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About the Author
Please visit my website: http://www.mercedesfox-author.com/
Pennames: Mercedes Fox, Mercedes Ludill (retired)
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VENGEANCE OF THE WEREWOLF
By Mercedes Ludill
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2012 Mercedes Ludill
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThursday Morning
Lanny Thorton had just gotten out of the shower when his police radio started talking. It was Glory at dispatch. She was around ten years junior to Lanny's 40 years. Even though he always enjoyed hearing Glory's musical voice Lanny wasn't at all happy about the early morning call. This could be nothing good. Something had happened in his nice quiet town of Wolfcreek.
Grabbing the radio from the nightstand Lanny called back. "Go ahead Glory, I'm all ears."
"Morning sheriff, we got a call from Old Koger out on Highway 13. Says there's a car with the door standing open, still running, on the side of the road."
Picking out a pair of socks Lanny pondered for a second.
"Interesting, is Koger out there now?"
"Yes sheriff, he said he'd wait for you by the car. One other thing, Old Koger says there are some very large paw prints near the car."
Sitting on the bed Lanny pulled on a sock, "I'll be there in 10. Thanks Glory"
Hoping this was just a harmless prank by some of the local teenagers; Lanny finished dressing in his uniform, tightened his gun belt and headed for the door. As preoccupied as he was with his thoughts Lanny tripped over his year old pup, Clancy, laying in the hallway. He wasn't about to let Lanny leave without handing over a treat and ear tugs. Lanny kneeled down as Clancy jumped up and started wiggling his little stub tailed butt.
Clancy was a German Shorthaired Pointer and way too smart. Lanny often wondered if the dog could really count how many times the ball was thrown for him since he always had to have at least 20 retrieves before giving in to a nap.
Lanny found the ad for the puppy on the net one evening and could not resist the photos. He called and made an appointment to see the puppies the next day.
When he arrived at the breeder's place, Lanny was giddy with excitement. After introductions and some info on the blood line, the breeder led Lanny to the puppy pen and opened the gate. Lanny hit his knees at the sight of 10 little brown and white balls of joy bouncing at his feet. After much licking and sniffing the puppies soon grew bored with Lanny. As his brothers and sisters wandered off to follow their little pointer noses, one puppy took advantage of having Lanny to himself. He began crawling on him trying to lick his face and ears. Laughing, Lanny scooped up the puppy, and stood up. "This is the one. I want him."
"Nice looking pup you chose Mr. Thorton. Let's head back to the house and complete his papers." Back at the house, little Clancy was skidding and sliding all over the breeder's slick kitchen floor while the paperwork was done and the money changed hands. With a quick handshake, Lanny picked up Clancy and headed for his truck.
After three days Clancy was house trained. After his first week home he was already picking up, retrieving and was showing signs of being very "birdy". Although Lanny grew up in a hunting family, he himself wasn't a big outdoorsman. But he did enjoy watching bird dogs. How graceful they were and smart. He had his own bird dog now and every DVD and book he could get his hands on was teaching them both how to work together.
"Sit you big galoof ", he told Clancy. Anticipating Lanny's next move, Clancy sat and raised his paw, prepared to shake. Lanny grabbed two treats from the bag on the counter and traded for paws. Then with a kiss on the head, he told Clancy be good and see you this afternoon.
Lanny backed the cruiser out of the driveway and aimed the car towards Highway 13. Roughly ten minutes later Lanny saw Old Koger's Jeep pulled off to the side of the road. In front of the Jeep sat a late model dark blue sedan. Lanny pulled up slowly and parked behind Old Koger's Jeep and radioed Glory. "Sheriff Thorton, Highway 13, on scene."
As Lanny walked to the sedan Koger came around the other side. "Hey there, Sheriff. I hope you got your thinking cap on this morning."
"Why is that Ray?"
"Well Sheriff, there isn't a trace of the person belonging to this car around, but there sure are some big paw prints all over. Like no animal I've ever seen around here before."
