone else harm her. What she has done has been taught. We must teach her new things.”
“Come Precious—you will be safe with me.” Shirley states calmly extending her hand.
Alpha 1-X looks first at the lifeless body of Beverly Mitchell and then at Rachel. Rachel smiles and nods at Precious. Alpha 1-X nods back, rises and follows Shirley into the Black Forest.
Dr. Bob Hawkes and Mark finally return empty-handed. Bob speaks.
“Yes Bob, she is.” Rachel answers.
“I know what you are thinking, Rachel. A lot of people have died because of that beast.” Bob reprimands.
“I am not going to give her to you to put to death, Bob. I gave Beverly my word.” Rachel counters.
“Rachel, are you mad?” Bob questions then looks at Mark.
“That is a magnificent animal. She responds to Rachel without hesitation.” Mark admits.
“Am I the only sane person here? Do you see all this carnage? Just look around you.” Bob defends.
“This is because of two people, one is dead, and one is still on the loose.” Rachel articulates.
“You mean Dr. Holloway and Colonel Schneider.” Bob declares.
“I am not going to let him get away with what he did—especially to Beverly. I’ve known her for many years. She made some wrong decisions in her life and it has cost her dearly.” Rachel is at the point of tears. Bob reaches out his arm to her and she falls into it. Moments later, she is ready to talk again.
“Colonel Schneider has to pay for the crimes he’s done. He will just regroup somewhere else. There are always people gullible enough to follow his neurotic fantasies. This is why he must be stopped.” Rachel declares with conviction.
“And, you will be the one to do it, Rachel?” Bob enquires, looking at her tenderly.
“Then, I’m going to help you. I’ve never met anyone like you, Rachel. I’ll follow you anywhere you go.” Bob affirms.
Rachel looks up at Bob and is overwhelmed by his passionate embrace. Marks clears his throat.
“Where to now?”
“The Northern Lands!” Rachel proclaims.
The End ... or is it?
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS