- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From the sky, the runner was easily spotted, as vampires can see the glow of warm blooded beings moving across the cold dark ground as easily as you or I can see each other in broad daylight. This vampire could not resist the temptation of a meal that had literally delivered itself to her. It only took a moment for her to land and wait anxiously a half-mile ahead.
As the runner left the circle of brightness and entered the darkness between the highway lights, a silhouette in the distance broke her concentration. She wiped her eyes, making certain that her mind wasn't playing tricks on her. There, standing under the street light ahead, appeared to be a woman watching her approach. She looked about for a car, thinking one must have broken down, leaving the poor woman stranded ... but saw none and thought the car must be further up the road.
As she jogged closer, she noticed that the woman had taken an offensive position, much like a teacher who was waiting to admonish a student. The woman was facing her with arms folded and legs spread apart, just glaring in her direction. It was at that moment that the little hairs on the back of her neck began to stand on their own and a feeling in her gut told her to turn and run in the opposite direction. Having already ran twelve miles, she ignored her body's warning signals, thinking that this run had taken its toll on her mind and was playing games with her. She ignored the little voice in her head warning her of danger.
Only when she was close enough did she witness the eyes of this woman glowing bright red, and suddenly felt a sense of fear. With no one but the two of them on this deserted road, calling for help was futile, so she turned and changed her rhythmic run to a full sprint in the opposite direction. She knew her physical limitations at this point and could keep this fast pace for at least a mile before collapsing in exhaustion. As she ran, she only hoped a mile at this pace would be enough to distance herself from whatever it was that she thought she had seen.
When she felt something brush against her back from behind, she panicked and turned off the road toward the shelter of the trees and bushes of the countryside. Leaving the black tar surface for the soft moist ground slowed her down a bit, but fear and adrenaline were kicking in and it was like turning on a booster rocket. She was running as fast as she could and never looked behind, as her only thoughts were of increasing the distance and finding a place to hide.
She heard herself scream as she felt two hands grab her from behind and lift her completely into the air. She struggled to stay on the ground as her feet lifted off and then touched back on the solid surface as she bounced back and forth between the earth and the air.
"Let me go!" she screamed. "Dear God, let me go! Please!"
Suddenly there was a sensation of cold breath on the back of her neck, then the shocking pain of having flesh torn away, her blood flowing freely. Hearing her own skin being torn, combined with the pain, put her into instant shock. The pain, exhaustion, and blood loss prevailed, as she blacked out into an inevitable deathly sleep.
The female vampire drank the blood with enthusiasm and enjoyment as a commanding voice pierced the silence.
"Anne, I told you not to take risks," he scolded.
"But I needed it. Christian, I was so hungry, I couldn't help it. She was alone and there were no witnesses," she explained as she licked the blood from her fingertips.
He paced back and forth. "Well, what's done is done. I'll disguise the kill." She had drained the body, so Christian began dragging it further into the brush, leaving a clear trail. With his razor sharp claws, he tore at it, much the way a wild animal would do, until the body was completely mutilated. He knew that it was likely that the real animals would tear at it long before the body was ever found, making it appear clearly as an animal attack.
"Anne, it will soon be daylight. We must go."
Satisfied that their presence would not be detected, they lifted their arms and floated effortlessly, disappearing into the night sky.
* * *
The body was literally torn apart. As he viewed the photographs of the death scene, he wondered, "Where's the blood?" He turned to his friend, a detective, asking that exact question.
"Mike, where is the blood? This girl was torn to shreds?" Mike Evans was a ten-year veteran of the Minneapolis police and had seen these types of tragedies before.
"Teddy, when an animal attacks a human, it will typically drag them to another location, especially if they're hungry and intend on feeding. She could have been killed a mile from where her body was actually found."
Ted Scott was a writer. He was visiting his good buddy, hoping to find the subject for his next book.
"What kind of animal was said to have done this?" Ted thumbed through a whole series of pictures.
"A bear ... or possibly wolves," Mike answered. "The county examiner hasn't confirmed it yet, but they think it's a bear. It's really a tough call, because the body was at least a few days old. The forest rangers are out there tracking it down as we speak."
Ted didn't agree with that answer, but would say nothing. He had grown up in the North Woods and a real bear attack was rare. Minnesota was primarily Black Bear country, with a lesser population of Brown Bear. He had hunted when he was growing up and knew that these bears kept to themselves; they are not exactly in the same category as the Grizzly. The only way to force an attack is to approach a cub, and then any mother bear would surely become aggressive. Other than that, bears were pretty hard to find, even for the experienced hunter. At this time of the year, food was plentiful, so it was not likely that this bear was hungry. So why would a bear attack a jogger? It was possible, but not likely.
Ted turned to Mike. "So? You said that you had a good story for me. A bear attack doesn't make for a whole book; an article, maybe."
Mike turned away from the file cabinet and tossed another stack of pictures on the table. "So far, we have had three attacks in this region of the state. Three bodies found in less than three months. Check these out ..." Mike stood in anticipation of Ted's reaction. Mike looked the part of a cop; tall, muscular, dark haired, with an air of authority about him.