Lanny looked in the open driver's door. The keys were in the ignition; it was a clean car, showed no signs of foul play. Koger had turned the car off shortly after calling the police department.
Lanny walked to the passenger side door, opened it and started rummaging in the glove compartment. Wondering if the car belonged to a local named Tom Rawlins, he found the registration. He remembered seeing Tom get out of it at the hardware store the other day. Sure enough, it was Tom's car. But where was Tom?
Walking towards the back of the car Lanny wondered how long it had been sitting there. Tom must have left it about midnight since the fall dew was present on the driver's seat and steering wheel. Coming to one of the paw prints, Koger knelt next to the print. He placed his hand next to the print. It was slightly larger than his hand. "That is one big critter, Sheriff."
Staring at the print Lanny thought it looked like a dog or wolf print, although way too big. But something was off about it. Wolves have slightly webbed feet, so did some dogs. It also looked like there were too many joints in the print. He'd seen something similar to this before, but it wasn't real, it was a movie prop.
Startling Lanny, Koger said "I don't know about you Sheriff but those prints look more like hands with claws than paws." This was exactly what Lanny thought.
"Thanks Koger for calling this in. I can handle it from here. I'll get some of the boys out here and start snooping in the woods. Please, keep this to yourself for the time being. I don't want folks starting ridiculous stories about Tom's empty car."
"Will do, Sheriff. Good luck on your hunt." Old Koger jumped in his Jeep and headed for town.
Chapter TwoLanny called dispatch to request help at the site. "Glory, it's me. Inform Ted and Randy I need them out here. Tom Rawlins is missing."
"Sure sheriff, they both just walked in."
"Oh and Glory, please call Tom's wife, see if he called her last night. See if she knows anything about where he might be."
"Don't have to, Sheriff." Glory replied. "Karen just called to report him missing. She said he called home around 9 pm and told her he was leaving the office." Lanny took out his notepad and jotted the information down.
"Didn't he work in Collins?"
"Sure did, Sheriff. Karen said it's about an hour commute one way." Thanking Glory, Lanny signed off and waited for his deputies.
When Ted and Randy arrived on the scene, Lanny filled them in on the details. "I did some looking while waiting for you guys and found some human prints leading to the east. The big paw prints follow. I think Tom saw something on the side of the road and for whatever reason he stopped. Why he got out of his car I've no idea. But it then looks like", Lanny walked in front of the car a few feet, "he started running. See how the steps are farther apart. And look here," pointing to the ground, "the paw prints are almost on top of Tom's."
Randy being the same age as Lanny as well as his best friend since they were kids, asked, "So let's follow these prints. Lock and load, cause whatever made those", pointing at the paw prints, "is huge. I say we shoot to kill."
"I'm all for that" Ted agreed. He was the youngest of the three. He graduated the police academy 2 years ago. He was traveling home when he stopped for the night in Wolfcreek. A fight broke out at the bar where he was having dinner. Soon it spilled over onto his table. Being a large man at 6'3", muscular and fit, when he stood up the fighters banned together. Their intention was to beat Ted down. When Lanny and Randy arrived, the four fighters were laid out on the floor and Ted was standing over them. Standing beside Lanny, Randy said "Oh shit! We just might need the bear mace for this big boy." Lanny agreed and they headed towards Ted.
As the sheriff and his deputy walked up, Ted stuck his hand out, "I'm Ted Applegate. These boys had a disagreement and felt the need to bring it to my table, thus bringing it to me. Being a peaceable man, I asked them nicely to go away. When they wouldn't, well ..." Ted pointed to the four men on the floor, "you get the idea." Randy turned to the other patrons of the bar and asked if that was how it went down. Everyone agreed Ted had been minding his own business; they brought the fight to him.
"Alrighty then, Randy lets get these guys in the car and take them to the cage. When they wake up we'll read them their rights", Lanny said as he reached down and grabbed one of the men's arms.
"Let me help you there, Sheriff ", Ted said.
As they dragged the men outside to the side of the cruiser, Ted started chatting. "I'm on my way home, just got out of the academy. I'm hoping the local police department has a need for me."
