Ms. Williamson has been captivating the hearts of readers for decades. Her heroes are strong and daring while the antagonists, diabolical!
Another Convinced Citizen...
It has been decided to set a trap for The Ripper and hope that no one else is hurt or killed. The Deputy Mayor goes on the air to deliver the mandate to the citizens of Morgan’s Bluff.
“This is a public service announcement. By direction of Mayor Thomas Hodges, the city of Morgan’s Bluff is under a state of martial law. No one is to be outside their homes between the hours of 6:00 pm and 8:00 am. Your personal safety, the safety of the entire town depends on everyone adhering to this order. We expect full cooperation with the military authorities.” Deputy Mayor Audrey Davenport begins.
“Nonsense!” Bert Jarvis slurs. “First, they cancel our Beer and Beef Bash. Now, they want us to stay inside like little snot-nosed children. It’s a conspiracy!”
“Shut up you idiot! Just listen to what the Deputy Mayor has to say.” A patron at the Sit and Sip tells Bert.
Audrey continues her statement.
“There is a renegade grizzly stalking our town. A number of citizens have been ripped apart with razor-sharp claws. The vital organs and some limbs have been devoured. We are doing everything to set a trap and destroy this beast, but your full cooperation is needed.”
“She’s talking about The Ripper!” Kyle yells.
“The Ripper? That’s a lot of Eskimo fantasy. And anyway, he would be long gone by now.” Bert insists.
“No, he’s not. Scoutmaster Edward Henson had a run-in with that critter a few weeks ago. Barely escaped with his life. Also that man—Marshall Feldman, I hear is in town!” Kyle exclaims.
“You mean the fella that claims he was attacked by The Ripper but lived to tell the tale?” Another patron responds.
“The same.” Kyle affirms.
“Well, I don’t believe a word of it. I’m going to keep doing things the way I always have.” A stubborn Bert retorts.
“If you’re lucky, you’ll wind up behind bars. However, if you’re not so lucky—” Kyle leaves it at that.
“Huh! Then that’s my business. I won’t be bossed around by the Mayor or his uppity assistant. I’m a man!” Bert vows as he rises to leave.
“Suit yourself.” Kyle speaks to a closed door. “That’s one dope who’s requesting his tombstone in advance.” The other patrons hurry with their drinks so that they can finish with their daily tasks before the curfew takes effect.
Chief McGuire enters the Sit and Sip and is greeted by Kyle.
“So, it’s true then?” Kyle questions the Chief.
“You know it is, Kyle. I’m just in here to make sure everyone is aware of the mandate.”
“Bert Jarvis caused a ruckus before you arrived. Said he wasn’t going to be ordered about.” Kyle informs him.
“Darn that Bert. He always has had a head like a piece of granite. Never would follow the rules. Do you know where he went?” The Chief inquires.
“Probably home. You know he’ll sleep it off, then come back here around sundown to have another round.” Kyle replies.
“I’ll see if I can find him. He lives in the vicinity that is notorious for The Ripper.” The Chief tips his hat and heads toward the end of town.
When he arrives at Bert Jarvis’ house, he sees the man sitting on his porch. His eyes are the size of small saucers and his hands are trembling. On his left side is a double-barreled shot-gun and a box of cartridges lay on his right. The Chief cautiously approaches Bert.
“You alright there, Bert?” The Chief asks while examining the gun.
“The darnedest thing I’ve ever seen. There was this deer—a large buck actually, drinking water when this huge grizzly—I mean the biggest mother I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Crap, I wet my pants.” Bert looks down at his still damp bottom.
“Okay, what happened next, Bert?” The Chief tries very hard to stifle a grin.
“I ran into the house and grabbed old Daisy there. Told Martha not to go outside and keep that blasted dog of her close.” Bert manages to catch his breath.
“So I don’t suppose I’ll have to worry about you venturing out tonight, huh?” This time the Chief can’t contain himself.
“Laugh if you want to but you’re dang tooting I’m not going out. I reckon I owe that Mayor Lady an apology.” Bert acknowledges gruffly.