"I didn't hear about three ... three, in three months? Nothing was on the news or in the papers?" Ted was puzzled.
"Yes, it was. The problem was how it was treated. Three different counties, actually, have found remains of bodies." Mike replied.
"Where have I been?" Ted responded.
Mike smiled. "I got these from the Hennepin County investigators, as you know, and they're right in this same building. These other two happenings really weren't considered all that newsworthy. One was identified as a homeless man; the other wasn't because they didn't find all that much to identify. Both had been savagely ripped apart by an animal. Because of the condition of the bodies, the coroners could only guess at the cause of death. Now, is this a story?" Mike really wasn't sure if this was what Ted was looking for to use as a basis for his book.
"I'm not sure. I'd like to speak with the county coroner first." Ted stated.
"Sure, I can arrange it for you. I'll call him and introduce you. He'll show you one of the bodies, it's still on ice." Mike smiled, thinking Ted would be reluctant. Writing about ghastly events was one thing, viewing the actual carnage was another.
"You don't have to introduce me, he's my cousin. I can stop by tomorrow and get the inside information about all this. I don't know if this is a story or not, but I'll work on it." Ted continued to flip through the pictures, with a look of disinterest on his face.
"What the hell do you want for Minneapolis? It's not like we're New York or Chicago. We have our share of crime, but nothing compared to big cities." Mike saw his job and the crimes as routine. "I just thought that as a writer, you might find this interesting, but what do I know?" Mike felt he had wasted Ted's time and what he had presented was likely not at all that compelling.
"No, don't apologize. I might be able to build a good story out of this. Thanks—really." Ted was sincere and Mike knew it. "Can I buy you a drink?" Ted asked, anticipating the response.
"Naaah. Not tonight. It's my anniversary. I have to be home on time or all hell will break loose. But you wouldn't know about that, being single, would you?" Mike was kidding.
"I'm out of here. If I don't get home to my dog, all hell will break loose." Ted laughed, for his dog was his only commitment. "See you, and thanks."
Ted left the City Jail Building perplexed about what he had just seen. As he drove home, it seemed more and more improbable that an animal had done this. He knew the animals of the North Woods. Attacks were rare and near impossible at this time of the year. It was summer and food was bountiful. Bears had a full diet available with no need to be aggressive. Minnesota has the largest Timber Wolf population next to Alaska, so wolves could be a remote possibility, but a pack wouldn't have left anything but a few bones after feeding. A big cat wouldn't attack something that was larger than itself, unless cornered or threatened. A wounded bear maybe, but over three months? Not likely. Over a three month period, the wounded bear would have certainly healed or died. Ted laughed to himself. "We ARE the gopher state ... maybe it's a 200 pound mutant gopher?"
Ted drove only a mile or so southwest of downtown before turning toward his condominium building. Passing the opulent residences in his Loring Park neighborhood, he crept only a few blocks north and he was at his 10th Street address. He pulled his car into the underground garage and parked. As he rode the elevator to the tenth floor, he was in a trance-like state. His mind was playing back the photographs that he had seen of the human bodies torn apart in almost an unrecognizable condition. He unlocked the door to his condo and Brutus came running. Brutus was a four pound Yorkshire terrier, and Ted's only constant companion and roommate. Ted scooped up Brutus and flopped his six foot frame on the couch. Grabbing the remote, he switched on the television. He sat, petting Brutus as he watched the national news.
As a feature, there was a special report on rescue dogs. Ted was looking to Brutus and mumbled, "Watch these guys, boy." Ted watched as the film captured the dogs in live footage of actual rescues. Then it showed a search near Winnipeg, in Manitoba, Canada, northwest of Minneapolis. A tourist was missing and assumed lost in the dense woods. The rescue dogs eventually found the body, as the narrator explained; the tourist became the victim of a wild "bear attack". The words "bear attack" stunned Ted. He noticed the foliage in the film and again, it was a summer scene—not exactly a time when bears would be hungry or aggressive. It simply didn't make any sense.
Ted's father, Ray, lived to the northwest. His house was close to the Canadian border, near the town of Roseau, only a few miles away from Manitoba Province, Canada. A small town, Roseau's only claim to fame was that the snowmobile was actually invented there in 1953. Ted picked up the phone and dialed.
"Dad? It's Ted. How the hell are you?"
"Good to hear from you, son. How is it going? When are you going to visit your old man?"
"Dad, I'm fine. In fact, I may stop by in the near future, but I have a question to ask." Ted paused.
"Go ahead, son ... shoot."
"Is there a bear problem this year? I mean, like, maybe with there being too many bears or them being overly aggressive?" Ted awaited his father's answer.
"Hell no! Aggressive? Jesus, we're not talking grizzlies here, they're brown and black bear. Most of the time, I can kick them in the ass when they mess up my garbage. As long as you don't mess with their cubs, they don't want much to do with you. Is that what you mean? Hell, son, you know that as well as I do. You grew up with them."
Ted knew his dad wasn't kidding. Although in his sixties, his father was a big man at 6' 3" and near 250 pounds. He probably would not hesitate kicking a bear in the ass.