"No kidding," said Lanny, "we are looking for another deputy. Randy here just can't handle it all by himself."
"Interested?" asked Randy. Ted seemed a bit dumbfounded by this offer; he honestly didn't believe deep down he'd get to do his dream job even though he passed the academy.
Dropping the legs of the unconscious man he was dragging to the ground he stood his full height. "Yes, I'd very much like to be your deputy. Seems like a nice town, just my size."
"It's settled then", said Lanny, "come to the station tomorrow morning and we'll get all the details worked out. Now let's get these idiots to the cage, I'd just as soon not have them waking up out here." Lanny handed Ted his card and explained how to get to the station. They thanked Ted and drove off. The next day, the Wolfcreek sheriff 's department had a new member.
Chapter ThreeThursday Mid-Morning
The trail led the officers into the woods next to the road. It was clear from the tracks Tom had been running, and fast. So, too, was the animal behind him. The timber was thick here, not quite what's called dark timber, but it was thick enough that they couldn't see the road thirty yards into the woods. As they followed the two sets of tracks each man was growing nervous about what they might find.
Soon they came to hole in the ground about 10 inches deep. They stopped and stared at the hole. In the bottom was a shoe. Lanny bent down for a closer look realizing the shoe was covered in blood.
"Well this doesn't look good at all" he said. Ted and Randy both huffed cursing themselves for imagining Tom dead. The bloody shoe was nearly a given that Tom did not survive the chase.
A few feet away from the hole, Randy noticed swarming flies. As he approached the fly covered mess, he caught a smell in the air; something like rotting meat and a musky animal smell. Once close enough to the swarm the flies thinned a bit and Randy could see the mess was in fact a gut pile.
"Hey guys, over here." Randy called to the others. "I think this is what is left of Tom." Lanny came over to view the mess and Ted vomited in the bushes. Being a hunter Lanny knew what gut piles looked and smelled like, there was no mistake this was a bloody mess of innards.
"Well we best search the area see if we can find a body. Nobody could still be alive with all his insides in a pile on the ground."
The three officers went in different directions searching for a body. About twenty yards from the gut pile, Randy found some torn bloody clothes and a wallet. Carefully picking it up by the edge he opened it. The driver's license belonged to Tom Rawlins.
Lanny and Ted found nothing more than tracks left behind by the beast. The tracks showed the beast circled the kill site a couple times. Uncertain as to why and spooked by the darkness of the woods, they roped off the area and hiked back to the road to call the meat wagon for Tom's body.
Once back with the cruisers all three had a feeling of relief. "I don't know about you guys, but it felt like we were being watched in there. Don't you think?" Ted asked.
"Yeah I had the same feeling" Randy agreed.
"It was probably just the whole murder scene and darkness of the woods giving you guys the willies. Whatever did that to Tom is long gone." Lanny attempted to assure them.
"Look, you two grab the camera and the evidence collection kit and go back. Get everything you can find and as many pictures as you can stomach. I'm going to go see Tom's wife." Lanny got into his cruiser and flipped a u-turn heading back to Wolfcreek.
Just outside the roped off area, someone was taking advantage of the natural cover of the trees. With blue eyes watching every movement made by the officers, the watcher licked its lips. Whether it was a nervous tick or remembering the taste of blood was as unknown as the officers were unaware.
The watcher waited, it knew the officers would be back to take the remains away and collect evidence. The watcher was safe in its hiding spot; no need to leave and miss out on the chatter and speculations about what they were up against. The watcher leaned back getting more comfortable, it wasn't going anywhere for awhile.
As Lanny pulled away from the crime scene he again felt the hairs on the back of his neck rise, like something was watching him. He doesn't scare easily but this was just eerie. He noticed there were no sounds from the woodland critters either. Everything was silent as he drove away.
Lanny was right in his sixth sense of being watched. Down the highway was a turn-off which led to an old house. Just inside the trees, off the highway next to the driveway, stood another watcher. Golden eyes never blinked as Lanny came closer. They followed his car until he was out of site. The watcher then crossed the road and started towards the kill site.