“Nope, just try to stay alive, huh? It seems to like to frequent this part of town during the late evening and early morning hours. But apparently the buck was too much a temptation.” Chief McGuire concludes.
“Chief, you’ve got to kill that blasted thing. Ain’t nobody safe as long as he roams these parts. I always thought The Ripper was a legend—an old folks tale. But, I saw it with my own eyes. Across the lake there—knocked the head off a full-grown buck with one swat.” Bert retorts.
Martha momentarily appears at the door.
“The two of you make sure you have enough food to see you through the night. My officers, along with the National Guard, will try to set up a trap for it.” The Chief informs Bert.
“It’s gonna take a mighty big trap!” Bert exclaims.
“No, not that kind of trap—an ambush.” Chief McGuire clarifies.
“I’d hate to be the bait.” Bert responds and Martha shakes her head in agreement.
“With a meal like that buck, I’m sure he’ll be sleeping it off a while.” Chief McGuire explains.
“You don’t have to worry about me or Martha. We will be in the house. I’m going to make sure that Toby excuses himself before it gets too dark.” Bert replies referring to the dog being affectionately groomed by Martha.
Later that Night ...
Toby is scratching at the back door.
“He needs to go out, Bert.” Martha tells her husband.
“Not a chance. I ain’t going outside. It’s 9:45 pm. You know that I told you to make sure that dog of yours did his business before sundown.” Bert rebukes his wife.
“I know, he just wouldn’t go, Bert. Now he needs to.” Martha gives her husband a small grin. “If you want I’ll—”
“No you won’t. I’ll be the one to do it. But I swear Martha if I get killed taking this dang dog out—” Bert moves to retrieve both his coat and his shotgun.
“Here, take this.” Bert hands the gun to his wife. “If you see that critter coming, shoot.”
“You don’t have to worry about it, darling. I wasn’t voted the best female shooter in Morgan’s Bluff for nothing.” Martha takes the shotgun from her husband and loads it. She stands on the back porch while she observes Bert walking Toby a little distance from the house. Bert has been meaning to repair the back fence but never got around to doing it.
Toby walks about a few feet away from Bert and then commences his nightly ritual. As soon as he finishes, he begins to look around nervously.
“What’s the matter, Toby?” Bert queries the dog. “You come on back to the house nice and slow like.” However, from the nearby woods comes The Ripper, racing toward the two of them at top speed.
“Toby ... Run!” Screams Bert as Toby passes him, almost knocking Martha down. However, she steadies herself and takes aim.
Pow—she hits him square in the chest. The Ripper roars and falls to the ground. Reloading, Martha shoots again, just nicking his shoulder.
“Get in this house!” Bert demands and grabs Martha by the arm pulling her inside.
“I got him, I’m sure he’s dead!” Martha shouts but after they secure themselves in the house, they look outside. The grizzly is gone.
“What in tarnation?” Bert states and begins opening the steel reinforced inner door. There the grizzly stands, only bleeding slightly from his chest and hovering over the bars.
“Get back in here!” Martha yells, slamming the other door shut.
“That thing is still alive?” Bert shakes his head in disbelief.
“You wouldn’t have been.” Martha admonishes him. “Let’s notify Chief McGuire at the station.” Martha suggests.
“He won’t be there. They’ve set up some kind of ambush for that monster.” Bert informs Martha.
“You got his cellphone number?”
To Be Continued ...
Terror From McKellar Forest Conclusion
- Terror From McKellar Forest Conclusion
The stage is set for the final confrontation. Chief McGuire and his officers are prepared. Sargent Bingham and his guardsmen are eager. The townsfolk of Morgan’s Bluff are geared up as well. What will be the outcome of this encounter?
© 2020 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on April 05, 2020:
Thanks, Deloris! But, like they say ... "Legions don't die--they just show up someplace else! Subtle hint!
Deloris on April 05, 2020:
No,The Ripper, is not ready to relinquish his territory yet and is letting everyone near it know not now or ever. Good reading Jacqueline.
Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS (author) from Memphis on April 04, 2020:
Man nor his pet is safe from ... The Ripper!