"Yeah, I know, but I was wondering if ecologically anything has affected them. Like maybe their food supply has been affected or something." Ted continued probing.
"Food supply? You should see these fat old things. If they got any fatter, their butts wouldn't fit between the trees. No son, there is no problem with the bears, yet. I say yet, because they say this could be a bad year for berries, but time will tell. May I ask why you're asking?" Ted's dad was confused on his sudden preoccupation with the recent attitude of the local bear population.
"Well, I'm kind of working on a story and noticed there have been a number of bear attacks this summer. We've had three down here and I just saw the report of a similar one in Winnipeg. I was just wondering if the balance of things had changed up in your neck of the woods."
"Bear attacks? Teddy, I only know of one legitimate bear attack in my forty years of living up here, and he was wounded. You know as well as I that if you dangle food in front of a hungry bear, anything can happen, but barring that, it don't sound right. Nope, don't sound right."
"Well, Dad, I'll let you go for now." Ted had satisfied his curiosity.
"Teddy, stop up and see your old dad. Bring me some of your stuff to read. Since your mother died, it's not the same up here. I'm talking to myself, for Christ's sake!"
"I will, Dad ... I will bring you some stuff. Call you soon. I love you, Dad." Ted hung up.
Ted had tried to get his father to move in with him in Minneapolis after his mother had died two years ago, but his father refused. To Ted, Minneapolis, St. Paul, had everything a person could want. At his fingertips were sports teams, theater, symphonies and culture, not to mention the many fairs and gatherings that went on almost all year long. Why his dad chose to stay up in the northwest corner of the state was a mystery, but he knew his father valued the solitude and could never imagine socializing without his late mother. His father's house still had his mother's things scattered about, as if his father needed the warmth of the memories of days gone by.
Ted also felt that his dad didn't want to be a burden, as he was one stubborn old man, demanding his independence, even if he had to live in the wilderness to do it. Ted knew that is exactly how he would be at his father's age, for they were very much alike. He had his dad's thick brown hair and dark brown eyes, along with a heavy build. At 6' 2", 220 pounds, he looked more like a football player than a writer.
Ted, at age 29, was fairly successful. Finishing college with a degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota, he went right to work immediately for the Minneapolis Press. In only a few years, he would be writing his own column. This year, he quit. He became disillusioned with the press, as his subjects were dictated and many of his articles were censored. He found there was no longer a "free" press. Tired of the everyday routine and restrictions of production writing, he would try his hand at writing novels. His first manuscript, "A Good Day to Die," was a detective story and was soon to be published. This talent, he got from his mother. She was the creative one of the family. It was to her that he dedicated this first book.
Excerpted from Death Walker by Edwin F. Becker Copyright © 2011 by Edwin F. Becker. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted February 25, 2013
One of the best vampire stories I've read in a wgile and I've been reading them for 40 yrs.
No sparkling, no long looks of passion, just good old fashion vicious monsters! Plus of course a good plot and great characters.
You might even learn something about Native-American culture along the way.
Enjoy, I'm on to the sequal.
Posted April 22, 2012
I've read all of Edwin Becker's books except DeathWalker II which I'm reading now and The Eleventh Commandment. All of Ed's books are truly outstanding with unexpected roller coaster rides of twists and turns that keeps me reading non stop and wanting more! He's an exceptional story teller and up there with the best such as Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Ambroise Bierce, and William Blatty! I read DeathWalker in two days. I learned a lot about vampires. There's a wealth of knowledge that I didn't know such as a vampire has to be be invited before entering a home. No image shows up on a camera or mirror. They can be beheaded and die. Only holy water, a blessed cross, and garlic will keep a vampire at bay. Oh, and the sunlight. They also emit a terrible foul smelling odor that lingers for hours. Not only a stake but also a wooden arrow shot by a bow or cross bow will kill them but has to be in the heart. It's better to have two cross bows loaded in case the first shot misses as there's no time to reload! In addition to the super information about vampires Ed's story telling kept me on the edge of my seat! There's suspense, terror, intrigue, horror, and spine chilling surprises! I hope to see this on the big screen someday as I'll be the first in line! I highly recommend all of Ed's books especially True Haunting about a house he and his wife Marsha bought in 1971 that was possessed with evil spirits and ghosts. This book is the scariest true ghost, horror, paranormal, and occult story I've ever read! It's unbelievably that good! I read it in two days and reading it. True Haunting is the best book I've ever read period.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2012
This is worth the read. The writer weaves a great story and keeps the vampire in tradition. No sparkles here! A tale of revenge, a bit of love, and even a few laughs. I enjoyed it and now am on to the sequel!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 26, 2012
I liked this book. The characters are well defined and story original. Though a creature one would not want to face, I could not help feeling for this vampire. Very original and well written. I will read the sequel!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 3, 2012
I enjoyed this book. It is well written and characters engaging. The vampire, Christian is what vampires should be and that is to be feared. No hair gel, no social conversation, just a killing machine. I look forward to the sequel. I hope this becomes a very long series!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 12, 2010
No text was provided for this review.
Posted August 28, 2010
No text was provided for this review.
Posted August 28, 2010
No text was provided for this review.