Chapter 11: Chapter 11

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Reads: 15

“Quick! The chain! While it’s confused,” Sidhion shouts.

The great wolf claws at its eyes, yelping and crying in pain and confusion. It lifts its claws from its face, lashing out in random directions. I catch a glimpse of the creature’s eyes as it turns in my direction. The whites are bloodshot and its pupils are dilated to the point of erasing its irises. The wolf stops, tilts its head. It can’t see me right in front of it. 

I glance behind the wolf to see a shadow rush into the shed. My breathing is ragged. My legs are shaking in the face of this mighty thing. I try to be still and quiet as its snout explores the area in front of it. It stops when its face is mere inches from mine. I hold my breath. It sniffs. A low growl rumbles its throat.

The sound of clattering chains emanates from behind the wolf. Right when its legs propel it forward, a hook sails over the wolf’s head, catching its neck and stopping it in its tracks. I can hear Walter grunt and heave with all his might as the beast struggles blindly against its captor. I rush behind the thing, taking up the end of the chain and adding my strength to Walter’s.

The wolf’s giant hands struggle against the hook, trying to get its fingers into any gap. It’s choking now, struggling and fighting against this reversal of fortunes. Walter and I pull harder, straining to keep our dominion. The wolf’s legs give out but it still struggles, rolling in the dirt, crushing grave markers, tangling itself in the chain. With one final, struggling gasp for air, the wolf’s body goes limp. 

I let go of the chain and let myself drop to the ground. My head slumps as I try to catch my breath. Walter is possessed of no such quiet. He rushes away from me, sword rising over his head. Charging at Sidhion with a frantic roar, he leaps into the air. 

Sidhion crashes to the ground with a thud but Walter pays him no compassion. “Come on! There’s still time! You can save her!” Walter hoists the dazed Sidhion over his shoulders and rushes to Elaine’s body.  Sidhion kneels beside her and surveys the damage.

Elaine is motionless and pale. The lids of her eyes hang limp and half-open. Blood has pooled under her skin, forming a cartography of bruises. Her battered and swollen face is buried in the mud at an odd angle compared to the rest of her. While the skin of her purple neck is still holding on to her body, the rest of it is crushed almost entirely flat.

Walter’s voice cracks with desperation. “Come on! If you hurry she can still-”

“No. It won’t work.” Sidhion remains placid when he helps Elaine’s eyelids shut.


“Look at her. Her head is severed on the inside. Even if I could bring her back from this, her injuries are so severe she would suffer and die all over again.”

Walters’s eyes glisten as he looks down at Elaine’s corpse. He looks from her to Sidhion to me. And when his eyes find me, his expression spirals into red hot fury. “You,” He growls, “You did this. I asked you for one thing and you didn’t listen!”

“I saved your life,” I scold.

Walter charges in my direction, towering over me. “I told you to save hers!”

“So you can martyr yourself?”

“So that innocent people are kept safe! That’s our job, remember?”

I sit up straighter, shouting back at Walter’s onslaught. “Who cares about the job? It was life or death! Only one of you could make it out and I chose you!”

“Because you’re selfish! You only ever think of what you want!”

“I’m selfish? What about you!? Just prancing off into the woods when I told you there’s a monster! Dragging everyone else into danger just to save your girlfriend-”

“Girlfriend?” My revelation has taken the wind out of Walter’s sails.

“I saw you kiss her. I know you love her and all but-” I can feel tears welling in my eyes as my words pour forth before I can stop them. “Maybe I did it because I didn't want to watch my best friends die." 

Walter’s furious expression collapses. His silence speaks volumes.

I look expectantly at Sidhion who's been watching us impassively. He shakes his head slowly. "I think this one is something you two are going to have to hash out."

"Let's just get to work." I sniff and wipe my sleeve on my cheek, trying to shake off my emotions. Slowly, I approach the great wolf. Despite being tangled tightly in chains, its shoulders still rise and fall steadily. My eyes land on its massive claws which are lashed tightly to its side. Reflexively, my hand rests on my throat. I take a huge step back, bumping into Sidhion behind me. “It’s-!”

“I see it.” Sidhion’s hand plants on my shoulder.

“We have to finish it off,” I whisper.


“Are you crazy?”

Sidhion tightens his grip on my shoulder. “Think for a second. It set that trap. It didn’t bite anyone. It wanted us alive. This thing is capable of sitting behind bars and I intend to see it there.”

“How are you getting it there? Those chains won’t hold when it wakes up!”

Sidhion looks upward. I follow his gaze to the sky which is already lightening in hue. “Trust me, I think it’s done for the night.” 

I take several steps back, watching Walter and Sidhion redo the chains on the wolf. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest when its limp body is released from its binds. Its ear twitches and I nearly bolt. Walter coils the chain at least ten times around the wolf’s wrists. 

I watch Sidhion do the same with the wolf’s ankles and an errant thought passes into my mind. I dig into my breast pocket, searching for my notebook. Blessedly, it’s still in its place. Unfortunately the binding is irreparably bent.

Flipping through the book, I pace around the wolf and peer over Sidhion’s shoulder. I find the page I'm looking for: my sketch from the crime scene. On the page, five elongated toes curve into thin claws. But in front of me are four stubby toes with very short nails. One of them twitches.

I fall backward with a cry of shock. Sidhion and Walter step back, swords at the ready. The twitch crawls up the wolf’s leg to its backward-bent knee. A few stray hairs fall from its leg and collide with the dirt, dissipating into a shimmer and disappearing. Sidhion lets his sword fall.

“What are you doing,” I exclaim.