Chapter FourThursday noon
Lanny pulled up in front of a bi-level tan colored house. He put the car in park, took the keys, and a deep breath. Before getting out he said a little prayer silently to himself; one that has always given him courage in the past, Psalms 23. With an "amen" he started up the front walk.
Karen knew Sheriff Thorton was out front. She didn't want to open the door. Last night she had that feeling. Having never believed the stories of people who lost a spouse, saying they could feel it the moment their beloved died, she now changed her mind. The sheriff was out front, Tom was missing, and her heart said he was gone. Damn all those people, they were right. Fighting to hold the tears in, Karen answered the door when Sheriff Thorton rang the bell.
Lanny heard the locks click and when the door opened he was greeted with a look of dread from Karen.
Karen was 30 years old but looked like she was 25; with caramel colored hair, striking green eyes, and the figure of an 18 year old, she was a trophy catch for any man. Tom was the lucky one; he met Karen at a horserace in Collins eight years earlier. They hit it off immediately and were married less than eight months later. Both knew the other was their soul mate. Neither wanted children, they treated their dog with all the love and discipline of parents with children. Tom was a successful computer programmer who made video games. He made enough money so Karen didn't have to work. She stayed home and spent her days reading novels, playing with the dog, doing laundry, and keeping the house neat and orderly. Tom really didn't care if the house was cleaned daily and the laundry always done, he only asked for a happy wife who could cook a good meal. And if that meant she sat in her rocking chair reading a fantasy novel all day, he was just fine with that. Theirs was a relationship that was based on happiness and deep love. Now all that was gone, destroyed by an unknown beast.
"Hello Karen. I hate to come here with this news, but may I come in?" Lanny asked removing his hat and holding it in front of him like a shield.
"Yes, please come in. Have a seat if you like." Karen pointed to the couch. "What is it? Is Tom ok?"
"We found his car and some clothing. It appears that he was killed by a large wolf or bear. We don't really have any other details."
Karen could hold the tears no more. She broke down and stumbled to the couch, leaned against it and slid down to the living room floor. Lanny helped her off the floor and onto the couch. Then as if to console her, he put his hand on her shoulder. He allowed her to sob a few minutes, then mumbled condolences and found his own way out. Getting back in his car he took a deep breath and thanked the Lord he doesn't have to do this type of thing too often.
Excerpted from VENGEANCE OF THE WEREWOLF by Mercedes Ludill Copyright © 2012 by Mercedes Ludill. 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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book has something for everytype of reader! this book has love, romance, mystery, suspense. its just an all around good book jam packed with action
Truly one of the worst books I've read. Skip!
In Your Face Gore that’s Dripping with Blood. I read the soft cover edition of this book and was impressed with its quality. It didn’t take very long for the story to sink its fangs into my throat, pull me in, and take me on a wild ride with sudden twists and turns. There were several times when I was sure I had figured out who it was, the author would toss something new in that sent me in another direction. The good guys were easily to root for and the bad guys easy to root against, I just wasn’t always sure who was who when the wolf was on the hunt. The story was full of gut ripping gore and the blood flowed. There were times when the author spiced it up a bit, and with graphic detail allowed the hunter to play with its food/unfortunate victim as they helplessly watched their own painfully slow demise. The action stayed constant from the beginning all the way to the end with only a (very) few short breaks to take a breath, then it was off and running again. I highly recommend this book to any werewolf fan. For those that have never read one before should sit down with this book. Its bite will definitely turn you into one.
