Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Like Moths to the Flame ...
The next day, Buddy Houston joins his neighbor Fred Galloway in searching for the remains of Loner.
“You’ll be late for work, Buddy. I can find him by myself.” Fred decides sadly.
“Not in your life! If it wasn’t for Loner, I’m pretty sure I’d be lying somewhere with folks looking for me. I’ve already explained to the Chief about last night. He understands.” Buddy sympathizes, putting his hand on Fred’s drooping shoulders.
The two of them begin their walk and its about 20 feet from where Buddy was standing when they find what looks like shredded meat. Amongst the blood and bone Fred spots a shiny object. Bending over, he sees that it’s Loner’s collar.
“Oh ... oh!” Bemoans dear old Fred. “My dog!”
“I’ll get that s.o.b. if it’s the last thing I do.” Buddy vows. “C’mon, there is nothing more we can do here and we’re just like sitting ducks if that sucker decides to return.” Buddy advises. Helping Fred up, they solemnly return to their homes.
“You avenge my Loner, ya hear me!” Fred laments as he goes into his house. But before Buddy can make it next door, a swift paw barely misses his head. Moving like a teen, he dives to the ground, rolls over and sprints across the adjourning fence.
It just so happens that Daphne is standing on the bottom step, picking up the morning paper when she witnesses the calamity. Screaming, she bolts into the house with her husband and the beast hot on her heels. Buddy is barely able to get the front doors closed as the force of a tornado pushes heavily against them.
“Do you think they will hold, dear?” Daphne questions; fear prevalent in her eyes.
“All the homes in this area have second doors that are reinforced with steel. I managed to click lock the lower latch on our wrought iron door. Together with the stronger inner one, they should hold fast. I’ll go check the back door just in case he decides to go around. Turn all the lights out and we’ll head for the cellar—just in case.” Buddy commands as he hears his cell phone ring. He answers it as he assists Daphne down the cellar stairs.
“You alright, Buddy. That thing—it was so fast but I’ll be dang if you don’t have the quickest reflexes I’ve seen in a month of Sundays.” Fred chuckles now that he knows his friend is safe.
“We’re hunkering down in the cellar, Fred. Can you see from your window whether or not that monster is still out there?” Buddy asks.
“I don’t see him, but I’ll be dang if I’m journeying pass this here window.” Fred informs Buddy.
“I don’t blame you. Let me give the Chief a call. He needs to know that The Ripper is back in town. I can’t understand how something so large can move so silently and so fast.” Buddy shakes his head in amazement.
“Yeah, well as for speed, you’ll give him a run for the money. Talk to you later.” Fred responds, then hangs up the phone. Buddy turns to his wife, Daphne.
“Honey, I’m going to see if it’s safe to be upstairs again. I’m sure that it is but I just want to be sure.” Buddy gives his wife a kiss, grabs his shotgun from out of the corner of the room and goes upstairs.
Looking around, he observes that the doors have held and nothing seems to be out of place. Buddy remembers what the Chief has said about how The Ripper likes to frequent this part of town. Then he returns to the cellar.
“The coast is clear, Daph. You can come up now but don’t you dare go outside, not for any reason. There’s plenty of food in the refrigerator and the kitchen cabinets. Stay away from the windows and keep the doors secure.” Buddy orders his wife.
“Are you walking to work, Buddy?” Daphne already knows the answer to this question.
“You kidding? With that grizzly out there? Since you won’t be needing the car I’m taking it. Glad you like using the garage. It should be safe to get it from there.” Buddy explains.
“If it’s true that The Ripper likes this part of town, I just don’t think our little Corvette is going to be up to the challenge.” Daphne replies. A birthday present from Buddy, she would hate to see either her husband or the Corvette damaged.
“Maybe you’re right, honey. I’ll see if the Chief will let Tim pick me up in our new Jeep. That thing is as heavy as a tank!” Buddy remembers the rescue of Ellen Corbet and the Chief last week.
“Just be careful Buddy. That grizzly seems to be drawn to this area as a moth is drawn to flames. I can’t understand it.” Daphne responds.
“Maybe the proximity to the lake and the forest.” Buddy offers.
“I wish it would go back to the forest.” Daphne states, hugging her husband’s arm.
“Let me call the Chief and give him the latest. The National Guard should be here around noon. With the weaponry they pack, I think we should be able to put an end to this menace.” Buddy tries to reassure his wife.
Buddy picks up his cellphone and calls into the station. He gives the Chief a complete detail of what happened the night before and this morning. The Chief listens attentively. Then he speaks.
“That was really a close call Buddy. Glad that you are alright. I know that you and especially Fred are going to miss Loner. That was one brave pooch.” Chief McGuire shakes his head in sorrow.
“Do you think it’s safe to allow the kids to walk to school. Many of them use Smith’s Alley.” Buddy reminds him.
“I’ve thought about that. I want two officers to be posted there with high-powered rifles. The Ripper seems to be an early morning and late evening feeder. Being an animal, he does have a certain pattern. Still, we need to be prepared.” The Chief tells Buddy.
“Actually Chief, it wouldn’t hurt to have three officers in that alley.”
“Until we get the extra man-power from the Guard, two will have to do. I’m putting Parker and you on the roof looking down at Smith’s Alley. Tim is still too shaken for that assignment.” The Chief informs Buddy. Officer Houston is one of the best sharpshooters in the state and when he’s alert, he’s deadly.
“I won’t let you down, Chief.” Buddy states in an apologetic manner.
“I know you won’t. I’ll send Collins to get you. Even though we pretty much know The Ripper’s routine—”
“No need in taking unnecessary risks.” Buddy finishes.
To Be Continued ...
Terror From McKellar Forest 11
- Terror From McKellar Forest 11
The Ripper attacks swiftly, silently like some kind of restless spirit, bent on destruction. He plots his next victim with the accuracy of a strategist and disappears with the cunning of a sniper!
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on March 28, 2020:
Is there any help in sight?