(July 4, 2011)
It was a sunny Wednesday in Kettle Falls, Washington. The sky was cloudless, the air fresh and clean. It was two days after Kate, Scar, and myself had returned from a vacation that I would never forget as long as I lived. Sure, the destination made it so, but 더 많이 than that, it was Scar and Kate that made it unforgetable.
I had needed to run to the store for a pickmeup for Scar, who was just now starting to show the weird cravings brought on 의해 her pregnancy. I had been sent to fetch hotdogs, A1 스테이크 sauce (yum), and chives. (Yes, I know that this combination of ingredients creates a delectable hot dog for us humans, but to wolves, it's a very unheardof mix.)
As I pulled into the driveway, I thought of what was coming to us in mid-August. The thought made me smile.
"Scar, I'm 집 with your food!" I called as I walked through the front door. The house was dark and clammy, something that immediately struck me as odd.
"Scar? Kate" I called warily.
I recieved no answer.
I called out again and when again I got no response, I unsnapped my 권총, 홀스터, 권총 집 and drew my Walther.
The P99's muzzle led the way as I scanned each and every room for any hint of upset 또는 change.
The formal dining room, which was at a glance determined to be empty, was first. I went down the hallway, checking the powder bath, the guest room, the weight room (which is never used), and the normal bathroom all checked off clean.
The livingroom was also empty.
The kitchen, however, contained the slight odor of turkey and swiss cheese.
I nudged open the pantry door and peered into the trash can. Sitting on the 상단, 맨 위로 of all the other detrius that Kate, Scar, and I had created over the past 일 was a freshly made turkey and swiss 샌드위치 with Frank's Hot sauce.
This was curious, but not neccessarily worrying, so I moved on.
The 차고 was clear, of humans 또는 wolves, that is, but the cars were there as they should have been.
It was upstairs in the master bedroom that I found something that chilled my blood.
Kate was sprawled across the tan carpeted floor, unconscious. The entire left side of her face was coated in crimson red.
"Kate!" I cried, dropping 의해 her side.
I ripped a chunk from my 셔츠 and started gently sponging the blood from her face.
As it came off, the 출처 of it was revealed.
She had sustained a blow to her left cheek with something sharp enough to draw blood.
Kate came around just as I was finishing cleaning her up.
"Kate, what's happened? Where's Scar?" I demanded.
She looked at me through hazy, unfocused eyes.
"Where's who?" she mumbled. Her 모피 was cold to the touch.
"Scar! Where's Scar!" I almost shrieked, but caught myself.
She just shook her head, confused.
I gingerly picked her up and put her on the bed.
"Stay here, okay?" I told her. "I'm gonna go 검색 the rest of the house." Which admittedly wasn't much.
But my 검색 was to go no further, for in the bathroom was a sheet of plain printer paper, folded twice. On the 상단, 맨 위로 fold read "To Colby"
This was odd, but I dismissed the unnatural feeling creeping up my spine, because maybe it was from Scar!
Grinning slightly, I picked up the note. It was heavier than I had expected.
I turned the note upside down and a small, thin disk of metal fell into the sink.
Curious, I picked it up.
It was a tag of the sort Scar wore, with a paw print on the side facing me.
Printed on the other side was:
2893 Copperhills Drive
Kettle Falls, Washington
A terrible premonition gripped me. I put the tag on the counter and quickly unfolded the note. It was typed. The back of my mind registered that the font was Times New Roman, 12 point.
An eye for an eye,
a nose for a nose.
Your 사랑 has been taken,
의해 someone she knows.
Your first clue is this.
She's somewhere nearby.
It's so easy to miss
where she could hide.
The location is close
to a place that she caught
herself a break
she knew she should not.
If I see any cops,
당신 know what I'll do.
She'll regret it deeply,
as 당신 will too.
I will call 당신 at twelve,
so I would be ready.
Something will happen,
so I would stay steady.
다음 to the initials was a drop of red. I didn't need any analysis to know that it was Scar's blood.
With each line of this obscene poem that went through my mind, I grew ever 더 많이 unsteady, despite what the note said.
Clenching it so hard that it would surely be rendered unreadable, I stumbled into the master bedroom.
Kate was asleep, but no longer.
"Kate!" I said, shaking her until she opened her eyes. "Do 당신 remember who Scar is?!"
"Read this!" I said, uncreasing the page and thrusting it before her eyes.
She read it slowly, but her eyes grew 더 많이 and 더 많이 focused as she did.
"What the hell? Who is this sick fuck?" she asked angrily. "You should call the cops."
"Did 당신 not read the fourth verse? If they see any hints of cops, they're gonna do something to her!"
She shrugged her shoulders.
I pulled my phone from my pocket and made calls to Rich and Brandon.
As concisely as I could, I summarized the contents of the note for them and listened to them expressing their sympathies and condolences. But I wasn't hearing them.
I was hearing in my mind Scar screaming with pain and fear. The sound, imagined as it was, tore through my heart.
I glanced at the clock. 5:29 P.M. Six and a half hours to go.