The wolf’s body curls tightly in on itself. Clumps of hair fall from its body, leaving bald patches of olive skin in their wake. With an ear-shattering crack, the wolf’s knees invert. Its snout retracts and twists into a downward sloping nose. Sharp, rending claws fall into the earth and are replaced by flat, short-clipped nails. A once long tail evaporates into glimmering smoke. 

Laying in the dirt, unconscious but still breathing, is the naked body of Adrian Alkane. Walter quietly lays his jacket over the man. 

I think back to the fight. How Adrian’s hands felt around my neck. “Was that a glamor? It didn’t feel like a glamor.”

“No,” Sidhion sighs. “He’s a werewolf. A rare thing to find among humans.”


It’s midday by the time we march Adrian down Rynor Avenue. His bare feet are bleeding, leaving deep red footprints behind on the flagstones. His wrists are bound behind him. His left arm is held in a makeshift splint crafted by Sidhion. His face is sunken and bowed. 

The busy thoroughfare grinds to a halt the moment we march through. Crowds of onlookers clear a path as we pass. Shocked faces stare, horrified, at our prisoner and at our battered bodies. A pair of women whisper to each other and point. Where once I stood proud of my capture, my stature sinks by a measure. 

My uniform is torn in several places and caked with mud. My throat is bruised and my tie is completely out of sorts. Sidhion and Walter are about as bad with dented armor and myriad injuries. What an awful face to put on my first big arrest.

Captain Bradur is waiting just inside the new precinct. Word has traveled faster than we have. “Just what the hell happened?”

Walter looks down at our prisoner. His right eye has popped a blood vessel and blazes a bright red. “Get this sick bastard clapped in irons. Was killin’ his own employees!”

Adrian grunts and turns his face ashamedly aside. His eyes drift in the wrong direction. This is the first sound he’s made since we arrested him.

A look of disgust twists Bradur’s face. She tries to catch Adrian’s gaze but fails. She addresses him anyway. “You were a respected public servant. Why?”

Adrian slumps his shoulders. A pair of guardsmen take him from our custody and disappear deeper into the building. Bradur, arms folded, watches them retreat. “I gotta say, Walter, I didn’t expect you to live up to your promises.”

“Hey, I never break a promise. Especially not,” Walter coughs, “That kind.”

Bradur lets out an exasperated sigh. “I appreciate it. I don’t like being shut out of a case.”

Walter smiles meekly. “I never could let myself disappoint a lady.” 

I watch Walter intensely. His manner around Bradur is familiar: from the way his eyes soften when he looks at her, to the way he stands just a little too close. My eyes go wide as realization dawns. I march over to Walter and tug on his sleeve. “Can we talk?”

Walter’s face falls when he looks down at me. It’s a cruel reminder of our fight. Still, he nods and walks beside me, leaving Sidhion to handle the paperwork. 

“What was that," I hiss.

“What was what?”

“You and Bradur?”

Walter sighs. “You mean Ariel. What about her?”

“You made all that fuss about Elaine and you were cheating on her?” I can hardly restrain myself from shouting.

Walter sighs, “Not this again. I wasn’t with Elaine.”

“You slept with her.”

“That doesn’t mean I was with her.” Walter looks down and reads the confusion on my face. “You know how I like to help people? Well Elaine needed.. Help. Same with Ariel. They just needed to get some of their emotions out.”

Walter’s words only confuse me further.

“Don’t think too hard about it, little buddy.” He slings an arm over my shoulder and pulls me close. I hadn't noticed my body was shivering until his closeness puts a stop to it. The warmth of reconciliation rises in my chest. I lean into Walter's embrace, even though my cheek mostly rubs against dry, cracked dirt. It’s awkward to walk home this way but I don’t care. 


A knock reverberates through the old precinct. I loll my head to the side and shout, “Door!”

Sidhion walks past me. “Your legs aren’t broken, you know.”

“But you do it better,” I cackle.

Sidhion rolls his eyes and swings open the door. A chipper voice rings out, “Special delivery! From House Rynor!”

Sidhion thanks the courier and tips her entirely too much. He turns and suspiciously eyes the envelope in his hand. It's a rich, yellow vellum with a red wax seal. With a quick motion, he pops the seal and withdraws a card. He reads aloud:


Detective Sundermane, Detective Goldenfist and Captain Walter,

In light of your extraordinary service to Two Rocks and its people, the Rynor family will be hosting a banquet at Rynor Manor. Balric Rynor would like to personally invite the three of you as guests of honor. A carriage will be sent to collect you one week from today.

Kind Regards,

John Libbey


“Oh,” I sigh. “I wish I had time to get my suit retailored.”

Sidhion’s frown deepens. “We can’t go to this. They have to know we’re hot on their trail.”

“Why not let them try to butter us up?”

“Get over yourself. This is a ploy to poison our food and get rid of us.” I raise a finger to protest but Sidhion interrupts. “You’re not going.”

“Where aren’t we going?” Walter stamps down the stairs.

“Rynor banquet,” Sidhion declares.

“Sounds like a trap.” Walter has betrayed me.

“Okay, well, don’t just throw out the idea because it’s a trap," I argue. "What if we turn this to our advantage? Remember the vampire?”

Walter’s eyes light up. “Actually-”

“Do you two have a death wish? The Rynors will do anything to see us dead.”

“Think about it this way,” Walter explains. “We wanted an excuse to get into the manor without them tossing evidence, right? Well here we go.”

Sidhion closes his eyes and inhales deeply. “You two just want to raid the wine cellar.. Fine. We can go. But you’re going to stick to some ground rules.”

Submitted: March 11, 2023

© Copyright 2023 spattykins. All rights reserved.


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