I will be the first to admit that werewolves aren’t on the top of my list as far as supernatural creatures go. It just feels like they’ve all just been so done to death, I start feeling like I’m reading the same story over and over. SO when one comes along that totally makes you go “whoa, this is actually different!”, you take notice. That’s how I felt after reading “Vengeance of the Werewolf” by Ms. Ludill. I liked the setting (sort of reminded me of a mix between “Twin Peaks” and “True Blood” for some odd reason), and liked all the characters that were brought to life. The story is fast moving and never a dull moment. Fans of fantasy, horror, and adult novels will enjoy this
I have been a huge fan of werewolf novels for years, but stopped reading recently due to the overwhelming onslaught of the lovey-dovey, flowery werewolves poisoning the genre (I blame Twilight). But fortunately this book helped to restore my love for the genre, and I enjoyed its realistic terror and the suspenseful plot. While it wasn’t a perfect book (few are), and it wasn’t as complex as I’d like my novels to be, it was perfect for a light read on a rainy day. Recommend to fans of real werewolf lore, not the fruity-tooty garbage.
Sex, violence, and fear…yup, that’s a winning combination for me if there ever was one! I loved this book and took my kindle around with me all day so I could read it every chance I could get. There was always something happening, and the author Mercedes Ludill holds nothing back in the way of shock value. I just wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next! There werewolves and descriptions made you really visualize what was going on, and had just enough gore to make it feel authentic. It wasn’t too over the top like other books I’ve read. All in all an awesome Werewolf book that I totally loved!
There was a lot of action in this book, and I was pulled in right from the beginning. I liked the author’s voice and the were-world she created. It was addicting and descriptive and had a really compelling plot. I’m not sure if this is part of a series or not (isn’t every book these days?) But I’d love to read more from this author in the future. Glad I read this.
This is a different type of novel than I normally read, but I’d read “Wolfbane” by Andrea Cremer and enjoyed it, so I thought I’d give “Vengeance of the Werewolf” by Mercedes Ludill a try. Well, I was shocked at how different they were in many ways, but that didn’t mean I didn’t like it! If “Wolfsbane” was rated PG, the “Vengeance of the Werewolf” is definitely rated TV-MA!! Wowsa! I don’t shock easily, but my jaw definitely dropped more than a few times. But I thought it was super interesting and I liked all the characters and how it all worked out. This is a good book about scary (not romantic) werewolves that people should read.
"Vengeance of the Werewolf” by Mercedes Ludill is a fast-paced novel about a town filled with regular people and werewolves. It is a relatively quick read with lots of action, and lots of “adult” material. I read it in one sitting and really enjoyed it. Sure it had some gruesome parts, but I would expect that from a horror/werewolf book. But the writing was good and kept my interest from start to finish, and I felt like I could really picture everything as it was happening. Recommend to fans of the horror genre.
I read this book in one sitting, I did not want to put it down until the very end! It had it all…action, gore (!), suspense, relationships, drama, mystery…I really enjoyed it. Even though the book starts off from the point of view of the town sheriff, it shifts to several other characters pov’s throughout the course of the book as they try and figure out the attacks. This was good because we got to see different angels, and see how everyones story tied together (for the most part). In my opinion a book is supposed to entertain you and take you somewhere else for a while and in my opinion this book did just that. Fantasy and horror fans will enjoy it.
Vengeance of the Werewolf opens with a mysterious killing in the town of Wolfcreek (natch), giving us a taste of what’s in store for the rest of the book. I thought the storyline was intriguing and easy enough to follow, no easy feat considering the multitude of characters and intersecting sub plots. If I had one small complaint is that there were many secondary characters, but they were not as fully developed as I would have liked. Sometimes they seem like they were only there to be killed. So maybe it is good that I did not develop an emotional attachment to them, but the story would have been more powerful if I had. Debut author Mercedes Ludill did a great job of writing an interesting story that paranormal fans are sure to enjoy. As she mentions in the description this is definitely intended for an adult audience.
Vengeance of the Werewolf by author Mercedes Ludill starts right off with action and it doesn’t really stop until the last page. This means the story is never boring and there is always something happening to hold your interest. I thought it was really easy to read, and although there were a few editing things I noticed, as far as self-pubbed books go it is definitely on the better side. Warning, there is a lot of gore and explicit killings and sex scenes. So probably not appropriate for younger readers, but I personally thought it was great.